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After a brief hiatus during last night’s two-game affair, we get back on track with a fun Friday slate, including several games that have an O/U over 230 points. I will be back in chat talking cash and GPP strategies, and get set for another general podcast from the boys over the weekend as we finish up NBA and gear up for baseball (less than three weeks away!). Make sure to follow me on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Kemba Walker, CHA ($9000)
You’ll see a lot more Kemba love in the DraftKings section where he’s ridiculously underpriced, but he’s also a touch too cheap on FD as well and I’m calling him a core option right now. Charlotte is fighting for the playoff lives right now and Kemba’s usage rate has reverted to its early season form where we were discussing him for MVP. The Hornets are tied with the the Warriors for the highest implied total on the slate at 119.5 points, and they are facing a Washington team that ranks eighth in pace and 26th against PGs. Kemba has almost a 34% usage rate the last ten games, and he averages almost five more FPPG at home. There is almost no way he busts for you tonight.
Other options – Russell Westbrook, Ben Simmons, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul
Mid-tier options – Jamal Murray
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
James Harden, HOU ($12,000)
Even with the Rockets healthy, Harden is putting up massive stat lines despite poor shooting and a lowered assist rate. The Rockets have won six straight contests and they’re totally doing it on Harden’s back. His price is “down” on FD, but I’m still restricting my use here to GPPs with other mid-high players coming in as better per-dollar values.
Other options – Bradley Beal, Donovan Mitchell, Jimmy Butler, Zack LaVine
Mid-tier options – Lou Williams, Klay Thompson, Jeremy Lamb
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
Kemba Walker is a touch underpriced on FD, but he’s a stone cold lock on DK at $8100 where he really should be about $1500 more if you add in the 3PM bonus. Harden ($11,000) is also a much better play on DK at $1000 less than FD, and the 3PM bonuses come into play with too, along with the double- and triple-double bonuses (although Chris Paul eats into those assists a lot). He’s GPP on FanDuel, but well into the cash conversation on DK and there are already enough values to fit him pretty easily. Chris Paul ($7500) has a less typical floor with Harden being the #1 option, but the price is baked into that and he’s a fantastic value tonight. Embiid missing in the paint opens up a lot of floor spacing the Rockets can used, and the 76ers have allowed the most assists per game over the last ten. Don’t forget Westbrook ($10,800) who has nightly triple-double upside and is in the best game environment on the slate against a fast-paced defenseless Clippers squad. Westbrook falls behind Harden for me, however, after playing 40 minutes last night in an overtime game. Lou Williams ($6800) is a great GPP option on the other side of the ball in that game, and OKC ranks second in pace and 25th in overall team defense.
Elfrid Payton ($6300/$5000) is an excellent play on FD, but is a core option for me on DK at only 5k. Jrue Holiday will be sidelined for the next two weeks, and Payton has a 19% UR and a 36% AR in that scenario. Throw in the fact that E’Twaun Moore is also out and Anthony Davis is only playing around 20 minutes per night and you get so much meat on the bone for Elfrid to soar past his price tag. Toronto is tenth in pace and has actually fallen to 22nd against opposing PGs. In the same game, Frank Jackson ($3700/$3200) looks like a beautiful punt to help you fit in some big names. Last game, Jackson saw 28 minutes off the bench against the Jazz and put up a very usable 13 points and four boards. I suspect he’ll start tonight in the backcourt alongside Payton and could see minutes into the 30s (even though they also have Ian Clark). There’s almost no downside at near-minimum tags. A DK-specific play is Jeremy Lamb ($5600) whose price doesn’t seem to move on that site. He’s playing over 30 minutes off the bench every game and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has fallen out of the rotation lately. Washington has a solid ranking against SGs but is a poor defensive unit overall and allows the sixth most bench points in the league. Lamb has averaged 0.97 FPPM this season and is cheap exposure to a Charlotte offense you want a part of tonight.
Other options – Kris Dunn, Reggie Jackson, Tomas Satoransky, Patrick Beverley, Jordan Clarkson, Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross, Dwayne Wade
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Kevin Durant, GS ($9200)
I really like Durant tonight, which I’m going to get an argument about later with this rates down and Klay Thompson rejoining the fray for Golden State. Denver does not have the size on the wing to matchup with him without abandoning Cousins and Green, and KD’s lowered scores lately are really a product of poor shooting (25% from three over the last five games, well below his career 36% mark). Durant’s price is too low for having a minutes floor of 37.3 over the last five contests. Denver ranks 22nd against opposing SFs and the Warriors are tied with Charlotte for the highest implied total at 119.5 points.
