Last night was fantastic, although I readily admit that my CJ Miles punt play was super lucky (I also feel that was deserving, though, after Giannis and Doncic both crapped out for me the night before. Tonight we continue to week’s theme of 6-8 game slates, with six more tonight and some key injury news to follow (most notably in Minnesota). Follow me on twitter @jac3600, and join us in chat tonight!
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Kyrie Irving, BOS ($9900)
Blowout risk is really not a thing to sweat tonight, as five of the six games feature a spread of eight points or higher (the only one that doesn’t is OKC/IND). The Celtics will be getting a massive pace boost against the Kings who are second in that category (Boston is 18th), and Sacramento has also allowed the third most FPPG to opposing PGs while ranking 21st in defensive efficiency against them over the last ten games. Kyrie should play a full array of minutes with Boston as the fifth seed right now, and Indiana and Philly only two games ahead of them.
Other options – Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry
Mid-tier options – DeAaron Fox, Darren Collison
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($9800)
With Ricky Rubio back, Mitchell is not a cash play, but I want to point out the upside of using him in GPPs. Minnesota is giving up the fifth most FPPG and real PPG to opposing SGs, and Mitchell is sporting almost a 37% usage rate over his last five games. In three meeting with the Timberwolves this year, Mitchell has averaged almost 27 PPG and seven APG, and Rubio was active for two of those. If for any reason Rubio sat on the second game of this b2b, Mitchell would become cash viable, but right now you can go double cheap at the position on FD.
Other options – Luka Doncic
Mid-tier options – Buddy Hield
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
Kyrie’s price on DK is absolutely bonkers at $8900, and he’s going to be a top priority on that site even with the price of Westbrook ($10,900) also down. The aforementioned Mitchell is also too cheap on DK at $8300 even with Rubio playing, but Luka Doncic ($8400) offers a little more bang for your buck at the similar price tag here. He struggled mightily last game and admitted he’s not 100% right now, so take that into account if you want safety for cash. However, Denver ranks 27th against opposing guards over the last ten games, and Luka has a 33% UR and 33% AR in that span. If Kawhi happens to sit tonight (no reports on that, just saying), give Kyle Lowry ($7700) a look against a fast-paced, defenseless Lakers squad.
The Minnesota guards hold the key to the best values this evening, so we’re in a bit of a holding pattern for now. Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose are both questionable, but both have said they’re not 100% and I see no reason for Minnesota to push them since they’re now six games out of the playoffs. If Teague and Rose do both sit, Tyus Jones ($4400/$4200) would play major minutes and would become a core play on all sites. He gets a 2% usage bump and a 6% assist bump with those two out. Andrew Wiggins ($6300/$5900) is also a question mark for tonight but was deemed “likely to play” last game before sitting out again. I’m assuming him in, and his usage rate goes up to 28.6% with Teague/Rose off the court (second on the team only to Towns). He has also averaged 25 PPG against the Jazz year, which makes sense as they struggle to defend the perimeter. If the stars align and those two sit, I think you lock in both Wolves guards. Josh Okogie ($3600/$3400) is a low per-minute guy, but 34-36 minutes for a near min-priced player is valuable. He’s better on FD where he can be dropped if he busts. Finally, if we’re looking at another game, D.J. Augustin ($4600/$4400) doesn’t have GPP-winning upside but he makes a lot of sense in cash. The Magic have tightened their rotation as they look to push for the final playoff spot, and Augustin has cleared 30 minutes in back to back games with Isaiah Briscoe gone. Tonight he gets the Cavs, who have ranked dead last against the PG position since the season began. Monte Morris ($3900) is a smart FD punt with Isaiah Thomas out of the rotation.
Other options – Collin Sexton, Jeremy Lin, Jerryd Bayless, Cory Joseph, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, Tim Hardaway Jr
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Paul George, OKC ($10,000)
Paul George burned me the last time I used him on a b2b, but that hasn’t been a trend for him so I’m perfectly fine deploying him at a reduced tag. The OKC/IND game is the only one of the night that features a close spread (1.5 points). The Pacers defense was elite during the first half but they’ve given up 110 PPG in the second half (which pretty much directly correlates to Oladipo’s absence). They’ve also fallen to 22nd in defensive efficiency against wing archetype players, and Oladipo and Tyreke being absent so much plays into that as well. Bojan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young don’t have a hope of guarding PG13.
Other options – Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Bojan Bogdanovic, Jonathan Isaac
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Aaron Gordon, ORL ($7300)
To be honest, there’s no need to spend even into the mid-tier range at PF in cash. I do like Gordon’s upside for GPPs, however, playing for a Magic team that is gunning for that last spot. He’s played 30+ minutes in 12 straight contests, and Cleveland ranks 25th in overall team defense and 24th in rebounding rate over the last ten games, despite also ranking third against PFs in that span.
