It’s Tuesday night, and if you decided that there was no way Rajon Rondo was playing and you went all in on Darren Collison, then stop screaming at the people on the street, tell yourself that everything is awesome and get ready for a solid, ready for the spring six-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
Phoenix Suns @ Charlotte Hornets
Line: Hornets by 12.5
Things have changed on Hornets Mountain since Big Al Jefferson has gotten back in the mix. Jefferson is only playing half a game, minutes wise, but he’s is dominating the usage when in the game, with 27.7% usage over the last four games. This has greatly impacted Nicolas Batum, somewhat impacted Kemba Walker and enhanced the performance of Marvin Williams. Walker is still getting almost 17 shots per game and his usage is in the mid 20’s, so he’s still on the radar here and Williams has led the team in DKPPG with 36 over his last four games and has a solid matchup against the Suns.
Phoenix is a mess and because they get rolled so much these days, it’s hard to get excited about them or the their opponents. However, Alex Len continues to flash tournament brilliance and because of the state of the Suns, it should stay that way. Len at $5.2K gives you some 8x upside at the center position. Ronnie Price has been so-so but he’ll be in there for defense against Walker and has been posting 20-25 DKPPG for value at guard.
- Kemba Walker ($7,700)
- Marvin Williams ($5,600)
- Alex Len ($5,200)
- Ronnie Price ($4,200)
Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat
Line: Heat by 6.5
Curious game as lately every game has had a 200+ game total, so even this 199 sticks out like a sore thumb. Worse, Miami has added 30 minutes per game of Joe Johnson into what was forming to be a nice four-way Heat play every night. Johnson’s presence immediately impacts Luol Deng’s sudden importance and Goran Dragic’s volume and that leaves Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside as the solid picks on Miami, especially against the Jimmy Butler-less Bulls.
As for the Bulls, even with a negative matchup with Whiteside, Pau Gasol has been very productive lately, averaging over 50 DKPPG over his last four games. With solid options at center cheaper than he, he’s a nice contrarian tourney play at his $8.7K salary. The small forward situation has perked up there in Chicago as Mike Dunleavy has shown a versatile statistical game since coming back and is playable at his $4.3K tag. Both Dunleavy and Doug McDermott have shown well over the last four games, so either one is a tourney punt play at forward tonight.
- Pau Gasol ($8,700)
- Mike Dunleavy ($4,300)
- Hassan Whiteside ($8,300)
- Dwyane Wade ($7,100)
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Portland Trail Blazers @ New York Knicks
Line: Blazers by 5.5
Damian Lillard’s salary has gradually risen to the point now where he a questionable value play despite his 33% usage last month. What’s not questionable is his production, as he averaged 49 DKPPG over February. Tonight, he gets a positive matchup against the Knicks and the team needs him more than ever to pull the offensive weight, and he should be able to do so without fear of having to defend Jose Calderon. Arron Afflalo is questionable for the Knicks, so that means that the other usage dog in Portland, C.J. McCollum, should have a little more freedom to resume his productive way if AA is out for tonight. Despite Lillard’s massive usage, C.J. used up 28% of possession for a 36 DKPPG average in February.
Robin Lopez has continued his increased production on the offensive end and has averaged 33 DKPPG over his last four, including 41.5 against Whiteside and Miami. At less than $6K, he’ll be a popular center play tonight and has a solid matchup against Mason Plumlee and the Blazers. It’s also been productive to roster against the POR PF, so our old buddy Kristaps Porzingis is an interesting tourney option at $6.5K tonight.
- Damian Lillard ($9,600)
- C.J. McCollum ($7,400)
- Kristaps Porzingis ($6,500)
- Robin Lopez ($5,800)
Orlando Magic @ Dallas Mavericks
Line: Mavericks by 5
These two teams have played the most overtime games this season. It’s a guarantee this goes for extra points, right? I’m watching the news to see if Evan Fournier is going to miss again because, if he does, I’m looking at rostering Mario Hezonja again for $3.5K. However, even if Fournier does play, both Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic are in excellent matchups tonight in Dallas. Gordon’s price continue to rise, but he’s been averaging 36.5 DKPPG over his last four games and Vucevic has been even better at nearly 40 and dropped 46 DK points his last time out against them.
