Well, I admit I was wrong on Paul George last night. The red flag of tired legs wasn’t enough to sway me and it wound up costing me last night. Thankfully I had a GPP with Jeremy Lamb, Nikola Vucevic, and Lou Williams that was able to recoup a lot of the lost wages in cash, and tonight we have a small (but fun) five-gamer which is light for a Saturday. I will be back in chat this evening, and make sure to follow me on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Trae Young, ATL ($8300)
I suspect many will be sucked into the Kyrie/LeBron matchup tonight (which, don’t get me wrong, is perfectly fine). At this point of the morning, however, I feel like Trae is the better per dollar play at $1200 less. The ATL/BKN game is one of two of the five contests tonight that just SCREAMS fantasy gold, and it has a four-point spread and a 238 O/U. Trae has seen a dip in rates over the last two games (John Collins’ return has hurt him a touch), but Brooklyn has fallen all the way to 23rd in overall team defense while allowing the third most FPPG to opposing PGs over the last ten games. I have bigger priorities in cash, but Trae has GPP-winning upside in this one.
Other options – Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker
Mid-tier options – Jeff Teague, Eric Bledsoe
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
D’Angelo Russell, BKN ($9100)
I wish D-Russ was just a TOUCH cheaper for this one, but he’s still well worth playing in any format. As I said before, you want exposure to this game (even though it’s not the best one of the night by any means), and Russell is holding fast at a 31% UR and 40% AR even with the return of Caris LeVert. Atlanta ranks first in pace factor and allows the most FPPG to opposing PGs, so I think we see more of Russell’s ceiling than his floor tonight.
Other options – Bradley Beal, Devin Booker
Mid-tier options – Andrew Wiggins, Jeremy Lamb
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
Trae Young is not near as good a value on DK as he is on FD, so we’ll look to other plays there. D’Angelo Russell ($8100) is cheaper than Trae and should give you a lot more bang for your buck, but it’s Damian Lillard ($8800) that’s really eye-catching. A 12-point spread is concerning, but it’s not as much of an issue on a smaller slate, and Lillard gets to feast on the Suns who are 29th in overall team defense and 26th against PGs. Lillard’s rates have held strong all season and he’s at 1.36 FPPM, meaning he only needs about 30 minutes to achieve value. Bradley Beal ($9700) is also someone you have to consider. The WAS/MIN game has an unbelievable 244 O/U right now, and Beal is a first-round player this year. Minnesota has ramped up the pace in the second half which has costs their defense, and they rank 25th against opposing SGs. Even going 4-21 from the field the other night, Beal STILL managed to put up 41.5 DK points. He has arguably a top-three floor of any player tonight. Kemba Walker ($8300) is a solid GPP play as he’ll carry almost no ownership in a tough matchup after dudding last night, as the rates are still there for Charlotte.
You’ll see Karl-Anthony Towns as the premier core play later on, but you want other Timberwolves as well. They have the highest implied total of the slate by a lot, and it sits at a whopping 125 points. Washington ranks eighth in pace and 26th against guards, so one (or both) of Jeff Teague ($6700/$5800) and Andrew Wiggins ($6600/$5900) should be in your lineups. Both are better values on DK, but the lack of MPE makes them equally important on FD. Caris LeVert ($6300/$5300) is the other value guard that intrigues me a good bit tonight. He still hasn’t gotten over 30 minutes since his return, but he’s at 1.02 FPPM this season and Atlanta is allowing the second most bench points in the league while ranking last against guards. I THINK I’m leaving his minutes uncertainty to GPPs only, but LeVert is in the cash convo. C.J. McCollum is priced out on FD at $8000, but is still massively underpriced on DK at $6100 and is a top value there.
Other options – Tomas Satoransky, Derrick Rose, Kevin Huerter, Allen Crabbe, Josh Hart
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($12,100)
It’s a tough call at SF today. LeBron’s minutes will be reduced so he clearly falls behind Giannis, but the Greek Freak is going to have blowout risk associated with him as well (MIL favored by 12). Ultimately it doesn’t matter as much on this slate, but I won’t sacrifice Towns to get Giannis in cash either. Giannis does have the ability to be the top overall scorer today, especially as Milwaukee is fighting for playoff positioning and Giannis is also battling Harden for the MVP. Charlotte allows the third most paint points, ranks 24th against opposing PFs, and is 22nd in rebounding rate. Giannis dropped 71.3 FD points on them last time they met, so it’s clear they have no answer.