Other options – Kevin Love
Mid-tier options – Pascal Siakam, Paul Millsap, Thaddeus Young
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Paul George ($9700) continues to be under 10k on DraftKings, which continues to be dumb. He’s well worth his price in cash, but it’s still going to be hard for me to prioritize over Kyrie and the high-priced centers there (more on them later). Kawhi Leonard ($8700) is also strangely cheap on DK. His rates have all been trending up lately, and the Lakers rank fourth in pace while also falling to 27th in overall team defense. Toronto is favored by 10 points, but they have an elite implied total of 120.5 points (highest on the slate). Don’t forget also that Luka Doncic ($8400) is F eligible on DK.
Jerami Grant ($5500/$4900) was “fine” in 28 minutes last night, and would continue to be a “fine” play if Markieff Morris sits again. He SHOULD play more than 28 minutes in that scenario, and Indiana has ranked 23rd against PFs over the last ten games. Grant is not a GPP play, but fine as a cash value on both sites. On the other side of the ball Damontas Sabonis ($6200/$5400) looks like a good value in either format. He doesn’t have the minutes security unless one of the Indiana bigs sits, but he has averaged 1.28 FPPM this season and OKC’s defensive ratings have plummeted recently (29th over the last ten games). Sabonis has a 24% UR, 21% RR, and 19$ AR off the bench (wow). Keita Bates-Diop ($4200/$3500) is fine as a punt play if Andrew Wiggins were to sit again, and even moreso if all three Minny guards are out.
Other options – Gordon Hayward, Cedi Osman, Will Barton, Gary Harris, Marcus Morris, Dario Saric, Maxi Kleber
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Nikola Jokic, DEN ($10,200)
The three big centers tonight (Jokic, Towns, Vucevic) are all incredible plays, and choosing is a nightmare cause I want ’em all. On FD, it’s actually pretty easy with Jokic being the cheapest (and WAY cheaper than Towns), but DK will be a different tale. Dallas has only played a true center for eight minutes a game since trading DeAndre Jordan to the Knicks, and Jokic is rocking a 26% UR, 19% RR, and an elite 36% AR (for a center!). Dallas has fallen all the way to last in overall team defense and 27th against centers over the last ten games, and Jokic will be the main catalyst in any blowout (DEN is favored by 12). By the way, I’m going to throw another wrench into the center decision in a minute, too…
Other options – Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Vucevic
Mid-tier options – Myles Turner, Marc Gasol, Al Horford
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
OK here’s the deal tonight on DK. All three of the top centers are underpriced, but unfortunately you’re still only going to get to play one since we need Marc Gasol tonight as well (who can also be played on FD). Jokic ($10,000) is underpriced and Towns ($10,200) is underpriced, but neither are as egregiously priced on DK as Nikola Vucevic ($9200) who should be right in their range and not $1000 cheaper. He has averaged over a 20% rate in usage, rebounding, and assists all season (Towns has finally joined him in that category), and will take on a Cleveland squad that has given up by FAR the most FPPG to opposing centers over the last ten games and won’t have Tristan Thompson (and maybe not Larry Nance). Oh by the way, in addition to the big three and Gasol, Rudy Gobert ($8000) and Myles Turner ($6700) are also mid-tier plays that are more than playable in any format, but I think the optimal build tonight on DK includes Gasol and one of Vuc/Jokic/Towns.
We’ve mentioned Marc Gasol ($6500/$5900), but now let’s get into discussing him. He is only averaging 22.8 MPG with the Raptors this year, but he should start and push that number closer to 30 with Serge Ibaka suspended for three games. Per 36 minutes with Toronto, Gasol is averaging a double-double with 5.6 APG and 2.8 SPG, and the Lakers have allowed the second most PPG, third most RPG, and the fourth most FPPG over the last ten games. I view him as a core play on DK, and he’s easily justifiable as your one center on FD as well. Ante Zizic ($4400/$4000) is the only other value center I see as usable in GPPs this evening. Kevin Love and Marquese Chriss should return for Cleveland, but Tristan Thompson won’t and Larry Nance looks unlikely to as well, leaving Zizic as the biggest body to defend Vuc. He could still see 30 minutes tonight, making him viable to hit value even though Orlando is the top-ranked defensive team (and fourth against centers) over the last ten games.
Other options – Willie Cauley-Stein, Mason Plumlee, JaVale McGeeFantasy Basketball