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It’s a short slate today with only 3 games on the board so I’m going to try a different style in hopes of keeping things simple. I’ll tell you what you need to know so you can get going. It might be a good day to try your luck in a couple of tournaments and avoid the cash games.
Take – Eric Gordon, DeMar DeRozan, Omer Asik, Lou Williams - Gordon has taken on more responsibility with injuries to Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis. In addition to scoring the ball, he’s also done a fine job rebounding and passing. It’s a good matchup here and at his price he will certainly reach value.
DeRozan has looked really great since returning from injury. A pair of fresh legs is a pretty sight midway through the season. There’s no reason to believe he won’t continue his shooting streak against the Pelicans, a team struggling to find anything on the defensive end, especially if Davis is out.
Asik isn’t a pretty choice but he gets the job done. If Davis is out he should be penciled in for a double double.
Avoid – Kyle Lowry, Ryan Anderson - Lowry is just too pricey at this point. The Raptors have plenty of weapons both offensively and defensively to limit the amount of touches he will see. His value was nice while it lasted, but he’s not worth it anymore.
Anderson looked lost out there without Davis near him. He had trouble making his own shots, especially in the second half. He struggled defending Robert Covington and couldn’t grab many boards. Amir Johnson is a solid defender so I'm fading Anderson tonight.
Consider – Tyreke Evans, Alexis Ajinca, Jimmer Fredette - Tyreke couldn't handle all of the additional responsibility against the 76ers. Davis and Holiday are still out so he will need to bounce back in this one. The Raptors play fast ball with little defense on the perimeter. This is more of a gut call than anything, but I think he hits value tonight and then some. But I put him under consider so I don't have to eat crow if he flops.
The other guys are listed here because you’ll only want to consider them if Anthony Davis (for Ajinca) and Holiday (for Fredette) are out. Ajinca controlled the paint and did better than any other big men at replacing Davis against the 76ers. Fredette looked solid as well in the few minutes he played, getting his own looks and focusing on ball movement. Risky plays with high upside.
Take – Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Channing Frye, Kevin Durant, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo - The Orlando Magic are nearly as bad as the Lakers and 76ers in defending opposing point guards. Westbrook has the highest usage and versatility %s of any guard in the league, so even at his price he’s worth a spot on your roster. You can’t ignore the huge stat line he posted against Golden State.
Ibaka has a good matchup here with Frye. He isn’t afraid to show his range, like Frye, and I have a feeling it will be a soft spoken battle between the two. Neither of them play wonderful defense and sit at good prices. A few threes, rebounds and assists here and there will get them value quickly.
Durant has a great matchup with Harris ruled out. I'm not 100% certain that he hits 5X value but there is really only one other decent SF option tonight.
Payton was on my avoid list initially. I have a particular hatrid for him after ruining some tournament plays for me last week, but I digress. Fact is he's playing lights out when Harris sitting on the bench and OKC is allowing a lot of points to opposing guards. Westbrook's length worries me a bit, but he will likely hit value.
Oladipo is a no brainer. He has taken up the most additional responsibility since Tobias' injury. The Thunder best hope that Roberson can keep him in line or else they'll have a close game on their hands.
Avoid – Nobody! Everyone is fair game.
Consider – Nikola Vucevic - The matchup is pretty nice and the pace is favorable. However, we've seen him disappear on certain nights. With Dipo, Payton and Frye playing as well as they are, his floor is lower than I feel comfortable taking.
Take – Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Derrick Favors - At a glance this game may not look like it has much value but there are plenty of options to choose from. Burke is still seeing a solid 35 minutes a game since Burks’ injury. The Spurs’ backcourt is surprisingly soft when it comes to defending opposing guards so he will likely hit 5X value in this one.
Gobert’s minutes are fluctuating a bit since Kanter’s return but he is still playing better. It’s nice in a way because his price won’t rise too much. We can expect him to continue his hot streak and flirt with a double-double, adding a few blocks and steals to the mix.
Leonard has finally returned and he looked great against Portland. The Spurs could use a fresh set of legs to keep them moving. He draws a difficult matchup as Gordon Hayward is a solid defender, but he gets his work done on both ends of the court. He won’t need to score to hit value, but he likely will anyway.
Timmy is a riskier choice tonight but the numbers tell us to take him. Two back to back double-doubles in 61 total minutes of playing time. Let’s hope he doesn’t get Popped because the Jazz are struggling to defend against the position as of late.
Favors is a nice choice because he doesn’t run a huge risk. The sample size is limited but it doesn’t seem like Kanter has taken many, if any, minutes from him. Power forwards tend to score well against the Spurs and he’ll likely bottom out at 4X value. You could do worse.
Avoid – Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter - Last time I told you guys to avoid Hayward he made me eat crow by posting 6X value. With Leonard back in the Spurs lineup I struggle to see him repeating that feat. It was only the 2nd time in 8 games this year that he’s hit 5X value or better.
Kanter just hasn’t played enough yet to earn his price. With Gobert playing so well and demanding more minutes, it’s unlikely that Kanter will hit his value.
Consider – Tony Parker, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili - All three guys are on an upward trend. The Spurs looked pretty darn good with Kawhi back in. They looked like a complete unit again. There is definitely some risk with each of these guys as we’ve seen them bottom out before. Popovich is a nightmare for many DFS players, but the potential value is still there if you’re looking for a good GPP play.
Good luck in the few games out there today. It will be nice watching both NBA and the NFL playoffs at the same time. GO PACK GO!
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