The NBA welcomes everyone back tonight with a sweet spot, six-game slate, so here are my favorite studs and values for tonight’s action. If you have any questions, reach out to me on Twitter @JasonWalkerDFS.
James Harden – HOU vs. NOP – $12,500 – Looking at the other point guards above $6K, Harden’s stability and matchup stand out, even at his high price tag. He has the most reasonable chance to topple 5x + 10 value above that line tonight, given the sure to be shootout against the Pelicans tonight.
Other Options – Darren Collison ($7.400)
Brandon Jennings – NYK at CLE – $4,000 – Courtney Lee is doubtful to play, and Jennings has seen a six minutes per game bump in playing time with Lee missing games this season. The individual matchup with the Cavaliers’ PG position is elite, with only Denver being a better target for PGs.
Elfrid Payton – ORL vs. POR – $5,200 – You never know how the minutes will go in Orlando, making Payton a tournament play for me. Payton scored 36.50 DK points in Portland when the Magic won in mid-January, playing 34 minutes in that game.
Other Options – Reggie Jackson ($5,400)
Klay Thompson – GSW at LAC – $6,700 – There is not much to choose from above the $6K line at SG, a traditional place to punt, anyway. So Thompson, at home, in a projected high total game, gets a look here for his mid 20s% raw usage rate and solid minutes, even in most blowouts.
C.J. McCollum – POR at ORL – $7,500 – McCollum, even with Damian Lillard picking up his own shooting rate, has maintained high usage, averaging in the high 20% range over the last seven games. He owns the second unit in his rotations, giving him 45 DK point upside here.
Other Options – Nicolas Batum ($7,000)
Tyreke Evans – SAC vs. DEN – $4,200 – There is nearly 40% raw usage to replace with DeMarcus Cousins in the Big Easy now, and there are few on the roster who can easily take a big chunk of that. Evans is that guy, easily displaying high usage with big minutes throughout his career, and this season in New Orleans as well, using 34% in 27 minutes in a 27 DK point game against the Wizards this month and 30% against Phoenix in 24 minutes two games ago.
E’Twaun Moore – NOP vs. HOU – $3,400 – I think 30+ projected minutes for Moore is realistic, as he is expected to start at SG for the Pelicans with three of his rotational competitors traded away. Usage may be an issue for Moore, who was only averaging 19% before Cousins and his usage arrived, but worth a look for the minutes and probable matchup with James Harden tonight.
Other Options – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,900)
Kevin Durant – GSW vs. LAC – $9,400 – He poured 55 DK points down on them the last time out, and that was while Chris Paul was out of commission and Stephen Curry had free reign to score against the sorry defense the Clippers ran out without Paul (Curry had 66 DK points). With Paul back and the offense running off more to Durant as a result, a bump on that already healthy 55 points is definitely in play.
LeBron James – CLE vs. NYK – $10,200 – With mid 30s raw usage and considering his massive assist rates, I think James at nearly $10K in a positive matchup against Carmelo Anthony, is a great cash game and tourney play tonight. James has a 70 DK point ceiling in this matchup, if the Knicks can keep the game close.
Other Options – Carmelo Anthony ($7,800)
Marcus Morris – DET vs. CHA – $5,200 – Cash game play as the minutes are usually locked into the mid 30s. Despite Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s defensive reputation at SF, the position has actually been a positive matchup this season for opposing small forwards.
Justin Holiday – NYK at CLE – $3,200 – Check the news on Courtney Lee, who the New York papers are calling doubtful for tonight’s game. If out, Holiday has played 29 minutes per game and scored 28 DK points per game in his absence.
Draymond Green – GSW vs. LAC – $7,300 – In the last two games, Green had to make a difference against Memphis and Sacramento, scoring 41.50 and 67.50 DK points respectively. Green had 39.25 DK points in early December in a similar game in Los Angeles.
Frank Kaminsky – CHA vs. DET – $6,300 – Kaminsky has filled in for Cody Zeller at a 35-40 DK points per game rate, keeping him in play against Detroit, especially with recent opponents throttling Andre Drummond’s defense.
Other Options – Kristaps Porzingis ($6,600)
Channing Frye – CLE vs. NYK – $5,500 – Filling in for Love, Frye has solid correlation with LeBron James and that nice 223 projected game total tonight. Additionally, the Knicks have the best opponent grade among power forwards tonight, meaning this is an elite matchup for Frye.
Aaron Gordon – ORL vs. POR – $4,900 – Frank Vogel may be starting to get the picture that Jeff Green can’t defend the perimeter so he will just give his explosive forward Gordon more playing time. The Blazers have been the fifth worst defensive team over the last five games.
Other Options – Marvin Williams ($4,700), Ryan Anderson ($5,200)
Nikola Jokic – DEN at SAC -$10,500 – So far, Mason Plumlee’s arrival and subsequent significant playing time has not negatively impacted the impact that Jokic is making game after game. With no DeMarcus Cousins, there is little to stop Jokic from another 50+ DK point game like he has had in each of his last four games.
Nikola Vucevic – ORL vs. POR – $7,100 – Very positive matchup here for Vucevic, who is another play Frank Vogel had to wake up and recognize as a candidate for more minutes. With Serge Ibaka gone, Vucevic should see a regular diet of mid 30s minutes, mid 20s% usage games and he has double digit rebounds in his last five games.
Other Options – Andre Drummond ($7,600)
Nene – HOU at NOP – $3,000 – Against Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, you can assume that Nene is going to see closest to his ceiling, minutes wise, in this game. Getting a fantasy point per minute this season, Nene could get 25 DK points if he plays the half a game he has been getting in similar matchups.
Willie Cauley-Stein – SAC vs. DEN – $3,600 – Tourney only for me, as WCS can be considered a trap play when he’s expected to produce big. The pace/matchup here against Denver, however, and complete production vacuum with Cousins gone, makes him a must look at below $4K.
Other Options – Guillermo Hernangomez ($5,700), Jusuf Nurkic ($4,300)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jaywalker72) 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.