Other options – Paul George, Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Otto Porter, Danilo Gallinari, Josh Richardson
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Julius Randle, NO ($9000)
It’s painful to pass up Blake Griffin at $500 less than Randle, but I really do think Randle is the better option with the current roster construction of the Pelicans. Jrue is out, Moore is out, Okafor looks to be on the doubtful side of questionable, and Anthony Davis is a 20 MPG player now. Randle has played 36 or more minutes in four of his last five games and I have a hard time envisioning anything different tonight. Toronto is a neutral matchup for PFs, but opportunity outweighs all here.
Other options – Blake Griffin, Lauri Markkanen
Mid-tier options – Pascal Siakam, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Montrezl Harrell, Larry Nance
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
DraftKings has some TEMPTING plays tonight, where the top guys listed above are underpriced there. Randle ($8200) is a much better value on DK at his price tag, and the double-double factor is in play. Kevin Durant has also fallen all the way to $8900 and is very much a top option in all formats. He’s bested value at that tag over 65% of the time. Paul George has a DK average of 51.8 FPS, which indicates his price tag should be at right about Westbrook’s ($10,800). The fact that George is still only $9700 is inexplicable, and he’s well worth paying for in cash despite logging 43 minutes last night. The Clippers are ninth in pace (OKC is second) and 22nd against opposing wing-type players. This game has a two-point spread and a 236 O/U, the highest of the night. Don’t forget about Kawhi Leonard in GPPs at $8900. The Raptors are getting a pace boost against New Orleans, an the Pelicans have allowed the most FPPG to opposing SFs.
There are some key values at forward that you’re going to want to eat in cash to offset the cost of the top guys listed above. The most obvious is Royce O’Neale ($3500/$3300) who should be megachalk with Ricky Rubio doubtful for this one. Despite only an 11% UR and a 12% AR, O’Neale has averaged just under 36 MPG with Rubio off the court, which is more than enough to pay off his value at near-minimum tags. I’m fine fading in GPP, but eat the chalk in cash. Marvin Williams ($5200/$4400) is another play that’s going to be hard to pass up this evening. Even with Frank Kaminsky re-entering the rotation (and contributing a good bit), Marvin has still averaged 35 MPG over the last four and gets to play the Wizards who rank eighth in pace and 26th against PFs. He’s super cheap exposure to the Hornets, especially on DK. The aforementioned Kaminsky can also still be used on DK where his price is under 4k, but I’d restrict him to GPP use only on FD at $4400.
Other options – Justise Winslow, Joe Ingles, Dorian Finney-Smith, Jeff Green, Darius Miller, Serge Ibaka, Jerami Grant
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Andre Drummond, DET ($10,000)
As of right now, I think there are two ways to go in cash on FD at the C position. Either pay up for Drummond, or drop down to Clint Capela ($7500 – more on him later). The upside for Drummond is monstrous this evening, as the Bulls have allowed 10% more scoring and 11% more rebounding to the C position than any other team in the league but the Nets. Drummond hasn’t had single-digit rebounds (if you discount the injury games) in this calendar year yet, and he should absolutely feast against the Bulls interior. It’s hard to commit to him with Capela $2500 cheaper, but Drummond’s upside does warrant the extra money.
Other options – Nikola Jokic, Nikola Vucevic, DeMarcus Cousins
Mid-tier options – Clint Capela, Jonas Valanciunas, Steven Adams
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
As is generally the case, centers are a lot more valuable on DK than they are on FD, and tonight is no different. Drummond’s price of $8800 is downright silly and the fact that he’s a lock for the double-double bonus makes him hard to fade. I even prefer him to Julius Randle who theoretically has more opportunity. I also want to fit Clint Capela ($6700) in my cash if I can. Since Joel Embiid went down, the 76ers have allowed the most rebounds and the most points in the paint. The scoring has definitely been an issue lately, as he’s been in single digits three of the last four games. However, with Kenneth Faried not a factor tonight, I think we see minutes in the mid-30s, and an easy double-double. Nikola Vucevic ($9200) remains too cheap on DK as well, and is my favorite GPP play against a Dallas team that has fallen all the to last in overall team defense and 29th against centers. Nikola Jokic ($10,100) and DeMarcus Cousins ($7600) are elite GPP values, but the risk of facing each other keeps them out of cash for me tonight.
There is too much opportunity cost at the C position tonight to really warrant spending down for anyone (unless an injury pops up), so I’d stick to at least the “Capela range” and up in all formats . Cody Zeller ($5700/$5300) is the one guy that I think you can differentiate with in GPPs. Unfortunately Frank Kaminsky’s strong play has cost him time, but Zeller is averaging exactly a fantasy point per minute and faces the Wizards who are 24th against centers and 29th in rebounding rate while also allowing the third most blocks per 48 minutes to centers.
Other options – Steven Adams (DK), Robin Lopez, Joakim Noah, Ivica Zubac, Nerlens NoelFantasy Basketball