Happy Thursday! We’ve got a fun six-game slate on tap for you as we wrap up the month of February, and it was a successful one for the FTA community! I want us to finish the month off strongly, so let’s get right down to the picks. There are someone phenomenal game environments to attack, and we’ll discuss it all in chat later. I’m also on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Russell Westbrook, OKC ($11,600)
Let’s start this off with a lock. If you’re playing cash tonight, Westbrook is a core play and should be the first name you enter on all sites. The Thunder and 76ers are playing in the premier game for DFS, with a five-point spread and a 240 O/U, and there are several things that push Westbrook to the top of the heap tonight (even with other studs going). Over his last 10 games, Westy is averaging an incredible 26/13/11.5 line with almost a 35% usage rate (even with Paul George putting up MVP numbers). He’s also been scoring at will lately, averaging 35.3 PPG in the three games post-ASB. The Sixers have also allowed the most assists per game and have given up the most points in the paint over the last ten contests by far. The ceiling for Westbrook tonight could surpass 80.
Other options – Stephen Curry, Ben Simmons
Mid-tier options – Darren Collison, Jamal Murray
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
James Harden, HOU ($11,700)
Harden is the GPP pivot off the much chalkier Westbrook. The game environment isn’t near as good, but the Heat are on the second game of a b2b after an incredible win over Golden State, and they rank 25th against opposing guards. Harden’s assist rates have predictably nose-dived with Chris Paul fully healthy, but his usage has held, and he has every bit of ability to be the highest scorer nightly.
Other options – Jimmy Butler
Mid-tier options – Klay Thompson
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
The Westbrook/Harden discussion is the same on DK, with Westbrook ($11,100) being the top overall play and Harden ($11,000) being an elite GPP pivot. Both gain value on DK with the triple-double bonuses, but Westbrook is now clearly the more probable bet to get one of those with Chris Paul eating up Harden’s assist rate. Jimmy Butler ($7100) is a DK-site specific play that can be utilized in all formats. He sees his usage rate go up almost 12% with Embiid off the court while his rebound rates climb around 8%. These numbers don’t account for much Tobias Harris, but the game environment is amazing and the Thunder rank dead last against opposing SGs. In the same game, Ben Simmons ($8400) flashes higher assist boosts but only gains about 3.5% usage with Embiid out. He’s still more than playable in all formats, but Butler offers the better per-dollar upside. Stephen Curry ($9100) is a great GPP play against the Magic who have allowed the most FPPG to opposing PGs over the last ten games. Donovan Mitchell ($8000) is another solid play based on the expectation Ricky Rubio doesn’t play tonight. Mitchell’s assist rate goes up almost 10% with Rubio off the court.
As I mentioned, Ricky Rubio injured his hamstring last night and looks highly doubtful to play tonight. With Dante Exum also out for Utah, this introduces Raul Neto ($3500/$3200) as a nice pure punt in order to comfortably fit Westbrook with other big(ish) names. Neto is a poor per-minute player, but has a 30% assist rate when both Rubio and Exum are off the court. He doesn’t need to do much at that price tag. Darren Collison ($6800/$6000) is another player that lacks the requisite upside for GPPs, but is fine in cash on DK if you need a third guard alongside Westbrook and Neto. On FD, it looks like pairing the former two is the way to go in cash. Minnesota is on the second game of a b2b and ranks 20th against opposing PGs. Dennis Schroder ($5000/$4700) is a fun way to get cheap exposure to our featured game tonight. Unfortunately you can’t count on more minutes than 25-26, but Schroder averages 0.94 FPPM and the Thunder have an implied total of 125 points, more than eight points higher than the next best team.
Other options – Emmanuel Mudiay, DJ Augustin, Goran Dragic, Evan Fournier, Wesley Matthews, Damyean Dotson
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Paul George, OKC ($11,300)
If you haven’t paired Westbrook and Paul George in a GPP together, you really haven’t gotten to see what real upside looks like. They’re the whole show in OKC, and neither of them negatively affects the other. Philly does rank seventh against opposing SFs, so Westbrook’s matchup is better (pushing him to the front) but if you roster Paul George (or even both), no one at FTA will fight you.
