Happy Sunday, folks! We have a small four-game NBA slate this evening. Three of the four games have implied totals of more than 210 points, so we should see plenty of scoring on tonight’s slate.
On the injury front, there are several situations to monitor. James Harden, Dennis Smith Jr., Ryan Anderson and Kyle Korver are considered questionable for tonight. Smith Jr. missed last night’s game his quad injury but early reports are that he’s expected to return tonight for the Mavericks. As always, it is important to keep an eye on news as we head into lock.
Let’s waste no more time and jump right into some targets for tonight’s slate.
Chris Paul ($7,800) – If Harden (knee) misses, Paul has to be considered a strong option for the Rockets against Dallas at this price point. With Harden off the court, Paul sees a 5.3 percent usage bump. He also sees a big increase in assist percentage. The matchup is a decent one, too, as the Mavericks rank 19th in defense rating and have allowed more than 60 DKFP per game to point guards over their last 10 games. With or without Harden tonight, Paul should be considered a viable option, but if Harden is out, Paul becomes an even stronger play.
Lonzo Ball ($7,600) – Ball has been playing some good basketball for the Lakers since returning from injury, averaging 13.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 3.0 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. He has been scoring more of late, adding to his peripherals, which has converted into plenty of fantasy points. In the last six games, he has topped 35 DKFP in all but one game, including two 45+ DKFP performances. Tonight’s matchup against Cleveland is one that favors Ball, as the Cavs continue to be one of the worst defenses in the league, ranking 28th in defense rating. In addition, they are yielding the most fantasy points per game to point guards, along with the second-most rebounds, the most assists, the third-most steals and third-most blocks to the position. Ball has triple-double upside anytime he is on the court, but in this matchup, that upside increases.
Other Options – James Harden ($11,000; check status), Ben Simmons ($8,300), D’Angelo Russell ($6,100), Spencer Dinwiddie ($5,700)
Larry Nance Jr. ($7,400) – Nance Jr. appears to be settling in with the Cavs and has seen an increased role as of late, playing at least 30 minutes in three consecutive games. That has translated into fantasy production, as he has now scored 36.5, 42.75 and 47.75 DKFP in his last three contests. Tonight he faces his former team, the Lakers, in a matchup that sets up nicely. The Lakers struggle against opposing bigs, allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to centers. In addition, they are a poor rebounding team, allowing the seventh-most rebounds per game to opposing teams. The Lakers are a fast-paced team, creating extra potential touch opportunities. Nance Jr.’s athleticism makes up for his lack of size when it comes to rebounding, and he should able to take advantage of L.A.’s frontcourt. So long as the minutes continue to be there for him, Nance Jr. should continue to be productive.
DeMarre Carroll ($5,900) – Carroll continues to be a model of consistency for the Nets, scoring more than 30 DKFP in eight of his last 10 games while scoring fewer than 29.5 DKFP just once during that stretch. His price remains affordable, and he continues to average more than 30 minutes per game. The matchup against the Sixers is not the most appealing one, but they are yielding the ninth-most fantasy points per game on the wing. They also play up in pace, providing extra potential touch opportunities for Carroll. He is not a high-upside play, but there is a solid floor at a reasonable price tag.
Other Options – LeBron James ($11,600), Julius Randle ($7,300), Dario Saric ($6,300), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($6,200), Harrison Barnes ($6,100), Kyle Kuzma ($6,000)
Joel Embiid ($9,500) – Embiid has underperformed for the Sixers in his last three games, but a matchup against the Nets might be what the doctor ordered. Brooklyn is abysmal against opposing centers, allowing the most fantasy points, most real points, most rebounds and most blocks per game to the position. The Nets are the worst rebounding team in the league, allowing the most rebounds per game. The Nets had no answer for Embiid in their last meeting against him, yielding 29 points with 14 rebounds and 52 DKFP. This is a great spot for him to get back on track and outperform his salary, making him a viable option in all formats.
Brook Lopez ($5,400) – We are seeing some vintage Lopez in recent games for the Lakers. He has played 30+ minutes in back-to-back games and has scored more than 30 DKFP in three consecutive games. He draws a great matchup this evening against the Cavs, who surrender the sixth-most fantasy points per game to centers. In addition, they allow a healthy 55 percent shooting from the field and over one 3-pointer per game to bigs. Lopez is volatile because we really never know how many minutes he will play, but if the trend continues at 26-32 minutes, he provides some upside at this price. He is a tournament-only play for me.
Other Options – Al Horford ($6,600), Clint Capela ($6,500)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Armando28) 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.