Last night was a rip-roarin’ success across the industry, so let’s look to keep the magic going with tonight’s six-game slate. We already have had a ton of news drop (most notably LeBron and Giannis being out which decimates the SF position), so make sure to follow us in chat at FTA and me on twitter @jac3600.
MEA CULPA – DURING THE PRODUCTION OF THIS ARTICLE, I MISSED THE FACT THAT EMBIID IS OUT TONIGHT. NONE OF THE REMAINING 76ERS ARE PRICED TO A POINT WHERE I’D CALL THEM MEGA-VALUES, BUT ALL (SIMMONS, BUTLER, TOBIAS, BOBAN) SHOULD AT LEAST BE CONSIDERED IN GPPS.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Eric Bledsoe, MIL ($7400)
With Giannis Antetokounmpo and Malcolm Brogdon out for the Bucks, we have incoming Bledsoe and Middleton chalk, which is just fine by me. Bledsoe sees his usage rate spike to 27% while his assist rate goes to an elite 35% without Giannis, and he’s averaged 1.39 FPPM in Giannis’ absence this season. The Bucks have a slate high implied total of 122 points and the Lakers are fifth in pace and 24th against PGs.
Other options – Stephen Curry, Kemba Walker, Chris Paul, DeAaron Fox
Mid-tier options – Trae Young, Darren Collison, Rajon Rondo
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
James Harden, HOU ($12,300)
There are enough values if you want Harden, but he’s certainly not a lock. The upside is beyond bonkers tonight, however, as the Hawks rank first in pace, 29th against guards, and allow the highest 3PT%. Harden’s rebound and assist rates suffer with the Rockets completely healthy, but his usage has held at 39% since Chris Paul came back. He’s an elite GPP option, and is cash viable if you want his floor.
Other options – Klay Thompson, D’Angelo Russell, Jimmy Butler
Mid-tier options – Khris Middleton, Buddy Hield, Jeremy Lamb, Andrew Wiggins
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
Eric Bledsoe ($6400) is an absolute core play on DK where his price is about $1500-2000 too cheap for the boosts he’s getting (plus the matchup). Khris Middleton ($6700) is also someone I can’t see fading on DK as he actually picks up the biggest usage boost with a 7% jump (and add 2.8% more with Brogdon out as well). The Lakers have allowed the third most 3PA and Middleton won’t have LeBron’s size to disrupt him. Harden ($11,200) is also way too cheap on DK and is a top target on DK. Kemba Walker ($8100) is another really tough mid-tier option to fade. As Charlotte has tightened up its rotation for the playoff push, Kemba has averaged a shade under 38 MPG over the last ten and posted a 33% UR and 35% AR in that span. Philadelphia is much better at rim protection with Embiid back, but they also allow the most assists per game.
Tyus Jones ($4700/$5200) is going to be chalk this evening and with good reason. He’s averaged 28 MPG in this absence of both Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose, and both have been ruled out again tonight already. Golden State’s defense smothered Russell Westbrook last game, but they’ve still ranked 25th against PGs the last ten days while they’ve crept back into the top ten in pace factor. Tyus is virtually a must on FD where his price is still only $4700 (plus you need two PGs), but you can get away with passing him by on DK with other guards so cheap. Rajon Rondo ($6500/$6000) is another value that will be very tough to get away from on this slate, especially on DK where you can roster three PGs. Rondo just missed a triple-double in 36 minutes against the Pistons the last game LeBron missed, and he’ll completely facilitate the offense with Bron sidelined for this one. There is no predicting the Lakers’ rotation anymore, but they’re still thin enough where Rondo is a safe play with a high ceiling. Pat Connaughton ($4400/$3700) is a conceivable punt on both sites with the expectation he could play minutes into the upper 20s with both Giannis and Brogdon out.
