Today I’m just going to jump straight into the action. I’ll highlight some of my favorite plays from each game, so if you don’t see someone they’re a bit lower on the totem pole.
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Rajon Rondo (DK: $6.7k | FD: $7k)
Definitely not a guy you want to roster for cash games, but he gets a good matchup here. The Magic have given up more points in the past two weeks than anyone else. If Rondo is going to have one of his rare 5-6x games since joining Dallas, it’ll come tonight.
Tyson Chandler (DK: $6.3k | FD: $6.7k)
Chandler, unlike Rondo, is a very good cash play especially on DraftKings. The matchup is great for him as well as Vucevic isn’t very good defensively. He only had to play 30 minutes last night in what turned into a blowout against the Heat, so I’m not worried about his stamina.
Elfrid Payton (DK: $5.6k | FD: $6k)
Payton now has 9 games in a row where he’s hit at least 5x value. If you told me that would have happened some time in December I would’ve laughed at you. The Mavericks aren’t very good at defending PG and this should be a high O/U game. Payton has a very good chance at continuing his streak and I’ll probably look at him for my cash lineup.
Al-Farouq Aminu (DK: $3.5k | FD: $3.9k)
I’m really only targeting him in Parsons misses. I’m not so sure that happens, but he’s worth a mention. A couple of fantastic games in a row for him considering what we typically see. The SF position is usually the toughest to find value in, so here you go.
DeMarcus Cousins (DK: $10.7k | FD: $10.8k)
He was questionable to suit up yesterday so keep an eye on his status. He played a rough 35 minutes last night against the Cavs so we could see him rest. If he doesn’t, however, you can definitely take a look at him. He shouldn’t have a tough time with Hibbert or Mahinmi. The Pacers prefer slow ball which could let him stay out on the court a bit longer.
David West (DK: $6.3k | FD: $6.5k)
The Kings aren’t very good at the PF position. They tend to run a few guys in and out to act as a body alongside Cousins. West is a pretty good cash option but he’s been hitting under value a lot lately. If you want a floor of 25 FP with 35 upside then you can take him but he isn’t going to blow you away.
Rodney Stuckey (DK: $5.4k | FD: $5.1k)
Until CJ Miles is completely reintroduced to the lineup, Stuckey will see additional usage and scoring responsibility. The Kings struggle to defend across the board, but especially at the SG position. McLemore isn’t very good and Stauskas is even worse. Monitor the health of the IND backcourt but you can surely fire him up in tournaments.
John Wall (DK: $8.9k | FD: $9.2k)
A lot of good things here for Wall. Toronto is likely to be tired after last night’s 2OT bout against the Nets. They’re already very bad defensively, particularly against PGs, and their tired bones will make it worse. Wall is known as a guy that plays much better at home. The Wizards have been given a couple of days to rest so I’m firing up Wall for a ton of lineups tonight.
Marcin Gortat (DK: $5.6k | FD: $5.7k)
This is a cash game only consideration. I like the matchup and Toronto will likely shoot under their normal percentage, giving the Washington bigs more rebounds. He has a floor right around 20 FP so you can deploy him comfortably, just realize that there is little upside here.
Lou Williams (DK: $4.7k | FD: $5.5k)
He’s on fire lately and I think that’ll continue. The matchup doesn’t look great on paper because Beal is a lockdown defender. He won’t be on Williams for the majority of the contest as Lou is coming off of the bench.
Josh Smith (DK: $5.3k | FD: $5.7k)
Is this a trap game or a perfectly opportune revenge game? I’m going to guess the latter. With Howard out for this one again, Smith’s minutes and usage are going to go up. He’s sitting at a good price and he’s continuing to play well. I know we associate failure and disappointment with the name, but if you ignore the name and look at the stats it’s a great play.
Greg Monroe (8.5k BOTH)
Is there narrative here as well? Smith took a lot of Monroe’s minutes earlier in the year. He’s already proven himself to be the better starter for the Pistons, but maybe he wants to show Josh that personally. This truly is a good matchup for him and his floor sits right at 4x so I like him in any format.
DJ Augustin (DK: $6k | FD: $6.7k)
If you can look past his game against PHI, you’ve got some serious value here. It’s not a great matchup as Beverley will be guarding him for the better part of the game, but he still gets a ton of usage. I’m chalking the PHI game up as an anomaly. He shouldn’t go 0-7 from the field again and the Pistons shouldn’t go down by 20 in the first quarter.
Donatas Motiejunas (DK: $5.3k | FD: $5.4k)
He, like Josh Smith, has seen an uptick in usage and playing time with Howard out. He typically draws the start so he’ll do his work on the post against Monroe and Drummond, two very bad defensive players. I don’t think it’s all that crazy if you want to stack HOU forwards tonight.