Other options – LeBron James
Mid-tier options – Brandon Ingram, Kelly Oubre
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
John Collins, ATL ($7900)
DeWayne Dedmon, Omari Spellman, Alex Poythress, and Miles Plumlee are all out. This REALLY should ensure 30 minutes for Collins after he was limited to 25 last game (remember, though, he was battling an illness). Alex Len is actually the more intriguing Hawks value in the frontcourt, but Collins has averaged 1.14 FPPM this season and the Nets allow 12% more rebounding than the rest of the league to opposing frontcourts. I think Len’s ownership will be higher which makes Collins a wonderful pivot, and he’s cash viable as well.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – Bobby Portis, Jayson Tatum
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Giannis ($11,300) is underpriced on DK, but you’re not playing him over Towns who is REALLY too cheap, and both just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Consider Giannis the top GPP play. John Collins ($7200) is an awesome value at his price tag, and the double-double bonus is in effect here too. If you’re not using those guys, you’re really avoiding the mid-tier and spending down so you can pay for more guards, where the plays are a lot deeper.
I should’ve written about Josh Hart ($4300/$3600) in the guard section, but he counts a a SF on DK too so we’ll put him here. Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma aren’t officially out yet, but if even one of them sits Hart should be looking at major minutes here (especially since LeBron’s minutes will now be cut back as well). Hart is a mediocre per-minute producer (0.71 FPPM) but he played 38 minutes last game and should be looking at the same tonight. He’s too cheap for that kind of run, especially on DK where his price is key for fitting multiple top plays in. Dario Saric ($4300/$3900) is another bargain bin player you can slot into all formats tonight, even if you’re conservative on his minutes staying around 23-25. Saric is starting now and the Wizards rank 26th against opposing PFs and the pace of this game suits Saric better than it does Taj Gibson. Joe Harris ($4200/$4200) is a nice value on both sites, but especially on FD where he completes the SF puzzle a little better. Harris plays 30+ minutes every game, and Atlanta is allowing the highest 3PT% this season (remember who won the 3-point contest this season…)
Other options – Trevor Ariza, Jabari Parker, Jeff Green, Taurean Prince, Gordon Hayward, Marvin Williams, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ed Davis
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($11,600)
This slate begins and ends for me with Towns. Now – the key takeaway here is you could actually make an argument for ANOTHER center on FD (Len) given the fact that you can only play one (sucks). That said, there is no way I’m fading Towns tonight. Over the past month he has a 30% UR, 21% RR, and 17% AR, and Washington has literally NO answer for him. They rank 29th against centers, last in rebounding rate, and last in transition defense. Towns could go for 80 tonight, and I’m not going to be the one on the outside looking in. I’m also playing more DK than FD, where I can use both Towns and Len.
Other options – Jusuf Nurkic
Mid-tier options – DeAndre Ayton, Al Horford
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
Towns is beyond a lock on DK at $10,400. He’s returned value on that eight of his last ten games and the bonuses are in play there. You can play Len as well, so you don’t have the make the decision between the two. The one rub here is that Jusuf Nurkic ($7000) is also woefully underpriced and gives Len a run for his money as to who is the better value. He’s cleared 30 minutes the last two games, and gets to face the Suns who are last against centers and 29th in rebounding rate. Nurk double-doubled in only 23 minutes the first time these two teams locked up, and he’s just too cheap on DK (he’s priced up on FD). DeAndre Ayton ($6500) is the best GPP pivot, as he’s not prone to sitting in blowouts as the Suns continue to develop him. Just keep in mind the matchup is tough.
With the Hawks’ frontcourt incredibly thin, expect massive ownership on Alex Len ($4700/$5000) and rightfully so. He’s been the chalk center several games in a row and that may not change tonight as he’ll start and could see minutes in the 30s if he can keep his hands to himself (career 4.9 fouls per 36 minutes). The Nets have been the best matchup to attack with centers this year, and Len thrives in the uptempo games. The best GPP pivot off Len is Jarrett Allen ($5900/$4800) who will oppose Len in the frontcourt. If Allen can get Len into foul trouble, he’ll oversize every other player that Hawks can throw at him, and Allen is at 1.07 FPPM this year (same as Len). The Hawks are first in pace and 23rd against centers, and Dedmon is the best defender (he’s out).
Other options – JaVale McGee, Cody Zeller, Enes KanterFantasy Basketball