We have a really interesting 12 game slate tonight in the NBA for DFS purposes. Based on Vegas lines, we have two games that really stand out today. The first is Dallas/Oklahoma City. That game has a 216 total with a spread of only 2. The second one is the Clippers and Portland. That game has a 210 total with a 3 point spread. Those are easily the two big ones most people will be targeting today. Sacramento v. Houston and Toronto v. Minnesota are the other two games with big totals. Currently Houston is favored by 11 and Toronto by 9, so there’s a chance both could turn into blowouts and the starters might see less minutes. Indiana v. Boston is at a 200 total with a 3 point spread and the Detroit v. Charlotte game is 196 with a 4 point cushion, so those are the other two to look at closely. There’s four other games with totals under 195 and spreads of 8 or more. Those games should be used very cautiously as some may get ugly and others might be a little closer. As is the case with DFS NBA in April, the injury report will play a huge factor tonight. We will get into it in further detail at the end of the article on our PIVOT MAN section, but for now let’s take a look at the sheets and see what NBA Daily plays we have.
John Wall is the guy in the best spot tonight of the expensive options. He has the greenest numbers for DVP(season and last 5) as well as the highest last 5 game value average of 5.35. That means he has averaged over 5.35 points per thousand of cost on FD in the last five games. On DK it’s 6.5 and on Aces it’s 8.2. Those number are all elite level production that keeps you on pace to cash in a GPP. Vegas expects Washington to score 101 points tonight or more and Wall’s usage rate puts him squarely in the mix on most of that. Wall has 169 Draft Kings points in his last three games. He is averaging 30 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 Steals/Blocks, and 5 TOs per game in about 44 minutes per contest. That’s good for 53 Draft Kings points per night. At his price on DK of only 8800, that puts him right there for 6 times value. Add in the fact that they play the Sixers tonight and are in need of a win and I think you get an aggressive John Wall come out and look to carry his team in this one. We have him projected as the second highest scorer on the night and a useable play across the board. His price on FD is a little high for my liking though, so I will be using over there the least. Everywhere else though he is a top option today.
The other guy I really like tonight is Rajon Rondo. Rondo had a himself a game on Monday with 40+ fantasy points. He is looking to do more on offense as evidenced by his double digit shot attempts in three of the last four games. He has also managed to get at least five rebounds and five assists in each of his last three. He plays in the best game to target tonight in what should be a very fast, high scoring affair. The Thunder have the top pace in the league lately, so this is even one of the few games you can bump up the Mavericks on pace. Monta Ellis is slated to come back, which should help keep his percentages down, but he has a projection, a match up, and a recency number that are all green today across the board. He should return close to six times on FD, Slightly over that on DK, and over 7 and a half on Aces. At those levels he too can keep you in the hunt for a GPP cash.
The cheaper option I still like as well is Jordan Clarkson. His production keeps rising and his price stays about the same. Ellington is the guy losing minutes to him and Lin, so he’s in play whether or not Jeremy Lin plays too. He had a monster game a few days back and while I do not expect another 50 fantasy points, it’s nice to know he should make value and does have that kind of upside.
Pricing changes a lot from site to site at the position today. Some guys make sense one place and are way overpriced in other spots. This is one of those days and one of those positions where I think you either go big or take a punt. The middle does not really thrill me much.
If you go big, the man to do it with is James Harden. There’s a lot of injuries on the Rockets, so he should see usage and minutes. The good thing there is that even in a blowout he should be on the floor more than other stars would. His game has one of the highest totals on the night and his team is riddled with injuries, so he will be asked to carry his usual large load. Now here’s the kicker for me. His projections have him as the highest scoring player at the position by over a dozen points tonight. While his Points per dollar number is not great, fading him means you are very likely going to have a lot of ground to make up elsewhere. If a nice punt play or someone with increased usage at a lower price point comes into play, then maybe it’s worth it to save here, but I can’t see spending up for a mid tier option today (Especially on FanDuel) instead of the beard.
