Happy Friday! Just think, by this time next week you’ll be reading about baseball, which means Spring can’t be far away. Until then, we press on with the Association, and there are seven-games on this Friday slate to tangle with. I’m officially back on a heater on DK, so let’s find the magic again tonight. I’ll see all our subs in chat, and make sure to follow me on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Russell Westbrook, OKC ($11,500)
This is an interesting night, since as of right now no studs “pop” as the one you have to spend on. Westbrook is probably my favorite, though, as he posted a monster line against these same Raptors last game in OKC. Toronto has ranked 19th against opposing PGs over the last ten games, and Kyle Lowry’s absence won’t help matters. There are already a good amount of values on this slate, so Westbrook is easy to fit if that’s who you want.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – Jamal Murray, Rajon Rondo
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
James Harden, HOU ($12,400)
Like Westbrook, Harden is perfectly fine to use in cash, but doesn’t really pop as a positive value overall. You’re going to be looking for value at the SG position on FD today, but anyone who has the capability of putting up 86+ FD points in a game (which Harden did last time out) is worth your attention in either format. Westbrook is the clear better per-dollar play on FD at $900 less if choosing, however.
Other options – DeMar DeRozan, D’Angelo Russell
Mid-tier options – Lou Williams
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
Both the above mentioned players are viable in either format on DK as well but the only difference is Harden ($11,400) would be the better choice than Westbrook ($10,800) where their prices are closer together and Harden’s elite 3PT prowess leads to more bonuses. I have a feeling people will flock to D’Angelo Russell ($8300) based on his amazing last game and also the “revenge” narrative against the team that traded him away. As our subs know, I am a strong proponent of “narratives aren’t real”, but here are some more tangible reasons why D-Russ is still a good play. The Lakers are a Swiss cheese defense, ranking 27th against opposing guards on the season and 28th over the last ten games, and Russell has held elite rates (32% UR, 41% AR) even since Dinwiddie and LeVert returned to the Nets rotation. Russell is very viable in cash, but I am somewhat interested in an underweight approach in GPP based on heavy ownership and a sometimes inconsistent shot.
Based on injuries, we have some ready-made values at the guard position that you’ll want to lock into cash. The first is Fred VanVleet ($5600/$5300) who played 40 minutes last game without Kyle Lowry while hoisting up 16 shots (35 of those minutes in regulation). The Thunder rank third in pace and are 29th against opposing PGs the last ten games, and this game has by far the highest O/U on the slate. The other key spot for value is in the Memphis game, as Mike Conley is listed as doubtful with “general soreness” (aka Memphis wants to tank without being fined). Delon Wright ($5100/$4900) is the value play of the slate as he should move into a 35-minute role as the starter. Wright sees a 21% UR and 20% AR with Conley off the court. Tyler Dorsey ($3700/$3000) is also potentially looking at 30 minutes with both Conley and Avery Bradley out. There is no way of knowing what his rates will be but min-priced starters are often invaluable in DFS. Justin Holiday ($3700/$3800) falls into a similar mold. He’s been a very poor per-minute producer this season (0.65 FPPM), but he’s also near min-priced and should be looking at minutes in the mid- to upper-30s.
Other options – Patrick Beverley, Spencer Dinwiddie, Emmanuel Mudiay, Kadeem Allen, Damyean Dotson, Caris LeVert
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Kawhi Leonard, TOR ($9900)
Kyle Lowry is out and the Raptors are on an island game, so I think we can accurately predict a full-on Kawhi game. Toronto is only two games back of the Bucks for the top spot in the East, and Kawhi is fresh a 46-FD point game in 42 minutes against this same Thunder squad. Paul George’s individual defense is concerning, but Toronto has the highest implied total on the slate and this is a high-pace game. Look for the stars to shine in this one, and Kawhi is a good per-dollar play at under 10k.
