WATCH:PLAYER TO WATCH – JOHN WALL
The NBA rolls on tonight with a sweet spot, seven-game slate, with at least four of the games sporting high game totals rich with fantasy goodness. Here are my favorite studs and values to help you build your lineups. If you have any questions, reach out to me on Twitter @JasonWalkerDFS.
Russell Westbrook – OKC at NYK – $12,500 – He has established the triple-double as an expectation, rather than abnormality, averaging nearly a triple-double per game this season. The projected game total is a strong 213, and this game should be close. Between his scoring, the peripherals and double-double and triple-double bonuses, along with his 40 percent raw usage, he will need to be much more expensive to not be in play.
Stephen Curry – GS vs. ATL – $9,300 – If Draymond Green misses the Hawks game with his sore ankle, it funnels more of the peripherals to Kevin Durant and Curry. Curry poured in 56 DraftKings Fantasy Points (DKFP) against Minnesota, where he had eight rebounds and six assists to go with his 34 points scored.
Other Options – John Wall ($8,700), Kemba Walker ($7,900), Kyle Lowry ($8,100)
Mike Conley – MEM vs. CHA – $6,500 – The raw usage is way up for Conley, who has taken more of an active scoring role than ever in his Grizzlies career. He should also have potential for higher defensive peripherals in this game covering Kemba Walker and his 29 percent raw usage.
Sergio Rodriguez – PHI at TOR – $3,600 – If Jerryd Bayless misses tonight’s game, as expected, then Rodriguez steps back into the fray against a Raptors team that has been surprisingly generous to opposing point guards this season.
Other Options – Dennis Schröder ($5,500), Ty Lawson ($3,800)
DeMar DeRozan – TOR vs. PHI – $8,400 – Clearly the top guy at the position on this slate, DeRozan has piled up 34 percent raw usage and has the fifth-highest free throw attempts per game this season.
Bradley Beal – WAS vs. SAC – $6,900 – Beal has taken 26, 22, 15 and 23 shots over the past four games, and the Kings are suddenly playing a pace-up style of basketball after ditching the big lineup. The Kings have also allowed the most 3-point baskets per 100 possessions over the last five games.
Other Options – Nicolas Batum ($6,600), Victor Oladipo ($6,600)
Tony Allen – MEM vs. CHA – $4,100 – You need about 30 DKFP in tournaments to pay this price off, and Allen has the minutes (31 last game) to get it done. He’ll likely lock that in lining up against Nicolas Batum.
Gerald Henderson – PHI at TOR – $3,500 – Likely a popular punt play at SG given the choices overall at the position, Henderson has scored 24.75, 26.75, 6.25 and 29.75 DKFP in his last four games while playing more than 30 minutes in two of those games.
Kevin Durant – GS vs. ATL – $9,900 – Like with Curry, Draymond’s availability, or lack thereof, will either bump up or not Durant’s overall production, as it is really him and Green that rebound for the Warriors on that first shift. With Kerr staggering Curry and Durant, KD gets a lot of production against the second unit and has produced the Warriors’ highest individual PIE, an NBA Stats estimate of percentage of impact.
Rudy Gay – SAC at WAS – $6,800 – Volatile tourney-only play for me here, but the pace up game and Gay’s role in Joerger’s offense means he is getting 27 percent raw usage even with Cousins in play, leaving his scoring at a reasonable place to get 40-45 DKFP in this matchup.
Other Options – Carmelo Anthony ($7,700), Otto Porter ($6,100)
Jae Crowder – BOS at MIA – $5,200 – With no Al Horford today for Boston, Crowder will see his minutes expand, as well as his peripheral stats. He scored 32+ DKFP against the Spurs his last time out, so with expanded minutes, he can make tourney value at this price, too.
Kent Bazemore – ATL at GS – $5,000 – He is not going to be the focal point of the offense, but he will see a little more in this game considering the pace and lineups will force more possessions out of Dwight Howard’s hands. His 21 percent raw usage allows for the ceiling to make 30 DKFP here.
Other Options – James Johnson ($4,500), Markieff Morris ($5,100)
DeMarcus Cousins – SAC at WAS – $10,100 – Since the Kings started their pace-up, drop the big lineup surge that has led to being the ninth-highest paced team over that span, Cousins has averaged 32.4 PPG and 11.2 rebounds per game, leading to a run of 73.25, 39.50, 57.25, 55.25 and 66.75 DKFP outings.
Paul Millsap – ATL at GS – $7,200 – In a pace up game for Millsap where he might see some time as the center, he will be asked to do most of the scoring here instead of Howard, who may get fewer minutes in this game script.
Other Options – Kristaps Porzingis ($7,500)
Richaun Holmes – PHI at TOR – $3,200 – At nearly the minimum, you will get someone who scores 1.07 DraftKings Points Per Minute (DKPPM) and will play whether the game is in question or a blowout. He’ll evenly split the minutes at center with Jahlil Okafor, and Joel Embiid has already been declared out for this game.
Ersan Ilyasova – PHI at TOR – $4,600 – Another Sixers forward, Ersan has 19 percent raw usage for the whole season and 0.90 DKPPM, without factoring out the usage heavy Embiid, who is out. Ersan’s ceiling here is around 30-33 DKFP.
Other Options – Kevin Looney ($3,000)
Hassan Whiteside – MIA vs. BOS – $8,500 – Whiteside is questionable to play tonight, but I love playing top-end bigs at home because they get the benefit of the doubt from the home scorer on rebounds/blocked shots. Toss in that Whiteside, who excels in those previously mentioned categories, will have no Al Horford to contend with on either end, and it is a prime game for him to crush – assuming he plays.
Marc Gasol – MEM vs. CHA – $6,700 – He and Conley are the Grizzlies offense right now, getting 26 percent raw usage and scoring over 40 DKFP in three of his last four games.
Other Options – Rudy Gobert ($6,400), Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,000)
Jonas Valanciunas – TOR vs. PHI – $5,700 – This is a great matchup here against Jahlil Okafor. Val is averaging over a DKPPM, and has a matchup similar to his games against Houston (39 DKFP) and Sacramento (48.50 DKFP).
Kelly Olynyk – BOS at MIA – $3,700 – No Horford and a desire to keep Whiteside away from the basket will likely land Olynyk extra minutes on the floor, if he can avoid fouling Whiteside. He has produced well in extended minutes this season when Horford missed time.
Other Options – Jahlil Okafor ($5,000), Steven Adams ($5,100)
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.