It’s Big Wednesday and if you rostered any Heat guards last night, then maybe it’s time to see a hypnotist, forget about last night and have some fun with the 11-game slate tonight. Let’s get right to them!
As always, if you have any questions, find me on Twitter @JasonWalker_72 or on the Swayy app @jaywalker72.
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Philadelphia 76ers @ Orlando Magic
Line: Magic -7
Pace: Philadelphia (6th), Orlando (22nd)
Offensive Rating: Philadelphia (30th), Orlando (25th)
Defensive Rating: Philadelphia (21st), Orlando (13th)
Net Rating Differential (the higher the NRD, the more likely for a blowout): 11.6 in favor of the Magic
Orlando struggles against PG and C, which fits the gameplan of the Sixers quite well. The opening quarter or so is Jahlil Okafor’s time, where he racks up the fantasy points and the second half and especially the fourth quarter is Ish Smith World, where the point guard owns the ball, for better or worse for the Sixers. Ish’s price is really high right now, at 7.5K, but he’s had five of his last seven games over 43 DK points and is enjoying a 31% usage rate in January. If you just looked at his numbers and not his name, you’d think this was a good play.
The Sixers get dominated inside and Nikola Vucevic certainly has the game to exploit this. Vucevic has had a run of good games lately, including three in his last four games over 40DK points. A strong tourney play against the Sixers would be Tobias Harris, who is up and down but has had two of his last four games over value at this number and the matchup is great for him here. With Victor Oladipo out, Aaron Gordon has been a nice tourney play, making 7x and 8x value in two of his last three games and is 4.1K today.
– Ish Smith ($7,500)
– Jahlil Okafor ($6,400)
– Nikola Vucevic ($7,300)
– Tobias Harris ($6,100)
Miami Heat @ Washington Wizards
Line: Wizards -4
Pace: Miami (29th), Washington (5th)
Offensive Rating: Miami (18th), Washington (14th)
Defensive Rating: Miami (5th), Washington (19th)
Net Rating Differential: 4.0 in favor of the Heat.
I warned about the Tyler Johnson situation yesterday and he pulled a Rodney Hood and fouled twice in the first three minutes of the game and derailed the entire game for him. He’s now 5.4K, which means, in this matchup against Wall, that’s he’s a contrarian tourney play. The lone upside is that he’ll be considerably less owned. Otherwise, Hassan Whiteside continues to play well and Gortat hasn’t been the defensive stopper we’ve seen to some degree, so at 7.5K and the backcourt needing some help, he’s a solid play at center.
The Wizards are all priced high. With Beal back but not playing starter minutes, the production is spread too thin to count on anyone on the wings. And even with Kris Humphries and Drew Gooden out, Jared Dudley $4,800 salary juts him above his usual production, even with 35 minutes. The only plays you can depend on are John Wall and Marcin Gortat, though both are overpriced for the matchup. Blech.
– Hassan Whiteside ($7,500)
– Dwyane Wade ($6,800)
– Marcin Gortat ($7,100)
– John Wall ($9,500)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Brooklyn Nets
Line: Cavs -12.5
Pace: Cleveland (28th), Brooklyn (21st)
Offensive Rating: Cleveland (5th), Brooklyn (28th)
Defensive Rating: Cleveland (7th), Brooklyn (24th)
Net Rating Differential: 13.2 in favor of the Cavs
Donald Sloan is a popular target right now and he’s still under 5K (4.8K) so if he gets 30+ minutes, which he should here, against Kyrie Irving, he’s going to make good value for the Nets. Kevin Love is supposed to play through an injury to his hand so that brings Thaddeus Young, who just dipped below 7K again, into play tonight.
Usually against the Nets, you attack Brook Lopez and call it a day, but have fun sorting out the mess of a rotation in Cleveland, where Tristan Thompson started for a while up front but then got fewer minutes, etc. We’ve been waiting for the Kyrie Irving scoring bonanza and it hasn’t developed yet, so maybe this is the place. At 7K, he’s a good tourney option that could get to 45-48 DK points. LeBron gets over 30 in a miserable, three-shift game, so he’s always on call for us if needed to roster.
