Game Flow Notes
HIGH Total – Suns vs. Timberwolves- The total in this game is 218 and has a spread of 6. There will be a lot of young talent on display in this one and should provide some great value. Brandon Knight is back from injury and seeing his pre-injury usage rate of 27%. I have him projected at 35 DKFP tonight and think he should easily hit that mark in a higher scoring matchup against Minnesota. The Wolves have been all about Ricky Rubio, and he has put up some monster games lately, averaging 41.9 DKFP in his last 4. He doesn’t have a great usage rate, but he can fill up a stat sheet and averages about 8 assists a game.
LOW Total – Celtics vs. Clippers- The total in this game is 210 (4th lowest of the night) with a spread of 2.5. Isaiah Thomas remains the play for the Celtics, as he has a usage rate of 29% and is seeing about 35 MPG. Because of those numbers, I have him projected at 35 DKFP on the evening. DeAndre Jordan had a monster game last night and has the opportunity to replicate that performance against the Celtics. He has a low usage rate of 15%, but he can get 20 rebounds a game, especially against the weak interior of the Boston Celtics.
Pace of Play
|Away Team||Away Pace||Home Team||Home Pace||Avg Pace|
|New York||97.20||New Orleans||100.50||98.85|
HIGH PACE – Kings vs. Trail Blazers- The projected game pace in this one is 101.7. The Kings may be without DeMarcus Cousins who is doubtful tonight, which should give way for Kosta Koufos to make for a great value play yet again. Koufos should see about 20 minutes tonight and a usage of 15%. The Blazers will continue to ride Damian Lillard. He is coming off of two sub-35 DKFP games, but Lillard still has a usage rate of 30%. I have trouble finding reasons not to play Dame on a nightly basis.
LOW PACE – Lakers vs. Jazz- The projected game pace in this one is 97.2. I can’t find any reason to play any Lakers at this point in time. On the other side of the court, the big men for Utah are in a really great spot against a weak Lakers interior defense. We should see a lot of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors tonight, as both guys see a usage rate over 20% and are a threat to double-double on a nightly basis.
|Probable||Paul Millsap (ATL), Pau Gasol (CHI), Taj Gibson (CHI), LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS), Damian Lillard (POR), Jrue Holiday (NO)|
|Questionable||Jon Leuer (PHO), Tyson Chandler (PHO), Kenneth Faried (DEN), Nick Young (LAL)|
|Doubtful||Manu Ginobili (SAS), Tim Duncan (SAS), Tony Parker (SAS), Deron Williams (DAL), Zach Randolph (MEM), Larry Nance, Jr. (LAL), Zach Randolph (MEM)|
|Out||Anthony Davis (NO), Ryan Anderson (NO), Chandler Parsons (DAL), P.J. Hairston (MEM), Mike Conley (MEM), Meyers Leonard (POR), Jae Crowder (BOS), Blake Griffin (LAC), Kawhi Leonard (SAS), Marco Belinelli (SAC), DeMarcus Cousins (SAC), Rajon Rondo (SAC), Rudy Gay (SAC), Goran Dragic (MIA), Terrence Ross (TOR)|
Editor’s Note (6:04 PM ET): Goran Dragic is OUT of tonight’s game against Brooklyn. Dwyane Wade ($6,500) will likely receive a boost in both minutes and usage rate tonight. Also, Josh Richardson ($4,200) is a likely beneficiary of Dragic’s absence. He’s played 34 and 33 minutes in his last two games, averaging 27.75 DKFP. Look for Richardson to see an increase in usage when he’s on the floor tonight.
Editor’s Note (3 PM ET): DeMarcus Cousins (35.4pct USG), Rudy Gay (22.2pct USG), Rajon Rondo (18.8pct USG) and Marco Belinelli (19.7pct USG) are all OUT tonight for the Kings. Overall, the four players ruled out account for four of the five highest usage rates on Sacramento this season. This team isn’t very good to start and sitting their three best players tonight won’t help much. The upside is that guys like Seth Curry, Darren Collison, Kosta Koufos, Willie Cauley-Stein and Omri Casspi should all benefit. As a tournament flier, Seth Curry is especially interesting. He’s averaged over 21 DK FPPG over the last two games in 24.5 minutes per game.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Shelvin Mack (UTA) vs. Los Angeles Lakers-The Lakers are ranked 30th against opposing PGs. Mack has been great since taking over the starting role in Utah. He has a usage rate of 21% and is averaging 25 DKFP a game. I have him projected at 30+ DKFP tonight, and I think he makes a great cash game play on the evening.
