WATCH: PICK AND ROLL
Welcome to DeMarcus Cousins’ revenge. On a tricky 11-game slate with heaps of injury news and a lot to digest, Cousins sticks out like a sore thumb. And not just because he’s facing his old team – see more below.
1. Robert Covington, SF, Sixers: OUT – Covington (knee), Sergio Rodriguez (hamstring) and Jahlil Okafor (knee) are all out again. The Sixers will feature either an eight- or nine-man rotation, depending on if Tiago Splitter (hamstring) gets in. The difference tonight is prices have adjusted as T.J. McConnell is up $700 from Wednesday, Nik Stauskas is up $500, Justin Anderson $900 and Timothe Luwawu $1100. The strongest of the bunch is Stauskas, who gets to face an inept Cavs backcourt defense and is forced into at least 34 minutes as he fills the backup point guard job on top of his normal duties.
2. Carmelo Anthony, SF, Knicks: QUESTIONABLE – Carmelo has checked out at the end of another lost season, the Knicks need to lose games and they’ve openly talked about getting looks at younger players. That leaves Derrick Rose questionable as well as Anthony. If they both sit, expect Mindaugas Kuzminskas to be a main beneficiary. Last time both Melo and Rose were out (Mar 23 at POR), Kuzminskas played 32 minutes as the starting small forward and he averages .756 DK points per minute on the year. Kristaps Porzingis’ usage rate also jumps from 25.9 percent on the year to a team-high 28.1 percent when Anthony and Rose are off the floor.
3. Malcolm Brogdon, PG, Bucks: OUT – We have a sample here as Brogdon missed two games earlier this month. In them, Matthew Dellavedvoa started at point guard but only played 26.3 minutes per night and averaged 16.6 DK points per game. A sneakier option is veteran Jason Terry, who bumped up to 25.3 minutes with Brogdon and netted 15.8 DK points per game. Both are low-upside punts at bare-bones price tags.
1. DeMarcus Cousins in a Perfect Storm
Just for a minute, let’s forget about the revenge factor here as Cousins faces the Kings for the first time since the blockbuster trade. This is an amazing spot anyway as a now-healthy Boogie is grossly underpriced at $9,600 as he comes off a 40-minute outing. He’s averaging 1.47 DK points per minute as Pelican and they still have a sliver of hope at the playoffs. They’re also at home, where assist/block/steal statistics are often inflated by New Orleans’ generous scorekeeper. Furthermore, the Kings interior defense is reeling since Cousins left – they’re giving up 8.1 more DK points per game than salary-based expectation to centers priced over $6,000 in March (via Fantasy Labs). Now let’s add in extra motivation against a Sacramento franchise that didn’t always do Cousins right, and it’s a perfect storm.
SITUATIONS TO CAPITALIZE ON
1. Grizzlies Thinned Out by Injury
Marc Gasol (foot) and JaMychal Green (shoulder) are both out again. Guard Andrew Harrison, averaging 16.2 minutes per game in March, is also questionable due to an ankle injury suffered Wednesday. It sets up a situation where the Grizz will have some very cheap players thrust into big roles. The cheapest of the bunch is James Ennis ($3,200), who started at power forward last game and played 32 minutes. He only averages .645 DK points per minute on the season, but he’ll have the advantage of being on the floor without high-usage bigs in Gasol and Zach Randolph (likely to come off bench). Another cheap big is Branden Wright, who I mentioned on Wednesday and went on to score 23.5 DK points in 27 minutes. His price has remained very low at $3,400 for a projected starting center. Veterans Vince Carter ($4,000) and Tony Allen ($4,300) have minute projections in the 32-34 range despite old legs.
SITUATIONS TO FADE
1. Rockets in a Weary Spot
I noted in the DK Live news feed Thursday morning about the tough spot the Rockets were in Thursday night. Now it’s even worse as Friday night marks their third game in four nights and a back-to-back road spot. On top of that, they have little motivation as they’re essentially locked into the West’s No. 3 seed. So James Harden, clearly bothered by his jammed shooting wrist, is someone I wanted no part of Thursday night and certainly don’t want to pay $12,200 for against the Warriors Friday night. It’s also a scary spot for Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon, who have been logging huge minutes in the absence of Ryan Anderson (back). The lone Rocket I would consider taking a GPP shot on is Montrezl Harrell, who is stone minimum $3,000 and projects for around 20 minutes with Nene (rest) out. Starting center Clint Capela only averages 25.6 minutes per game and Harrell nets a strong .951 DK points per minute.
CASH GAME CONSIDERATIONS
(No particular order)
PG: Kemba Walker, T.J. McConnell, Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, Matthew Dellavedova
SG: Nik Stauskas, Jrue Holiday, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, Lou Williams, James Ennis
SF: Gordon Hayward, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Mindaugas Kuzminskas (if Carmelo and Rose are both out)
PF: Anthony Davis, Brandan Wright, Draymond Green, Zach Randolph, Marcus Morris
C: DeMarcus Cousins, Nik Vucevic, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert
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.