Everything you need to know for tonight’s NBA slate is right here. Let’s get right into it!
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Game Flow Notes
HIGH O/U – Rockets vs. Nuggets – High scoring and only a -5 spread, this game should produce a lot of fantasy goodness. The total is 208.5 and the highest scoring game of the night so far. The Beard (James Harden) has a great matchup and should dominate. I also like where the Manimal (Kenneth Faried) sets up as a value play tonight.
LOW O/U – Jazz vs. Spurs – No surprise here, the two slowest teams and two of the best defensive teams come in at the lowest o/u. The total for tonight is set at 187. Other than Kawhi and maybe Derrick Favors I am staying away from this game. This one should be to much of a grind out than a basketball game. Look for rebounds and blocks, but no points.
Pace of Play
HIGH PACE – Suns vs. Mavericks – The Suns and Mavs should also be a high scoring affair based on game pace. The projected gameplay pace in this one is 102.3. This is the fastest pace of the night and will be controlled by the two guards for the Suns. Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight both posted monster numbers yesterday. They will look to replicate their performances tonight.
LOW PACE – Heat vs. Hawks – The Heat have frequented the slow pace column over the past couple of weeks. With a 95.5 projected game pace, this is the 2nd slowest game of the night (see the Jazz and Spurs for extra slow). This game shapes up as a battle for the post as Millsap/Horford and Bosh/Whiteside look to defend their designated area.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
TARGET – Damian Lillard vs. Jrue Holiday – Lillard is the main scoring threat for the Trailblazers (even with the addition of C.J. McCollum). The Pelican’s can’t guard PGs and are 29th in the league against them. Lillard should have his way with the Pelicans tonight.
AVOID – Jeff Teague vs. Goran Dragic – Dragic has had a terrible offensive year (are you tired of me saying that yet), but he has been great defensively. The Heat are ranked 1st against opposing PGs. Teague has been up and down, but a lot of his inconsistency has to do with injury. There are a lot better matchups tonight.
Shooting Guard Matchups
TARGET – James Harden vs. Gary Harris/Will Barton – The Beard should have his way with Denver tonight. The first outing against the Nuggets, Harden had 51 DK points. The Rockets are in desperate need of wins and will look to get an easy one (should be) tonight.
AVOID – Alec Burks vs. Danny Green – Danny Green and the Spurs are locking down all positions as of late. Burks has thrived in his role off of the bench and has been playing more minutes than the starter. Tonight is probably the night to look elsewhere, however.
Small Forward Matchups
TARGET – Danilo Gallinari vs. Trevor Ariza – The Rockets are 28th against the SF position. Gallinari is one of the only scoring threats (sorry Will Barton) for the Nuggets. During their first game, Galli met value with 32.70 DK points. Look for a repeat and maybe even the ability to exceed value tonight.
AVOID – Gordon Hayward vs. Kawhi Leonard – By the Finals this year we will all understand that you never play the player matched up against Kawhi. Hayward has really turned it on over the past couple of weeks, but the matchup is terrible. Look for the best defender in the league to lock down Hayward tonight.
Power Forward Matchups
TARGET – Jon Leuer vs. Dirk Nowitzki – DraftKings is also starting to see Jon Leuer’s worth as his price has hit an all-time high, $5,900. However, I still like him tonight against a Dallas team that struggles with PFs. Leuer has seen of 27 minutes in the last 5 outings and is getting court usage. I like his chances to hit value again tonight.
AVOID – Derrick Favors vs. LaMarcus Aldridge – If you read my article regularly you know how high I am on Derrick Favors. Favors is a great defender and a great source of scoring for the Jazz. Unfortunately, Favors is matched up with a great defender tonight. I love both of these guys as players, but won’t be using them in what should be a highly contested defensive battle.
TARGET – Jahlil Okafor vs. Pau Gasol – Okafor threw up 42 DK fantasy points last night. This is one of his strongest showings since the early part of the season. Tonight he gets the Bulls, who have been horrific against the C position. If the 76ers want to stay in this one, Okafor is going to have to get going early and often.
AVOID – Marc Gasol vs. Marcin Gortat – The Polish Hammer has been hammering the post this year. The Wizards are ranked 4th against opposing Cs. I really want to love Gasol, but I feel like his inconsistency has severely affected my DFS game. I am staying away tonight.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Anthony Davis ($10,600) – The Brow had two back-to-back underwhelming performances, but followed those up with a 50 DK point outing. Tonight he is projected well over 50 fantasy points and has great chance to exceed value.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Alexis Ajinca ($3,400) – Ajinca should draw the start tonight and he is at a great price. With 20 DK points needed for value, he will get the minutes and the usage to hit value.
Dud of the Night
Deron Williams ($6,600) – Deron is questionable tonight due to illness. He has had a great year, so if he plays he may be able to hit value. Make sure you check the injury list tonight.