On Fan Duel I would look to go down to guys like Kentavious Caldwell -Pope or Lou Williams to pair him with. Both guys are seeing more usage and shots due to injuries and both are solid options to make value at their price points.
On Draft Kings I would be more inclined to come down to an Evan Turner. IT2 is not back to full minutes yet and Turner has even seen the floor with him and Bradley all together. With IT2 back, people shied away from both him and Avery Bradley last out and both put up over 30 Fantasy points. Both guys are still seeing 30 minutes or so and they play in one of the better games to target today as well.
On Aces, Turner, Clarkson, and Pope are all showing up as useful guards to use today. All 3 are underpriced and have upside, so I think you can roll out one or two of them that you like best.
On one SF sites, I am locking up Andrew Wiggins and moving on. As long as the Timberwolves have injuries, Wiggins is the beneficiary. They want to get him experience right now, so he has seen 40 minutes a game. If it’s close then he gets fed the ball and if it’s not he is still in there shooting away. His minutes are safe and large and his team needs him to score to have a chance to win. He has alternated games recently between scoring 40+ fantasy points and 25-30. At his price today he is a safe bet to get into the mid to upper 30s and pay it off. His team is in a paced up game expected to see a lot of points. As the main scoring threat for his squad, I think he will also be the guy with the most shot attempts. His last 5 Value, DVP, and projected return are all green today and I think he makes the most sense as one of the probable high scorers at the position offered at a discount.
If I need to save or punt here, I really like Wes Johnson. Wes has been real good recently and is seeing somewhat safe minutes in that Lakers rotation. He has played about 37 minutes in each of his last three games and scored a little over 30 fantasy points on average. At $4200 on FD and $4400 on DK, that’s about seven points per $1000 of cost. He is another one who plays regardless of the score and contributes in multiple categories. He has a soft match up with guys like Luke Babbitt tonight, so he should be able to get some stats stuffed onto his sheet. If you want the Wall’s and Harden’s of the world than you need to offset those costs. I think Wes is a safe bet to do so for your GPPs.
If you want to spend up today there’s two guys who stand out to me. The first is obviously Anthony Davis. The Brow gets a match up with a sub par Laker front court that is playing musical chairs. I have no idea the minutes or who is sitting, but none of it is good with them. He is a stud and an expensive one at that. Still, he has shown us the 70+ Fantasy point potential and is averaging close to 50. My only drawback with him is I like cheaper options at the PF position better than at the SG spot. If I was taking one stud tonight I would lean Harden over Davis. If enough quality value opens up to get me both I would consider it, but so far I have not liked the teams I start with them both.
I find myself shunning Davis for a guy like Nerlens Noel. I am no longer scared of anyone on the Wizards defensively. I am also no longer a doubter on Nerlens. This guy has really stepped up when he got his shot to do so. He has double digit rebounds in 5 of his last six games. He has averaged a combined 4 steals/blocks per game over his last five and has no less than two in any game. His scoring is up, although I would not go and call him an offensive weapon. He gets a lot of points on athleticism from running the floor and rebounding on the offensive glass. Still he has scored 43 or more fantasy points in 4 of his last 5 and is averaging closer to 46. At his price today on DK he makes a nice play at $8000. $8400 on FD is also not horrible for me. I would shy away from the $5500 on Aces if I was in a large field tourney, but for a satellite of a 50/50 he makes sense.
Two cheap plays I like depending on inujury are Trevor Booker and Anthony Tolliver. Booker is the key one for me as I would love to use him today if Favors misses again. Booker put up over 30 DK points last time out and has consistently been in the 20-30 range over his last few games. Again both guys come with risk and require someone to remain out to keep their minutes safe, but both guys have been returning value and then some lately to help people win GPPs.
Let me just start by saying I think Demarcus Cousins plays tonight and if he does play against a banged up Rockets front court and no Rudy Gay than you have to consider him. Monitor reports and plan accordingly as he could have a monster game.