Don’t forget the late scratches that occurred before the last meeting. So stay on your toes! It never fails that I see a ton of guys complaining and crying a few minutes after lineups lock. Pay attention to Twitter and RotoWorld!
Paul Millsap (DK: $8.3k | FD: $8.4k)
He can draw Noel/Covington away from the rim and knock down the jumper. He has the physicality to fight for rebounds. I’m not comfortable trying to project playing time for any Atlanta player in this game, but he can hit value in less than 30 minutes.
Michael Carter-Williams (DK: $8.2k | FD: $8.5k)
He had a great game last night and I believe that continues. Jeff Teague isn’t a fantastic defender. The only concern here is Horford’s rim protection. The game isn’t poised to stay close at all, but he is always worth a look in tournaments.
Al Horford (DK: $7.7k | FD: $8.1k)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Horford is the one Atlanta Hawk that I’m comfortable playing even in blowouts, even in cash games. He only needs 25 minutes against a team like Philly to hit 4.5-5.5x his salary. As long as he’s active, he’ll find his way into my cash lineup tonight.
Nerlens Noel (DK: $5k | FD: $5.7k)
Noel had a fantastic game last night as most of us expected. He ended up going above and beyond the call of duty and for that, we salute him. This is another good matchup, especially if he’s playing against the ATL backups. I like him a lot for tournaments and I think he’s a decent cash game option as well.
Kyrie Irving (DK: $9k | FD: $9.5k)
Wouldn’t be surprised if LeBron sat this one out. The T-Wolves are terrible defensively and I’m 100% sure the Cavs could beat them without him. If he doesn’t play, Kyrie is a lock for every lineup I make. If he does play, Kyrie is still up for serious consideration. Minnesota struggles to defend the PG position and they like to get up and down the court. That’s got Irving written all over it.
Gorgui Dieng (DK: $7k | FD: $7.1k)
His size and length will be difficult for Cleveland to handle, especially when he’s at the PF slot. His ability to block shots and get into the passing lanes make him a wonderful cash game option. He can also score and rebound just as well, so he’s good to go for tournaments as well.
Kevin Martin (DK: $4.6k | FD: $6.5k)
Martin is a lock for most of your DraftKings lineups tonight just like he was last night. He should continue to see about 30 minutes of playing time. Against the weak wing defense of Cleveland I like his upside. He takes 15-20 shots a game, so if he’s on he can drop 40 FP.
As of right now I’m avoiding Durant entirely and shaky on Westbrook. If Durant happens to play I think you can consider him for tournaments. If he doesn’t, the same is true for Westbrook. However, Memphis’ defensive prowess worries me and I’m happy to spend my money elsewhere. There is a lot of value on this slate and I’m not sure I see the necessity in spending on either of these guys. All of that being said, Westbrook could go crazy against Udrih/Calathes.
Zach Randolph (DK: $8.5k | FD: $8.6k)
ZBo continues to be a fantastic play for cash games. He’s like the Horford at PF. With tough matchups at PG, SG and C for the Grizzlies, ZBo is poised to be the center of the offense tonight. I see a 35 FP floor with 50 FP upside. I’ll take that all day long.
Serge Ibaka (DK: $6.9k | FD: $7k)
This isn’t a cash play. There’s no way. But I’d definitely consider him in tournaments if KD is out. His usage goes up alongside Westbrook’s. He’s logged 2 blocks in 4 consecutive games and I think that will continue as he has a huge length advantage on ZBo.
Brandon Knight (DK: $7.4k | $7.6k)
Portland has given up a ton of FP to opposing point guards in the past few weeks. Lillard has been turnover prone as of late and Knight is one of the best in the league at creating them. He’s probably going to see around 35 minutes of playing time in what’s expected to be a high scoring affair. I like him a lot.
LaMarcus Aldridge (DK: $9.5k | FD: $9.9k)
You just can’t ignore him given his past few performances. The offense revolves around him. Considering the tough perimeter defense that MIL likes to roll out, that trend should continue. He’ll be guarded by O’Bryant, Henson, Middleton or Ilyasova. I like his chances against all of them. I don’t think we can rely on another 60+ FP performance, but 45+ is definitely reasonable.
Khris Middleton (DK: $5.3k | FD: $5.5k)
I don’t like the fact that he’ll be guarded by Batum or LMA for most of the game. A lot of his value comes from points as he doesn’t rebound or pass the ball all that well. However, he’s only hit under 5x value in 1 of his last 10 games. I’m not a guy to break a trend but I’d say be careful here.
