Game Flow Notes
HIGH O/U – Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers- The total in this one is 214 and the spread is 5. The Trail Blazers will use Damian Lillard as their main, ‘go to’ guy. Lillard has a usage rate of 30% and is posting 40+ DKFP a game. I have him projected at 40 DKFP tonight. The Clippers will look to Chris Paul for the same results. I think he is the 50 DKFP guy tonight and one that will definitely be in my lineups.
LOW O/U – Jazz vs. Thunder- This is the lowest total on the night at 199.5 with a spread of 9.5. The Jazz will look to their two bigs, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert for production. Both guys have a usage rate over 20% and will try to reach a 30 DKFP total this evening. For the Thunder it’s simple….play Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. There is no need to overthink this when both guys have close to 30% usage rates.
Pace of Play
|Away Team||Away Pace||Home Team||Home Pace||Avg Pace|
HIGH PACE – Pelicans vs. Pacers- The projected game pace in this one is 100.8. The Pelicans will ride Jrue Holiday and his usage rate of nearly 40%. He put up 49 DKFP last game and should be on pace for 40+ tonight. The Pacers are the Paul George Show right now, and he should use his 30% usage rate to produce a nice game.
LOW PACE – Cavaliers vs. Nets- This is the slowest game on the night at a projected game pace of 97.4. All I can say about this one is King James. James is coming off of two 50+ DKFP performances. I have him projected at 50+ tonight, and he should hit that total. The Nets have been tougher to peg, as Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young are garnering most of the usage. I think they both come in at about 30 DKFP tonight.
|Probable||Jimmy Butler (CHI), Jordan Hill (IND)|
|Doubtful||Ryan Anderson (NO), Kyle Singler (OKC)|
|Out||Anthony Davis (NO), Norris Cole (NO), E'Twaun Moore (CHI), Meyers Leonard (POR), Jrue Holiday (NO), Pau Gasol (CHI)|
Editor’s Note (6:25 PM ET): Jrue Holiday is OUT tonight. The Pelicans will be without their five best players (Holiday, Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson) and there are some huge question marks here. Toney Douglas ($5,100) gets a boost and should be the primary ball handler tonight. Tim Frazier ($3,700) and Luke Babbitt ($4,000) will also stand to benefit and both have been putting up quality fantasy numbers over the past week or so.
*Editor’s Note (6:30 PM ET):*Cristiano Felicio will get the start tonight in place of Pau Gasol. It’s unclear how many minutes he will see, but at $3,000, he’s a great value. Look for Nikola Mirotic to see an increased usage rate as well, as he tries to build on his 49.0 DKFP performance last night. Taj Gibson will likely see an increase role as well. Without Pau Gasol in the lineup, Gibson averages 4 more fantasy points per game.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Jose Calderon (NYK) vs. Chicago Bulls-The Bulls are ranked 28th against opposing PGs. Calderon put up 31 DKFP last night against this same Chicago Bulls team. He has a usage rate of a measly 13%, but he is able to fill up other stat categories, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see 6+ assists tonight.
“Lillard is averaging 40+ DKFP a game, and I have him projected to exceed that mark tonight”
WORST – Damian Lillard (POR) vs. Los Angeles Clippers- The Clippers are ranked 7th against opposing PGs. Lillard has been great for the Trail Blazers this season and boasts a usage rate of 30%. Lillard is averaging 40+ DKFP a game, and I have him projected to exceed that mark tonight. I am not worried about the matchup in this one due to the usage rate.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Monta Ellis (IND) vs. New Orleans Pelicans- The Pelicans are ranked 26th against opposing SGs. Ellis has been on a string of nice performances, only producing 2 duds in the last 8 games. He is seeing over 35 mpg and has a usage rate of 21%. I love his 6.1K price tonight and think that he should easily get to 30 DKFP.
WORST – Andre Roberson/Dion Waiters (OKC) vs. Utah Jazz- The Jazz are ranked 2nd against opposing SGs. Roberson and Waiters are simply role players for a team that features two of the NBA’s elites. Both guys have usage rates under 15% and are averaging less than 20 DKFP a game. These are two guys to easily stay away from tonight.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Carmelo Anthony (NYK) vs. Chicago Bulls- The Bulls are ranked 26th against opposing SFs. Carmelo put up 35 DKFP against the Bulls last night, but he would like to see more. My only concern here is that he is banged up and has a usage rate of 25%. He isn’t questionable tonight, but the Knicks could sit him due to the back-to-back. If he goes, he should be a lock for 35+ DKFP on the evening.
“Durant is basically matchup proof with a 29 percent usage rate”
WORST – Kevin Durant (OKC) vs. Utah Jazz – The Jazz are ranked 2nd against opposing SFs. Durant is basically matchup proof with a 29% usage rate and averaging over 45 DKFP a game. He is one of the guys every season that is in play every night on DK. I wouldn’t shy away from him tonight and think he is a definite cash play.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) vs. Chicago Bulls- The Bulls are ranked 24th against opposing PFs. Porzingis put up 44.5 DKFP point against the Bulls last night. Porzingis has a 20% usage rate and is averaging 25 DKFP a game after a phenomenal start to the season. I think we could see a repeat of last night in a great matchup.
WORST – Thaddeus Young (BKN) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavaliers are ranked 1st against opposing PFs. Young has a usage rate of 18% and is averaging 30 DKFP a game. He has become one of the main scorers for this Nets team and should still see about 30 DKFP on the evening.
BEST – Ian Mahinmi (IND) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – The Pelicans are ranked 29th against opposing centers. Mahinmi is coming off of an injury and is seeing over 30 MPG now. I have him projected at 30 DKFP tonight, but his 12% usage rate concerns me a little bit. I think he may see close to his projected total tonight.
WORST – Brook Lopez (BKN) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs are ranked 1st against opposing centers. Brook has a 22% usage rate for the injured Nets and is averaging 36 DKFP a game. He will shoulder most of the rebounding and scoring responsibility against a good Cavaliers defense. I have him projected at 40 DKFP tonight.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Chris Paul ($9,500) – Yes, Russell Westbrook is on this slate, but I have Paul projected slightly higher, and I like his price better. Paul has a usage rate of 30% and is averaging 40+ DKFP a game. He has a great matchup tonight against the Trail Blazers, and I have him projected at 50 DKFP on the evening.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Mason Plumlee ($4,700) – I am sticking with my man Mason here. Plumlee has hit value on back-to-back nights. He has another nice matchup tonight and should have the opportunity to hit 30 DKFP. I will stop picking him when he stops producing (or the price goes up).
Dud of the Night
Pau Gasol ($7,600) – Kyrie fooled me yesterday and ended up posting a nice line. Gasol is coming off of an injury and still looked hampered by it last night. He only put up 20 DKFP, and I have him projected under his 42 DKFP average again tonight. I think he has a tough game against a rejuvenated Robin Lopez.
*DKFP DraftKings Fantasy Points