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The stars are going to be out in full force tonight, as most (if not all) of the top-tier studs have insanely good matchups. There is also injury news we’re waiting on which would make some of these players even better (most notably Chris Paul) so make sure to stick with FTA+ as we constantly update the projection sheets and get you ready for the night with our live chat. I can also be found on twitter @jac3600, and make sure to follow us @FanTeamAdvice!
Kemba Walker, CHA ($9700)
It’s hard to pass on Westbrook and his nightly triple-double upside, but the $1400 discount makes it a fairly easy call for me. Kemba’s price does not match his 32.2% usage rate, which is tied for fifth in the NBA, and he’s also averaging a career high 1.34 FPPM this season. The Hawks have allowed an incredible 49 FanDuel PPG to opposing PGs this season which is by far the most in the league, and Charlotte has the second highest implied total on the slate at 122 points. Even with blowout risk (CHA favored by 12), Kemba has a really good chance of hanging with the top overall scores tonight, and he comes at a discount to the others.
Other options – Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Ben Simmons, John Wall
Mid-tier options – Eric Bledsoe, Trae Young, Jeff Teague, Spencer Dinwiddie
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LAC ($5600)
Wait. The Clippers traded Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the last two years, and let DeAndre Jordan leave in free agency, and are in FIRST PLACE IN THE WEST?? SGA has a lot to do with his, as the 19-year old has provided stellar play both off the bench and in the starting lineup. Even with Avery Bradley back in the mix, SGA is still playing just about 30 minutes per night and now gets a date with a very exploitable Suns defense. Phoenix has allowed the fourth most FPPG to opposing PGs while also allowing the third most assists per game and the most steals per game (Shai has six steals in his last four games). I wish he was a little cheaper with the Clips fully healthy, but this is a floor I can get on board with in all formats.
Other options – Collin Sexton, Jeremy Lin, Tony Parker, Ryan Arcidiacono, Patrick Beverley, Bryn Forbes
James Harden, HOU ($11,600)
Anthony Davis is my favorite overall play tonight, but if Chris Paul sits again (it’s now revealed he’s dealing with hamstring issues as well), I don’t really see how you can fade Harden at almost $1000 less. Harden is averaging 69.7 FD points per game with Chris Paul off the court this year (yes, you read that right) and he sees his usage climb to 39% and his assist rate blossom to well over 50%. Harden is fresh off an 81.1-point masterpiece (which included 11 turnovers!) and faces the Mavericks that are allowing the fifth most FPPG to opposing SGs along with the second highest 3PT%. Harden is averaging over 11 three-point shots per game, and he could absolutely bury Dallas tonight.
Other options – Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, Zack LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal
Mid-tier options – Khris Middleton, Tim Hardaway, CJ McCollum
Eric Gordon, HOU ($5500)
If Chris Paul is out again, my SG duo will be the two Houston boys (as it’s been the last two games Paul has missed). Gordon’s price has still not crept up to where it should be with CP3 sitting, as Gordon has a usage rate just under 26% while averaging close to 38 MPG. He gets to shoot at will with Harden running the point, and has contributed 64 real points over the last two games, which is far more than he has to do to hit value at such a cheap tag.
Other options – Lou Williams, JJ Redick, Evan Fournier, Malcolm Brogdon, Allonzo Trier
Giannis Antetokuonmpo, MIL ($12,100)
Giannis is intriguing at a cheaper price tag than Anthony Davis, but I’d still rather pony up the extra couple hundred for the latter in cash (and definitely save the $500 on Harden). Giannis’ rates are simply bonkers right now, and he’s averaging over 60 FD points in his last five games. The Bucks are favored by 14 points over the lowly Bulls, and that’s the last time we saw Giannis NOT hit value (when he put up 49.6 points in only 31 minutes of play). That kind of downside is enough to get me off the Greek Freak in cash, but he’s going to be a GPP staple for me at likely lower ownership than Davis, Harden, Embiid, and likely even Westbrook and Kemba.
