It’s Big Wednesday, and if you decided last night was the night to believe in Mo Harkless, then crumple up that piece of paper in front of you, lather, rinse, repeat and get ready to attack this 10-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, Nylon Calculus
New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers
Line: Pacers by 8
The Knicks defense has slipped into terribleness. Over the last 15 games, the Knicks have a 109.8 defensive rating, fourth worst over that span. Only their slow pace (fifth slowest over last 15 games) prevent them from being a top fantasy target for rostering against. Their combined DEFRAT with Pace is 14th overall for targeting. Anyway, they aren’t good defensively, and they are especially bad at defending the PG/SF positions lately, so PG13, who has averaged 45 DKPPG over his last four games, is looking good here. So is Hill, who has been up and down (tough 11 DK point game last time out against Miami) but has taken care of the positive matchups (31.25 and 39.25 against Orlando and OKC, respectively).
The Pacers have struggled inside, but the Knicks haven’t used Robin Lopez against smaller frontcourts very liberally. However, since Kurt Rambis took over, Robin Lopez has averaged 30 minutes and 35 DKPPG. Stellar numbers in a positive matchup against the Pacers. Also, Carmelo Anthony has been used heavily as well, averaging 38 minutes per game and driving a 50 DKPPG in the Rambis era.
– Robin Lopez ($5,600)
– Carmelo Anthony ($8,500)
– Paul George ($8,600)
– George Hill ($5,500)
Charlotte Hornets @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Line: Cavs by 8.5
Pretty simple calculation is if Kyrie Irving is playing, you are contractually obligated to consider rostering against him. This is especially true when his opponent is Kemba Walker. Walker has averaged 38 minutes per game over his last four and 46 DKPPG over that span as well. The Cavs have been a stern defensive team this season and somewhat more loose since Lue took over as coach, but the main positions to target have been PG (covered) and PF, where Kevin Love still doesn’t quite do the defense thing. Marvin Williams’ salary is pretty high, but he’s the beneficiary of Love’s defensive generosity.
Love, however, gets the same on the flip, as the Hornets have been weaker over the season defending the PF position. Love at 7.4K is a solid value, considering his 40 DKPPG average over his last four games and 24% usage rate over the last five games. LeBron James is always a good play, and you pay for that consistency. He’s the #1 small forward in true usage for the season among qualifying players and is averaging 48 DKPPG and 50 over the last four games.
– Kemba Walker ($8,200)
– Marvin Williams ($5,700)
– Kevin Love ($7,400)
– LeBron James ($9,600)
Check Out More Big Wednesday NBA Content
|Levitan's Leverage||Tournament Plays||Cheat Sheet|
|Player Targets||Top 5's by Position||Game Breakdown|
Philadelphia 76ers @ Detroit Pistons
Line: Pistons by 11
Something significant changed in last night’s game for the Sixers. Brett Brown decided he wanted to keep Nerlens Noel closer to the rim on defense, so he swapped Jahlil Okafor and Noel and had Noel in the center spot. At the end of the game, Noel had 11 rebounds to Okafor’s two. Noel had already been a solid DK Net Points player (peripherals points only) but this can only help that even more while it slightly negatively impacts Okafor for same reasons. Against the Pistons, Noel gets a positive matchup and a solid game total to collect stats. Ish Smith rebounded from his bad game against New Orleans to post a solid 30.75 game against Orlando. Smith still has a strong true usage percentage for the year (over 50%, top five) but he’s clearly taking fewer shots lately.
For Detroit, Tobias Harris is getting 30+ minutes from Stan Van Gundy and has a plus matchup here against Okafor when Harris assumes the PF position. The other target is Andre Drummond, who is down to 8K but still producing 47 DKPPG over his last four games. The Sixers are also are in the top five in available defensive rebounds for opponents.
