Winning in tournaments requires a nice mix of roster differentiation and high upside.
For our purposes, we’re going to focus on the high-ceiling plays by position, and salary tier (top end, mid tier and low end), for tonight’s games, ‘fire up your new week’ nine-game slate. These are plays that could go for about, on average, six times what their salary is. (Ex. $6,000/1,000 * 6 = 36 DK points equals value.)
Let’s line em up! Ask any questions on Twitter @JasonWalker_72
Jimmy Butler – CHI @ TOR – $8,000 – This yawner of a game, with its low 204 game total (minus Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose) could get overlooked. The simple equation is this: Jimmy Butler minus Pau Gasol/Derrick Rose = all the Butler. Butler’s raw usage goes way up when those other two Bulls studs are off the court, and we’ve seen great totals when Butler channels his inner Jordan. The 81 DK pt game against the Sixers is one such game. Toronto sizes up to be a solid matchup for opposing points as well, so as long as Butler is in (and he practiced in full on Sunday), then get him in the lineup.
Zach LaVine – MIN @ PHX – $5,700 – This is a tremendous matchup for LaVine against Devin Booker, and his salary has dipped back below 6K after a couple of low total games in tougher spots for him, which should lower his ownership profile a smidge. He’s solidly third in line behind KAT and Wiggins and continues to get over 20% raw usage and 36.6% true usage, second behind Ricky Rubio in the latter category.
Ray McCallum – MEM @ HOU – $3,000 – He could be a bit owned, though the matchup against Patrick Beverley plus other Grizzlies higher in the ownership pecking order could keep even his minimum salary under radar. He looked really good rolling in off the street against a tough Atlanta Hawks defense. He didn’t start, but he played quite a bit (27 minutes) and there is no loyalty from Memphis to Briante Weber, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Ray get the start for the Grizzlies here in a solid 209 game total.
Kevin Durant – POR vs. OKC – $10,500 – I believe others will try and capture value here with the Memphis guys and the like, and since it was Russ who went nuts against Minnesota last time out, it could leave KD a little under owned, especially considering the other dollars available to spend on the slate tonight. Over his last six games, Durant has averaged 54.4 DKPPG and 32% raw usage, three percent more raw usage than Russell Westbrook. The matchup, position-wise, isn’t great, but he’s gotten 1.2 DraftKings points per minutes (DKPPM) against Portland this season and still gets over 30% usage here as well.
“The last time Wade sat, Johnson had 40 DK points and has that upside again in this matchup”
Joe Johnson – MIA vs. DEN – $5,100 – This is especially good if Dwyane Wade misses the game, but Johnson’s minutes have been solid anyway as his his scoring usage, which is the low 20s. Denver is a great matchup, and he gets them in Miami, so no altitude issues there. The last time Wade sat, Johnson had 40 DK points and has that upside again in this matchup.
Michael Beasley – HOU vs. MEM – $3,000 – I am really surprised to see Beasley still at min salary, since he’s had double digit DK points games in each of his last three, and people are starting to catch on to what Beas is doing when he’s getting into game with the Rockets. And what’s that, you ask? Beasley has a scoring usage total of 40.5% in his last three games. And this isn’t a one minute sample, he’s averaged 13 minutes per game and has had 14 and 15 in his last two. This is a 209 game total, and he’s going to get a solid matchup against the Grizz since he’s coming off the bench.
Hassan Whiteside – MIA vs. DEN – $8,200 – There are a lot of more high ceiling options and the slate tonight and good mid-tier options at center, so the appetite for paying up for Hassan will be much lower. Huge upside and great matchup against the Nuggets, who could be weaker on the frontline with Lauvergne and Nurkic questionable tonight. Whiteside has 50 DK point upside in this 203.5 game total, and the Nuggets, who have had their shot blocked the most and are top ten in drives to the hoop.
Marcin Gortat – WAS vs. DET – $6,400 – Marcin should be a low ownership, great upside play here. Back-to-back stinkers will have nobody on Gortat tonight in what I have as the third best center matchup of the night against Andre Drummond. Foul trouble in Denver, on the back end of a back-to-back, derailed Gortat in what should have been a plus matchup for him, but he’s home now and can score against the Pistons, who are bottom ten defensively in points in the paint.
Enes Kanter – OKC vs. POR – $4,600 – His lower minutes and off the bench status will scare off the masses, as always, but he’s an explosive points per minute player in a great spot against the leakiest of frontcourts with Portland. Kanter has averaged 30.5 DKPPG over his last three games, all off the bench, and he should get good minutes tonight with the Thunder expected to easily win at home against Portland.