Other options – Caris LeVert, Eric Gordon, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Patrick Beverley, Spencer Dinwiddie
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Kevin Durant, GS ($9500)
With LeBron and Giannis out, Durant ruled the SF position. Ordinarily I’d be a little hesitant to run Durant in this one given Golden State played last night and Durant is battling an injury, but the Warriors are now tied with Denver for the top seed, meaning we may see a bit fewer rest days than we’re accustomed to for Golden State. With Cousins out, Durant’s usage rate goes back over 30%, and Minnesota has allowed by far the most FPPG to opposing SFs over the past ten games while also ranking 25th in overall team defense.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – Danilo Gallinari
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Kyle Kuzma, LAL ($6500)
The PF position is absolutely horrid on FD tonight, so it makes sense to just pay Kuzma’s mid-tier tag and just punt the other spot. Over the past ten games, Milwaukee ranks fifth in overall team defense and is first against PFs, but the absence of Giannis will certainly help Kuzma a great deal. The last game LeBron missed, Kuzma played 38 minutes and we should see the same tonight. Also, he enjoys a 5% usage increase and a 3% rebounding bump with LeBron off the court.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – Draymond Green, Damontas Sabonis, Thaddeus Young
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
The forward position offers a lot more value tonight than it did yesterday, so you’re fine spending down here on each site. However, Kevin Durant is a super value at only $8900, and he’s someone that is an elite play in all formats at that price tag. Khris Middleton ($6700) is also forward eligible on DK which makes it easy to fit both him and Bledsoe in without sacrificing a guard spot. Buddy Hield ($6900) is another intriguing play the has G/F eligibility on DK. The Kings have been playing super tight rotations in their desperate attempt to stay in the playoff hunt, but it’s starting to get away from them now which make every game a risk. The Nets have ranked 29th against SGs the last ten games and Sacramento has the third highest implied total at 118 points which gives all Kings immense GPP appeal.
Nikola Mirotic ($5000/$4800) is popping as the top forward value on the slate. Unfortunately the Bucks are so deep we can’t say for certain that Miro will surpass 30 minutes, but we do know that he has a 23% UR and 14% RR with Giannis off the court while averaging 1.16 FPPM. The Lakers and Bucks are fifth and sixth in pace which is tailor made for Miro’s game. In the same game, Ersan Ilyasova ($3500/$3300) is the perfect way to just dump that second PF spot on FD. He usually starts for Giannis, and 22-24 minutes seems like a pretty safe bet. Ersan also benefits from the fast pace, and the Lakers rank 20th in rebounding rate. On FD you can just drop him if he busts, so he’s more a GPP punt on DK instead of cash.
Other options – Marvin Williams, Frank Kaminsky, PJ Tucker, Dario Saric, Bojan Bogdanovic, Nicolas Batum, Danuel House
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($11,200)
Towns is my top overall player on this slate and the first big-money guy I’ll be looking to roster on FD (and he’s absolutely beyond a lock on DK where his price is inexplicably under 10k). Towns’ biggest path to a subpar performance would’ve been Cousins instigating foul trouble, but that’s not a problem tonight now. Andrew Bogut and company have no hope of keeping up with KAT, and he now has an eye-popping 34% UR, 21% RR, and 22% AR on the season to go along with 1.48 FPPM. With Teague and Rose out, Towns’ per-minute production has gone up to 1.7.
Other options – Clint Capela
Mid-tier options – Myles Turner, Jarrett Allen
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
If you don’t play Towns ($9700) on DK, just throw your money into the fire right now. KAT’s value threshold in cash at his price tag is about 46 FPS. His DK average this year is 50.5, and over the last ten games he’s a shade over 58. Put it this way – if he was $2000 more expensive I’d still be playing him as a top option. Don’t let this gift pass you by – I beg of you. Clint Capela ($7700) is GPP-worthy against Atlanta, but Towns is the whole show up top for centers.
Myles Turner is priced up on FD at $7700 (still a good play), but he’s an elite value on DK at $6200, and you can play him and Towns together in cash if you want. Turner has played over 30 minutes in six of his last seven games and blocked 21 shots in that span. Tonight he gets a fast-paced Clippers squad that ranks 28th against centers while allowing the second most blocks per 48 minutes to them. Indiana is fighting for a home-court advantage in the first round, so don’t expect their starters to let up, and the same goes for the Clips. JaVale McGee ($5500/$4700) is another intriguing value as he averaged 1.28 FPPM with LeBron off the court while posting a 23% UR and 18% RR. The absence of Giannis will open up tons of rebounding opportunities as Brook Lopez spends almost no time near the basket.
Other options – Brook Lopez, Willie Cauley-Stein, Moritz Wagner, Bismack BiyomboFantasy Basketball