– Nerlens Noel ($6,500)
– Ish Smith ($6,900)
– Andre Drummond ($8,000)
– Tobias Harris ($6,000)
Golden State Warriors @ Miami Heat
Line: Warriors by 8.5
The Warriors are an interesting bunch when it comes to targeting them with opponents. They are a top ten defense but with their league leading pace over the last 15 games, they give up the eighth most points per game. The best places to go at them is at PG and C, so Goran Dragic, who has been scoring with and without Dwyane Wade, is in play. Dragic has picked it up and is averaging 39 DKPPG over his last four games, scoring 41 against the Pacers with Wade in the lineup. Hassan Whiteside continues to come off the bench and may get some Marreese Speights defense, which is always a good thing for opponents. Whiteside has almost caught Drummond in cost, but plays fewer minutes, though he did get 41 off the bench and has started to close games out now as Eric Spoelstra feels like he’s earned it.
The reverse is also true regarding the Heat. Whiteside is a shot blocking force, but can be beat by Bogut, who is going longer minutes against more dominant big men. And Curry, as we know, is matchup proof and is so dominant his salary went down coming off a 63 DK point game against the defensively stout Hawks. Few things are more enjoyable than seeing Curry score a game’s worth of points after a couple of shifts.
– Stephen Curry ($10,500)
– Andrew Bogut ($4,400)
– Goran Dragic ($6,400)
– Hassan Whiteside ($7,600)
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Toronto Raptors
Line: Raptors by 9.5
Karl-Anthony Towns is racing towards the ROY award and his salary has raced to the top as well. His nearly 9K salary tells the tale of a guy who is showing a very versatile game and is taking control of this team. His 27+% usage rate over the last five games is tops on the team and his 50 DKPPG average over the last four games also tops the team by long shot, as does his usage and DKPPG rate over the last 15 games as well. He gets a plus matchup here against Jonas Valanciunas, who has personally struggled defending dominant bigs.
Zach LaVine has been playing more and while that’s been good for him as far as DFS, it’s also been good for opponents, as LaVine has the worst personal defensive rating over the last 15 games. This bodes well for DeMar DeRozan, who is over 32% usage over the last 15 games, though it’s only translated to 38 DKPPG. He’s also fourth in free throws made per 36 minutes over the same span. Also, while KAT has gone off, the Wolves have also been generous in the frontcourt, so as long as Valanciunas is in the game, he’s a solid target here as well.
– Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,800)
– Gorgui Dieng ($6,700)
– DeMar DeRozan ($7,300)
– Jonas Valanciunas ($6,000)
Los Angeles Lakers @ Memphis Grizzlies
Line: Grizzlies by 8
The Lakers are the worst defensively rated team in the league over the last 15 games, and every position is a target. Mike Conley has always done well against LAL and he’s also been using 24+% possessions since Marc Gasol went out for the year. Zach Randolph is in a good spot here, too, but his salary went way up compared to his actual usage/production. If you’re feeling frisky, Vince Carter (!) has been active in Tony Allen’s absence and even with the arrival of Lance Stephenson and PJ Hairston. His 3.3K salary is super low for tourneys should he continue to get the upper 20s minutes he’s had with Allen out.
For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant is still where the offense sits. Kobe’s usage is 38% over his last three games and he’s still averaging over 30 DKPPG, so his 5.8K price tag is a solid value tonight, especially if Vince tries to guard him. Flashbacks! Julius Randle continue to be solid and has a plus matchup here against the weakened front court of Memphis. Randle has been a 20/20 player, 20% usage, 20 DK Net Points per game player over the last 15 games, showing the versatility that lays a solid floor down for him nightly.
– Julius Randle ($6,200)
– Kobe Bryant ($5,800)
– Vince Carter ($3,300)
– Mike Conley ($6,900)
Washington Wizards @ Chicago Bulls
Line: Bulls by 1.5
This game should have plenty of fantasy goodness. Going at the Bulls frontcourt and Derrick Rose have been consistent fantasy providers, and John Wall and Marcin Gortat, who have averaged 45 and 40 DKPPG respectively, are keenly able to deliver on this plus matchup from the Wizards side, especially if Bradley Beal sits for rest purposes on the back to back.
On the Bulls side, since Jimmy Butler went down, there have been four primary beneficiaries nightly. Derrick Rose has his usage above 32% and has averaged nearly 38 DKPPG since Butler went down. Pau Gasol continues to roll, averaging 45 DKPPG. And bench bunch players Bobby Portis and E’Twaun Moore have scored in the mid 20s in DK points in that same time frame. Moore has the best matchup of the bunch, but he has the lowest usage of the four (17%). Still, he and Portis offer the best value related to their price tags since Rose has risen to 7.5K and Pau is 8.6K.
