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Happy Friday everyone! Last night was capped off by an epic game from HOU/GS, so hopefully we see some fun like that tonight (which could lead to massive scores). Right now the biggest injury situation to watch is Kyle Kuzma, and the fact that he plays at 10:30 EST makes it VERY tricky to build. I have him as a lock if he plays, but if he’s out his Laker teammates would get a massive boost. Hopefully we get news sooner rather than later, so let’s get to it. I’ll be in chat tonight, and on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Russell Westbrook, OKC ($11,600)
Westbrook is still a bit pricey given the rate boost Paul George has taken on alongside him, but given the fact that there are no “lock studs” on this slate you can pay up for Westy and feel fine about it. The matchup with Portland is neutral (16th in defensive efficiency, fifth in pace), but it’s also expected to remain close and features a 224 O/U which is the third highest on the slate. Westbrook is once again averaging a triple-double, and is second in the NBA in usage rate. You’ll never be disappointed.
Other options – Damian Lillard, Mike Conley
Mid-tier options – Eric Bledsoe, Lonzo Ball, Tyus Jones, Spencer Dinwiddie
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID PGs
It’s the same idea here really. You can fit the Westbrook/Lillard tier in cash if you really want it, but there are very viable mid-tier guards you may want to utilize instead. Mike Conley’s price is far more friendly on DK at $7400 and he gets a plus matchup against the Nets, and Tyus Jones also rates as more of a value on DK at $5800. If the Minn guards remain out, you can expect Tyus to push 40 minutes again.
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
Devin Booker, PHX ($8800)
The Suns are always a scary proposition since they’re tanking for what seems like the twentieth straight season. This always puts minutes of stars into question, but Booker is just so damn good. He has not played under 30 minutes once since returning from injury and gets a plus matchup against the Clippers who are 24th in overall team defense and 23rd against guards while also ranking eighth in pace. Since Booker came back, he’s posted a 32% usage rate and 35% assist rate and this game features the highest total of the night at 231 points. Booker is worth his tag in all formats.
Other options – Bradley Beal
Mid-tier options – Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell, Lou Williams, Andrew Wiggins, CJ McCollum
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID SGs
Booker is also the top play on DK at $9000, and he has PG/SG eligibility which gives you some flexibility. The 3-point and double-double bonuses really elevate Booker’s game more on DK as well. Brandon Ingram ($6800) is also someone you’re going to seriously want to consider if we get bad news on Kuzma. Ingram’s usage rate was 36% and his assist rate was 38.5% last game when Kuzma left early, and LeBron and Rondo are still out.
There are some key plays to target at the guard position on both sites, but we don’t yet have news on them. Dante Exum ($3900 FD/$3900 DK) would rate as possibly the top overall value on the slate if Ricky Rubio is ruled out, and he would be a cash lock. Utah is playing Cleveland who ranks dead last in defensive efficiency against PGs and is 23rd overall. It’s a slow-paced game, but Exum would far outstrip his price tag if given 28-30 minutes. Another situation to really watch for is the Bulls guards. They traded Justin Holiday to Memphis which could open up a lot of guard minutes (Holiday was averaging a shade over 35 MPG). If Marshon Brooks is active for the Bulls, he could easily push for the same minutes as Holiday, and he’s minimum priced on both sites. Kris Dunn ($6100) and Zack LaVine ($6300) are also way too cheap on DK and are fine in either format – the only issue is they rob usage from each other, but Holiday’s absence will benefit both. Terry Rozier ($6100 FD/$6100 DK) and Marcus Smart ($4800/$4300) are also usable values in all formats with Kyrie Irving ruled out again. Josh Okogie ($3900/$3900) was horrible last night, but should be in more massive minutes with Derrick Rose doubtful and Robert Covington ruled out.
