Tonight’s 14-game slate is actually a great one for people paying close attention as we have some very clear goals. The first is to find higher-priced players who are motivated and will see normal minutes. The second is to sift through the dozens of available punt plays in search of the very best of the best. A $3K player projected for 20 minutes just isn’t going to do it on this slate – we can find better.
1. BUCKS: Milwaukee is resting Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Matthew Dellavedova and Tony Snell. They’ve listed starters as Malcolm Brogdon (.849 DK points per minute), Rashad Vaughn (.654), Michael Beasley (1.003), Mirza Teletovic (.719) and Thon Maker (.849) as probable starters. Beasley stands out as an aggressive scorer who averaged 15.4 points and 4.0 rebounds while getting just 24.0 minutes per game in five starts earlier this season. Tonight, this version of the Bucks will lean on him even heavier to create offense.
2. NETS: Brooklyn will play without Brook Lopez, Jeremy Lin, Trevor Booker, Quincy Acy, Joe Harris and Sean Kilpatrick. It will leave them with just nine active players, but only two of them are actual bigs in Justin Hamilton and Andrew Nicholson. Note that Hamilton is at a strong .852 DK points per minute this season and was at .860 last season. Nicholson is at just .662. The Nets will likely choose to give Rondae Hollis-Jefferson huge minutes at both the small and power forward positions as he comes off a 37-minute outing.
3. WIZARDS: Washington is resting John Wall, Bradley Beal and Markieff Morris. The other two starters, Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat, will play limited minutes. Brandon Jennings ($4,500) emerges as the best play among the Wizards despite a disappointing offensive outing last game (1-of-6 shooting, two points in 28 minutes). This time, he won’t have to fight with the likes of Beal and Morris for usage – instead, it’ll be Jennings’ show. Volatile Kelly Oubre ($4,400) is also ticketed for massive minutes.
4. HAWKS: Atlanta is resting Paul Millsap, Dwight Howard, Dennis Schroder, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kent Bazemore. Thabo Sefolosha, coming off a groin injury, will likely play limited minutes. It leaves the Hawks with four bigs to work with in Mike Muscala (.818 DK points per minute), Ersan Ilyasova (.710), Ryan Kelly (.733) and Kris Humphries (.918). They also have at least six guards/wings in Taurean Prince, Jose Calderon, DeAndre Bembry, Malcolm Delaney, Mike Dunleavy and Thabo. This rotation is not as thin as it appears – even with five regulars sitting.
SITUATIONS TO CAPITALIZE ON
1. Do-or-Die for Heat, Pacers, Bulls
The final two playoff spots in the East remain undecided heading into Wednesday night. So the Pacers, Bulls and Heat will each be going all-out to win – and they all tip off at the same time. That means playoff-style, tight rotations across the board. Despite potential blowouts, the key players on these three teams will represent some of the highest floor spends of the night. Even if they’re overpriced in a vacuum, this is a slate where we have to understand situations. Paul George is playing 39.6 minutes per night over his last five and taking 22.8 shots per game. Jimmy Butler continues to carry the Bulls despite the return of Dwyane Wade. And in Miami, coach Erik Spoelstra is using a seven-man rotation which pushes the minutes of James Johnson/Hassan Whiteside/Goran Dragic/Josh Richardson into the mid-30s nightly.
1. Mason Plumlee with Nuggets Eliminated
The Nuggets went all out in their playoff chase, extending the minutes of key players and having others grind through nagging injuries. Now the foot is off the gas, meaning Danilo Gallinari, Will Barton, Emmanuel Mudiay, Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur and Jameer Nelson are all unlikely to play Wednesday night. Nikola Jokic and Wilson Chandler will likely see limited minutes again if they even suit up. It leaves the Nuggets wildly thin, especially up front. Mason Plumlee has averaged 1.04 DK points per minute since the trade and will push toward mid-30s in minutes again Wednesday night. He also carries power forward eligibility on DK at just $4,400.
MATCHUP TO EXPLOIT
1. Chris Paul Against the Kings
The Clippers can clinch the West’s No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round Wednesday night by beating the Kings. That means we will see normal rotations for the Clippers, who won’t be coddled as they’ve played just two games in the previous six days. So even in a likely blowout, Chris Paul/Blake Griffin/DeAndre Jordan should see at least 29-33 minutes against a Kings team which has struggled against points guards all year. They’ve given up 3.6 more DK points per game than salary-based expectation to the position, ninth-most in the league (via FantasyLabs). Paul, finding his form after nagging injuries bothered him in the middle of the season, is averaging an outrageous 1.50 DK points per minute over his last six games.
CASH GAME CONSIDERATIONS
(No particular order)
PG: Chris Paul, Isaiah Thomas, Goran Dragic, Jeff Teague, Brandon Jennings, Jerian Grant, Shabazz Napier
SG: Justin Holiday, Jamal Murray, Josh Richardson, Avery Bradley
SF: Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Jae Crowder, Gordon Hayward, Evan Turner
PF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Michael Beasley, Blake Griffin, Thaddeus Young, Mirza Teletovic
C: James Johnson, Richaun Holmes, Mason Plumlee, Karl-Anthony Towns, Willy Hernangomez, DeAndre Jordan, Hassan Whiteside
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is AdamLevitan) 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.