WATCH: 1 ON 1: KYRIE IRVING & RICKY RUBIO
The NBA rolls on tonight with a five-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.
Damian Lillard – POR vs. HOU – $9,200 – Portland, battling for the playoffs, meets up with the Rockets, who have been the third-worst pace adjusted defense over the past seven games. Lillard would need close to 55 DK points in this matchup, which he can get to given the extra possessions and the over 30% usage he has enjoyed since March 11 (11 games).
Kyrie Irving – CLE at CHI – $7,900 – The strain of being losers is starting to hit the Cavaliers. The league has called Tyronn Lue’s bluff of not caring about losing heading into the playoffs, and Irving himself has publicly stated that he need to do more to get the Cavs back on track before the playoffs. Irving has had the third-highest raw usage rate (33.4%) in March, so he will have much to do with the Cavs getting right soon.
Other Options – D’Angelo Russell ($7,200), Rajon Rondo ($6,600)
Kris Dunn – MIN vs. LAL – $3,900 – Last four games: 24, 34, 28 and 26 minutes, with the 34-minute game including playing the five-minute OT. He has scored 33.25, 28 and 26.50 DK points in the last three games. The Timberwolves have the third-best matchup of the slate with the Lakers in town, and a potential one-sided affair could get more raw usage from Dunn as the regular starters check out.
Raymond Felton – LAC at PHX – $3,400 – Check your news, but Austin Rivers is already out of this game and Chris Paul played long minutes in their battle with the Wizards Wednesday night, so Felton could be in line for a 30+ minute game against the fourth-worst pace adjusted defense over the last seven games. The Clippers, with their own offensive excellence, grade out as the top matchup tonight.
Devin Booker – PHX vs. LAC – $7,200 – Make sure he is in after an “ankle” injury kept him out of the last game against the Hawks. Booker, since the Suns went down to about eight players a few games ago, has had 31.5%, 51.1% and 32.2% raw usage. If the Clippers sit Chris Paul, then it’s the backcourt that led the Clippers to the bottom of the defensive rankings that Booker will play against.
C.J. McCollum – POR vs. HOU – $7,600 – Same positive vibes arise as in Damian Lillard’s writeup, but there is enough projected points for Lillard, CJMC and Jusuf Nurkic to get happy in this matchup, a must win for the playoff-desiring Blazers. McCollum has metered 45 and 52.75 DK points in two of the last three games.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($10,000), James Harden ($12,400)
Lou Williams – HOU at POR – $5,400 – Portland’s defense has been more stout lately, ranking fourth best over the last seven games. However, with the Rockets offense and pace, that likely is a tiny bump in their road. With James Harden nursing an injured wrist and the Rockets fairly well set in place in the standings, Williams could see a lot of usage and run, especially if the motivated Blazers get out on the Rockets early on.
Jamal Crawford – LAC at PHX – $3,900 – Same great matchup as described with Felton and, if the Clippers do rest some guys on this back end of back-to-back, or simply crush early as they will likely do if the starters do play, Crawford will get some additional minutes against this leaky defense.
Other Options – Allen Crabbe ($4,300)
LeBron James – CLE at CHI – $10,100 – They have to get back on track, and James scored 65.25 against Charlotte in their last road win. James has averaged over 50 DK points this season against the Bulls and has averaged 32.1% raw usage in March himself.
T.J. Warren – PHX vs. LAC – $7,500 – He has scored 46 and 43.50 DK points in his two games back from injury, playing 38 and 39 minutes in those two games. The matchup is not great, but could be more loose if the Clippers decide to rest players tonight after a long game against Washington.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($10,000)
Trevor Ariza – HOU at POR – $5,700 – Ryan Anderson being out has been great for Ariza’s production, shifting down to the four and scoring 50.50 and 35 DK points in his last two games, where he has played 36 and 41 minutes. The game pace and matchup are solid tonight as well, but Ariza would benefit from keeping the game close rather than Portland running away with it.
Larry Nance – LAL at MIN – $4,600 – This is the same matchup that saw Nance play 34 minutes and scored 29.25 DK points a week ago. With Brandon Ingram out with his injury, Nance could see the same 30 minutes or so against Minnesota tonight.
Other Options – Iman Shumpert ($3,300)
Julius Randle – LAL at MIN – $6,700 – His raw usage has been way down the last two games, which has lowered his price below where he was just a few days ago when he posted 49 DK points in 34 minutes against these same Timberwolves.
Blake Griffin – LAC at PHX – $8,100 – Danger here in that the Clips played a long game last night against Washington and Blake participated in 39 minutes of it to ensure their win. He could rest a bit tonight, and the likelihood of 35+ minutes seems remote. However, if he does play a full compliment of minutes, he is in position to be a big reason they roll the Suns over, with an all-around game right now that has seen his raw usage in the high 20s and a ceiling that he showed against Washington last night with a 56.50 night. For me, he’s tourneys only due to playing time risk.
Al-Farouq Aminu – POR vs. HOU – $4,500 – Aminu has the excellent pace game here and has stabilized his production, finally, since his move to the bench, scoring 25.25, 29.50 and 29.75 in three of his last four games. A pacy game like this enhances the peripherals that Aminu feeds on for fantasy production, giving him a 35-40 DK point ceiling in this must-win game.
Jusuf Nurkic – POR vs. HOU – $8,000 – The Blazers get lots of possessions, and Nurkic has been playing very well, scoring 1.34 DK points per minute since March 1 (15 games). This is a must-win for Portland, so Terry Stotts should not monkey around with Nurkic’s minutes, especially if the game is close.
DeAndre Jordan – LAC at PHX – $6,900 – The Suns will play uptempo and take a ton of shots — but they are not good at making them, which is why their pace adjusted offensive rating is still only 22nd. This gives opposing centers, especially elite glass cleaners like Jordan, opportunity for a lot of rebounds. The only caveat, as we have stated, is watching the playing time, therefore he is tourney only for me.
Other Options – Brook Lopez ($7,000)
Ivica Zubac – LAL at MIN – $5,000 – If he can stay out of early foul trouble, which is when Luke Walton sits him on the bench in the third quarter and forgets about him, Zubac is an excellent matchup play here against Minnesota. Zubac is over a DK point per minute and should be drawing the start here.
Alex Len – PHX vs. LAC – $4,700- Len and Alan Williams ($5,000) are in great spots here in a loose game and a solid individual matchup against DeAndre Jordan. Len is coming off of a 27.25 DK point night in Atlanta and has been averaging over a DK point per minute since March 17.
Other Options – Alan Williams ($5,000), Clint Capela ($5,600)
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.