Game Flow Notes
HIGH O/U – Pelicans vs. Warriors- The highest total on the night is 226.5 with a spread of 15.5. Obviously, the spread is of concern as this game definitely looks like a blowout. Stephen Curry and Draymond Green will both try to replicate their 40+ DKFP average in 3 quarters. If the Pelican’s want to stay in the game, they will need a lot of Anthony Davis. Davis is averaging 45 DKFP on the season and has a usage rate of 24.5. This game could also provide some sneaky value if it does turn into a blowout.
LOW O/U – Mavericks vs. Hornets- The lowest total on the night is 210 points with a 6.5 point spread. The Hornets have been on a tear lately, riding the hot hand of Kemba Walker. Walker has averaged 50+ DKFP in March, and I have him projected at 40+ today. He always seems to play better at home, averaging 3 more points on the season at home. The Mavericks are still all about the Dirk. Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 31 DKFP per game this season and still boasts a usage rate of 21% at the ripe age of 37.
Pace of Play
|Away Team||Away Pace||Home Team||Home Pace||Avg Pace|
|New Orleans||100.50||Golden State||104.00||102.25|
HIGH PACE – Timberwolves vs. Suns –The third fastest game on the night, this one has a projected game pace of 100.25. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of Timberwolves players in lineups tonight, as all 5 positions have positive matchups. Karl-Anthony Towns has had a strong rookie season, averaging 21 and 12 on the season. He should see over 35 minutes tonight and has the potential to easily put up 50 DKFP. The Suns are trying to develop Alex Len into the next big man star. Len put up 45+ against the defending champs last game and will look to produce another 40 DKFP game this evening.
LOW PACE – Cavaliers vs. Jazz- This is easily the slowest game of the night with a projected game pace of 96.4. The Cavs will look for most of their scoring from LeBron James. James has come in slightly under value the last 4 games averaging 45 DKFP. He will have a tough matchup tonight against a Jazz team that excels at slowing down their opponent and preventing scoring opportunities. I have him projected at 35 DKFP tonight. The Jazz will use Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert to keep the game close. Gobert is coming off of a horrendous 12 point performance last night, so I think he’ll turn it around. Both guys are averaging over 30+ DKFP a game.
Injuries to Watch
|Out||Danilo Gallinari (DEN), Mike Conley (MEM), Chris Andersen (MEM), Andre Iguodala (GSW), Alexis Ajinca (NO), Zach Randolph (MEM), Gordon Hayward (UTA), Derrick Rose (CHI), Dion Waiters (OKC)|
|Doubtful||Pau Gasol (CHI), Mike Dunleavy (CHI)|
|Questionable||Dwyane Wade (MIA), Bradley Beal (WAS), Vince Carter (MEM), Dion Waiters (OKC), Norris Cole (NO), Lance Stephenson (MEM), Bradley Beal (WAS), Jusuf Nurkic (DEN)|
|Probable||Jimmy Butler (CHI), Jodie Meeks (DET), Joffrey Lauvergne (DEN)|
Editor’s Note (3:40 PM ET): Gordon Hayward is OUT tonight for the Jazz. He has a 25.9 percent usage rate this season and his absence opens up some opportunities for others to step up. Trey Burke and Rodney Hood both have the highest usage rates this season when Hayward has been off the floor. Hood is particularly interesting as his minutes have stayed relatively high but his usage and fantasy production has dropped considerably in recent weeks. Hood has a 22.4 percent usage rate with Hayward on the floor this year compared to 26.1 percent usage with Hayward on the sidelines.
Editor’s Note (6:10 PM ET): Derrick Rose is OUT tonight, officially. Mike Dunleavy is also looking unlikely to play for the Bulls. With Rose, Dunleavy and Gasol out the Bulls are left extremely thin but they’re likely to still spread minutes out evenly across their healthy options. Nikola Mirotic ($4500) is going to start in place of Pau Gasol tonight and makes for an interesting value play and Jimmy Butler ($8,000) is an option as well as he returns from his second stint on the injury list this season.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Ricky Rubio (MIN) vs. Phoenix Suns- The Suns are ranked 29th against point guards. Rubio looked great last game against the Thunder, putting up 50 DKFP. He should see 30+ minutes tonight and a usage rate of about 20. I think he could easily exceed his 35 DKFP projection.
