It’s a great night for tournaments on DraftKings, with championship events at the $444, $44 and $4 buy-in levels. There are also solid fantasy options in just about every game, meaning we don’t have to worry too much about ownership percentages. Outside of perhaps Karl-Anthony Towns, I’m not expecting anyone to be over 35 percent owned in GPPs.
1. Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry had his shooting elbow drained after Monday’s ugly performance and is questionable for tonight’s game against the Hawks. If he can’t go, expect Cory Joseph to draw the start. Joseph averages .699 DraftKings points per minute and has gotten 26.0 minutes per game in the previous two Lowry has missed this season, so he’s far from a must-play. But at $3,500, he’d provide an excellent per-dollar floor. DeMar DeRozan would also get a big boost, as his DraftKings points per minute go from 1.02 to 1.16 when Lowry is off the floor. Terrence Ross (probable, wrist), Jonas Valanciunas and impressive second-round rookie Norman Powell are also on my radar as tournament punts.
2. Miami Heat
Goran Dragic (questionable, illness) traveled with the Heat to Los Angeles. But if he takes the night off, combo guard Josh Richardson will once again be forced into a heavy workload as the Heat don’t really have a backup point guard. Richardson, who played 38 minutes on Monday with Dragic sidelined, gets a big boost on his 0.679 DK points per minute average when he has primary ball-handling duties. Dwyane Wade also takes on more shot-taking and play-making duties with Dragic off the floor, seeing his usage go from 32.3 to 37.6 with Dragic and Bosh off the floor.
3. Sacramento Kings
Rajon Rondo and Rudy Gay are fully expected back after resting last game, while DeMarcus Cousins is questionable. The implications of Cousins’ status are obviously massive. If he sits, Kosta Koufos, Willie Cauley-Stein and Marcin Gortat all become excellent plays. In 12 games without Boogie this year, Koufos averages 26.9 DK points. If Cousins does play, I’ll move off Gortat due to foul concerns (Boogie draws nearly nine per game, by far the most in the league).
|Player Targets||More NBA Research||Cheat Sheet|
|Levitan's Leverage||Game Breakdowns||Tournament Plays|
MATCHUPS TO EXPLOIT
1. John Wall against the Kings
Wall is a bit overpriced at $10,000 in a back-to-back spot, which will give some people pause. It shouldn’t in a game between two of the top-5 fastest paced teams in the league. Wall, coming off a disappointing 8-point game in the loss at Golden State last night, gets to face an inept Kings defense that yields 4.58 more DK points than salary-based expectation to point guards. With the playoff-hungry Wizards unable to afford any more losses, Wall 35-37 minutes is a fair projection. The matchup and motivation for Wall are both superior to that of Steph Curry and Chris Paul.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s meh game log
Over Antetokounmpo’s last six games, he’s averaging “just” 36.8 DK points. But a closer look shows a brutal series of matchups against Charlotte, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Utah and Memphis. Now the Greek Freak finally gets a floodgate-opening spot, as he’ll face a Suns team that is fourth in pace and 28th in defensive efficiency. The Suns are particularly bad against point guards, giving up an incredible 6.58 more DK points than salary-based expectation to the position. Although Giannis is a small forward on DraftKings, he’s functioning as the Bucks’ point guard and primary ball-handler. On top of that, Antetokounmpo’s price has dropped to $9,300 after getting as high as $9,800 last week.
2. Dirk Nowitzki in a must-win spot
The Mavs are currently a half-game behind the Rockets for the West’s final playoff spot. So it’s a desperation situation tonight for a must-win home game against the Knicks. That means a bump in minutes projection for Dirk Nowitzki, who is getting 33.8 across his last six games. A short-term shooting slump (10-of-32) across the last two games is good news for us as it should keep his ownership down and it’s caused a price slash to $7100. Expect the attempts to stay up and the efficiency to improve against a Knicks team that is not expected to have long-armed Dirk defender Kristaps Porzingis (shoulder).
1. Jonas Valanciunas against the Hawks
Since returning from injury four games ago, Valanciunas is averaging 26.0 minutes per game with a low of 21 in his first game back to a high of 30 against the Rockets. He gets 1.091 DK points per minute on the season, which gives him a baseline projection of 28.3 DK points or 5.5X salary. That’s the kind of baseline I like to start with, and Valanciunas has a lot of room for more in this matchup. First, the undersized and rebounding-deficient Hawks give up 4.61 more DK points than salary-based expectation to centers. Second, Kyle Lowry’s potential absence would be good news as Jonas gets 1.08 DK ppm with Lowry on the floor vs. 1.11 off it. And finally, there’s always a chance Valanciunas gets up toward the 32-minute mark which would allow him to blow away that 26-minute baseline.
CASH GAME CONSIDERATIONS
Below are the players I’m considering most in head-to-head and 50/50 style NBA games tonight (in no particular order).
|PG||John Wall, Rajon Rondo, Ricky Rubio, Brandon Knight, Cory Joseph (if Kyle Lowry is out)|
|SG||Dwyane Wade and Josh Richardson (if Goran Dragic is out), Andrew Wiggins, Devin Booker, Khris Middleton, DeMar DeRozan (if Kyle Lowry is out), Raymond Felton, Brad Beal|
|SF||Giannis Antetokounmpo, Gordon Hayward, Andrew Wiggins, Matt Barnes, Otto Porter|
|PF||Dirk Nowitzki, DeMarcus Cousins (if he plays), JaMychal Green (if Zach Randolph is out), Dwight Powell|
|C||Karl-Anthony Towns, Hassan Whiteside, Marcin Gortat (if DeMarcus Cousins is out)|