– Donald Sloan ($4,800)
– Thaddeus Young ($6,800)
– Kyrie Irving ($7,000)
– LeBron James ($9,800)
Utah Jazz @ New York Knicks
Line: Knicks -2.5
Pace: Utah (30th), New York (24th)
Offensive Rating: Utah (13th), New York (15th)
Defensive Rating: Utah (17th), New York (18th)
Net Rating Differential: 0.6 in favor of the Knicks
With Kristaps Porzingis and Lance Thomas questionable tonight, and the last two games not going according to what the people were thinking, this could be a good spot to go back to Derrick Williams at 4.4K. With everyone else inching a little too high (Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo) in salary, Carmelo Anthony at 8.3K, especially if Porzingis is out, become a good play at home against Gordon Hayward.
Speaking of Hayward, he has continued to be the main man, usage wise, with Favors out (Derrick is doubtful here and won’t play until he’s 100 percent). His cost has risen to 7.5K, but he’s a solid cash play since the Jazz run the offense through him, especially in the fourth quarter. I’m surprised that, given his mind 20% usage and continued volume, that Trey Burke hasn’t crept over 5K himself, but he’s still 4.9K and can deliver value even coming off the bench. Rudy Gobert has been putting up some good numbers since returning to starter’s minutes, but his matchup against Robin Lopez is a lot tougher than the Lakers/Hornets duo he’s coming off.
– Carmelo Anthony ($8,300)
– Derrick Williams ($4,400)
– Gordon Hayward ($7,500)
– Trey Burke ($4,900)
Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors
Line: Raptors -3
Pace: Boston (3rd), Toronto (26th)
Offensive Rating: Boston (19th), Toronto (6th)
Defensive Rating: Boston (2nd), Toronto (11th)
Net Rating Differential: 0.8 in favor of the Raptors
Never trust Brad Stevens and his rotations. That puts all the Celtics on tourney-only mode. When Stevens has everybody on his roster healthy, there’s no formula for his minutes. Marcus Smart 38 minutes, Marcus Smart 23 minutes. A couple of things we know for sure. One is that Jae Crowder gets his minutes, almost no matter what. Crowder has been on the court for 30 minutes or more for every game but two since the start of December. Whatever he’s doing, Coach Brad likes. The other is that Jared Sullinger will not play 30 minutes, no matter his success. So there’s that. So the only two guys you can count on, as much as you can for the Celtics, is Isaiah Thomas and Crowder.
Kyle Lowry has been over 40 DK points in each of his last eight games. It’s not a terrific matchup for Lowry, however, as even with Thomas at the point the C’s have been very tough on PG. The Celtics have been lenient against opposing centers, so the solid play recently of Jonas Valanciunas fits in here. DeMar DeRozan has been getting some higher usage and is in the top 10 in free throw points per 36 minutes, so at 8K, he’s a good option here, too.
– Isaiah Thomas ($7,900)
– Jae Crowder ($6,700)
– DeMar DeRozan ($8,000)
– Jonas Valanciunas ($6,200)
Golden State Warriors @ Chicago Bulls
Line: Warriors -7
Pace: Golden State (2nd), Chicago (11th)
Offensive Rating: Golden State (1st), Chicago (23rd)
Defensive Rating: Golden State (4th), Chicago (6th)
Net Rating Differential: 13.6 in favor of the Warriors
The Warriors have been pantsing everybody, so it’s hard to recommend anyone on the Bulls as anything more than a tourney flyer, and certainly nobody to go all-in with. Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler are the solid plays for the Bulls, almost no matter what. They’re costly, but if you are looking for solid floor footing and Bulls exposure in this game, this is the place to go.
