WATCH: MATCHUP TO WATCH – DENNIS SCHRODER
The NBA rolls on tonight with a tight four-game slate, with every game sporting a game total that looks to keep the offensive party going from last night’s epic slate. Here are your studs and values, defined as over $8,000 for studs (where we can) and the rest as values. If you have any questions, reach out to me on Twitter @JasonWalkerDFS.
Chris Paul – LAC at POR – $8,800 – Paul will get the defensively-optional Damian Lillard in a game that sports a projected game total of 208.5 and a close 2.5 point game. Paul’s usage should still be in the mid-20s, even with Blake Griffin, and I think he has the highest floor of any PG on the slate tonight.
John Wall – WAS at ATL – $8,200 – In three games against Atlanta last season, Wall scored 43.8 DraftKings points per game (DKPPG) and that was when the Hawks were the second best defense in the league. With the personnel changes in the Hawks, it could take time to gel against defensively, leaving the door open for Wall to score more in this first outing.
Other Options – Damian Lillard ($9,200)
Isaiah Thomas – BOS at CHI – $7,200 – Thomas is still the usage leader on this team, with between 27-30% usage. And last season he had the fifth most free throws per 36 minutes played, something I expect him to continue this season.
Dennis Schröder – ATL vs. WAS – $6,500 – He brings his high usage game to the first team, so he’ll dip a little in attempts. However, he should score well with Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap to dish to when he isn’t getting to the rim.
Other Options – Tony Parker ($4,400), Rajon Rondo ($6,200)
C.J. McCollum – POR vs. LAC – $6,800 – With Lillard being hounded by Chris Paul, some workload will be transferred to the already high usage McCollum. Because of Terry Stotts’ rotation, McCollum will also see a good bit of Jamal Crawford defense, which is a plus as a matchup goes.
Jimmy Butler – CHI vs. BOS – $7,400 – More likely to get Jae Crowder than defensive blanket Avery Bradley, Butler could see more usage than expected with this matchup and a pace-up game against the moving, moving Celtics.
Other Options – Dwyane Wade ($6,300)
Kent Bazemore – ATL vs. WAS – $5,100 – The last time he played 21+ minutes against the Wizards, he scored 40 DK points. The Hawks need Bazemore to stretch the defense so Schröder, Millsap and Howard can work.
Avery Bradley – BOS at CHI – $4,900 – He stung the Nets for a 37.75 DK point game last night against Brooklyn, grabbing nine boards and dishing five assists in the process. In a high projected total game here (210.5 points) Bradley’s minutes, usage (22% last night) and a pacy, close matchup, should make him a popular option tonight.
Other Options – Allen Crabbe ($3,700), Bradley Beal ($5,700)
Kawhi Leonard – SAS at SAC – $8,400 – Coming off a tremendous 54.75 DK point opening night in Oakland, Leonard now gets the less-stressful defensive matchup of the Kings, who are on the second game of a back to back. Leonard’s usage bears watching, as it was an elite 36% opening night.
Markieff Morris – WAS at ATL – $5,400 – There are no other real studs, so we’ll swing down to Morris, who scored over 30 DK points in both games against the Hawks last season as a Wizard. He did it playing 26 minutes per game, a number which should rise this season.
Other Options – Jae Crowder ($5,200)
Jonathan Simmons – SAS at SAC -$4,200 – Scored 32 DK points in 28 minutes during the first game against Golden State and should see similar, if not additional, minutes in a game script that has the Spurs as hefty favorites (-8.5).
Otto Porter – WAS at ATL – $4,500 – Porter, in three games against the Hawks last season where he cleared 30 minutes, scored over 30 DKPPG, making him a value here, especially if he gets the lenient defense of Bazemore.
Other Options – Evan Turner ($4,700)
LaMarcus Aldridge – SAS at SAC – $7,300 – Aldridge had 28% usage and 51 DK points in the first game, despite Leonard’s massive consumption, further underlining that the Spurs production will come through those two spots, chiefly.
Paul Millsap – ATL vs. WAS – $7,900 – Not crazy about the value, but in cash games you can likely count on Millsap for a full-featured box score, scoring 46, 38 and 41 in the three outings he played 30+ minutes last season against the Wizards.
Other Options – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,300), Blake Griffin ($8,600)
Taj Gibson ($4,100) – Not a high usage guy, but the Celtics gave up the ninth most defensive rebounds per 36 minutes last season, and newcomer Al Horford won’t do much to help that as the Hawks were always in the bottom ten in rebounding.
Kris Humphries ($3,000) – Not much available in the value area of power forwards, but with top PF reserve Mike Scott missing the game for the Hawks, Hump will likely see more action. It’s also worth noting that he had a 20% usage rate with a DK point per minute as a Hawk last season.
Other Options – Andrew Nicholson ($3,000)
DeAndre Jordan – LAC at POR – $7,700 – The price is high, but so is the floor in this game for Jordan, who scored 42 DKPPG against Mason Plumlee and the Blazers in four games last season. Little has changed and the total is high and, with Plumlee being a low usage center, the foul trouble potential for Jordan is lower, too, evidenced by his 3.3 PF/GM rate last season against Portland.
Dwight Howard – ATL vs. WAS – $7,500 – Howard’s usage in the pre-season for the Hawks was 28%, tops on the team, which is almost 10 percent more than Howard had last season against the Wizards as a member of the Rockets, in which he scored a DraftKings Point Per Minute (DKPPM). With more touches and more time, he’s in line for a solid outing for his price tonight.
Other Options – Al Horford ($7,000), Pau Gasol ($6,600)
Marcin Gortat – WAS at ATL – $5,300 – This is a really low price for Gortat, who had 41 DK points his last time out against the Hawks and averaged 35 DKPPG against Howard directly last season.
Amir Johnson – BOS at CHI – $3,500 – Not much else to choose from, but if you wanted to go lower, Johnson averages nearly a DKPPM. The problem is, Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ minutes are uneven, and Amir only had 20 minutes, even as a starter, against the Nets.
Other Options – Mason Plumlee ($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.