James Harden

We’ve had a week of truly odd slates to close out November in the NBA. They’ve either been massive or microscopic and this evening we’ve drawn the latter. There’s only three games past 7 p.m. ET on tonight’s schedule and while two appear to be ridiculously one-sided, a third seems set to be a low-scoring defensive struggle. How heavily can you attack a total that low? Where can you differential yourself with so few options? Who are you building your lineups around?

Let’s break it all down position-by-position.


POINT GUARD

Stud

Trae Young, ATL at HOU, $8,900 – Young’s salary is below $9K for the first time since Nov. 8 and that alone seems like a good enough reason for the point guard to be viable. However, if that’s wasn’t enough, Young’s been on an insane run of volume for the past week. Beginning with his triple-double performance in a loss to Toronto last Saturday, the sophomore’s maintained an impressive .632 true shooting percentage with a massive 38.0% usage rate in Atlanta’s past four contests. Its a stretch that’s also seen Young average a robust 1.47 DKFP per minute on the court. With Houston coming into tonight owning the league’s second-fastest pace, Young should at least have the volume necessary to keep his recent form going. Plus, he’s not an awful piece to game stack with James Harden ($12,000), as a good Young performance elevates Harden’s floor.

Value

Devonte’ Graham, CHA at MIL, $6,500 – Sometimes, on slates this small, we see players priced in odd ways to compensate for the lack of options at a given position. It would appear this is one of those occasions. While Graham hasn’t been perfect since entering Charlotte’s starting five, he has hit 5x value in four of his past five games. Knowing that, it might be surprising to discover that the sophomore’s price tag this evening will be at its lowest figure since Graham became a starter 10 contests back. Its a span where Graham’s ranked 10th in the NBA in touches per game (87.3) and fourth in time of possession per game (8.2) – sitting behind only Young, James Harden and Luka Doncic in the latter category. This is a buying window, friends.


SHOOTING GUARD

Stud

James Harden, HOU vs. ATL, $12,000 – As always, you’ll have a difficult time fitting both Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800) into a single build and, on this particular slate, I’ll lean with the former. The beautiful aspect of Harden’s workload is that you seemingly never have to sweat his minutes. Aside from an early-season blowout in Miami (where the nightlife stays undefeated), Harden’s only logged fewer than 35 minutes one time: a 24-point victory over Portland where the All-Star still dropped 35 points in just over 33 minutes of action. This is a roundabout way of saying it’s far more important to focus on this contest’s 237 O/U rather than the Rockets’ 13.5-point spread. Harden will get his against a Hawks team that possesses the league’s worst defensive rating across their past 10 games (118.6).

Value

Ben McLemore, HOU vs. ATL, $3,500 – Mike D’Antoni’s already announced that if Danuel House ($5,000) is unable to dress tonight due to an illness, it will be McLemore that once again fills into the Rockets’ starting lineup. It’s a role the former lottery pick has seen himself inhabit four different times in 2019-20 and its also one where he’s averaging 24.9 DKFP per game. Don’t try to convince yourself you’re being sneaky with this one, as McLemore’s guaranteed to be one of the highest owned players on the slate should House be announced inactive. However, I truly believe he’ll be necessary chalk.


SMALL FORWARD

Stud

Ben Simmons, PHI vs. IND, $8,300 – Simmons’ inconsistency doesn’t always make him the most appealing DFS asset, yet his value is seemingly at its highest when the 76ers are playing without Josh Richardson ($5,800), who’s status is up in the air for this evening’s tilt with the Pacers. In fact, Richardson’s missed three of Philadelphia’s past six matchups and, in those trio of games, Simmons has averaged 14.3 points, 11.3 assists and 45.7 DKFP. The difference is simply ball-handling and play-making opportunities. Simmons has seen his assist rate jump from 29.0% when sharing the court with Richardson to 38.5% when he’s out there alone and on Friday night a solo Simmons racked up a game-high 99 touches – a figure well above his season-average. If Richardson sits, Simmons is viable.

Value

De’Andre Hunter, ATL at HOU, $4,700 – Hunter’s shot hasn’t been falling in the past three games – a span in which he’s gone 8-for-29 (27.6%) from the field — but the opportunity is there. That’s really the appealing aspect of Hunter’s fantasy profile, there’s just such an obvious path to ceiling. It’s not like we haven’t see what that upside looks like, either. In Hunter’s three starts prior to these recent struggles, the rookie averaged 23.7 points and 36.3 DKFP per contest. The fact he’s logging 34.5 minutes a night since Nov. 10 is pretty alluring, too. In a matchup where the Rockets have allowed the fifth-most DKFP per game to his position, I’m willing to take my chances with Hunter’s inconsistent stroke.


POWER FORWARD

Stud

Jabari Parker, ATL at HOU, $6,700 – Parker’s coming off arguably his worst performance of the season on Friday night, yet he’ll have an ideal opportunity to redeem himself this evening. Houston’s just been pretty generous to opposing interior players so far in 2019-20. Coming into Saturday, the Rockets have surrendered 18.9 field goals in the restricted area per game – the eighth most of any squad in all of basketball. More importantly, Houston’s been a horrendous rebounding team when Clint Capela ($8,400) is off the court — something it’ll likely have to deal with tonight, as the center fights an illness. It’s a pretty enticing spot for an offensively-minded player like Parker, all things considered.

Value

Gary Clark, HOU vs. ATL, $3,500 – There’s a chance that Tyson Chandler ($3,500) handles a larger load in Capela’s expected absence than he was able to carry on Wednesday; but, even in such a scenario, it’s difficult to not envision Clark getting 20-plus minutes of action. The sophomore looked good in his first real opportunity of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 29 minutes of action against the Heat. It would appear that the 25-year-old owns the inside track on fellow G-Leaguer Isaiah Hartenstein ($3,200), too.


CENTER

Stud

Domantas Sabonis, IND at PHI, $7,700 – Sabonis hasn’t quite been the world-beater that he was without Myles Turner ($5,700) since the big man’s return; yet he’s still managed five double-doubles and 1.18 DKFP per minute in the six games the two have played together this month. Really, that’s kind of the point we’ve come to with Sabonis. He’s far more of a cash game play than a GPP option, but on a slate this small set-in-stone 5x value isn’t the easiest thing to come across. You don’t need to actively find a spot for the Lithuanian, however, if the salaries match, he’s definitely viable.

Value

Bismack Biyombo, CHA at MIL, $4,500 – Obviously this play comes with the caveat that Cody Zeller ($4,300) needs to miss his third-straight game with an injured hip, but it’s hard to ask anything more of Biyombo. The veteran has averaged 16.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 32.8 DKFP in his two emergency starts, easily exceeding 7x value in both contests. Heck, even prior to Zeller’s ailment, Biyombo had seen his role begin to grow, as the 27-year-old has scored in double-figures in five of his last seven appearances off the bench. His salary’s adjusted slightly to his workload, yet he remains a useful piece this evening.


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.