Either way I think we have four or five solid options at Center tonight. On FD it will be tough to pick just one, but on DK and Aces I can see myself having more than one on my rosters. Andre Drummond and Brook Lopez are both going off lately. Both guys are seeing more minutes and shots, as well as pulling down more boards. Both had been without their starting power forwards recently, but either way the production is insane. Both have been in the 40’s nearly every night and flashed 50 and 60 point upsides. The price on both has climbed, however I still would look at them in these spots. Drummond looks to have a slightly better match up on paper, but both guys are projected to be very good tonight and both have been in the last few games.
If you wanted to go a little cheaper, Marcin Gortat and Jonas Valaciunas are two guys to take a look at. Gortat has the best match up today of anyone based off recent and season long numbers. Valaciunas has been great lately and needs to pick up some of the scoring slack with Lowry out. Both guys are mid tier priced and offer upside based off that fact. Minnesota’s front court is a mess which is good for Valaciunas and Gortat gets a Sixers team that really has no true big man to check him. These five guys are all in play for me tonight and I will be rolling up combinations of them all over the DFS landscape tonight.
In this section we will discuss some of the injury news we are watching and potential pivots to players based off any news we may get. As always at this time of the year, it is crucial to your success to know who is in and who is out. It keeps zero’s off your rosters and also points out some potential value plays for you to consider.SUCH AS:
If Greg Monroe is still out, then we need to keep firing up guys like Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. All three have been awesome while Monroe was out. If Monroe is out again, I think Drummond is a must start and Reggie deserves consideration.
If Cody Zeller is out, and Al Jefferson is still banged up, then we need to put Marvin Williams on our radar. Jefferson has been playing limited minutes and Williams is the only decent big man option they have left now. I don’t love his 30-35 point upside potential, but he is a safe way to get 35 points for relatively cheap all over if you need that.
If Shved and Hardaway remain out, then you may need to give Langston Galloway a look. I really do not love the Knicks at all, and if you have not been watching, I can assure you it’s a fallacy to say, “Somebody has to score right?” Based off recent history the answer to that is no, so still be careful.
If CJ Miles is out, then CJ Watson is a must play for me tonight. Everyone loves Stuckey, but he is not 100% healthy. Watson has played 30,32, and 28 minutes in three of the last five. When he plays 28 minutes or more, he has scored over 33 fantasy points in each of those games. He is $4400 on Dk today and cheaper elsewhere which puts him sqaurely in play if he has been averaging over 30 and needs less to reach value at his price today.
Rudy Gay is out, and Cousins is likely in. If so you have to look at DeMarcus today as this game is high scoring and the Rockets Bigs are banged up. He gets a softish match up and no Robin to his Batman, so the load will fall heavy on his shoulders.
If Donatas Motiejunas is out, then we have a few options. Howard is likely to play again, but should not see huge minutes. That leaves about70 minutes open at PF,C to be split between Josh smith (35) Terrence jones (25-30) and the (5-10 minute) scraps going to Joey Dorsey. Howard and Jones are both questionable, but I expect them to play. How much is another question, but it affects them and guys like Ariza, Brewer, and Smith as well.
If everyone on Minnesota is out, then we have a few swerves. If Rubio is out, then Lavine is worth a look where he is cheap. If Dieng is out, I’m going to look more at Payne then i do Hamilton, but I do not love either. If Martin is out, then the biggest boost again remains with Wiggins. He should benefit regardless, but Martin active limits Wiggins shots, so be careful of that scenario.
If Kyle Lowry is out, I think the best play is Lou Williams. Greivis Vasquez just lacks an upside, but Williams can go for 30 real life points if his shot is falling. Dude can flat out score and that is valuable from a lower cost guy.
If Derrick Favors is out, then Burke, Hayward, and Gobert all deserve a second look. All three guys have been throwing up 30-45 fantasy points nightly. The prices on Gobert have gone up big, but Burke and Hayward are still reasonably nice options for you to use. Denver does play fast, so we could see a few more possessions for the Jazz today and that likely means more usage for one of these three if not all of them.
If Danillo Galinari is out, then Wilson Chandler becomes my must play pivot off of him. He’s too cheap if he is going to see 35 minutes today.