For Golden State, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are great every night, but if you desperately needed a lower cost play, Andrew Bogut is waiting to tempt you. Having to face Gasol, the Warriors could lean more on Bogut than they’ve had to in recent games, as they seem to save the big fella for main events like this one. At 4.5K, he could deliver 6x value in even just 22-24 minutes of play.
– Jimmy Butler ($8,400)
– Pau Gasol ($8,500)
– Stephen Curry ($10,400)
– Draymond Green ($9,400)
Charlotte Hornets @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Line: Thunder -9.5
Pace: Charlotte (16th), Oklahoma City (10th)
Offensive Rating: Charlotte (10th), Oklahoma City (2nd)
Defensive Rating: Charlotte (14th), Oklahoma City (8th)
Net Rating Differential: 8.0 in favor of the Thunder
Everyone is going to be on Kemba Walker after his 80 burger (!) the other night, but this is a pretty good matchup for him and his cost is only 8.3K. When the Hornets are losing, they like to use Frank Kaminsky for offense instead of Cody Zeller. With OKC heavily favored in this one, it looks like Frank will get the call again. At 4.5K, he’s an excellent center value tonight.
Once again last night, both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant delivered plus performances while being on the court together, with Durant topping Westbrook with a 61 DK point effort against the Nuggets. Wesanter delivered again last night on his puny 4.5K salary, a 34 DK point special. Against the Hornets, Westy has the slightly better matchup, but for the cost, Durant is the better play. Given that it is a back to back and that the spread is almost 10, it’s worth considering Cameron Payne coming off the bench at the point. His 3.6K salary with 20% usage this month puts him on the radar if he gets 20-22 minutes.
– Kemba Walker ($8,300)
– Frank Kaminsky ($4,500)
– Kevin Durant ($9,900)
– Russell Westbrook ($10,700)
Detroit Pistons @ Houston Rockets
Line: Rockets -3
Pace: Detroit (15th), Houston (8th)
Offensive Rating: Detroit (21st), Houston (8th)
Defensive Rating: Detroit (9th), Houston (22nd)
Net Rating Differential: 2.6 in favor of the Pistons
It’s a footrace to see who the people are going to run to more, Kemba Walker against OKC or Dwight Howard against Houston. My guess is Dwight, because he was so amazingly dominant against the Clippers, it’s hard not to see him do the same to Andre Drummond and the Pistons. Dwight’s averaged 48 DKPPG over his last four, so why not? His success has great impact the play of James Harden, who is shooting less at the rim, free throw rate is down and so is his overall DKPPG. Harden is averaging a mere 39 DKPPG over his last four games. He’ll still have the ball, as his 33% usage rate shows for January, but the massive production has been coming from Howard. If Patrick Beverley can’t go (questionable), then Ty Lawson could be a thing at 3.9K.
Houston gives up sooooo many three-pointers, so Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who is a One Trick Pony’s one trick pony, and is not a bargain at all at 5.8K, is still on my radar tonight. They are third worst in opponent makes and takes from three and have the fifth worst estimated field goal percentage. Which makes it a shoot-em-if-you-got-em game for the Pistons, which also puts Marcus Morris and Ersan Ilyasova in the picture. Andre Drummond hasn’t returned value in quite some time at his near 9K salary, so he’s not the play, especially given the potential for foul trouble.
– Dwight Howard ($8,100)
– Ty Lawson ($3,900)
– Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,800)
– Ersan Ilyasova ($5,700)
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Dallas Mavericks
Line: Mavericks -9
Pace: Minnesota (18th), Dallas (20th)
Offensive Rating: Minnesota (24th), Dallas (12th)
Defensive Rating: Minnesota (20th), Dallas (15th)
Net Rating Differential: 4.1 in favor of the Mavericks
Kevin Garnett will sit for the Timberwolves on the back end of the back to back, so that puts Gorgui Dieng back in for tonight. Dieng averages about 0.90 DKPPM when on the floor with Karl-Anthony Towns, so a 30 minute game for Dieng at 4.1K makes him a core value tonight against Dallas. This could also secure Towns’ minutes, which would put him in an excellent spot below 7K to make value for himself, too. He’s still over a point per minute DK guy when on the floor with Dieng.
