S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT! Shout out to the Bay City Rollers for their great weekend anthem. The main slate will be the focus of this article, and it starts with the usual 7pm tipoff culminating with the Golden State Warriors hosting the Brooklyn Nets.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to me on Twitter @EmacDFS.
Kyrie Irving – CLE vs CHI – $8,400 – We already know that most of the offense for the Cavaliers is going to funnel through Irving and LeBron James while Kevin Love recovers from his minor knee procedure. Coach Tyronn Lue is going to want to bank some wins now while his stars are relatively fresh from the All-Star Break, since the top seed in the Eastern Conference is by no means a forgone conclusion. Irving has a ceiling of about 50 DraftKings points; however, it is hard to envision much less than 35-37 DKPTs in this matchup, which makes him a solid option, even with the lofty price tag.
Note: there are rumors that LeBron James is suffering from an illness, so keep an eye on this situation. If he is out, Irving becomes a tremendous option.
Dennis Schroder – ATL at ORL – $6,200 – This selection assumes Schroder is back in the good graces of the team after accepting his one game ban imposed by management after he was late returning from his home country of Germany after the All-Star Break. In three previous meetings with the Magic, Schroder has been outstanding with 29.5mpg, 18.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 10.0apg and 1.7spg for a healthy 41.3 DraftKings points. As long as he is confirmed as the starter, I think he is a great option.
Other Options – Derrick Rose ($6,700)
Tim Frazier – NOP at DAL – $3,500 – Tournaments only for me, but with New Orleans shipping out Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway as part of the DeMarcus Cousins trade, the Pelicans are short handed in the backcourt. Frazier should see 20-22 minutes, and he is a fine discount dandy option in this matchup.
Other Options – Rajon Rondo ($4,500)
James Harden – HOU vs MIN – $12,200 – What more can we say about a player averaging 60.3 DraftKings points and leading the league in assists with 11.3 per game? The Beard is an excellent choice at either backcourt position and there should be enough value options available as teams are still sorting things out after the trade deadline, so making him the cornerstone of our rosters is not too much of a reach.
Dion Waiters – MIA vs IND – $7,000 – Who knew that Waiters had this in him?! Over his last ten games, he is averaging nearly 17 field goal attempts per outing and as long as the volume remains, he should continue to flirt with the forty fantasy point plateau nightly.
Other Options – Andrew Wiggins ($8,100), Jrue Holiday ($7,000)
Seth Curry – DAL vs NOP – $5,000 – With Deron Williams released and J.J. Barea still at least a week away from returning to game action, Curry should continue to see 32-35 minutes per game and produce 25-30 DraftKings points consistently.
Other Options – E’Twaun Moore ($4,000), Terrence Ross ($4,500)
Carmelo Anthony – NYK vs PHI – $8,500 – Kristaps Porzingis is out of action with an ankle injury, the 76ers are going into full tanking mode, ‘Melo should be somewhat rejuvenated after the All-Star Break, and this game is at home in Madison Square Garden. That checks all the boxes. He’ll likely be popular, but I think this is a 50 DraftKings point opportunity for the Knicks’ somewhat fallen star.
Andrew Wiggins – MIN at HOU – $8,100 – Here are some numbers for you… 21, 26 and 29. No those are not points scored, those are the number of field goal attempts Wiggins has had in his last three games. Yes, he really needs to approach 40 real points in order to support the highest price tag of his career, but he has reached that rare air in two of his last three games without Zach LaVine, and the Timberwolves have an implied team total of 107.5 points, so there should be fantasy goodness aplenty in this matchup with the Rockets.
Other Options – LeBron James ($11,000)
Dario Saric – PHI at NYK – $6,900 – With Nerlens Noel and Ersan Ilyasova out of town and Joel Embiid on the sidelines with a knee injury, the Sixers have a plethora of available shot attempts and Saric is not shy about firing away from all parts of the court. He slots in nicely at small forward or power forward and he should be in the mix for 37-42 DraftKings points at a very friendly price point. Teammate Robert Covington – $6,400 also warrants strong consideration as he has been locked in from downtown, averaging 4.25 made three-pointers over his last four games which are worth a half point bonus on DraftKings. With his nearly two steals per game, he contributes in several sneaky categories across the box score.
Terrence Ross – ORL vs ATL – $4,500 – The former University of Washington Husky was a recent acquisition from Toronto just prior to the All-Star Break. He has made only one start so far with the Magic, but it is clear they are going to hand him around 30 minutes per game which means we are getting him at about a $1,200 discount.
Other Options – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($5,000)
DeMarcus Cousins – NOP at DAL – $10,700 – The 71 DraftKings points in his debut for the Pellies was nice, but before we get stars in our eyes, we need to realize that he had nine combined blocks/steals which is going to be hard to replicate against Dallas. On the flipside, the Mavericks are going to need newly acquired Nerlens Noel, 38 year-old Dirk Nowitzki and the under-sized (6’8” 225 lbs) Harrison Barnes to cover both Boogie AND Anthony Davis – $9,500. Oh and they should also get six fouls in about eight minutes from Salah Mejri. This is going to be a fun one to watch!
Karl-Anthony Towns – MIN at HOU – $10,500 – This is a back-to-back for Minnesota; however, with the recent All-Star Break the second year big man should be relatively fresh. In two prior meetings between these squads, KAT is averaging 32.0ppg, 17.0rpg, 5.0apg and 2.5 combined blocks/steals for 64.5 DraftKings points, albeit in 40.3 minutes per game.
Aaron Gordon – ORL vs ATL – $5,400 – With the trade of Serge Ibaka, the Magic can now give Gordon all the run he can handle at power forward which better suits his skills since he should be able to out quick the fours with bulk, but readily defend opposing stretch fours. In three prior meetings this year, he is averaging 25 DraftKings points against the Hawks and that is a fine baseline projection since he accrued that production in just 22.6 minutes per game. He could reach the mid-30s for DraftKings production tonight, making him a fine value.
Other Options – Richaun Holmes ($4,400), Bobby Portis ($5,000), Nikola Mirotic ($4,100)
Hassan Whiteside – MIA vs IND – $8,000 – Whiteside only played 25 minutes last night as the Heat crushed the Hawks in Atlanta 108-90. With so many PF/C options listed in the section above, there is a good chance the Miami big man is lost in the shuffle, which makes him a tremendous tournament option in my opinion, with his 50+ DraftKings point upside.
Other Options – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,700), Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,500), Anthony Davis ($9,500)
Dwight Howard – ATL at ORL – $6,700 – Howard was pretty lackluster last night against the Heat with just four points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes. Hopefully a trip to Orlando to take on the team that drafted him wakes him up. He is averaging a strong double double of 14.7 points and 13.7 rebounds in the three previous meetings against his former squad in just 27.3 minutes per game for an astounding 1.36 DraftKings points per minute.
Guillermo Hernangomez – NYK vs PHI – $6,500 – With Kristaps Porzingis out and Joakim Noah doubtful, it looks like Hernangomez and Kyle O’Quinn – $4,300 will be in line for some heavy minutes against an equally depleted Philadelphia frontcourt.
Other Options – Robin Lopez ($4,700), JaVale McGee($3,400)
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.