WORST – Chris Paul (LAC) vs. Boston Celtics- The Celtics are ranked 1st against opposing PGs. However, this shouldn’t be a problem for Paul, who has a usage rate of 26% and is seeing over 35 MPG. Last game against the Celtics, Paul put up 70.8 DKFP. While this is a lofty mark and may be difficult to repeat, I have Chris Paul projected to be a top five fantasy point scorer on the night.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Zach LaVine (MIN) vs. Phoenix Suns- The Suns are ranked 30th against opposing SGs. LaVine has been great since getting the start at SG, and he is seeing a usage rate of 20%. I look for him to put up 35 DKFP tonight, but I do think he will be a very popular play due to price.
“He only averages about 19.1 DKFP a game, and he may not even reach that mark tonight”
WORST – Tony Allen (MEM) vs. San Antonio Spurs- The Spurs are ranked 1st against opposing SGs. Tony Allen isn’t a guy I usually focus on, especially in slower matchups, and tonight is no different. He has a usage rate of 13% and is a defensive minded player. He only averages about 19.1 DKFP a game, and he may not even reach that mark tonight.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Gordon Hayward (UTAH) vs. Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers are ranked 28th against opposing SFs. Hayward has a usage rate of 26.5% and is seeing 35 MPG. I have him projected at 35 DKFP tonight, and he should be able to hit that mark in great matchup.
WORST – Matt Barnes (MEM) vs. San Antonio Spurs- The Spurs are ranked 1st against opposing SFs. Barnes has been great for the Grizzlies and has seen a usage rate of about 18% with everyone injured. He has been producing about 30 DKFP nightly, but I think it will be difficult to reach that mark tonight against the tough Spurs defense.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Darrell Arthur (DEN) vs. Dallas Mavericks- The Mavericks are ranked 27th against opposing PFs. Arthur has hit value over the last 4 games while seeing about 20 MPG. He has a usage rate of 14%, which restricts the amount of fantasy points he can put up. He will likely get you 20 DKFP, but that won’t be enough to win a GPP.
“[He] has hit value over the last 4 games, seeing about 20 MPG“
WORST – Julius Randle (LAL) vs. Utah Jazz- The Jazz are ranked 2nd against opposing PFs. Randle had a rough outing last night, only putting up 27 DKFP. He has a tougher game tonight against one of the best defensive PFs in the game, Derrick Favors. Even though Randle is averaging 30 MPG in March, I just don’t think he will score enough to make him worth rostering.
BEST – Robin Lopez (NYK) vs. New Orleans Pelicans- The Pelicans are ranked 29th against opposing centers. My rule of thumb: always play centers against the Pelicans. Lopez is coming off of two poor fantasy outings, but he will look to turn that around tonight against the awful interior defense of the Pelicans. He should easily be able to hit value with 33 MPG and an 18% usage rate, and I have him projected at 35 DKFP tonight.
WORST – Roy Hibbert (LAL) vs. Utah Jazz- The Jazz are ranked 2nd against opposing centers. Same story, same song with Hibbert. Roy has a single digit usage rate and is averaging single digit point production on the season. There isn’t much else to say but look elsewhere tonight.
|Player Targets||Levitan's Leverage||Cheat Sheet|
|Game Breakdowns||Click For More||Tournament Plays|
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Kevin Durant ($10,000) – Durant has a good matchup tonight against the Raptors. Westbrook will have his hands full with Lowry, which will open up more scoring opportunities for KD. Durant has a usage rate of 32% and is averaging 50.2 DKFP a game. I don’t think he’ll have an issue hitting his season average tonight.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Jusuf Nurkic ($4,100) – I could have easily put Kosta Koufos here with DeMarcus Cousins doubtful, but I wanted us to look outside of the obvious. Nurkic has been ballin’ lately with over 30 DKFP in the last two games. He is seeing 25 MPG and has a usage rate of 25% when on the court. These are numbers that should allow him to reach that 30 DKFP mark at a relatively low ownership.
Dud of the Night
Julius Randle ($6,400) – Randle cooled off last night against a mediocre Wizards team. Tonight he gets one of the best PFs in the game, Derrick Favors. Randle is seeing 31 MPG and has a usage rate of 21%, but, given the matchup with the Jazz, I don’t see him reaching value. I need 35-40 DKFP from Randle to make him playable in GPPs tonight, and I don’t have him projected to surpass 30 DKFP.
*DKFP DraftKings Fantasy Points