I’m home with the flu, so that generally means extra time to research, and we’re going to need it on a ten-game slate that already has a lengthy injury report. Make sure to join us in chat tonight as we attempt to break down all the mayhem, and be sure to follow me on twitter @jac3600 as well. As a point of business – this will be my second to last NBA article of the year as FTA turns its focus to baseball on Thursday.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Elfrid Payton, NO ($8000)
Payton is a bit of an enigma tonight. He’s had two down games which he’s attributed to the bruise on his wrist (and he’s actually a GTD tonight because of that wrist). Just keep in mind that he rattled off five straight triple-doubles before those two games (including one against these same Hawks), and Atlanta allows by far the most FPPG to opposing PGs this season.
Other options – Kemba Walker, Trae Young, DeAaron Fox
Mid-tier options – Rajon Rondo, Tyus Jones, Terry Rozier
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
James Harden, HOU ($12,000)
Harden is by no means a lock on this slate, but there are already enough values (more on them later) that you can easily fit him if you want him. The Bucks do rank first in overall team defense over the last ten games, but this is a huge pace up game for the Rockets (they’re 26th, Milwaukee is sixth) and Harden’s usage rate has held strong at just over 41% even with Chris Paul back. Gerald Green is out, and Eric Gordon may sit too which just means extra shots for Harden. Milwaukee has allowed the second most 3PA in the league.
Other options – Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan
Mid-tier options – Buddy Hield, Lou Williams, Andrew Wiggins
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
The 3PT and double/triple-double bonuses on DK make Harden ($11,400) an even more intriguing play with a price tag that’s too low for his rates and production. Payton ($7600) is also too cheap if he’s a full-go with no limitations. You can, of course, give Terry Rozier ($6800) a look in all formats, although I prefer him in GPP. Kyrie Irving is out, and Rozier should get 32-33 minutes against a Cavs team that ranks last in defensive efficiency against opposing PGs. Lou Williams ($6900) also has GPP-winning upside against Minnesota in this range.
The Bulls and Celtics are going to be your go-to teams for value at the guard positions on both sites. Chicago has already ruled out Kris Dunn, Zack LaVine, and Otto Porter which means minutes galore for Shaq Harrison ($4800/$4400) and Ryan Arcidiacono ($3600/$3800). Shaq has averaged 0.93 FPPM and Arcidiacono 0.82 FPPM with Dunn and LaVine off the court, which is more than enough for all the minutes they’re going to play. I’m building around both, and Shaq is a phenomenal play on FD where his steals upside is rewarded. The Boston players are secondary values to the Bulls but they have the capability of being even more valuable if more of Boston’s starters are ruled out (Horford and Tatum are questionable, and Kyrie is already out). Jaylen Brown ($5300/$4900) and Marcus Smart ($5100/$4600) both stand to see significant rate boosts, and the matchup can’t get much better against Cleveland who is 27th in overall team defense.
Other options – Jalen Brunson, Trey Burke, Derrick White, Fred VanVleet, Antonio Blakeney, Wayne Selden
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
LeBron James, LAL ($11,000)
I have to admit – I thought LeBron would be a non-play for me once the Lakers started managing his minutes. As it turns out, his minutes being “managed” have led to him playing 36 the last two games, and one would think he’d be a full go tonight and rest tomorrow. As for the environment, it can’t get much better as Washington and the Lakers both rank in the top ten in pace and the game has a 233 O/U with a two-point spread. Even if LeBron is actually limited to 32 minutes, he can still get to value in this one.
Other options – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Danilo Gallinari
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Julius Randle, NO ($8400)
Like Elfrid Payton, Randle’s last two game logs have been horrific, but blowouts had a lot to do with that. Randle has averaged 35.9 MPG with a 30% UR and 17% AR. Anthony Davis is probable tonight, but he’s been limited to 20-22 minutes per game and that shouldn’t stop Randle from feasting on an Atlanta team that ranks first in pace and 21st in overall team defense the last ten games. This game has a one-point spread and a 240 O/U. You need pieces here.
