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FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Kyle Lowry, TOR ($8000)
Just as an overall note – if Kawhi Leonard plays today, all of the Raptors mentioned in this post get downgraded, but not to a point where they’re not usable. I am writing this entire article under the assumption that Kawhi sits. Since it’s his knee I can see the Raptors being super cautious, especially against the Knicks where they don’t need him to win anyway. Lowry’s usage was 29% and his assist rate was 39% last game, and the Knicks are 29th in overall defense and 24th against PGs. There are many ways to go at PG tonight, but double Toronto (VanVleet being the other) looks spicy to start.
Other options – Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Mike Conley
Mid-tier options – Trae Young, Kris Dunn, Darren Collison, Dennis Smith
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
Bradley Beal, WAS ($9500)
Key takeaway from yesterday’s Wizards game – even with newbies Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis going nutso, Beal was not affected in the least as his rates stayed the same, and he posted a 25-6-13 line in 37 minutes. If anything these guys will help his assist rates as two legit scorers that can also help space the floor. The matchup against the Bulls is almost as good as the one he had yesterday, as the Bulls rank 28th in overall defense and 28th against guards. Bump Jrue Holiday into top play status if the Pels sit Anthony Davis on a b2b, which they’ve indicated might happen.
Other options – James Harden, Jrue Holiday
Mid-tier options – Zack LaVine, Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
James Harden ($12,200) is still priced out on FD with Chris Paul playing, but his price is more than reasonable on DK and he’s absolutely playable in cash on that site (and elite in GPPs). As good defensively as OKC is, they rank dead last against opposing SGs and the Rockets currently have the highest implied total at 118 points. This is the marquee game of the night on National TV and it has a two-point spread and a 235.5 O/U. The 27th ranked Rockets are also getting a huge pace boost against the Thunder, who rank second. Russell Westbrook ($11,200) also has to be considered in the same game, but with Paul George matchup him in usage lately I think Harden’s price actually leads to more value in this one. Kyle Lowry ($7300) is a borderline must on DK in cash at his price tag against the Knicks. Two more specific plays on DK significantly more valuable are Mike Conley ($8200) who has a 29% UR and 42% AR with Gasol off the court, and Kemba Walker ($9100) who plays the Hawks. Atlanta ranks first in pace, last in defensive rating, and has given up almost 54 FPPG to opposing PGs on DK.
NOTE: As this was written, it was reported that Kawhi Leonard is in fact expected to play. This removes Lowry from consideration completely on FD, and I’d probably look elsewhere on DK too. VanVleet is no longer usable either, except maybe on FD where you can afford him as a drop.
With Fred VanVleet no longer a value, we need to look elsewhere. Dennis Smith ($6500/$5900) had another massive game as a Knick last night, and his price hasn’t moved on either site. He’s got a tougher matchup tonight against Toronto (seventh in overall defense), but he’s crushed value the last two games as a Knick while posting a 29% UR and 32% AR. He’s a solid play in cash again. Darren Collison ($6700/$6200) is still a touch too cheap around the industry as well for life without Oladipo, and the Cavs have ranked 30th against opposing PGs all season long. Collin Sexton ($5200/$4800) was over 80% owned in cash last night and you should expect the same tonight as he’s played 41 and 37 minutes the last games, crushing value in both. The matchup is bad against Indiana (sixth in overall defense), but he’s the whole show in Cleveland now. I’d fade in GPPs, but Sexton is a nice cash value. Khris Middleton ($6500/$6100) is a key value at SG tonight, especially on FD where there’s no MPE. He rested in last night’s game which means he’ll be a full go tonight, and he’d gain even more value if Milwaukee decides to sit any OTHER players on the second night of a b2b. Orlando ranks 21st against SGs and have allowed the most FPPG to them over the last ten games.
Other options – Jeremy Lin, Fred VanVleet, Cory Joseph, Jeremy Lamb, Jordan Clarkson, David Nwaba, Damyean Dotson, Allonzo Trier
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($12,000)
My biggest worry here is Giannis’ minutes getting cut back today on the second night of a b2b, but he did only play 30 minutes against Dallas last night so he should be fine if active. Orlando has fallen all the way to 23rd in rebounding rate and they rank 29th against opposing PFs. Giannis already has one strong game against the Magic this season and he’s averaged 1.85 FPPM over his last ten games. He’s fine to pay up in all formats, although the price could prohibit some strong mid-tier plays, and SF is actually oozing with value tonight.
Other options – Paul George, Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Otto Porter
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Lauri Markkanen, CHI ($7900)
Markkanen has been nothing short of incredible following the departure of Portis and Parker. He’s posted FD scores of 43 and 55.8 the last two games while averaging 39 MPG, and he gets another amazing matchup tonight. The Wizards rank 21st against PFs and last in rebounding rate, and Portis and Parker are not going to do ANYTHING to help the Wiz defense. I’m all in on Markkanen tonight at way-too-cheap price tags.