Jerryd Bayless (DK: $4k | FD: $4.4k)
He gets all of the same benefits that Knight does from this matchup, he’s only about half the price. He’s getting 20+ minutes off of the bench lately. Despite a fairly substantial increase in price, he’s still going to be in a few of my lineups. He may also be in my cash lineups.
So what is it with the Nuggets? I’ve watched a ton of their games this year and I just don’t understand them at all. Their coach called them out on their effort, Kenny Smith called their front office out on how the team is actually built! It’s just a very weird scenario there. At certain times they look like a team that can compete for the conference. Other times they look like a bottom of the bin unit that would struggle to compete with anyone. For that reason I am analyzing their entire squad with the understanding that none of them, regardless of what the stats may say, have a floor solid enough for cash games.
Al Jefferson (DK: $7.1k | FD: $8.2k)
It’s a good matchup and his usage is very high without Kemba. The game is at Denver so I worry a bit about his time on the court, but his upside is certainly there. He didn’t waste any time getting back into the mix.
Arron Afflalo ($5.7k BOTH)
He only took 5 shots last game against the Grizzlies. Why? He had the best matchup on the team. I just don’t get that. I believe he gets back into his 12-16 FGA range tonight and rightfully so. As long as he knocks down 40% of those he’s going to hit value.
Cody Zeller (DK: $4.9k | FD: $5.3k)
Like Big Al, he’s going to see additional minutes and usage without Walker leading the pack. It’s a good matchup as he can handle the likes of Hickson and Arthur. Faried’s athleticism could cause a bit of trouble but he won’t be on the floor long enough for me to worry.
Brian Roberts (DK: $4.6k | FD: $4.3k)
Not a flashy guy by any means, but Lawson doesn’t play great defense. If he can get the ball to Al, Henderson or MKG he’s going to rack up the assists. He can rebound and shoot the ball as well. I’m not really comfortable projecting his floor, I’m going to guess it’s around 15 FP, but he has 30 FP upside.
Chris Paul (DK: $9.3k | FD: $9.7k)
Let me take a second to talk about Blake Griffin. I watched him play last night against the Pelicans and he seemed to lose all of his motor. Maybe he was bummed out that he didn’t get to go up against AD. But he neglected to go after loose balls and rebounds, his shots didn’t fall and he rarely sprinted down the court. Maybe he was saving his energy for tonight? I doubt it. I’m probably fading him, even in tournaments, until further notice. His price is dropping and rightfully so – let’s hope tonight is the night he turns it around.
Anyways, CP3 gets a good matchup here. Parker and the rest of the SA PGs lack defensive prowess. They’re fairly good at the SG and C position, so CP3, like last night, may have to do a lot of the work himself.
Tim Duncan (DK: $7.8k | FD: $8k)
He’s strung together a couple of 40+ FP games in only 30 minutes. Timmy always plays better against legitimate, star-studded competition. I like him to hit around 5x value again tonight. The trouble with that is this – his floor still sits around 25 FP and his ceiling is no higher than 50 FP. Do you really want him for cash games? Probably not, and his 6.5x ceiling isn’t all that intriguing either.
Kawhi Leonard (DK: $7.5k | FD: $8.1k)
Leonard is one of my favorite plays today for tournaments. He’s sneaky because a lot of people will focus too much on his most recent performance against the Hornets. There is some legitimate concern around Pop’s minute distribution, but I expect every Spur to get their usual amount of time and then some. This is the Clippers we’re talking about and the All-Star break is coming up. They can rest then!
Stephen Curry (DK: $10.1k | FD: $9.8k)
So the Warriors are going to be extremely frustrated. The line for this game isn’t up yet as I’m writing this but I’m projecting the following – O/U: 224, GS -8. That’s incredibly desirable and it’s one of the reasons why I’d prefer Curry over Westbrook tonight. Phoenix is absolutely terrible against guards and Curry is one of the best.
Klay Thompson (DK: $8.5k | FD: $8.8k)
Do you think people forgot about how awesome Klay has been lately? I actually think a few people might after last night’s performance against Utah. He should bounce back here as Bledsoe won’t be able to contain him. I think he’s another sneaky tournament play. We’re probably not looking at 5% ownership, but 20-25% is still pretty low.
Isaiah Thomas (DK: $5.4k | FD: $5.8k)
Someone needs to score for the Suns. Bledsoe will probably help as will Dragic. The Morris twins could pitch in, Tucker, Green, Len, etc. I don’t expect any of those guys to jump out and score 20+ except for IT. He didn’t post a great line last night so I’m expecting him to have low ownership. If you’re a FD player, he could be the perfect pair with Curry.
Good luck out there tonight everyone! I’ll do my best to update this post as injury news is presented. You can follow me on Twitter @Steven_Royalty_ if you want to get your DFS questions answered.
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