Games/Teams to Target
LAC-NO is a fantasy gold mine. Both teams get a pace boost, neither is above average defensively (NO is bad), and both are quite good offensively. Points on points on points!
Golden State gets the biggest pace boost on the slate against the hapless Hawks. Their greatest obstacle to fantasy glory is blowout risk; for example, when you play Steph Curry, you hope he gets hot from three. What are the chances that Steph goes nuts from distance and Atlanta somehow keeps it close? Point being, if you wants Warriors in GPPs, you better run it back with a couple Hawks.
Behind LAC-NO, WAS-NY really stands out on both sides and you can certainly attack CLE due to their awful defensive rating, even though BKN is taking a pace hit.
Curry played 36 minutes in his first game back, so Kerr is wasting no time in letting Curry be Curry. Steph led the team in usage in his first game back at 33%, as well. If you think Atlanta stays in this game, Steph is an outstanding play under 10k.
Due to blowout risk, I’m currently leaning Wall over Steph. A pace boost against a bad defensive team without a rim protector (starting center Enes Kanter is at the bottom of the list in DRPM among centers) is ideal for Wall. Wall’s usage is 29.6% over the past ten games, up from 28.5% on the season.
Jrue is notoriously underpriced and tonight is no different, especially considering the game environment. He continues to lead the league in drives per game over the past ten days, even though I wish his 24.2% usage rate was higher. At the moment, I believe the 5+ %pt increase in usage is worth the $1000 to get from Jrue to Wall, but Jrue is a great play if you need the savings.
Mudiay’s usage rate is up to 23% over the past ten games, his minutes are up, and now he has a minutes boost and a usage boost with Trey Burke out. The excellent matchup with Washington is just the cherry on top.
Lou Williams’ usage rate is over 30% and ninth in the NBA over the past ten games. I don’t expect more than 25 minutes for him, but that usage means his FPPM ratio over one is highly sustainable and gives him a ceiling that far exceeds most $5k players.
*Update: Harris is out! Lock him in!*
This play hinges on Joe Harris remaining out for Brooklyn, but consider this: in the past two games, Shabazz has played 24 and 25 minutes, scoring 33 and 23 DK points, and he’s done it on just 6-27 shooting. He’s an absolute lock for me if Harris is out, as I expect him to be low owned once again (he was 2% owned last game).
This is a perfect storm for AD. The Clippers are a huge pace boost, they’re average defensively, but good enough offensively to keep the game close (where AD sees upwards of 40 minutes), and the Clippers are 26th in the NBA in defensive rebound rate. Oh, and the Pels are home, where AD is already averaging 63 DK points per game. He should be $13k.
The athleticism in the NOP frontcourt should mean extended run for Harrell tonight and his >1.3 FPPM. Choosing which Clippers to run back AD with is one of the keys tonight, and I believe Harrell is the best option, even if he’s not as “safe” as Gallo or Tobias. Plus, I like Lou Williams tonight and he and Harrell play very well together.
Tim Hardaway Jr
Like Mudiay, THJ should see a usage bump without Trey Burke. I also expect Fizdale to counter Washington’s small-ball lineups with more Vonleh at Center, and less Kanter. This would be another usage bump for Hardaway. The matchup is excellent and Tim is better at home.
I wanted to find another SF to discuss, but Taurean Prince’s usage rate is down to 19% over the past ten games so I can’t in good conscience recommend him. Instead, we have Markieff. Kieff has been excellent since Howard’s (re)injury and should continue to see extended run as the small-ball Center. His elevated rebound rate should thus remain elevated. His price will soon be out of reach for me, so take advantage in this excellent matchup while you still can.
More center minutes would mean less competition with Kanter for rebounds. If the minutes are there (aka no foul trouble), Vonleh could be a GPP winner tonight.
Looney is starting for Damion Jones and should see big minutes in an outstanding matchup. While there’s merit to fading Looney, especially if you don’t need a second punt (I like Napier more), he should have no trouble surpassing value. His .9 FPPM is way up from last year.
Thompson is second in the nBA in offensive rebounds per game, is playing enormous minutes, and faces the Nets. The Nets are undersized in the front court, leading to a defensive rebound rank of 28th in the league. Go Tristan, go. While DK increased his price to %6500, he’s still underpriced for his recent production.
This price is absurd! Honestly, Collins is one of the biggest locks of the year. He’s playing over 30 mpg now, has a great matchup with Jones and Draymond out for GS, and already averages over a FPPM. Honestly, his projection tonight has to be over 6x value, not just his ceiling.
Russell’s usage rate is over 30% in the past ten games and Harris being out should mean he sees into the mid-30s minutes. Against a bad defense, that gives him incredible upside, but there’s always the risk that he plays poorly and gets benched, thus the $7700 tag is probably too steep for my taste.
If I’m wrong about Fizdale’s plan to play smaller and he chooses to leave Kanter in amongst the undersized Wizards, Kanter could easily post a 20-20 game and win you a GPP. There’s tons of risk here and with TT around the same price, I’m not going here, but he’s certainly in play.