Wednesday’s 10-game slate is a bit unusual as we have just two games with a projected total above 210. That means we have eight games projected to be low-scoring given today’s NBA standards. The top-10 teams in the NBA in defensive efficiency (Spurs, Warriors, Jazz, Hawks, Heat, Pelicans, Grizzlies, Raptors, Celtics, Thunder) are all in action tonight. In other words, we need to lower our standards a bit when thinking about how many points we will need to win on this slate.
1. Sergio Rodriguez, PG, Sixers: OUT – Rodriguez’s absence leaves the Sixers with no true backup point guard on the roster (off guard Nik Stauskas will fill the role). It leaves starter T.J. McConnell with an enhanced minute projection, as evidenced by the 35 he played on Tuesday night. The good news is McConnell’s salary has not moved so we have a $5,500 player who gets .883 DK points per minute ticketed for 33-35 minutes. Wednesday’s matchup against the Hawks is a good one as Dennis Schroder ranks 83rd among qualifying point guards in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus metric. Stauskas, far cheaper at $4,100, is in play but would be hurt if Gerald Henderson (questionable, hip) is able to go Wednesday.
2. DeMarcus Cousins, C, Pelicans: QUESTIONABLE – We have a decent sample size of the Pelicans playing without Cousins since the trade. He’s missed four games this month and Anthony Davis has responded, averaging 59.6 DK points per game in them (vs. 46.8 with Cousins this month). The other main beneficiary up front could be Solomon Hill (questionable, foot), who is at 25.4 DK ppg in that four-game subset. At the guard position, Jrue Holiday’s usage rate goes from 20.9 up to 26.5 without Cousins, a substantial increase – especially when we factor in Holiday as shooting guard eligibile on DraftKings.
3. Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies: OUT – It’s difficult to overstate the absence of Gasol. He leads the Grizzlies in minutes per game and field-goal attempts, and ranks second in points per game and assists. The obvious beneficiary is Zach Randolph, who will once again slide into the starting lineup. In five starts this year (each with Gasol out), the ageless ZBo has 15.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.4 minutes. He’s not a smash play as he’s now priced up at $6,300, but there’s a solid floor here. A punt option is backup Brandan Wright, who is averaging 19.5 minutes per game in the last two Gasol has missed. Wright nets .870 DK points per minute and costs just $3,100. Wright will be especially interesting if JaMychal Green (questionable, shoulder) can’t go.
MATCHUP TO EXPLOIT
1. Dwight Howard Against the Sixers
It’s a perfect storm for Dwight Howard on Wednesday night. Paul Millsap (knee) will be out for the seventh straight game, a span in which Howard has averaged 33.1 minutes a night. The Hawks remain very hungry as they’re just three games clear of the East’s playoff line. And perhaps most importantly, the Sixers’ defense has turned into a playground for opposing centers. Over the last 25 games, they’ve given up an outrageous 11.0 more DK points than salary-based expectation to centers who cost at least $6,000 (via Fantasy Labs). That’s the most in the league during that span. They’ve given up at least 45.5 DK points to centers fitting that criteria in six straight games (Jusuf Nurkic, DeAndre Jordan, Al Horford, Nik Vucevic, Myles Turner, Brook Lopez).
1. Blake Griffin Against the Wizards
The scuffling Clippers should come into Wednesday night extremely focused after their worst loss of the season last time out (blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead at home to the Kings). They should also be well-rested as that game was on Sunday. It’s good news for Blake Griffin, who hasn’t topped 32 DK points in any of his last four games and seen his salary sink to $7,900. It’s extremely low for a player we know is capable of monster games in the right situations. He’s at a gaudy 1.217 DK points per minute this year despite the struggles. This matchup is fine as the Clippers have the highest implied team total on the entire slate against a Wizards team playing the back end of a back-to-back.
GPP SITUATIONS TO CAPITALIZE ON
1. Jazz Guards Possibly Without Gordon Hayward
UPDATE: George Hill is out for tonight’s game with the Kings.
This is a nice spot for the Jazz as they’re facing a Kings team which ranks 28th in defensive efficiency. They are 22nd in field-goal percentage allowed, 25th in 3-point percentage allowed and 29th in raw 3-pointers allowed. We also may not have word on the status of star Gordon Hayward (questionable, quad). So it gives us an opportunity to take a chance on players such as
George Hill and Rodney Hood. Hill’s role has been especially strong lately as he’s up at 35.0 minutes per game over his last five games. If Hayward ends up active, Hill is a solid option. If Hayward sits, Hill will become very strong play (possibly overlooked) in GPPs.
CASH GAME CONSIDERATIONS
(No particular order)
UPDATE: Robert Covington is out for tonight’s game against the Hawks.
PG: T.J. McConnell, Russell Westbrook,
George Hill (if Gordon Hayward is out), Dennis Schroder, Chris Paul
SG: Austin Rivers (if J.J. Redick is out), Jrue Holiday (if DeMarcus Cousins is out), DeMar DeRozan, Nik Stauskas, Rodney Hood (if Gordon Hayward is out), Monta Ellis
SF: Kawhi Leonard,
Robert Covington, Harrison Barnes, Khris Middleton, Paul George
PF: Zach Randolph, Blake Griffin, Dario Saric, Draymond Green, Brandan Wright
C: Dwight Howard, Rudy Gobert, Al Horford, Nik Vucevic
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is AdamLevitan) 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.