Dallas has some interesting matchups here and I could be talked into Chandler Parsons if Evan Fournier does play, but the best matchups are in the froncourt, and both Dirk Nowitzki and David Lee have been solid since Lee’s arrival two games ago. Both have been around 33 DKPPG since Lee started as a Maverick.
- Nikola Vucevic ($7,800)
- Aaron Gordon ($6,800)
- Dirk Nowitzki ($6,400)
- David Lee ($4,000)
Atlanta Hawks @ Golden State Warriors
Line: Warriors by 10
The Hawks have been playing more inspired basketball lately, since they gave the Warriors a scare in the ATL last week. In that game, Al Horford went bananas on both ends of the floor, scoring nearly 70 DK points against Andrew Bogut, who has been fairly solid and played longer minutes against guys like Horford. Jeff Teague has wrestled the minutes back away from Dennis Schröder recently and has averaged nearly 33 DKPPG in his last three games while averaging 30 minutes per game. If the Hawks are going to stay in this game, they’ll need both Horford and their PG, at this time, Teague, to produce.
Stephen Curry is questionable, but it seems like he’s good to play at home. He rolled his ankle against OKC but famously came back to scorch the Thunder, send the game to OT and win on a crazy, Curry shot. He’s in play against the Hawks, and against anybody. Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut have the best matchups on the Warriors tonight, however, and as discussed earlier, Bogut seems to play longer minutes in game and against players like Horford. Bogut played 29 minutes against Al in Atlanta. Considering the Hawks generous tendencies to opposing frontcourt, especially as it relates to rebounds, Bogut playing 29 minutes would seem a solid play to get the 34+ DK points he got in Atlanta for $4.4K.
Steph Curry has the second highest usage rate in the NBA over the last five games
Editor’s Note: Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala have been announced as out for tonight’s game. Look for Shaun Livingston to see minutes in the high twenties. Leandro Barbosa could also see an increase in minutes off the bench. Finally, look for Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to pick up a bump in usage.
- Al Horford ($7,300)
- Jeff Teague ($6,100)
- Andrew Bogut ($4,400)
Stephen Curry ($10.900)
Brooklyn Nets @ Los Angeles Lakers
Line: Lakers by 1.5
How bad have the Nets been? The Lakers are favored. That said, there is a considerable bit of fantasy goodness here against two teams that have been bad defensively. The Nets are going to get the ball to Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young in this one and mix in the shooting of Bogan Bogdanovic for seasoning. Lopez has a strong matchup here and is coming off a 49.5 DK point performance against DeAndre Jordan. Young has been using less than Lopez (20% for Young to 27% for Lopez) but he’s averaged nine rebounds, three steals and a block over his last three games to average 39.25 DKPPG over that span. With Bogdanovic, it’s all a matter of his shot going in, as he derives most of his points from buckets. At $4.2K and getting 24% usage when he’s on the floor, he’s an interesting punt play against the Lakers.
D’Angelo Russell has stepped firmly into the PG role and led the team with 31+DKPPG over his last three games. Kobe Bryant had around 35% usage for February but toned it down recently, only using 26% of possessions over his last three games. Still, at $5.7K, he’s a solid value if he’s due to get his 30-32 minutes (he’s listed as questionable tonight).
Editor’s Note: Kobe Bryant is out for tonight’s game. Over the last 5 games, Kobe’s usage rate was the 5th highest in the league, so look for D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson to pick up the slack there. SF Anthony Brown ($3,100) has seen 30+ minutes in the last 5 games, so he could also see an uptick in usage with Bryant out of the lineup. Finally, in 11 games without Bryant in the lineup, Lou Williams ($4,800) has averaged 28.7 DKFP.
- Brook Lopez ($7,500)
- Bojan Bogdanovic ($4,200)
- D’Angelo Russell ($5,600)
Kobe Bryant ($5,700)