Starting point guards have averaged 43.08 DK FPPG vs. the Suns over the last three games
WORST – Emmanuel Mudiay (DEN) vs. Miami Heat- Thanks to Goran Dragic, the Heat are ranked 2nd against opposing PGs. Mudiay had a let down last game, only producing 12 DKFP. I think he will see close to his season average of 25 DKFP, as he should still see a usage rate of 21.9.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Zach LaVine (MIN) vs. Phoenix Suns- The Suns are ranked 30th against opposing shooting guards. LaVine has seen his usage rate jump to 23, as he has taken over the starting SG job. The 99.7 projected game pace bodes well for his style of play, and he makes for a great value play tonight at a $5,700 price tag.
WORST – JR Smith (CLE) vs. Utah Jazz – The Jazz are ranked 2nd against opposing SGs. With Kyrie back in the fold, and LeBron carrying his usual weight, Smith has seen a usage rate of about 15. He is averaging about 20 DKFP this season and should come in around the same amount tonight.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Matt Barnes (MEM) vs. Houston Rockets The Rockets are ranked 30th against opposing small forwards. Barnes had a massive 62 DKFP performance 2 games ago. He cooled off last game, but is still in a great spot. With all the injuries in Memphis, Barnes is seeing a usage rate of 21%. I have him projected at 25 DKFP tonight, but I feel like he could easily exceed 30 tonight.
WORST – LeBron James (CLE) vs. Utah Jazz- The Jazz are ranked 2nd against opposing SFs. LeBron is averaging 45 DKFP a game and has a usage rate of 27.5%. He makes for a strong cash play tonight, but should probably be limited in GPPs due to his lack of upside. I have him projected at 35+ DKFP tonight and slightly undervalue.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – JaMychal Green (MEM) vs. Houston Rockets – The Rockets are also ranked 30th against opposing PFs. Green’s price has slowly continued to rise which has made his value target higher than I would like. With Randolph sidelined, he is seeing a usage rate of about 18 and an average of 30 DKFP a game over the last 4 games. I have him projected at 25 DKFP tonight and feel pretty confident he will end up there.
WORST – Derrick Favors (UTAH) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavaliers are ranked 1st against opposing PFs. Favors is averaging 33 DKFP a game and has a usage rate of 21%. He is projected at 30+ DKFP tonight, and if Utah wants to stay in the game, he has to reach his average.
TARGET – Andrew Bogut (GSW) vs. New Orleans Pelicans- The Pelicans are ranked 29th against opposing centers. Bogut has a usage rate of about 14% and is sometimes overshadowed by the play of the “Big 3.” I think he sees about 20 DKFP tonight and may make for a low exposure GPP play.
AVOID – Rudy Gobert (UTAH) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs are ranked 1st against opposing centers. Gobert had a rough outing yesterday, but should produce close to 30 DKFP tonight. He is seeing over 32 mpg and will use that to pull down a lot of boards.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Russell Westbrook ($10,800)- It seems that Westy headlines this spot at least once a week. My projections have him at 60 DKFP tonight, and it’s not out of the question to see him go above that mark in a strong matchup against the Blazers. His 32.2% usage rate is one of the highest in the league, which puts him in position to fill up a stat sheet on a nightly basis.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Ray McCallum ($3,000) – McCallum should see about 30 minutes tonight for the injury riddled Grizzlies. In his first game since being signed by Memphis, McCallum had 27 DKFP in 27 minutes. The Grizzlies are still missing most of their pieces, and McCallum should be even better tonight with some more time in Memphis under his belt.
Dud of the Night
Kevin Love ($7,000) – Love gets a tough matchup tonight against the Jazz. He has a usage rate of 19% and is averaging 32 DKFP a game. I would love for him to start pulling down more rebounds, but I worry that Derrick Favors will lock him down tonight. At this price, it will be a challenge for Love to reach value.
DKFP = DraftKings Fantasy Points