– John Wall ($9,300)
– Marcin Gortat ($6,800)
– E’Twaun Moore ($5,400)
– Bobby Portis ($4,700)
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks
Line:Thunder by 4.5
Neither Russell Westbrook nor Kevin Durant have plus matchups here, but does it really matter? Durant has overtaken Westbrook in usage the last six games, getting 33% to Westbrook’s 28%, but Westbrook is popping the larger overall game, with 32 DK Net Points per game compared to 19.5 for Durant, giving Westy the overall edge in DKPPG. Westbrook should outscored Durant enough in this matchup to warrant the extra 1.2K to roster him, but there should be more options at PG today with better matchups than small forward, so I’m leaning Durant over Westy.
And in this corner sits the Mavs, who get a couple of positive matchups targeting Russ/KD. Deron Williams has averaged 39 DKPPG over his last four games and opposing points have had solid success, scoring 39.25, 45.5 and 34.5 in the three meaningful games in the last four. Chandler Parsons is next in production, scoring over 36 DKPPG in his last four games and Durant has yielded 35.5 to Trevor Ariza, 34.24 to PJ Tucker and 46.75 to Paul George recently. In the last game against the Cavs, LeBron went for 56.25.
– Kevin Durant ($9,800)
– Enes Kanter ($4,800)
– Deron Williams ($6,100)
– Chandler Parsons ($6,400)
Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Clippers
Line: Clippers by 10.5
Easy targets here against the Nuggets. PGs and Cs have had a lot of success against the Nuggets, so Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan are very solid plays in this very solid 211.5 game total. Paul is third in true usage for the season and has a 27% raw usage rate over his last six games, of which he’s averaged 49 DKPPG. If the Nuggets can keep this close, it’s easy to see Paul with close to 60 DK points in this matchup. Jordan gets to collect errant shots and score on putbacks, as he’s done in compiling a 47 DKPPG average over his last four games.
The Nuggets have really complicated things. They moved JaKarr Sampson into an already crowded backcourt situation, moving minutes away from Will Barton and Gary Harris. They’ve also added DJ Augustin, who has been getting over 20 MPG in Jameer Nelson’s absence and limiting Emmanuel Mudiay’s minutes. Danilo Gallinari has the offensive chops and the consistent minutes we’re looking for, averaging 36 minutes per game recently and third in free throws made per 36 minutes over the last 15 games. But he’s increasingly become a one-trick pony, getting only 11.1 DK Net Points and meaning that when his shot is off, as it has been recently, he’s not getting to the 35-40 DK mark we need at his salary. Still, if you are targeting a Nugget, he’s the consistent one. The other is Nikola Jokic, who fouls like crazy but also racks up the DK points when he is on the floor. Jokic played 20 minutes and scored 43.5 DK points against the Kings last night after being saddled with foul trouble. He’s an amazing talent that only needs minutes to be super productive.
– Danilo Gallinari ($7,100)
– Nikola Jokic ($5,600)
– Chris Paul ($9,700)
– DeAndre Jordan ($7,800)
San Antonio Spurs @ Sacramento Kings
Line: Spurs -7
Since Manu Ginobili went down, Patty Mills has been effective in filling that time, averaging 22 minutes per game and 26.2 DKPPG. Since Kawhi Leonard has joined Ginobili off the court the last three games, both Mills and Tony Parker have been usage leaders with 30% usage for Parker and 26% usage for Mills. Parker has averaged 30 DKPPG over that span and Mills 26, making both solid targets in this game. This has come at the expense of LaMarcus Aldridge, who has seen his usage drop to 20% over this span and averaging a shade under 30 DKPPG.
The Kings are going to get up and down the court, any which way, and the best places to attack the Spurs are also the Kings best producers, Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins. Rondo is coming off a ho-hum game against the Nuggets, but is a top ten true usage player in a fairly good matchup here at home. Cousins has been beastly and his price has snuck back under 11K, for now. Cousins has averaged 61.3 DKPPG over the last three games and has used 36% of the possessions. Gotta love Boogie.
– Tony Parker ($5,100)
– Patty Mills ($4,600)
– Rajon Rondo ($8,400)
– DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900)