Other options – Anthony Davis, Julius Randle
Mid-tier options – Montrezl Harrell, Kenneth Faried, John Collins, Jaren Jackson, Ivan Rabb, Pascal Siakam, Larry Nance
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Let’s start with Markkanen here too. $7500 is simply too cheap, and he’s a lock for me on DK. Paul George ($10,000) is also someone I want to give a serious look too on DK. His price tag on FD is pretty dumb when you can just get to Giannis in the same range, but PG13 is too cheap on DK. Houston ranks 24th against SFs and last against PFs, and Paul George has been a top ten usage player (while playing alongside Westbrook) all season long. Do not hesitate to pull the trigger on this one – I’ll at the very least go overweight in GPPs. I’m a little wary of Kawhi Leonard’s injury hampering him, but if he gets full run tonight he should far outstrip his $9300 price torching the Knicks. Give him some space in GPP as well. Unbelievably, Jaren Jackson ($6600) has stayed out of foul trouble during his newfound run sans Marc Gasol. If Anthony Davis plays tonight, that’s going to be a major worry, but Jackson’s still not priced where he should be. He’s averaged 1.17 FPPM without Gasol this year and is getting a major pace boost (Pelicans are sixth).
The new Wizards are completely site specific tonight. Bobby Portis ($6500/$5400) has no business in your lineups on FD, but he’s a solid value on DK and you can use him in any format. Portis went nuts in his Wizards debut last night in 27 minutes and now gets to take on his old team who he’s been trolling since the trade. Chicago is 28th in overall team defense and 28th in rebounding rate, and Portis has averaged 1.09 FPPM this year. On the FD side, Jabari Parker is a perfect punt at $3900, and he should be mega chalk after nearly posting a triple-double in just 23 minutes last night. He’s not worth his $4800 price tag on DK but I’ll use him in almost all FD lineups where he can be dropped. Chicago allows the most bench points per game (although Parker himself had something to do with that). There’s talk of Frank Kaminsky getting bought out today by the Hornets, and Marvin Williams ($5500/$4600) would be a big-time beneficiary of that. Marvin has already played 34 minutes or more in five of his last seven games, and Atlanta ranks first in pace and has the highest TO rate. Give Bojan Bogdanovic ($5800/$5800) a look as well. He’s playing minutes in the mid-30s every night and the Cavs rank last in overall team defense.
Other options – Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green, Kevin Knox, Nicolas Batum, Tyreke Evans, Larry Nance, Marcus Morris, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis, JaMychal Green
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Nikola Vucevic, ORL ($9400)
Vuc is the only elite option at C tonight, and he’s fine (albeit not perfect in all formats). The Bucks rank 27th against opposing centers but they’re also second in rebounding rate, and Brook Lopez can mess with opposing centers as he drags them around the perimeter, funneling more rebounding opportunities to PFs. However, the way to beat the Bucks is in the paint, and Vuc should at least get his offensive looks there. Last time these two teams locked up, Vuc put up a 27-6-4 line, which jives with the matchup to a tee – scoring up, rebounding down.
Other options – Marc Gasol (GPP only)
Mid-tier options – Myles Turner, Al Horford, Steven Adams
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
Markkanen is C eligible and you can use him here as the top value at that position as well, and Vuc ($8800) is a better value here as well, especially with the double-double bonus in effect. The rest of the C values are also available in the PF section, but one C-specific play you have to look at is Myles Turner ($6700). Turner is still not getting optimal minutes, but he’s averaged 1.34 FPPM over the last three games while racking up an incredible 19 combined blocks and steals. Cleveland allows the second most blocks per 48 minutes to the C position and they also rank 22nd in rebounding rate. Jahlil Okafor ($7000) would become playable if Anthony Davis were to sit, and Okafor himself is questionable as well.
Steven Adams is a more of a DK-specific play at $6100, and he can be used in the marquee matchup of the night. Houston has allowed the second most FPPG to opposing centers over the last 15 games, and no one on their roster an remotely match up with Adams’ size or physicality. His ceiling is held back by Westbrook and George, but Adams’ floor is super stable. Ivica Zubac ($3900/$3500) is an interesting play in GPPs as he should occupy a fairly significant role off the bench, and he can be used in cash as a punt/burner play on FD. Mitchell Robinson ($4600/$4200) is another upside GPP option if they decide to give him minutes. He was going nuts yesterday before sitting for an extended period, and it’s possible he sees more run today on the second game of a b2b.
Other options – DeWayne Dedmon, Jonas Valanciunas, Cody Zeller, Nerlens NoelFantasy Basketball