On the other side, we’ll stay in the frontcourt and tag one of my favorites, Zaza Pachulia, at 6.2K. The Wolves have been generous to opposing centers and Pachulia is a double-double machine, tenth in the league with 20 this season. With Deron Williams healthy and no back to back at 5.9K, he’s in a good place against Ricky Rubio as well. Williams has two games of his last three with 36 DK points, with the game in between being against the Spurs. Forgiven.
– Gorgui Dieng ($4,100)
– Karl-Anthony Towns ($6,800)
– Zaza Pachulia ($6,200)
– Deron Williams ($5,900)
Atlanta Hawks @ Portland Trail Blazers
Line: Hawks -1.5
Pace: Atlanta (9th), Portland (19th)
Offensive Rating: Atlanta (7th), Portland (9th)
Defensive Rating: Atlanta (10th), Portland (23rd)
Net Rating Differential: 5.3 in favor of the Hawks
Strong game between two really good offensive teams. Hawks are embarking on a west coast back to back, so there will be some temptation to monitor minutes, but I like the frontcourt duo of Paul Millsap and Al Horford anyway against the Blazers. Millsap in nice tempo’d offensive game is a box score stuffer, as we know, and Horford, at 6.9K, is a solid play as well. Both are more cash appropriate than tourney, though Millsap can spike up, but Horford is cash only due to his lack of ceiling stemming from his almost non-existent free throw game, which limits his ceiling on a team with so many weapons.
Ever since his first summer league, Damian Lillard can dominate the Hawks. He averaged over 40 DK points per contest against the Hawks last season and this season there’s just Lillard and C.J. McCollum to score. His cost inched down to 9.3K and is on my radar in this high total game. If you told me Mason Plumlee would get even 28 minutes in this one, he’d be lock and load against a Hawks front court that gives up lots of rebounds to opponents. As it is, I’m still putting the 22-25 minute per game Plumlee in play here because of the matchup and that the Hawks struggle with high energy, effort big like Plumlee and that Horford rarely gets fouled, keeping opponents out of foul trouble. Ed Davis, due to some of the same reasons as Plumlee, is also worth a look at 4.3K.
– Al Horford ($6,900)
– Paul Millsap ($8,200)
– Damian Lillard ($9,300)
– Mason Plumlee ($5,200)
Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers
Line: Kings -7
Pace: Sacramento (1st), Los Angeles (12th)
Offensive Rating: Sacramento (11th), Los Angeles (29th)
Defensive Rating: Sacramento (25th) Los Angeles (30th)
Net Rating Differential: 7.9 in favor of the Kings
There will be much exposure to this game as the highest total of the night and featuring two defense-optional squads. You can almost picture DeMarcus Cousins getting tossed from this game or sitting with foul trouble, to the frustration of millions who will be rostering him tonight in what is a prime, super juicy matchup for him against the invisible Lakers center defense. Anybody in Los Angeles who cares about DFS, please, just ask Cousins NOT to slap down on the ball tonight. One night. He may challenge Wilt (too much?) if he can stay on the floor tonight. Epically good matchup. Darren Collison is the only thing approaching a lower cost option on the Kings here, as his 5.1K salary means he need only play the 28 minutes per game he’s been getting to make value in this matchup.
As much as I like rostering three-point makers against Houston, nobody offers up more golden chances to knock down threes as the Kings. So Lou Williams is back in play for me at 6.3K here. And since Kobe is supposed to play a little in this one, it may scare folks off of D’Angelo Russell at 4.9K, which is good. Russell led a comeback against the Kings in Sacramento and scored 36 DK points doing it. If Larry Nance misses again, then Julius Randle is a great target here as well at 5.4K.
– DeMarcus Cousins ($10,600)
– Darren Collison ($5,100)
– D’Angelo Russell ($4,900)
– Lou Williams ($6,300)