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FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Ben Simmons, PHI ($9900)
Simmons was money last night and I’m not abandoning him tonight with an even better matchup. Simmons has averaged 48 FPPG over 39 MPG in the last five contests without Embiid, and Chicago ranks 29th against opposing PGs. Simmons already has a 55-point FanDuel game against the Bulls, and that was with Embiid in the lineup. He should not be under 10k right now, so take the gift.
Other options – Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Trae Young
Mid-tier options – Rajon Rondo, Derrick White, Elfrid Payton
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
Luka Doncic, DAL ($9300)
Doncic busted the other night, but that was more the product of a blowout to the Nets than anything else. Tonight’s game against Washington features only a six-point spread and a 231.5 O/U which is the second highest of the evening. Luka has a 32% UR and a 32% AR since Dallas made all their trades, and the Wizards rank eighth in pace and 24th against opposing guards.
Other options – Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, Jimmy Butler, Devin Booker
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
Simmons ($8900) is once again a core play, as he’s at least $1000 too cheap on DK where he can also get bonuses for double- and triple-doubles (he just missed one last night). Do not pass him up in cash on DK tonight. Doncic ($9100) falls into a similar boat, even though he’s not as good a per-dollar play as Simmons. Kemba Walker ($8300) is also super intriguing with his price down. Charlotte is fighting for their playoff lives, and Kemba’s usage has reverted to the early-season form where we were including him in the MVP conversation. Over the past ten games, Kemba has played 38 MPG with a 32% usage rate while averaging almost 24 shots per game. That’s an astoundingly big role for someone who is priced like a secondary option. Bradley Beal ($9800) has also seen his price dip below 10k on DK which puts him on the map in all formats. Washington has the second highest implied total of the night at 119 points, and Dallas has fallen to 29th in overall team defense and 24th against opposing SGs. D’Angelo Russell ($7900) is one of my favorite GPP plays against a porous Cleveland defense.
Let’s start with Rajon Rondo, who is priced out on FD at $7500 but remains a terrific value on DK at only $6000. He triple-doubled last game with Brandon Ingram off the court, and Ingram may join the already ruled out Kyle Kuzma on the sidelines. This opens up massive usage for Rondo, and Denver’s pace has increased lately while their defensive efficiency has dropped. Derrick White ($6700/$5400) is another PG I think can be utilized on both sites but is especially valuable on DK. The Spurs have the highest implied total on the slate at 120 points and are getting a massive pace boost against the top-ranked Hawks. White rarely plays into the mid-30s in minutes, but Atlanta has allowed by far the most FPPG to opposing PGs this year.
Other options – Elfrid Payton, Kris Dunn, Tomas Satoransky, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Reggie Bullock, Josh Hart
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
LeBron James, LAL ($12,700)
There’s a lot of narrative about the Lakers “packing it in” after their recent demoralizing loss to the Clippers, but I don’t buy it. As long as they’re mathematically in it, LeBron will continue to post gaudy numbers. He’s averaging just under a triple-double since returning from his 18-game injury, and if Ingram joins Kuzma on the sidelines we’ll see over a 37% usage rate from LeBron. He posted over 65 FD points the last time the Lakers played Denver, and that was in a 32-point blowout. He’s full price on FD, but no one will fault you for paying up.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – Kelly Oubre, Otto Porter, Rudy Gay
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
LaMarcus Aldridge, SA ($8200)
Ugh, I could have literally chosen both Markkanen and Blake Griffin over Aldridge here and been happy with it, but the cheaper price tag gives the tiebreaker to LaMarcus for me. Jakob Poeltl has been ruled out for the Spurs, and LMA had seen a 5% rebounding dip with Poeltl in the starting lineup. Now he’ll get the paint all to himself against a Hawks squad that ranks first in pace and 28th against centers. I’d like to pair two of these expensive guys in cash, but that would likely cost me LeBron. Decisions, decisions…
Other options – Lauri Markkanen, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love
Mid-tier options – Tobias Harris, John Collins, Dwight Powell
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
Alridge ($7600) is a tremendous value on DK as well, but Markkanen ($8000) takes the honors of top forward (unless you count Simmons who is F eligible). Markkanen has a 26% UR and 18% RR without Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker in Chicago while playing near 37 MPG, and Philly has allowed the most points in the paint without Joel Embiid on the court. And of course, we have LeBron at $11,300. This price tag is far too cheap for him (especially if you compare to FD), and he’s set up to smash tonight with some key teammates down. Kevin Love ($7500) also looks a lot more enticing on DK than he does on FD. Tristan Thompson is out again, and Love gets the dream matchup against Brooklyn who has allowed 10% more scoring and 12% more rebounding to the center position. Even if he only gets 26-28 minutes, Love can blow away this price tag. Jimmy Butler ($7300) is also way too cheap for his usage boost without Embiid on the court.
