Game Flow Notes

Vegas Lines

HIGH O/U Suns vs. Nuggets- The matchup with the most value tonight boasts a total of 214 and a spread of -7.5. Brandon Knight was dressed for the game last night, but did not play. If he plays tonight he will probably face a 20 minute playing time restriction, but he could see more scoring opportunities given the game environment here. Alex Len has put up 50+ DKFP in 2 of the last 3 games. He has a usage rate of 20.1 and shouldn’t be limited by Knight’s return. On the Nuggets side, Nikola Jokic has seen similar results to Alex Len, and he has a usage rate of 20.9. He is averaging 35 DKFP over the last 4 games, and he should reach that mark in this due to a combination of the poor Suns defense and the expected total.

LOW O/UHawks vs. Raptors- This game has the lowest total of the night at 199 and a -4 spread. Kyle Lowry has been phenomenal for the Raptors, and he is seeing 39 minutes per game with a usage rate of 23. I have him projected at 40+ DKFP tonight, even with the expected low total points. The Hawks have utilized Paul Millsap to provide most of their scoring. He has a usage rate of 23.8 and is averaging 40 DraftKings Fantasy Points (DKFP) a game. Toronto is good against opposing PFs, and this is projected to be more of a defensive, slow game, so Millsap will have to work for the 35+ DKFP I have him projected at tonight.

Pace of Play

Away TeamAway PaceHome TeamHome PaceAvg Pace
Chicago101.30San Antonio97.1099.20

HIGH PACE Bulls vs. Spurs – This is the 2nd fastest game on the evening with an overall projected game pace of 97.3. Jimmy Butler is out on the night, which means more usage for Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol. Gasol has put up 2 60 DKFP performances in his last 2 games. He is projected closer to 40 DKFP tonight, but could see a rise in usage if Bobby Portis is sidelined. The Spurs have been riding LaMarcus Aldridge who also has 2 45+ DKFP games in his last 2. He should see a decline in his 24.4 usage rate with the return of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker from rest.

Should you consider LeBron tonight in his final game against Kobe Bryant? Find out in the Thursday night NBA Targets

LOW PACE Cavaliers vs. Lakers- The slowest game on the evening has a projected game pace of 95.3. Lebron James is in a phenomenal spot tonight against the 27th ranked team against SFs. The King has a usage rate of 27.5 and average 45 DKFP a game. He is close to a must play tonight. The Lakers will ride their combo guards in D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. Russell and Clarkson both have usage rates of 20 and have recently started averaging an almost identical 30 DKFP a game.

Injury Watch

OutDanilo Gallinari (DEN), Lou Williams (LAL)
DoubtfulJimmy Butler (CHI)
QuestionableBrandon Knight (PHO), Timofey Mozgov (CLE), Kobe Bryant (LAL)
ProbableTony Parker (SAS), Bobby Portis (CHI)

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST Kyrie Irving (CLE) vs. Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers are a league’s worst 30th against opposing PGs. Irving has a 25.8 usage rate and is the 2nd option to LeBron James. He is averaging 30 DKFP, and I have him projected at 40 DKFP tonight.

WORSTJeff Teague (ATL) vs. Toronto Raptors- Teague has seen his usage rate cut in half due to the emergence of Dennis Schroder, and the Raptors are ranked 3rd against opposing PGs. Teague is only averaging about 27 DKFP a game, so his inconsistency, the poor matchup, and his low usage rate worry me on a short slate.

Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST Gary Harris (DEN) vs. Phoenix Suns- The Suns are ranked 30th against opposing SGs. Harris is playing 32 minutes per game, and now with Danilo Gallinari sidelined, he has seen his usage rate rise above 15. I have him projected at 25+ DKFP, and this fits with his current trend of hitting value in his last 5 outings.

WORST E’Twaun Moore (CHI) vs. San Antonio Spurs- The Spurs are ranked 2nd against opposing SGs. Moore will get the start for an injured Jimmy Butler, but his 13.9 usage rate should only rise slightly. While his $4,400 salary is attractive tonight, I have him projected slightly under value at 20 DKFP.

Small Forward Matchups

BEST Jakaar Sampson (DEN) vs. Phoenix Suns Sampson has drawn the start for an injured Danilo Gallinari, but is only seeing about 20 minutes of court time. The Suns are ranked 28th against opposing SFs. However, Sampson’s average of 10 DKFP a game should be an indicator of his underwhelming performance. I have him projected for 15 DKFP, and that likely won’t be enough to help you in cash or GPP’s.

WORSTMike Dunleavy (CHI) vs. San Antonio Spurs- Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs are ranked 1st against opposing SFs. Dunleavy has seen an uptick in usage due to all of the Chicago injuries, and he now boasts a usage rate of 15. Dunleavy’s scoring depends on his actual scoring output, and he is only averaging 18 DKFP a game. I think this is close to his potential tonight, as I predict a 15 DKFP performance.

Power Forward Matchups

BEST LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS) vs. Chicago Bulls – The Bulls are ranked 24th against opposing PFs. LaMarcus has put up monster numbers in the last 3, including a 50 DKFP outing. He has a usage rate of 21.8 and is averaging 43 DKFP over the last 5 games. Given his usage rate and current form, I think he’ll reach that 40 DKFP mark.

WORSTJulius Randle (LAL) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavaliers are ranked 1st in the league against opposing PFs. Randle has produced close to value in his last 7 games. His usage rate is closer to 20 when Kobe Bryant sits, and he is averaging 30 DKFP. My fear tonight is that Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson will live up to their defensive rating and lock Randle down.

Center Matchups

TARGET Tim Duncan (SAS) vs. Chicago Bulls- The Bulls are ranked 26th against opposing Cs. Duncan is coming off a rest day and should see his full complement of minutes. He averages 25 minutes a game and 25 DKFP a game. He should easily reach this mark tonight, as I have him projected at 25 DKFP.

AVOIDRoy Hibbert (LAL) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavaliers are ranked 1st against opposing Centers. Timofey Mozgov may be out tonight, but Tristan Thompson provides the same type of defense. Hibbert has a pitiful usage rate of 11 and is only averaging 17 DKFP a game. He should be considered a non-factor tonight.

Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

LeBron James – CLE @ LAL – $9,800 – It is refreshing to see a high usage superstar under $10k. James has a usage rate of 27.5 and is averaging 45 DKFP a game. In this featherweight matchup, he could easily post a 50 burger. If the game remains close I wouldn’t be surprised to see him put up 60 DKFP tonight.

Save Big Bucks by Drafting

Marcelo Huertas – LAL vs. CLE – $3,500 – Huertas is the definition of a GPP punt tonight. With Kobe Bryant and Lou Williams sidelined, Huertas has seen an increase in his playing time. He should see a usage rate of about 15 tonight, and I have him projected at 20 DKFP. If he can provide this type of value, he will allow you to stack superstars in your lineup.

Dud of the Night

Derrick Rose – CHI @ SA – $6,300 – I have a feeling that a lot of people will use Rose tonight, due to the absence of Jimmy Butler. Rose gets a tough matchup against the 4th ranked Spurs defense and will have a hard time exploiting a rested Tony Parker. I only have him projected at about 30 DKFP, and at his price point, I don’t think he hits value.

*DKFP – DraftKings Fantasy Points