There are four games on the “main” slate tonight tipping off at 6pm ET, and at this time of the season it is more important to stay close to the news coming out from each team as many clubs are electing to rest players in preparation for the playoffs or to improve their draft odds. Unlike Saturday, most of the teams today really do not have anything tangible to play for, so it is shaping up to be an interesting night.
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Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns – The Mavericks are limping across the finish line now that they have been eliminated from the playoffs, and they are liberally resting their veterans, but they have been giving us ample news in advance. We know that Seth Curry (shoulder) is unlikely to play in any of their remaining three games and Harrison Barnes has been identified as one veteran getting rest. On the other side we have the Phoenix Suns who are “looking at their young players” having shut down most of their veteran talent for weeks now. Verdict – I think the youngsters on both squads are worth considering in tournaments.
Detroit Pistons at Memphis Grizzlies – The Pistons rested or limited the minutes on most of their veterans Friday, so we should see more of the same the rest of the way. They will be one of the main sources of value on this slate. With Memphis locked into the #7 seed, they have already announced that Zach Randolph will get Sunday off, and it is unlikely their key contributors play more than 25 minutes in this matchup.
Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings – Houston is cemented as the #3 seed in the West and the Sacramento Kings are on the same plan as Phoenix. Whomever is announced as starters from the younger talent on both sides is who we will want to target for daily fantasy purposes.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers – Coach Tom Thibodeau is riding his core players even with nothing riding on the results of these games. This is a pattern we saw when he was in charge of the Chicago Bulls, and nothing should change tonight. The Lakers are playing guys out of position and not even keeping up the charade of “playing for the future,” so it is hard to trust anyone from this squad.
Ricky Rubio – MIN at LAL – $7,900 – This is a phenomenal matchup for Rubio as evidenced by his 38.4mpg, 20.7ppg, 4.0rpg, 11.7apg and 2.0 combined blocks/steals on his way to 50.5 DraftKings points through the first three tilts against the Lakers this season. While these numbers are also boosted by one overtime game, Rubio is my top option tonight.
Tyler Ulis – PHO vs DAL – $6,800 – Even with the tanking light lit, we should see Ulis approach 40 minutes once more as the last remaining “true” point guard on the Suns roster. His results have been all over the place, but he should see ample opportunity to produce tonight.
Other Options – James Harden ($12,400)
Ish Smith – DET at MEM – $5,700 – Smith should see close to 30 minutes once more with Reggie Jackson in the doghouse, and he will be in the mix for around a fantasy point per minute.
Other Options – Yogi Ferrell ($4,800)
Devin Booker – PHO vs DAL – $8,000 – The price is soaring, but he is one of the Suns who will see healthy minutes, and I think he is still in play as a tournament option at this elevated salary.
Buddy Hield – SAC vs HOU – $5,800 – Hield is another option who should see a full complement of minutes, particularly since he was the prize in the DeMarcus Cousins trade.
Other Options – Lou Williams ($5,400)
Nicolas Brussino – DAL at PHO – $3,000 – If we get word that J.J. Barea, Wesley Matthews and/or Devin Harris are out tonight for the Mavericks, Brussino should approach 17-20 minutes and be able to pay off his site minimum salary.
Other Options – Stanley Johnson ($3,000)
Andrew Wiggins – MIN at LAL – $7,200 – Over his last half dozen games, Wiggins is averaging a tick over 22 field goal attempts. That is phenomenal volume at this price point, and we already know that the T-Wolves are likely to play hard while the Lakers mail things in on the Sunday nightcap.
T.J. Warren – PHO vs DAL – $6,700 – Much like Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis, Warren will get his minutes tonight for the Suns. He is a secondary option; however, if the extra $500 to procure the services of Andrew Wiggins is tough to come by, I think he is a fine alternative.
Other Options – Tobias Harris ($5,500)
Stanley Johnson – DET at MEM – $3,000 – Johnson is another minimum price punt option who should see relevant minutes tonight for the Pistons. While this is not the most enticing of matchups, it would make sense that the Grizzlies will be resting several of their guys which should open things up more than normal in the Grindhouse.
Other Options – Brandon Rush ($3,000)
Gorgui Dieng – MIN at LAL – $6,200 – There are a whole lot of “meh” options at the power forward position tonight, and it looks like Dieng is the safest with regards to minutes. He has averaged 30+ DraftKings points in three meetings this season with Los Angeles, but it has been four game since he surpassed that mark. This could lead to him being overlooked, and that moves Gorgui into tournament consideration.
Willie Cauley-Stein – $6,500 – I think WCS is a fine option, but he will likely be the popular choice at this position which is why Gorgui Dieng gets the slightest of nods in tournaments as a differentiation play for me.
Other Options – Julius Randle ($6,700)
Skal Labissire – SAC vs HOU – $5,000 – With a mostly secure 28-30 minutes in the rotation, Labissire is a fine option for the forward or utility position tonight in all formats.
Henry Ellenson – DET at MEM – $3,800 – Ellenson is another Pistons consideration who is a long range specialist and could be a tournament difference maker if his shots are falling.
Other Options – Marquese Chriss ($5,400)
Karl-Anthony Towns – MIN at LAL – $10,700 – KAT is the luxury option at the pivot position on tonight’s slate. The Lakers simply do not have an answer for him on defense, and it would be a surprise to me if he fails to reach 50 DraftKings points in this matchup.
Other Options – Gorgui Dieng ($6,200), Willie Cauley-Stein ($6,500)
Boban Marjanovic – DET at MEM – $4,900 – After Friday’s 27 points and 12 rebounds on his way to 46.5 DraftKings points, we saw the phenomenal upside. However, his price has jumped from the minimum all the way up to $4,900. It will be interesting to see if Boban is unleashed once more.
Alan Williams – PHO vs DAL – $4,600* – Williams will likely be the tournament pivot away from Boban Marjanovic, and while he has a safer “floor” projection, Boban still carries higher upside potential.
Georgios Papagiannis – SAC vs HOU – $3,900 – Papagiannis is the sneaky option who easily could be the best point per dollar producer of this bargain bin pivot trio.
Other Options – Montrezl Harrell ($3,400), Brandan Wright ($3,600), Alex Len ($4,200)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is emac) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.