Other options – Malcolm Brogdon, Trae Young, Joe Ingles, Evan Fournier, Jaylen Brown, Kelly Oubre
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Paul George, OKC ($10,200)
I’m too nervous to lock in Giannis for cash with the Bucks being favored by 16 points over the lowly Hawks (love him in GPP). Paul George is taking part in a game with no spread, and he’s in one of the best stretches of his career. Over the last eight games, PG13 has averaged 33.1 PPG and 8.5 RPG while also amassing a ridiculous 22 steals. Portland ranks 26th in defensive efficiency against SFs.
Other options – Giannis Antetokounmpo
Mid-tier options – Brandon Ingram, Danilo Gallinari
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID SFs
As usual, Paul George is a better value on DK where he’s under 10k, and makes a lot more sense there in cash. This is also where the Kyle Kuzma talk begins. I’ll go into detail on him in the PF section, but being SF eligible on DK only enhances his value, and $7300 is beyond a steal if he plays. Tobias Harris ($7100) is also SF eligible on DK which enhances the rebound opportunities from the position.
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Kyle Kuzma, LAL ($6900)
Please please please please please fantasy gods, let us get Kuzma news early so we know how to build. Kuzma is literally the play of the slate, especially since he’s about $2000 too cheap on each site (FD especially). Kuzma has played over 40 minutes in each of the games LeBron has missed (other than the last game where he was hurt), and his usage rate has been consistently between 27-29% in those games. The Knicks are dead last against forwards and 29th in overall team defense. Pretty please, Kuzma, play…
Other options – John Collins
Mid-tier options – Montrezl Harrell. Tobias Harris, Lauri Markkanen, Damontas Sabonis
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID PFs
The only thing really different to report here is that Thomas Bryant is PF eligible on DK where he’s a center only on FD. He’s been smoking lately, and should easily see 30+ minutes again in a matchup against the Heat who generally play big. Kuzma is also a lock on DK at $7300 if he plays.
As I mentioned, Thomas Bryant ($6000) is an amazing value on DK where he’s playing heavy minutes, but he’s much more appropriately priced on FD and doesn’t carry F eligibility. TJ Warren ($6200 FD/$6200 DK) is a solid value on both sites in the best game environment of the night. He’s locked into minutes in the mid-30s and the Clippers are 27th in defensive efficiency against SFs. Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum are both fine in all formats with Kyrie Irving out, and would gain an even bigger boost if Marcus Morris (questionable) were to sit.
Other options – Jaren Jackson, Kyle Anderson, Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Marc Gasol, MEM ($8400)
I’m all over Gasol tonight. Centers against Nets is really a thing, as we saw Anthony Davis put up the latest gaudy total (34 points, 26 boards!). Gasol has a 23% usage rate and a 23% assist rate over the last ten games, and that number would spike considerably if Mike Conley (GTD) were to sit. At any rate, he’s a phenomenal play as the Nets allow 15% more scoring and 17% more rebounding than the rest of the league to the C position.
Other options – Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Vucevic, Rudy Gobert, DeAndre Ayton
Mid-tier options – Hassan Whiteside, Thomas Bryant, JaVale McGee
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID C’s
Centers remain perpetually underpriced on DK. Gasol looks like a great play here at $8100, and Karl-Anthony Towns being under 10k is just silly. DeAndre Ayton at $7800 looks awfully enticing in all formats as well given the fact that he has a 21% UR and 21% RR over the last ten games.
In addition to the mid-tier plays mentioned, JaVale McGee is cash viable on DK at $5200 even though you can’t really bank on anything more than 24 minutes (if he gets more, the upside is phenomenal). The Knicks are 23rd against centers and 24th in rebounding rate, and they allow the second most blocks per 48 minutes to centers. Ivica Zubac is back out of the rotation, it seems, and Kuzma’s potential absence would boost everyone else’s rates. Despite the limited time, McGee is averaging 1.25 FPPM. There aren’t really many viable punts on FD, as Thomas Bryant and McGee are priced aggressively there. Jarrett Allen also has the upside on DK at his price, but the matchup is ROUGH.Fantasy Basketball