After an extensive weekend of jazz, the articles are back, and what a doozy of a slate we have! First off, congratulations to our own Alex Blickle on an absolutely monster weekend representing FTA. If anyone ever wonders if playing GPPs only pays, he put an immediate end to that conversation.
Now, to this slate. The theme is going to be focused around two teams – the Raptors and Thunder. Injuries and suspensions have made them super tight, so you’re not going to be worrying about having multiple pieces, even on a nine-game slate. I’ll be in chat later on tonight, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Stephen Curry, GS ($9400)
We still don’t have word on Durant’s official status for this game, but Curry would take a hit if Durant returns. PG is an easy position of value for cash so you don’t need Curry either way, but if Durant does sit again I should point out that Steph has a usage rate a shade under 40% without him, and the Spurs are 23rd against PGs (although 15th the last ten games).
Other options – Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Elfrid Payton
Mid-tier options – Tomas Satoransky, Darren Collison, Derrick White
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
Luka Doncic, DAL ($9800)
After sitting out last game, Doncic is probable for this one and is in play for cash if you want to take on a little risk with his knee issues. Doncic has a 33% UR and 29% AR since the ASB, and Dallas is in a great game environment. New Orleans is all the way up to fourth in pace and have fallen to 23rd in overall team defense over the last ten games (Jrue Holiday’s absence really hurts them defend guards). There is not yet a line on this game, but it figures to be quite large as both teams have abandoned any pretense of defense.
Other options – Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, Zack LaVine
Mid-tier options – None
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
DraftKings is going to largely follow the same value route at guard as FD will, but there are a few things of note at the top end. The first is that Luka Doncic ($8900) is still perpetually underpriced on this site and is worth playing in all formats if he has no restrictions. The other is Damian Lillard ($9000). Lillard has a tough matchup against Indiana who is the second ranked team against PGs, but C.J. McCollum is set to miss a week of action and Dame sees his usage rate skyrocket from 29% to almost 41% when C.J. off the court. He’s still not a core play, but very much a top option on DK where he’s priced below where he should be.
So we have two value guards that are core plays on both sites, and you need to make sure the lock them in right away. The first is Dennis Schroder ($6000/$5100) who sees almost a 15% usage bump with Russell Westbrook (suspended) off the court. During the eight-game stretch where Russ was out earlier in the year, Schroder averaged a 19-6-6 line in 34.3 MPG. Miami is ranked fourth in overall team defense, but matchup is irrelevant when a usage monster like Russ is take out of the equation. The other lock is Fred VanVleet ($4600/$4000) who played 31 minutes is Kyle Lowry’s absence yesterday. Lowry is out again today, and he’ll be joined on the sidelines by both Kawhi Leonard (rest) and Serge Ibaka (still suspended). VanVleet has a 22% UR and 33% AR without Lowry and Kawhi in, and on top of all this he gets the 28th ranked Knicks in overall team defense. He’s a free square, as they say. In the same game, other values that can key used in either format are Emmanuel Mudiay ($4900/$4800) and Jeremy Lin ($4100), although the latter is really only a FD punt play in case he gets squeezed in the rotation.
Other options – Jalen Brunson, Kris Dunn, DeAnthony Melton, Kadeem Allen, Damyean Dotson, Jaylen Brown, Monte Morris
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Paul George, OKC ($11,200)
I can’t necessarily push the “lock” button on Paul George on FD where he’s fully priced, but he is the top overall player tonight and I’ll make every effort to get him in. George gets a 5% usage bump and a 6% rebounding increase with Westbrook off the court, and during Westbrook’s last absence he played 37 MPG while averaging a 26-10-4 line. In addition, this was before George’s rates started taking off into elite territory, so the ceiling could be decidedly higher this time around. He’s the big money player you want to spend on.
Other options – Kevin Durant
Mid-tier options – Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Bojan Bogdanovic
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8300)
Siakam is priced up on FD a bit, but there’s no way you’re fading him tonight. With JUST KAWHI off the court, Siakam has posted a 26% UR, 12% RR, and 15% AR, and now we’re adding the key elements of Lowry and Ibaka off the court as well. Marc Gasol, of course, stands to eat a bit of the rate upsides as well but Siakam is set to feast on a Knicks team that ranks 25th against PFs and 24th in rebounding rate.