Other options – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George
Mid-tier options – Danilo Gallinari, Josh Richardson
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
LaMarcus Aldridge, SA ($8500)
It’s tough to ignore Pascal Siakam’s last game against the Thunder, but Serge Ibaka is back and I don’t feel like chasing another one of those at the same price tag. Aldridge hasn’t been putting up GPP-winning scores, but he’s constantly playing minutes in the mid- to upper-30s and Houston ranks 21st against opposing PFs. Aldridge is also likely to get a lot more of Faried and Tucker defending him than Capela if the Spurs continue to play big with Poeltl at the five. He’s fine in any format.
Other options – Pascal Siakam, Kevin Love
Mid-tier options – Paul Millsap, Kyle Kuzma
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Kawhi Leonard ($8900) is also a top value on DK, but let’s take a look at Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300). His price is ridiculous on FD at $13,000, but he’s flat-out underpriced on DK and carries a probable tag tonight. Miami is a tough defense, but Giannis is averaging an elite 1.76 DK PPM which makes his price tag a joke. As long as there are no restrictions, Giannis is the top overall play on DK. Paul George ($9700) falls behind the other two as far as per-dollar value goes, but it’s still stupid that he’s priced under 10k given his epic year. He’s an elite GPP option.
It’s scary to recommend so many Grizzlies tonight, but they’re the “thinnest” team we have, especially at guard and on the wing. Bruno Caboclo ($4000/$3700) is only averaging 0.72 FPPM this season but he played 40 minutes last game, and that’s just fine for his price. I strongly prefer the Memphis guards in cash, but Caboclo is a great GPP pivot in the same game, and he could easily outscore the Holiday/Dorsey grouping. Miami is another situation to keep an eye on, as Justise Winslow is doubtful and Bam Adebayo is questionable. This is a huge game for the Heat so I’d imagine Bam is closer to playing than not, but we’ll see. If Winslow sits, Josh Richardson ($6400/$5800) becomes a very safe cash play as he should handle the offense and push near 40 minutes. His price is really nice on DK. Derrick Jones ($3700/$3300) is another punt that can be used, and he has more value on FD at a thin SF position. Jones played 31 minutes last game, and he’s actually a fair per-minute producer (0.85 FPPM).
Other options – Kyle Kuzma, Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk, Ersan Ilyasova, Rudy Gay, Kevin Knox, Mario Hezonja
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Nikola Vucevic, ORL ($10,200)
This time of year, players on teams with EVERYTHING to play for get a little boost. That’s Vuc right now, as his already high rates have each gone up at least 2% over the last ten games as Orlando is fighting with everything they have for the playoffs. Jonas Valanciunas is a solid defender, but Memphis as a team has taken a hit since dealing Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley’s absence will hurt too. Vuc is at 1.43 FPPM this season, and he’s not priced that way.
Other options – Nikola Jokic
Mid-tier options – Jonas Valanciunas, Clint Capela
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
Vucevic ($9600) is another player on DK that makes no sense at under 10k, but it’s his opponent I really have my eye on there tonight. Jonas Valanciunas ($6600) is not near priced where he should be on DK, and we should be taking full advantage. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that the Magic are the top ranked team against centers the last ten games, so the matchup (and foul risk) are present. However, Jonas has played 29 and 31 regulation minutes the last two games, and he played 32 minutes the last time Conley sat while posting a 31% usage rate an 18% rebound rate. Valanciunas is at an elite 1.40 FPPM this season, and he’s finally getting the run we all wished for. He’s a terrific cash play, and you can play him and Vuc together if you want.
JaVale McGee ($5600/$5200) can be a polarizing player to roster due to the severe asthma that keeps him from getting consistent run. However, he’s at an elite 1.30 FPPM this season and has seen 30 or more minutes in two of the last three. He only played 18 in the other game, but he still easily surpassed his value threshold in that game as well. Tonight he gets the dream matchup against the Nets who allow more scoring and rebounding per 48 minutes to centers than any other team in the league. I love him as a cash value, and he has the GPP upside as well with his shot blocking ability. Joakim Noah ($5400/$5000) is my favorite GPP play at the C position. He should be capped at around 22 minutes or so, but over the last ten games Noah has a 22% UR, 17% RR, and 24% AR, and Memphis’ thinned rotation should boost him a little.
Other options – Steven Adams, Mitchell Robinson, Hassan Whiteside, Ivica ZubacFantasy Basketball