Game Flow Notes

Vegas Lines

HIGH O/U Wizards vs. Trailblazers- The highest total of the night is 213.5 with a -5.5 spread. Both the Wizards and the Trailblazers are putting up over 100 points a game. The Wizards will rely heavily on John Wall to produce the scoring, as he has a usage rate of 24.8 and is averaging 42.2 fantasy points a game. The Trail Blazers will depend on Damian Lillard. Lillard has been phenomenal this season from a fantasy standpoint, as he has put up 1.13 fantasy points per minute on court.

LOW O/UHawks vs. Jazz- The lowest scoring game on the night boasts a total of 192 and a spread of -1.5. The Jazz have an overall pace of 96.8, which is one of the slowest in the league. Derrick Favors has been a great DK play for Utah, averaging 33 fantasy points per game. Paul Millsap will start across from Favors and has also put up an impressive 36.8 fantasy points a night. However, the slow pace may factor into his point production tonight.


Pace of Play

Away TeamAway PaceHome TeamHome PaceAvg Pace
Brooklyn98.10Toronto96.6097.35
San Antonio97.10Minnesota99.1098.10
New York97.50Denver99.9098.70
Atlanta100.50Utah95.7098.10
Washington101.10Portland99.00100.05
Orlando100.10L.A.Lakers99.1099.60

HIGH PACE Magic vs. Lakers – The 2nd fastest game on the evening is one of my favorite targets. The projected game pace in this matchup is 99.6, and both teams are also projected to score over 105 total points. Last night Nikola Vucevic was a surprise scratch, and if he sits again tonight, Aaron Gordon becomes a great play. Gordon has a usage rate of 14.5, but with Vucevic sitting this should be closer to 20. The Lakers should rely on their young guards to keep them in the game. At mid-tier prices, both D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson are averaging 20+ DK points a game, and in a fast-paced game, they shouldn’t have trouble reaching that average if they’re given the minutes.

LOW PACE Nets vs. Raptors- The lowest projected game pace on the night is 97.35. The spread is a concern in this one as the Raptors are the favorite at -12. Kyle Lowry has been on a tear lately posting 1.07 fantasy points per minute, and I don’t believe the pace will impact his point production tonight. The Nets will lean on Brooks Lopez, per usual, as he tries build on his average of 36 fantasy points per game this season.


Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST Elfrid Payton (ORL) vs. Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers are ranked 30th against opposing PGs. Payton is getting 30 minutes per game, has a usage rate of 18.1 and is averaging 24.9 fantasy points a night. I feel like he should exceed his average tonight, putting up closer to 30 DK points.

WORSTDonald Sloan (BKN) vs. Toronto Raptors- Kyle Lowry and the Raptors are ranked 3rd against opposing PGs. Sloan has a miserable 14.1 usage rate and has barely hit value in his last 5 games. I have him projected at 15 DK fantasy points tonight.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST Victor Oladipo (ORL) vs. Los Angeles Lakers- Oladipo is coming off of a 42 DK point performance last night. He is averaging 28.2 fantasy points a game in 32 minutes of court time. He has the 28th ranked defense against SGs tonight in the Lakers.

WORST Zach LaVine (MIN) vs. San Antonio- This won’t be easy for Zach like the dunk contest, as he squares off against the 1st ranked team defensively against SGs. With LaVine inserting himself into the starting line up, however, his 25.9 minutes a game may be exceeded tonight. With his 21.3 usage rate, I think the extra minutes still allow him to hit and exceed value tonight.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST Al-Farouq Aminu (POR) vs. Washington Wizards The Wizards are ranked 27th against opposing SFs. Aminu doesn’t have an extremely high usage rate at 14.1, but he should see the opportunity to fill up other stats in defensive categories. However, I don’t think he exceeds his 21 DK point average tonight.

WORSTAndrew Wiggins (MIN) vs. San Antonio Spurs- Kawhi and the Spurs are ranked 1st against opposing SFs. Wiggins boasts 34.8 minutes a game, but is, unfortunately, scoring only .82 fantasy points a minute.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) vs. Denver Nuggets – The Nuggets are ranked 25th against opposing PFs. Porzingis is putting up an impressive 1.01 fantasy points a minute. Porzingis is also averaging 28 fantasy points a game. With the weak matchup, and his points per minute this year, Porzingis is a great play tonight.

WORSTPaul Millsap (ATL) vs. Utah Jazz- The Jazz are ranked 2nd against opposing PFs. However, this doesn’t drive me away from Millsap tonight, as he has a usage rate of 20.2. Millsap is averaging 36.8 fantasy points a game, he may not exceed this total tonight, but he is very consistent.


Center Matchups

TARGET Nikola Vucevic (ORL) vs. Los Angeles Lakers- Vucevic was a late scratch last night. If he plays tonight he will face the Lakers who rank 28th against opposing Centers. Vuc has one of the higher usage rates of Centers, coming in at 22.7. If he can’t go tonight Jason Smith will make a sneaky value play.

AVOIDAl Horford (ATL) vs. Utah Jazz – The Jazz are ranked 2nd against opposing Centers. Horford could be a very sneaky play, as most people will be concerned about the DvP. Horford is playing 32 minutes per game and is averaging 32.2 fantasy points per game this year.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

John Wall ($9,400)- Wall has a usage rate of 24.8 in the highest scoring game of the night. Wall’s 42.2 fantasy points a game will probably be low tonight as I am projecting him to put up 45+ DK points tonight.

Save Big Bucks by Drafting

Marcelo Huertas ($3,200) – Huertas has hit value in his last 3 games. With Kobe playing limited minutes, Huertas has seen 27 minutes a game over the last 3. He has a usage rate of 15.4 when on the court and should see about 20 DK points tonight.

Dud of the Night

Gorgui Dieng ($6,100) – Dieng has been great while starting. He is averaging 23.2 fantasy points per game. He gets a tough matchup against LaMarcus Aldridge tonight and should see a small decrease in his 15.9 usage rate.


Injury Watch

Editor’s Note (3:30 PM ET) – Kobe Bryant is ’50/50′ to play tonight against the Magic. If Bryant were to miss the game we’d likely see additional opportunities for both Russell and Clarkson (mentioned above). Bryant has been playing less of late but his absence paired with the Lou Williams injury could also open up minutes for Marcelo Huertas ($3,200). Huertas, a 32 year old rookie, has played 31, 32 and 27 minutes over his last three games and has at least 18 DK points in each of those games.

Editor’s Note (7:15 PM ET) – Kobe Bryant has been ruled out for tonight. See the note above for the DraftKings implications of Bryant’s absence.

StatusPlayer
OutDanilo Gallinari (DEN), Lou Williams (LAL), Gary Neal (WAS), DeMarre Carroll (TOR), Tim Duncan (SAS), Manu Ginobili (SAS), Tony Parker (SAS)
QuestionableKobe Bryant (LAL), Nikola Vucevic (ORL), Bradley Beal (WAS), Alan Anderson (WAS)
ProbableGary Harris (DEN), Jameer Nelson (DEN), Kenneth Faried (DEN), Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)