Other options – Kevin Durant
Mid-tier options – Josh Richardson
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Kevin Love, CLE ($7500)
Love is an amazing play today. He got all the way up to 28 minutes last game against Portland and has two days of rest since then. Love has averaged 1.26 FPPM since returning from injury and faces the Knicks who rank dead last against opposing PFs and are also 29th in overall team defense. Even if Love only gets 25 minutes, he’s well worth his mid-tier price tag.
Other options – Paul Millsap
Mid-tier options – Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, Draymond Green, Thaddeus Young
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Kevin Love ($6900) is an even bigger core option on DK, and he should be easy to fit into all cash games at his price. The Knicks are 25th in rebounding rate which should almost ensure the double-double bonus for Love. As usual, Paul George ($10,400) is massively underpriced on DK, and you can at least make the case for him being the top per-dollar play at that price (although I’m fully on #TeamWestbrook tonight). Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons (mentioned before) are also F eligible on DK which could help with roster construction, and we also have Tobias Harris ($7300) who has a 25% UR, 13% RR, and 13% AR with Embiid off the court. The Thunder rank 28th against opposing PFs where Tobias has been seeing a lot of minutes lately, and Paul George is more likely to guard Butler.
Bam Adebayo ($4800/$4000) is the top value forward on the slate for the second straight day, as Hassan Whiteside didn’t even travel with the team to Houston. Bam posted an easy double-double in 31 minutes last night and now gets a Rockets team that ranks 29th in defensive efficiency against opposing PFs. There’s foul risk here if Bam locks up with Clint Capela, but not near enough to warrant fading him at his price tags. We also have some interesting value on the Philly side of things, led by Mike Scott ($4500/$3800). Scott is not a name I ever really mention but he’s playing in the premier environment of the night, and he could push for minutes into the upper 20s with Embiid and Boban Marjanovic both ruled out this evening. Jonah Bolden ($3900/$4000) fits the same mold, but he doesn’t have near the upside or the per-minute (career 0.83 FPPM) production of Scott. Don’t forget Kelly Olynyk ($5500/$4900) who is in play in all formats despite a rising price tag, and Royce O’Neale ($4200/$3400) is also someone who can be used as a pure punt play with the expectation of 30+ minutes as long as Rubio sits.
Other options – Bojan Bogdanovic, JJ Redick, Cedi Osman, Will Barton, Jaw Crowder, Derrick Favors, Jerami Grant
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Mitchell Robinson, NY ($7400)
Yup. I’m going there.
Over the past two games, Robinson has played 30 and 31 minutes and has absolutely unleashed hell on the opposition, logging 32 points, 28 rebounds, and an insane 11 blocked shots. He’s averaging a ridiculous 4.5 blocks per 36 minutes and the Cavs allow the fourth most BPG while also allowing the highest FG% within six feet of the rim. Pay the price tag, and thank me later.
Other options – Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Vucevic, DeMarcus Cousins
Mid-tier options – Steven Adams, Clint Capela, Myles Turner
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
Robinson ($6400) is even more of a core play on DK where he’s completely underpriced, and I’ll add to all the other stats that Robinson has a 19% rebounding rate this year even in limited time and the Cavs are 23rd in rebounding rate. Nikola Vucevic ($9300) adds a lot more foul risk given he’s opposing Cousins now, but this price is far too cheap for someone who has a 28% UR, 21% RR, and 24% AR (no other center in the league is over 20% in all three rate categories. Clint Capela ($6700) remains far too cheap on DK, and should have a much easier time on the boards with Whiteside missing another game.
The clear cut cash plays have already been noted above, and I wouldn’t deviate too much from those tonight. However, Myles Turner is uniquely cheap on DK at $6000 and gets a 3.5% rebounding boost with Damontas Sabonis off the court. There is big time foul risk against Karl-Anthony Towns, but Minnesota is plummeting in the defensive rankings as their pace increases, and they also rank 18th in rebounding rate.
Other options – Mason Plumlee, Kyle O’QuinnFantasy Basketball