Larry Nance ($5600/$5900) could struggle with such a high-usage player as Love playing alongside him, but he gets the same matchup against the Nets, and Nance is still at 1.07 FPPM this season despite getting inexplicable benchings by the coaching staff. He’s a better value on FD. On the other side of the ball, Rodions Kurucs ($3900) excelled in his first start at PF the other day, putting up 29.6 FD points in 24 minutes. He’s really only viable as a punt on FD because there is no floor to speak of here, but Cleveland ranks 28th in overall team defense and is 23rd in rebounding rate. A DK specific play is Jeremy Lamb ($5200) who has G and F eligibility. He is too cheap for a 32-34 minutes projection, and the Heat have fallen all the way to 28th against opposing SGs. Lamb is averaging over a fantasy point per minute and getting steady minutes even if not starting.
Other options – Trevor Ariza, Jeff Green, Taurean Prince, Will Barton, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, Marquese Chriss
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Nikola Jokic, DEN ($10,900)
There are some tasty options at the top of the center pool, but Jokic has to be considered the best play, and his price has dropped a touch on FD. He should feast on the Lakers who rank fourth in pace, 27th in overall team defense, 24th against centers, and 19th in rebounding rate. Jokic is the only center in the game with nightly triple-double upside, which should automatically make him the highest-priced play, and he’s not.
Other options – Karl-Anthony Towns, Andre Drummond, DeAndre Ayton
Mid-tier options – Mitchell Robinson, Al Horford
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
The top three guys are all underpriced relative to their floor/ceiling on DK as well, and Jokic ($10,600) is still the top play. However, I should point out that Andre Drummond ($9000) is significantly cheaper on DK as opposed to FD where he’s closer to the pack. There is massive foul risk against Towns, but Drummond is averaging a career high 1.37 FPPM with an elite 25.8% rebounding rate. He’s an amazing GPP option. DeAndre Ayton ($7400) is also too cheap tonight for a matchup with the Knicks, especially if DeAndre Jordan returns. Ayton is actually seeing usage increases as the season wears on, and the Knicks are 22nd in team defense and 16th in rebounding rate.
JaVale McGee ($4300/$3700) is bordering on a core play for me on both sites even though I understand the volatility he brings with his minutes. McGee only played 13 minutes against the Clippers in a smash spot, but with Kuzma out tonight the Lakers won’t be able to play small near as often, especially with Tyson Chandler also looking doubtful for this evening. Denver has allowed the third most points in the paint in the second half, and McGee should be looking at around 24 minutes as someone will have to slow down Jokic. McGee is at 1.24 FPPM, which is far more than enough for his near-minimum price tags. Dwight Powell is a DK-specific play at center, and his price still hasn’t eclipsed $6000. Powell has played over 30 minutes in the last four games (including 32 in a blowout last game) and now gets a matchup with the Wizards who are 24th against centers and 29th in rebounding rate. He’s tough to fade on DK tonight.
Other options – Mason Plumlee, Willie Cauley-Stein, Cody Zeller, Robin LopezFantasy Basketball