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We’re starting to get into the NBA “nonsense” portion of the season. Last night we saw James Harden (of all people) get into foul trouble, the Suns beat the Warriors in Golden State, and New Orleans and Minnesota playing people nobody’s ever heard of. Be extra careful this time of year, and it might be time to start limiting your bankroll until baseball. At any rate, I’ll be on chat helping out our subs, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Russell Westbrook, OKC ($11,300)
PG is super deep for a six-game slate, but I just can’t ignore Westbrook here. This is a huge game tonight and we have an O/U of 227.5 which is second highest (although it’s not close to the SAC/WAS tilt). Westbrook is actually performing much better with Paul George on the court even though his usage goes down, as his assist rate is almost 10% higher (it’s not hard to see why – George can SHOOT). The Jazz play slow but they’ve had the seventh highest pace over the last ten games and rank 25th against PGs. Westbrook is not a must by any means but he’s well worth playing in any format.
Other options – Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker
Mid-tier options – DeAaron Fox
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
James Harden, HOU ($12,400)
I wonder how many people are going to be sour on Harden after last night’s megabust (which really cost me, as Doncic was FAR better). Harden was limited to 33 minutes because of foul trouble, so we have every reason to see full run from him this evening. Houston has the third highest implied total of the night at 118 points and Charlotte has fallen all the way to 27th in overall team defense while allowing the second most 3PA. Harden’s assist rates are down with Chris Paul healthy, but his usage has been almost 42% the last ten games which is even with what he was doing without Paul earlier in the year. He’s also averaging 28 shots per game over his last ten, so the volume is massive in a favorable matchup.
Other options – Bradley Beal, Donovan Mitchell
Mid-tier options – Buddy Hield, Lou Williams, Jeremy Lamb
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
On DK, Harden ($11,400) strikes me as the clear better option between him and Westbrook ($10,800) with much higher rates lately, but you can make the argument for either as the top spend of the night. If you want to dip into the mid-tier, Donovan Mitchell looks like an incredibly sensible spend at $8400. Ricky Rubio is out tonight and Mitchell has accrued a 35% usage rate and 27% assist rate with Rubio off the court. Utah is getting a big pace boost against the second ranked Thunder, and OKC has also fallen to 29th in overall team defense. We have to take this time to also mentioned the SAC/WAS game, which is absolute fantasy platinum (that’s right, gold doesn’t even do it justice). The game has a two-point spread and an O/U of 242 points which crushes the other games on the slate, so you’re going to want multiple pieces here. Buddy Hield ($7400) is a solid value on DK as he’s averaged 36 MPG and a 24% usage rate over the last ten games and Washington is 23rd against opposing guards. Hield is a chucker who can rack up points in a hurry, and his price isn’t where it ought to be. Kyrie Irving ($8900) is also far too cheap on DK. The Celtics will travel to L.A. and take on a Clippers squad that ranks ninth in pace while allowing the sixth most FPPG to the opposing PG position. There’s mild concern over Patrick Beverley’s individual defense, but Kyrie’s usage is massive, and now Jayson Tatum is out for Boston which will add to that. In GPPs, it’s hard to to ignore Bradley Beal ($9700).
Tomas Satoransky ($6300/$5800) is a value I really like in cash tonight. He’s playing in the marquee DFS game for tonight, and the Wizards have the highest implied total on the slate at 122 points. Sato has averaged almost 38 MPG over the last five games, and can contribute in all five categories. Against a team like Sacramento (fourth in pace, third in TO rate, 20th against PGs), a player like Satoransky makes a lot of sense in cash. I also like Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5900/$5500) in the same game. His price has remained static due to poor shooting lately, but he’s easily clearing 35 MPG for the Kings right now and the Wizards have fallen all the way to 27th in overall team defense (and they’re continuing to trend down). Dante Exum ($3600/$3200) could be considered for a total punt tonight (especially on FD), but we’d have to see if he’s starting and without any kind of minutes limit. It helps that Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto are both out. Jaylen Brown ($4600/$4500) is also getting a big usage bump with Tatum out, and is more valuable on FD where you need two SGs.
Other options – Patrick Beverley, Jeremy Lin, Dennis Schroder, Kyle Korver, Jordan Clarkson
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Paul George, OKC ($10,600)
There’s more than enough value at SF where you don’t need to pay for George in cash against the Jazz who are seventh against PFs. However, he remains an elite GPP option with a 29% UR and 16% AR, and he leads the SFs in per minute production by a lot, with 1.28 FPPM.
