Game Flow Notes
HIGH O/U – Clippers vs. Thunder- This game boasts the highest total of the night at 215, with a spread of -5.5. The Thunder gave up a 20 point lead during their last matchup and lost 103-98. During that last matchup, Russell Westbrook came in under value putting up 51.50 DK fantasy points. He is averaging 49.2 fantasy points per game and should reach value tonight, given the high expected pace of this game. For the Clippers Chris Paul has a 24.5 usage rate and is playing over 34 minutes per game. He also put up 50 points during the last matchup against the Thunder, and he should replicate this tonight.
LOW O/U – Heat vs. Bucks- The lowest total on the evening is 201 with a spread of -2.5. Chris Bosh is out indefinitely for the Heat, which has allowed other players to split his usage. Because of this, Hassan Whiteside has a 19.7 usage rate and has averaged 45.2 DK points over the last 5 games. Giannis Antetokounmpo has 2 60+ DKFP games in the last 3 games. He has a tougher positional matchup tonight, but should still be able to produce 40+ DKFP, even with the game projected to be one of the lower scoring games on the night.
Pace of Play
|Away Team||Away Pace||Home Team||Home Pace||Avg Pace|
HIGH PACE – Rockets vs. 76ers – With record of 8-55, it may be time for the 76ers to hang it up. The projected game pace in this game is about 102, the highest on the night. James Harden has one of the highest usage rates in the league at a 27.6, and he is also averaging 47.3 fantasy points on the season. He could easily put up 50+ DKFP tonight, given the pace of this game. The pace may also help Ish Smith here, as he has had 30+ DKFP in his last 6 games. He is also playing over 27 minutes a game and has an overall usage rate of 22.
LOW PACE – Pistons vs. Mavericks- The Heat/Bucks game is the slowest on the evening with a 97.75 projected game pace. Andre Drummond is playing 33+ minutes a night for the Pistons and averaging 45 DK points over the last month. He is projected to produce a similar amount tonight at 45+ DKFP, even with the slow pace. Dirk Nowitzki has a usage rate of 21.6, and he is averaging 29.8 fantasy points on the season. He is in a position to put up 30+ DKFP tonight, regardless of the pace of play.
|Out||Eric Gordon (NO), Dion Waiters (OKC), John Henson (MIL), Stanley Johnson (DET), Ben McLemore (SAC)|
|Doubtful||Kelly Olynyk (BOS), Luc Mbah a Moute (LAC), Mike Conley (MEM), Chris Andersen (MEM), Lance Thomas (NYK), Jahlil Okafor (PHI), Zach Randoloh (MEM)|
|Questionable||Terrence Jones (HOU), Andre Iguodala (GSW), Timofey Mozgov (CLE), Marco Belinelli (SAC), Rodney Hood (UTA)|
|Probable||Hassan Whiteside (MIA), Kendall Marshall (PHI), Nik Stauskas (PHI), Nerlens Noel (PHI), Matt Barnes (MEM), Jared Sullinger (BOS)|
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Jose Calderon (NYK) vs. Phoenix Suns – The Suns are ranked 29th against opposing PGs. Calderon should not be considered as a play due to his 11.6 usage rate, however. He is only averaging 18 DKFP per game and will likely come in under value tonight.
WORST – Mario Chalmers (MEM) vs. Boston Celtics – Chalmers was able to put up 35+ DKFP against the Cavaliers during his last matchup. The Celtics are ranked 1st against opposing PGs. However, Chalmers should see a usage rate of about 20 tonight with over 30 minutes of floor time. All these factors combined should give him the potential to hit the 35+ DKFP mark tonight.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Arron Affalo (NYK) vs. Phoenix Suns – The Suns are ranked 30th against opposing SGs. Affalo is in a similar position as Calderon, with a usage rate of 16. He should have an opportunity to build on his 21 DKFP per game, as I have him projected at 25 fantasy points tonight.
WORST – Khris Middleton (MIL) vs. Miami Heat – The Heat and Dwyane Wade are ranked 2nd against opposing SGs. Middleton has seen a usage spike over the last month with Michael Carter-Williams injured, now up to 19.8, while averaging 30+ DKFP a game. He may make for a contrarian GPP play as people will be concerned about his DvP.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Robert Covington (PHI) vs. Houston Rockets – The Rockets are ranked 30th against opposing SFs. Covington has gone on a 3 game stretch of 35+ DKFP. With Jahlil Okafor sidelined he has seen a usage rate of about 20. With Okafor currently doubtful for tonight’s game, he should see similar usage and put up close to 30 DKFP.
WORST – Harrison Barnes (GSW) vs. Utah Jazz – The Jazz are ranked 2nd against opposing SFs. Barnes has a 14.2 usage rate (thanks to Steph Curry and Draymond Green). He is averaging 20.9 fantasy points on the season, but he is only projected at 20 DKFP this evening.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Jerami Grant (PHI) vs. Houston Rockets – The Rockets are ranked 30th against opposing PFs. Grant has seen a spike in usage closer to 19 due to injuries (Okafor is doubtful again tonight). He is projected at 30 DKFP tonight and should easily reach this total, given the poor DvP of the Rockets.
WORST – Draymond Green (GSW) vs. Utah Jazz- The Utah Jazz and Derrick Favors are ranked 2nd against opposing PFs. Green has a usage rate of 16.1, but he scores a lot of fantasy points on the defensive side of the court. He averages 40 DK points a game, and, although he faces a tough defense, he should hover around his average tonight.
TARGET – Dwight Howard (HOU) vs. Philadelphia 76ers- Howard is averaging 35 DKFP over his last 10 games. I am worried about a blowout in this game, but I do feel that Howard should reach 30+ DKFP. His is averaging 30+ minutes a game and if he sees similar time he will produce tonight given how poor the Sixers are on the defensive side against centers.
AVOID – Andrew Bogut (GSW) vs. Utah Jazz – The Jazz are ranked 2nd against centers, as well, and are proving they have a dominant big man combo. Bogut has a terrible 9.6 usage rate, but may be used closer to 12 tonight to combat the size of Utah. However, his 21 DKFP average a game won’t be enough to warrant him a roster spot tonight.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Russell Westbrook – Thunder vs. Clippers – $10,800 – Westbrook has a monstrous 28.5 usage rate and is a legitimate 50 DKFP threat every night. Westbrook will have to have a great performance tonight to help the Thunder acquire the 3rd spot in the West. Given his production level on the season (averaging 53.8 DKFP) and the magnitude of this game, Westbrook is definitely a superstar worth paying for.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Mario Chalmers – Grizzles vs. Celtics – $5,200 – With Mike Conley out, Chalmers will see a usage rate of about 20 and, most likely, 30+ minutes tonight. During his last game against Cleveland, he put up 39.50 DKFP. I have him projected at 35+ DKFP tonight and may be able to produce more if Zach Randolph sits. With his price tag at $5,200, this is a good spot to save some salary on a guy that will see increased run and usage.
Dud of the Night
Reggie Jackson – Pistons vs. Mavericks – $6,700 – Jackson had a 47 DKFP performance against the Trail Blazers during his last game. He has a strong 25.8 usage rate, but is facing the 12th ranked Dallas Mavericks tonight. I could see Dallas rotating Wes Matthews on Jackson to try and contain him. I have him projected at 30 DKFP tonight, which won’t be enough for value.
*DKFP DraftKings Fantasy Points