Other options – Paul George
Mid-tier options – Nikola Mirotic, Otto Porter, TJ Warren
Danuel House, HOU ($3500)
This is a FanDuel-specific play, but if Gerald Green and Chris Paul both sit again, I don’t mind at all using House as a burner play if it helps me get two studs into cash. House was recently signed by the Rockets to give them some wing depth and he wound up playing 28 minutes in his debut. He did nothing with those minutes, but FD’s system of dropping the lowest really helps make him a viable play. I mentioned Dallas’ struggles on the wing, and they’re also allowing the seventh most bench points in the league.
Other options – Trevor Ariza, ETwaun Moore, Nicolas Batum, Jae Crowder, Jonathan Isaac, Jonathan Simmons, Jeff Green
Anthony Davis, NO ($12,500)
Right now I’m forced to call Davis my #2 since Harden will be the top priority if Chris Paul sits. If Paul winds up playing, however, Harden is off my list and I will pay whatever anyone asks of me to get Anthony Davis in there. The NO/WAS game has an incredible 242 O/U and the Pelicans have the highest implied total on the slate at 125 points. Washington will have no answer for him at all, as they rank sixth in pace, 28th in overall team defense, 23rd against centers, and 29th in rebounding rate. They also allow the third most assists per game to centers (4.4) and Davis is rocking a career high five APG this season. I’m calling for at least a 70-burger from AD tonight with upside for more, and will make every effort I can to get him in there. I just can’t call him the top play yet without Chris Paul news.
Other options – LaMarcus Aldridge, Tobias Harris, Montrezl Harrell
Mid-tier options – John Collins
Larry Nance, CLE ($6000)
Nance looks like a core play on this slate since he’s still priced almost 10% under the average roster cost. With David Nwaba out last game, the Cavs employed a much bigger lineup with Nance starting at the four and he wound up putting up 39.1 FD points in 38 minutes. Nwaba is out again, so we should see something similar against a big OKC squad (who are admittedly better than Minnesota, who the Cavs last played). The Thunder rank sixth against PFs and fourth in rebounding rate so there IS downside here, but Nance is averaging 1.1 FPPM this year and only needs to play 26 minutes to hit value with that rate at his current price tag. There’s upside for more.
Other options – Wendell Carter, Derrick Favors, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Marvin Williams, PJ Tucker, Taj Gibson
Joel Embiid, PHI ($11,100)
Don’t forget Embiid tonight, who can outscore anyone on the slate. Andre Drummond shockingly busted against the Knicks last night, but that was due to his own ridiculous play and not any great defense the Knicks threw at him. Embiid offers a ton more versatility than Drummond does and the Knicks will simply have no answer. They’ve allowed the fifth most PPG in the paint and have also given up the fifth most blocks per game (Embiid is averaging 1.4 BPG). The big man in Philly has only two games this year where he hasn’t double-doubled, and NY is below average in that department as well (17th in rebounding rate). Vonleh, Kanter, and Mitchell Robinson do not stand a chance.
Other options – Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Vucevic (only if Aaron Gordon sits), Clint Capela, Rudy Gobert
Mid-tier options – Jusuf Nurkic, Tristan Thompson, DeAndre Ayton
Brook Lopez, MIL ($5200)
Brook’s minutes and production are all over the place, so I’d prefer to spend up a little in cash at the center position, but Lopez holds a lot of appeal in GPPs. The Bulls have a DRPM rating of 29th in the league against centers and have also allowed the fourth most rebounds and second most blocks per game to the position. Brook is not shy about firing away from downtown this year, and the Bulls have given up the fifth highest 3PT% this season. He could win you a GPP if he gets hot from the floor.
Other options – Jarrett Allen, Cody Zeller, Mike Muscala, Alex Len, Thomas Bryant Fantasy Basketball
Jamie Calandro (DFS alias jac3600) is the President of Operations and was an FSWA finalist in 2018 for basketball writer of the year. He has been playing fantasy MLB, NFL, and NBA since 2001. He has won various titles and is a 10-time NFBC and 14-time NFFC champion. He is a seasoned daily fantasy sports player, logging in 7 days a week on multiple sites and winning multiple large-field GPPs while being a prolific cash game grinder. Jamie is FantasyPros' 2016 MLB Daily Fantasy Accuracy Cup champion and earned a top five finish in 2017 as well. Look for him in chat on FTA, and follow him on twitter @jac3600.