Tuesday’s eight-game slate hinges on what we do with DeMarcus Cousins. The Boogie Monster is on a tear of epic proportions and has a very plus matchup against the Blazers. The Kings will be without Rudy Gay (eye). But he’s also $11,000 and on a back-to-back after playing 46 minutes Monday night. It’s a difficult decision. On to the targets:
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Chris Paul $9700 at Pacers – With Blake Griffin (quad, hand) still sidelined, the offense will continue to flow through Paul on nearly every possession. He’s averaging 47.4 DraftKings points without Blake this season and 38.7 with him. Tonight’s matchup with the Pacers provides an up-tempo spot as this isn’t your older brother’s Indy team. They rank fifth in pace.
Other Options – Russell Westbrook $10,600 at NYK, Damian Lillard $9300 vs. SAC
Deron Williams $6200 at Lakers – Step 1: Find out who the Lakers are playing. Step 2: Roster that team’s point guard. Step 3: Profit. That’s the way it’s gone all season, as the Lake Show has given up 3.1 more points than salary-based expectation to point guards. Only the Sixers and Blazers have a worse metric on this slate. It doesn’t hurt that backup guard Devin Harris (toe) is doubtful.
Ish Smith $7400 vs. Suns – Ish was predictably slowed by the elite guard defense of the Celtics on Sunday as he was held to 18.75 DK points. No matter. Hopefully that will keep people off him as he now faces a Suns team playing without Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt. They rank fourth in pace and 27th in defensive efficiency, a perfect formula for big numbers.
Other Options – George Hill $5100 vs. LAC, Michael Carter-Williams $6700 vs. ORL
C.J. McCollum $7300 vs. Kings – One of the best matchups a wing player can have is against the Kings, who give up a slate-worst 3.6 more points than salary expectation to shooting guards. That’s especially true when they have tired legs coming off a double-overtime game Monday night. McCollum doesn’t have a great ceiling because he doesn’t rebound or assist (total of 20 last four games), but he’s a very safe play thanks to his real-life scoring projection and three-point bonus.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan $8300 vs. WAS, Khris Middleton $7300 vs. ORL
Archie Goodwin $4500 at Sixers – Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price all remain sidelined. It’s left the Suns with no choice but to play the raw 21-year-old Goodwin monster minutes. He’s now averaging a solid 0.831 DraftKings points per minute, a number than can be bumped to at least 0.9 given he’s facing the Sixers. Goodwin has a realistic shot at 35 minutes here, giving him 31.5-point projection. That smashes value.
Raymond Felton $3900 at Lakers – I wouldn’t feel comfortable with Felton in cash games as his minute projection is volatile. But he has two things working in his favor. First, he’s facing the Lakers (see the Deron Williams blurb for more). Second, Devin Harris (toe) is doubtful. If Harris is inactive, Felton and JJ Barea would be the only guards available off the bench behind Deron and Wes Matthews. And third, Felton is a huge salary saver on a night we need it if we’re going to play DeMarcus Cousins.
Other Options – Devin Booker $5400 at PHL, Wes Matthews $5300 at LAL
Kevin Durant $9800 at Knicks – I’d expect Durant to be under-owned in tournaments relative to DeMarcus Cousins, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. Note that he’s scored at least 40 DK points in 11 of his last 12 games and is at 1.338 DK points per minute on the year (more than James Harden, Paul, LeBron James or Anthony Davis). If Carmelo Anthony (knee) suits up and plays well enough to keep the game close tonight, Durant should be around 35-38 minutes. Despite the tougher matchup, I prefer KD to Paul George as PG13 is talking about how fatigued he is.
Other Options – Paul George $8900 vs. LAC, Carmelo Anthony (questionable, knee) $8200 vs. OKC
Chandler Parsons $6300 at Lakers – It took some time, but Chandler Parsons is finally over his knee injury. He played 33 minutes on the second leg of a back-to-back last week and has seen at least 33 minutes in four straight games. He’s been absolutely on fire during that stretch with 41.5 DK points per game and now gets the Lakers, who give up 1.6 more points than salary expectation to small forwards.
Omri Casspi $6000 at Blazers – Rudy Gay (eye) will not play tonight, meaning Casspi is expected to get the start. He’s started 17 games this year, averaging 34.5 minutes in those games. That includes the last two games Gay missed, when Casspi played 38 and 28 minutes. Overall this season, Casspi is at 0.842 DK points per minute. So a fair baseline projection here would be 32 minutes at 0.842 for 26.9 DK points. We can bump him up slightly thanks to a plus matchup with a Blazers team that ranks 23rd in defensive efficiency.
Other Options: P.J. Tucker $5100 at PHL, Robert Covington $6100 vs. PHX
DeMarcus Cousins $11000 at Blazers – Under normal circumstances, I would do everything to get the white-hot Cousins into my lineup in this matchup without Rudy Gay stealing usage. And I still might. But the situation is obviously difficult as Boogie played 46 minutes in Monday night’s 2-OT loss to the Hornets and then had to travel. Note that he has struggled in seven back-to-backs this year, averaging 21.4 pts on 40.4% shooting while playing 31.7 minutes. In 29 other games, he’s averaged 29.0 points on 47.1% shooting while playing 34.6 minutes.
Other Options: Chris Bosh $7700 at BKN, Kristaps Porzingis $7300 vs. OKC
Dirk Nowitzki $6300 at Lakers – Do you want somewhere between 25 and 35 DraftKings points at $6300? Dirk will almost certainly get you there given the matchup and the absence of Zaza Pachulia (doubtful, heel). Nowitzki has been under 24 DK points once in his last ten games.
Other Options: Jordan Hill $4500 (only if Ian Mahinmi sits) vs. LAC, Markieff Morris $4900 (if he starts) at PHL, Nerlens Noel $6400 vs. PHX
Brook Lopez $7200 vs. Heat – Hassan Whiteside (hip) may miss this game, which would be a boost to Lopez. Even if he doesn’t, note that Lopez gave Whiteside 26 points and 12 rebounds when they squared off on Dec. 28. I’ll likely be saving at center tonight with Salah Mejri, Myles Turner, Alex Len or one of the other quality values, but paying up at the position will give you a different lineup construction. Not many will do it.
Other Options: Greg Monroe $7000 vs. ORL, DeAndre Jordan $7200 at IND
Salah Mejri $3500 at Lakers – This is not your typical rookie. Mejri is 29-years-old, from Tunisia, stands 7’2/235, has played against the United States’ superstars in the Olympics and has D-League experience. He’s impressed the Mavs to the point that coach Rick Carlisle said he’s earned minutes and gave him a start last game. With Zaza Pachulia (heel) doubtful for tonight’s dream matchup against the Lakers, Salah is the chalk punt play tonight after going 10-11-3 in 29 minutes against the Rockets on Sunday.
Other options: Myles Turner $4800 vs. LAC, Alex Len $4800 at PHL, Enes Kanter $4800 at NYK (if Steven Adams is out), Willie Cauley-Stein $4800 at POR