It’s Tuesday, and if you decided last night was the night to fade the Bucks then wipe your eyes, get a thick, juicy burger and get ready for a surprisingly offensive (but in a good way) 5-game slate tonight! Let’s get to it!
As always, if you have any questions, find me on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.
Stats from StatMuse, NBAWowy, NBA Stats
Orlando Magic @ Philadelphia 76ers
Line: Magic by 6
The Magic always seem to get into overtime, so they are a constant target for fantasy goodness. Not anymore for Elfrid Payton, though. Elf has seen his minutes cut in half since the arrival of teacher’s pet Brandon Jennings. Philly is vulnerable to PG scoring, but since the minutes are split, and Jennings’ salary is almost 5K now, neither are optimal here. Philly is still weak defending opposing centers, so Nikola Vucevic is right in line tonight. Also, power forward is a soft spot, so Aaron Gordon, who hasn’t been any more encroached on his minutes with Ersan Ilyasova there than he was with Channing Frye, is in a solid spot, too.
Over to Philly, who has a positive matchup at PG, SF and PF, meaning that Nerlens Noel and Ish Smith are immediately on the radar. Noel has been averaging 32 DKPPGG over his last four games, but the last time he had a plus matchup like this one, against New Orleans, Noel had a 45 DK point game. Ish is coming off a horrible game where his usage was very low and he didn’t even reach double digits in fantasy points. At nearly 7K, you need more, so he’s only tournament play today, and should be much less owned than normal as the spectre of that low floor game is most recent.
– Nikola Vucevic ($7,400)
– Aaron Gordon ($6,300)
– Nerlens Noel ($6,500)
– Jerami Grant ($4,400)
New Orleans Pelicans @ Washington Wizards
Line: Wizards by 4.5
The Pelicans used to be the worst defensive team in the league before the new year turned over, but now, while they aren’t stellar, they’re more average now, with less obvious soft spots to exploit. You are going to be looking at John Wall anyway, given his undisputed stature as top dog in Washington. The only caveat is that he’s not a low to mid 30s usage guy, he’s been at 28% over his last 15 games. He’s also been steady at 45 DKPPG for the season and over those 15 games, so he’s close to 5x even at that 9.3K price tag. Last thing is that, with Omer Asik out, the Pelicans are considerably worse defending both the post and PG positions. The Pelicans have been better defending the center, too, but no Omer Asik opens things up for Marcin Gortat, who has put up an average of 37 DKPPG over his last four games.
Anthony Davis went off when he was only available on all-day Sunday slates. Sorry if you missed it, because folks will be chasing that performance for another two-three weeks, at least. Consider this, that even after factoring in that glorious 93 DK pt game, he is averaging 52 DKPPG over his last four games. At back to over 10K (10.2), he’s tourney only and is almost guaranteed to be overowned on such a short slate. Meanwhile, the never-starting Jrue Holiday has averaged 47 DKPPG without the benefit of any game over 53.8 DK points over his last four games and has delivered a 32.8% usage rate over his last 15 games. Washington and Wall have offered a neutral matchup to opposing point guards so Holiday should continue his run. Lastly, Ryan Anderson averages 32 DKPPG with Asik out and WAS is still trying to work out their PF rotation with Markieff Morris in the mix.
– John Wall ($9,300)
– Marcin Gortat ($6,600)
– Jrue Holiday ($7,400)
– Ryan Anderson ($5,300)
Sacramento Kings @ Denver Nuggets
Line: Nuggets by 1.5
The Kings are eminently targetable at almost all positions. SG has long been a target but the Nuggets have done the unthinkable since you and I last spoke. They went out and added yet another SG to add to their already murky rotation. JaKarr Sampson should be in the mix for the Nuggets in an unknown volume of minutes. This splits even more minutes between Gary Harris and Will Barton, two guys who would’ve been considered in this matchup against SAC. As such, I’m passing. I am not passing on my man, Danilo Gallinari, who leads the Nuggets in usage at a solid 24.5 over the last 15 games and has been second in the league at dropping in free throws behind James Harden. That’s impressive and yes, I’ll have some tonight in this pacy, fire them up matchup. Nikola Jokic is someone I’ve thrown bouquets to over and over again this season but the last time out he struggled against Cousins, got in very early foul trouble and Michael Malone went small. With Sampson in the mix, I can see the Nugz going the same way again so I’m passing on Jokic tonight.
For the Kings, it’s Boogie Fever. There is nobody who can cover him there, evidenced by his 74 DK point throwdown on these same Nuggets in Sacramento on 2/19. I’m not looking for that total again, but I wouldn’t be surprised by it, either. Giddy-up. All the wings are expected to play tonight so the only other solid minutes/production I can trust is unfortunately Rajon Rondo who did go over 60DK in that same game against Denver.
(Author’s Note: I backtracked and am listing Barton as a second target because he has the best chance of doing a lot with the minutes he gets. Carry on.)
– DeMarcus Cousins ($11,200)
– Rajon Rondo ($8,600)
– Danilo Gallinari ($7,100)
– Will Barton ($5,800)
Houston Rockets @ Utah Jazz
Line: Jazz by 5
Pace up game for Utah, pace down for Houston, so the Rockets, who have zero positive matchups here, are limited for me. James Harden is always on call, given his usage (31.4 over last 15 games) and scoring acumen. He’s the highest scoring DK player over the last 15 games (55 DKPPG), so he’s gotta be on the radar, even pace down and over 10K in Utah. Dwight Howard has a couple of things I like tonight going for him. One is that much fewer people will want to be on him because he’s going against Utah. Two, there are other tastier plays on the schedule tonight. Three, folks are going to be keyed into Harden. Just saying that last time these two were Utah (last month), Harden went for 51+ and Howard 37+.
For Utah, it’s pace up and they have strong matchups in the frontcourt. Derrick Favors at 7.3K is a great play given the Rockets’ piecemeal approach to defending the PF position. I love Rodney Hood, generally, but in this game, his matchup with Harden could create problems for him in terms of fouls. I’ll take my chances on Favors and Hayward, who both are rocking a 25+ usage rate over the last 15 games (Favors 14) and have the plus matchups tonight.
– James Harden ($10,400)
– Dwight Howard ($7,200)
– Derrick Favors ($7.300)
– Gordon Hayward ($7,000)
Brooklyn Nets @ Portland Trail Blazers
Line: Blazers by 11.5
The Nets have been one of the worst defensive teams over the past 15 games, allowing 109.7 points per 100 possessions. Against Brook Lopez, I expect Mason Plumlee (REVENGE!!!) to get going and, at 4.5K, he can make the number, as he has 25.25 and 34.75 his last two games, the latter against the Jazz. Mo Harkless has been getting solid, twenty-something minutes and, at 4.4K, he has the positive matchup here to make value.
For the Nets, it’s Brook Lopez. BroLo has pushed his usage to 29% over his last 15 games and his DKPPG to 40. The Blazers offer him a solid matchup and Plumlee, though I like him at his salary number, could put Lopez on the line a couple of times. Lopez is 12th in the league in free throws made per game over the last 15 games. If you want to get frisky, you could take a shot at Donald Sloan, who has played 30 minutes in each of the last two games and had a 39.25 game against Portland in Brooklyn.
– Maurice Harkless ($4,400)
– Mason Plumlee ($4,500)
– Brook Lopez ($7,500)
– Donald Sloan ($4,400)