Other options – Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Danilo Gallinari, Trevor Ariza, Joe Ingles
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Blake Griffin, DET ($8300)
Drummond is the Piston I have my eye on today, and it’s easy to pick him over Blake on DK. On FD, however, it’s a different story where Blake is $2300 cheaper. Blake has lost minutes in the last three games due to blowout, ejection, and tweaking a minor injury, and that’s put his price in the “too cheap” zone. I’m aiming to use both Blake and Drummond in cash tonight, as the Nets are the worst team in the league against big men, and are 19th against PFs. Griffin is still rocking career high in both UR (29%) and AR (26%).
Other options – Kevin Love
Mid-tier options – Pascal Siakam, Montrezl Harrell, Bobby Portis
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Griffin is the same $8300 price tag on DK and he can be used there in all formats as well. However, DK has some intriguing plays that might offer a little more sizzle than Blake (especially since we’re locking in Drummond on DK). Kevin Love ($7700) is priced out on FD but is well in play at his price on DK. Love has now cleared 30 minutes the last two games, and he seems to be past any minutes cap. With a 27% UR, 21% RR, and 14% AR, Love should be closer to his FD price than $7700, especially with his 1.32 FPPM this season. Paul George ($9500) is massively underpriced any time he’s under 10k – it simply makes no sense with his numbers this season. Blowout risk keeps Kawhi Leonard ($8600) from being a cash play, but he’s an elite GPP option. His rates are up lately, and Cleveland ranks 25th in overall team defense.
Value is easy at the F position now with Jayson Tatum out. Marcus Morris ($5100/$4500) and Gordon Hayward ($4700/$4600) both see over a 4% usage uptick with Tatum off the court and are taking on a Clippers team where they’ll get a pace boost. Both can be used in any format. Hayward is almost a lock on FD where you need two specific SFs. Frank Kaminsky ($4500/$4400) has gone from almost being bought out to one of the most fantasy relevant Hornets lately. Frank the Tank had been getting minutes in the low- to mid-20s anyway, and now Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller are out and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is doubtful this evening. Frank should start, and he’ll be looking at 30 minutes in this one against a Rockets team that ranks 21st against PFs. You can continue using Royce O’Neale as a punt play on FD at the minimum $3500. He’s a terrible per-minute guy (0.71 FPPM) but he should get 30 minutes with Ricky Rubio out and he gets a huge pace boost.
Other options – Cedi Osman, Jeff Green, Joe Harris, Miles Bridges, Harry Giles, Marquese Chriss
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Andre Drummond ($10,600)
I started this day thinking Drummond was a lock on FD but he’s be hard to squeeze in at a full price on FD. Now it seems easy with all the value that has opened up, and it’ll be hard not to pull the trigger. Drummond has the dream matchup against the Nets who are 28th against centers and have allowed more scoring and rebounding to centers than any other team in the league. I’m not typically a game-log watcher, but it’s tough to ignore the fact that Drummond has averaged 24 PPG and 22 RPG in two meetings against Brooklyn this year.
Other options – Rudy Gobert, Clint Capela
Mid-tier options – Al Horford, Steven Adams
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
It’s incredible how different the two sites price centers. Drummond ($9000) is a lock there with the double-double bonus and 35 expected minutes. Set it and forget it. The other one to really consider, though is Rudy Gobert ($7800). He’s priced up on FD, but the DK price tag of $7800 is WAY too cheap. The matchup against Steven Adams is imposing, but OKC has actually fallen to 22nd against centers as their pace has risen to second, and Gobert is averaging 47.1 DK PPG without Rubio this year. I will happily try to play both on DK. Clint Capela ($7000) also remains way too cheap even though his scoring is down. Charlotte is super soft underneath without Cody Zeller, and they rank 28th against centers and 22nd in rebounding rate.
Willie Cauley-Stein ($5900/$5700) continues to be frustrating with the minutes without Marvin Bagley. WCS played over 30 minutes the first two games Bagley sat, but has been at 25, 26, and 28 the last three. Even if we tentatively expect 27 minutes from Cauley-Stein, he has the best game of the night to play in and the Wizards are 24th against centers and 29th in rebounding rate. I’m also OK running Jarrett Allen on DK in a GPP at $4800. The foul risk against Drummond is immense but they’ll need Allen’s size to at least attempt to stop Drummond and that price tag offers a lot of room for upside.
Other options – Thomas Bryant, Marc Gasol, Ante Zizic, Nerlens NoelFantasy Basketball