Other options – Julius Randle, LaMarcus Aldridge
Mid-tier options – Lauri Markkanen, Dwight Powell, Jayson Tatum, Draymond Green
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Siakam’s price is ridiculous on DK at $6800. I’m not even fading him in GPP over there, since I don’t see any way (other than an injury) that he doesn’t blast by his value threshold at that price. Paul George ($9700) is also an automatic play at $1500 less than his FD tag, which you could actually even call a bit too cheap given the massive bumps he should be getting. Julius Randle ($8000) is also someone you can’t really ignore on DK at his price. Over the last ten games he has played a little over 36 MPG (regardless of Anthony Davis’ status), and posted a 28% UR, 14% RR, and 15% AR. Over that same span, Dallas is ranked last in defensive efficiency, last against opposing frontcourts, and 29th in rebounding rate. Also, Kevin Durant ($8800) is back, and is far too cheap considering DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala are both sitting. All are cash plays, but Siakam and George are the priorities.
The slate is pretty straightforward today, as you want to spend up at the forward position and down at the guard position. There are still a couple of bargains that trickle in at F though, one of which is OG Anunoby ($3600/$3300) who still may not start but should push for 30 minutes with Toronto so thin. He’s not a high usage player but he averaged 0.79 FPPM which could go up given Toronto’s thin rotation, and the Knicks have the fourth highest TO rate in the second half (which really helps OG’s value on FD). We can also give Luka Kennard ($4600/$4000) a peek on this slate with Blake Griffin ruled out for rest. He should look to get about 30 minutes (whether starting or not) and gets a cookie matchup against the Cavs who rank 25th in overall team defense while allowing the fourth highest 3PT%.
Other options – Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges, Jerami Grant, Marcus Morris, Maxi Kleber, Cedi Osman, Mario Hezonja
NOTE: As this portion was being written, Kelly Oubre and Tyler Johnson were ruled OUT. Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson join an already big list of elite values, and Devin Booker surpasses Luka Doncic as the top SG on the slate.
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Andre Drummond, DET ($10,300)
Earlier in the day I had Marc Gasol as one of my locks but I can’t call him that anymore (even though I do think he’s still the top per-dollar value at the position). Drummond will be playing without Blake Griffin tonight, and he gets a 4% UR bump and 3% RR boost in that scenario (this might seem small, but Drummond already leads the league in rebound rate so anything going UP is significant). Cleveland ranks last against centers. Detroit needs to keep winning. ‘Nuff said.
Other options – Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Jusuf Nurkic
Mid-tier options – Marc Gasol, DeAndre Ayton, Myles Turner, Steven Adams
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
Marc Gasol ($6200) IS in fact a lock on DK at his price tag where you can roster multiple centers. We have no sample size for Gasol with all three of the big name Raptors out tonight, but his usage rate was 21% and his rebound rate 18% with just Ibaka out. We can now throw in a sizeable assist boost to this as well, and the Knicks are simply awful at defending opposing frontcourts. Drummond is also really tough to fade on DK at $8800, but there’s at least merit to it with Jusuf Nurkic ($7100) also underpriced. Indiana is a tough matchup, but Nurkic will get huge bumps without McCollum. DeAndre Ayton ($6600) now enters the fray as well with more Suns taking a seat tonight. Ayton has a 21% UR and 17% RR in his rookie year, and Chicago is 28th against centers over the last ten games while also ranking 27th in rebounding rate.
Steven Adams ($6400/$5500) is yet another option that can be used tonight, especially on DK where his price is REALLY low. Adams is averaging a career high 1.06 FPPM this year, and gets a 4% usage bump and 2% rebounding bump without Westbrook. The only knock here is matchup, as Miami has been a lockdown team against centers lately. Ante Zizic ($4300/$4000) carries big foul risk against Drummond, but they’ll need his size as it looks like Thompson and Nance will sit again. If Zizic can avoid foul trouble, he’s a good bet for 30 minutes at a low price. Kevon Looney ($3500) is a viable burner play in GPPs on FD with Cousins ruled out.
Other options – Al Horford, Jakob Poeltl, Mason Plumlee, Zaza PachuliaFantasy Basketball