Game Flow Notes
HIGH O/U – Thunder vs. Spurs- The total in this one is 204.5 with a spread of 8. Russell Westbrook amazed the masses last night, as he went for a triple-double before the half against the Lakers. Both Westbrook and Durant are doubtful due to rest tonight. If they sit out, fire up Enes Kanter, who should be good for 30+ minutes, a 25% usage rate, and 30+ DKFP. The Spurs will probably do the same as the Thunder and possibly rest their starters. If this is the case make sure you are checking lineups/news so that you can grab the true value from this game.
LOW O/U – Grizzlies vs. Clippers- The total in this game is 199 with a spread of 8, as well. The Grizzlies are terrible, but are a playoff team (I don’t understand it either). The Grizz will rely on Matt Barnes to help them take down his old team tonight. Barnes put up 47 points the last game and will try to replicate that total tonight with an 19% usage rate. I doubt anybody sits for the Clips tonight, which means that Chris Paul is in play. Paul has a usage rate of 25.6% (which has dropped due to Blake Griffin’s return). Paul is averaging over 42 DKFP a game and should come in close to his season average if he gets a full slate of minutes tonight.
Pace of Play
HIGH PACE – 76ers vs. Raptors – The projected game pace in this game is 97.5 and the fastest on the night. The 76ers have welcomed Nerlens Noel back with open arms as he has seen two games over 30 DKFP. He should see 30+ minutes tonight and a usage rate of 20%. I have him projected at 30+ DKFP tonight. Who knows what the Raptors will do, as they have been resting people the last two weeks. If Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan rest, look for Norman Powell to pick up the slack. The last game Lowry and DeRozan sat, Powell put up 39 DKFP. If they sit, Powell will have a usage rate of 25% and should be able to replicate the previous performance.
LOW PACE – Heat vs. Pistons- This is the slowest projected game on the night with a pace of 95.2. The Heat are locked into the playoffs and have been letting guys “take it easy” on court. I still like Hassan Whiteside tonight, as he will be needed to contain Andre Drummond. Whiteside has put up 40 DKFP in the last two games and will see a 21% usage rate tonight. I have him projected at 40+ DKFP again this evening. For the Pistons, it is still the Andre Drummond Show. Drummond loves when he gets to play against true big men like Whiteside. He struggled against Washington the last game and only put up 22 DKFP. I think we see a 30 minutes, a 24% usage and 40+ DKFP tonight.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Kyle Lowry (TOR) vs. Philadelphia 76ers-The 76ers are ranked 28th against opposing PGs. My fear here is that Lowry will rest. If he does, look for Norman Powell and Corey Joseph to pick up the slack. Lowry has a usage rate of 23% and is seeing 35 DKFP a game. If he plays, he has a great matchup, but I highly doubt he sees the court.
WORST – Reggie Jackson (DET) vs. Miami Heat- The Heat are ranked 2nd against opposing PGs. Jackson’s inconsistency has driven me crazy all season. He put up 57 DKFP against the Wizards last game, but he hadn’t seen close to that in 13 games. However, I still like his 29% usage rate, and I still think we see 30+ DKFP from him tonight.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Danny Green (SAS) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder- The Thunder are ranked 23rd against opposing SGs. Green doesn’t make my short list of must plays this evening. He is only averaging 18 DKFP a game and is seeing a 13% usage rate. I won’t be rolling Green out tonight.
WORST – Andre Roberson (OKC) vs. San Antonio Spurs- The Spurs are ranked 1st against opposing SGs. The SG spot is a wasteland tonight, and I definitely won’t have any Andre Roberson. Roberson is seeing a single digit season points average and a single digit usage rate… no thank you.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Norman Powell (SG) (TOR) vs. Philadelphia 76ers- The 76ers are ranked 29th against opposing SFs. This is my play of the night if Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan rest. Powell is very talented and has the ability to score a lot. If the two main guys sit Powell should see a 25% usage rate and be good for 30+ DKFP at a value price. Watch the lineup news because Powell may be a must play.
WORST – Kevin Durant (OKC) vs. San Antonio Spurs- The Spurs are ranked 1st against opposing SFs. Usually, I wouldn’t mind playing Durant vs the Spurs because I feel like he is matchup proof. However, tonight I have a strong feeling that he will rest. If he plays he sees 40+ DKFP and a 30% usage rate, but I wouldn’t make that a guarantee tonight.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Jason Thompson (TOR) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – The 76ers are ranked 28th against opposing PFs. With Luis Scola probably resting, Thompson should get all the minutes. When he gets usage and minutes, he can put up points. If Scola does sit, I have Thompson projected at 30 DKFP and a 15% usage rate. Which isn’t bad at all for his value price.
WORST – Serge Ibaka (OKC) vs. San Antonio Spurs The Spurs are ranked 3rd against opposing PFs. Ibaka has been a letdown for most of the season. He is listed as doubtful currently, so he should be monitored. If he does play (unlikely) I still only project about 20 DKFP and a 13% usage rate.
BEST – Jonas Valanciunas (TOR) vs. Philadelphia 76ers- The 76ers are ranked 30th against opposing centers. JoVal could make for a nice play if the other big names for Toronto rest. However, he may be a candidate for rest himself. I think he will see a 22% usage rate and 30 DKFP tonight.
WORST – Steven Adams/Enes Kanter (OKC) vs. San Antonio Spurs- The Spurs are ranked 3rd against opposing centers. This is another case of the “ifs”. If the big name guys for the Thunder rest, Adams and Kanter make great plays. If everyone plays then they should both see about 20 minutes and a 15% usage rate.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Chris Paul ($8,800)- I think Paul will play, and if he does, he should be the top fantasy scorer. He has a great matchup against Memphis and will continue to see a high usage rate. I am going with 40+ DKFP on the evening.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Jerami Grant ($4,800) – Look, I have a feeling the value flood gates will open up about 6:30 PM. However, right now Grant is my lock. With Noel back, he is more effective and he put up 35 DKFP last game. I have him projected at 30 DKFP in a matchup that doesn’t matter to anyone but the young guys, like Jerami Grant.
Dud of the Night
Paul George ($8,500) – George is another candidate for rest and a guy that I feel like will come in way under value tonight. He will still see a usage rate of about 33% if he plays, but I don’t think he will see a lot of minutes. I am tracking P.G. and a lot of other guys for this specific reason.
*DKFP DraftKings Fantasy Points