Other options – LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin
Mid-tier options – John Collins, Marvin Bagley, Anthony Davis, Lauri Markkanen, Dwight Powell, Kyle Kuzma
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Forward is a deep position on DK in all tiers. LeBron ($10,200) seems really cheap over here, but Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) is likely the better per-dollar play against a Houston team that ranks last against opposing PFs. The Bucks are starting to pull away from Toronto for the top spot so they have less to play for, but Giannis is locked in an MVP battle with Harden (who he’ll be opposing tonight). Giannis has a 33% UR the last ten games. Julius Randle ($8100) is too cheap on DK and is viable in all formats, and it’s also going to be really tough to fade Lauri Markkanen ($6700). His production has been spotty the last month, but the last two games he’s double-doubled with Chicago so thin. They’ll be even thinner tonight, and Markkanen has a 29% UR, 15% RR, and 12% AR with LaVine and Porter off (and now Kris Dunn joins them on the sideline). The matchup with Toronto isn’t good, but this is more about price meeting opportunity.
It’s back to Boston we go for the values, and Gordon Hayward ($5400/$4800) is going to be a building block on this slate on all sites. He started for Tatum and double-doubled in 34 minutes (his season high), and would see to be in line for the same amount of work in a cake matchup against Cleveland. Even if Tatum were to play, Hayward is a fine option with a 22% UR and 23% AR with Kyrie off the court, and Cleveland allows the fourth most bench points in the game. Marcus Morris ($5500/$6000) fits the same mold, but he’s a much better value on FD than he is on DK. An interesting one is Troy Brown who is priced out on DK at $4700, but is STILL priced at the $3500 minimum on FD. He’s been starting for the injured Trevor Ariza and makes for a perfect punt option against the Lakers who are fourth in pace and 25th against opposing wings.
Other options – Maxi Kleber, Dario Saric, Daniel Theis, Justin Jackson, Taurean Prince, Lance Stephenson, Danuel House
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($11,800)
It’s a Towns night again. He’s a core play on DK (more on that in a bit), but there’s a legit conversation to be on FD with Thomas Bryant at 6k (more on him later too). Towns is my top overall player tonight, as he’s averaged a 34-15-4 line in the month of March, which unbelievably has come in only 32.7 MPG (due to blowouts, foul trouble, or both). Tonight he faces the Clippers who rank last against opposing centers and 18th in rebounding rate, and Towns has a 34% UR, 21% RR, and 22% AR over the last ten while averaging an astounding 1.82 FPPM. I can’t pass on him.
Other options – Nikola Vucevic, Clint Capela
Mid-tier options – JaVale McGee, Marc Gasol
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
Towns’ price on DK is absolutely ridiculous at $10,700. He will be in 100% of my lineups tonight, cash and GPP. Two interesting GPP options on DK include Nikola Vucevic ($8900) and Andre Drummond ($8700). Vuc has a tough matchup against Miami who is third against opposing centers, but this is the game of the year for both squads as they’re essentially tied for the final playoff spot in the East. Vuc only played 28 minutes last night as the Magic blew out Embiid and the Sixers, so he should be rested for full run in this one. Drummond also has a tough matchup against Denver (eighth against C’s, first in rebounding rate), but he’s $1500 cheaper than his FD price tag and has a 23% UR and 26% RR over the last ten games. Detroit needs to keep winning as well.
Thomas Bryant ($6000/$5200) is a lock on DK at his price tag, especially since he’s F eligible as well, and you could make a serious case that he’s as good a per-dollar value as Towns is on FD. Bryant is the starting center of the Wizards and he’s played 35 minutes in each of the last two contests while posting 22-8 and 17-11 lines. The Lakers rank 26th against opposing centers and have allowed 10% more scoring and 11% more rebounding to opposing centers than the rest of the league. Aron Baynes ($3600/$3600) would move up the value ranks significantly if Al Horford and Jayson Tatum were to be ruled out, as he’d get 25 minutes against Cleveland who is dead last against centers the last ten games and is 23rd in rebounding rate.
Other options – Mason Plumlee, Jakob Poeltl, Robin Lopez, Alex LenFantasy Basketball