***UPDATED CORE FOUR AT 7:02PM ET***
Cleveland will only have nine players available tonight. Collin Sexton, Brodric Thomas, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade, Jarrett Allen, Damyean Dotson, Jeremiah Martin, Anderson Varejao, and Mfiondu Kabengele. Sexton, Allen, Okoro, and Wade should play plenty of minutes this evening. Kabengele played 23 minutes yesterday and could play 20-22 minutes this evening at min price. Dotson would be interesting if he starts, he played 26 minutes off the bench on Sunday.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Monday! Today I’ll be breaking down tonight’s six-game slate.
Tonight’s slate is small, but it features four games with an implied total of 230 points or more and no game has an over/under of less than 225 points. This means that we are likely going to see a high scoring game. Outside of the Portland and Houston contest, no other game has a double-digit point spread, though there are a total of four teams favored by eight or more points. Being that there are just six games, we will have to take on some risk in these games with decent sized spreads.
As far as news is concerned, not much has been reported so far in the day. Therefore, it is something that we will need to keep an eye on throughout the day due to all of the pending news that we are waiting on.
I will be in the live chat tonight from 6:30PM to 7:30PM discussing news and any changes that we need to take note of, so make sure to stop on by and get all of your questions answered prior to lock.
Remember, the NBA differs from all other sports because one piece of news can change the entire look of a slate. Monitoring news throughout the day and keeping an eye on starting lineups is a key part of the daily process for those playing NBA DFS.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be using FanDuel positions as they are less flexible than they are on DraftKings, but you should have plenty of options at each position to build on DK as well given the roster flexibility and multi-position eligibility of many players on their site.
Players are listed in order of preference by position.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- Trail Blazers 126.25
- Hawks 122.25
- Bucks 120
- Pacers 119.25
- Grizzlies 118.75
- Trail Blazers -14.5
- Grizzlies -9
- Pacers -8.5
- Hawks -8
- Bucks -6.5
Position By Position
- Russell Westbrook
- Trae Young
- Ja Morant
- Dejounte Murray
- Raul Neto/Ish Smith
- Caris LeVert (if Brogdon sits)
- Dillon Brooks
- Collin Sexton (FD)
- DeMar DeRozan
- Donte DiVincenzo
- Joe Ingles
- Khris Middleton
- Rui Hachimura
- Bojan Bogdanovic
- Bogdan Bogdanovic
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Domantas Sabonis
- Davis Bertans
- Robert Covington
- James Johnson
- Rudy Gobert
- Clint Capela (GPP)
- Jonas Valanciunas
- Brook Lopez
- Willy Hernangomez/Jaxson Hayes (if Adams is out)
Key News To Watch
- De’Andre Hunter – questionable
- Tony Snell – questionable
Kevin Love – questionableRuled out Darius Garland – TBDRuled out Isaiah Hartenstein – questionableRuled out
- Malcolm Brogdon – questionable
- Jeremy Lamb – questionable
- Steven Adams – doubtful
Brandon Ingram – questionableRuled out
- Kelly Olynyk – questionable
- Christian Wood – questionable
Carmelo Anthony – questionableRuled out
- The Houston Rockets have been dealing with injuries and have been extremely shorthanded in their last several games. This has led to tight eight-man rotations in their last two games and a seven-man rotation in the contest prior to those two. Kelly Olynyk and Christian Wood are both considered questionable for tonight, so keeping an eye on their statuses is extremely important for this contest. Kenyon Martin continues to play huge minutes for the Rockets, playing 39 or more minutes in three straight games, which has led to three 47+ DK point performances in a row. He has now played no less than 32 minutes in five straight contests and is someone you can continue to roster this evening against Portland. Other players who have benefited from Houston being shorthanded are DaQuan Jeffries, Anthony Lamb, and Armoni Brooks, all of which have played 30+ minutes in each of their last three games. All of them remain under $5K on both DK and FD, making them solid value options in tonight’s contest. If both Olynyk and Wood miss, we can consider up to three Houston players against Portland. Jae’Sean Tate returned from a two-game absence on Saturday and played 29 minutes, finishing two rebounds short of a triple-double. He is firmly in play tonight as well. Khyri Thomas, who signed a 10-day contract a few days ago, has also been a big part of the Rockets rotation that last two games, playing 33.8 minutes in the last game and 23 minutes in the previous game. In the images below, you will see the rotations that the Rockets ran in their last two games. Keep in mind, even if Wood plays, this game is unlikely to stay close, so there will be a risk with him as far as minutes are concerned. Olynyk on the other hand, has played 30+ minutes in his last two games, one of which ended in a blowout.
- The Wizards will be without Bradley Beal tonight, who is second in the NBA in points per game. When Beal is off the court, Russell Westbrook sees a near six percent increase to his usage rate. In these instances, Westbrook sports a 36.1 percent usage rate, a 51.6 percent assists rate, and a 16.8 percent rebounding rate. Other players who benefit from Beal’s absence are Rui Hachimura who gets a 5.6 usage bump, Davis Bertans (3.6%), Raul Neto (2.4%), and Ish Smith (1.9%). Westbrook remains $11K on DK tonight, which is a price tag we can continue to roster him at, as he has now scored 80+ DK points in three of his last four games and 70+ in four of his last five. The Hawks rank 20th in defense efficiency against opposing point guards, so I fully expect Westbrook to take full advantage of this matchup and have himself a productive night. He is the player to prioritize from Washington and you can also consider Hachimura, Bertans, Smith, and Neto as viable options in what should be a great game environment.
- With the Trail Blazers being 14.5-point favorites tonight, they become a risky team to roster players from. It’s a great matchup nonetheless, but the concern here is whether the Portland players will play their regular allotment of minutes or not. Damian Lillard is in a terrific spot and if this game were to stay remotely close, he would be a in a great position for a huge performance. That’s a big IF, however. C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Covington are the other players I have interest in from the Portland side. The Trail Blazers have the highest implied team total on the slate, so naturally we want exposure to them. The way I’d go about it is just like I have been doing with teams playing against the Rockets as of late, and that is to invest in one player facing off against them. That said, it’s generally not a high-priced player because of the blowout risk.
Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks: This contest has a healthy 236.5 implied total with an eight-point spread, the Hawks being favored. I discussed the Washington team above, but this is a game we can target on both sides. From the Atlanta side, Trae Young is in an amazing spot against a Wizards defense that ranks 22nd in defense efficiency against opposing point guards and a team that plays incredibly fast. It’s a matchup that Young turned in a stellar performance the last time that these two teams faced off. In that contest, he scored real 41 points and 53 DK points. Young remains very affordable on FD where he is below $9K. Other players from this Hawks team that you can consider Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter (prefer in a game stack), and Clint Capela (GPP only). Capela tends to be volatile, but this is an incredible matchup against a Wizards defense that ranks 23rd in efficiency against opposing centers. In addition, this is a matchup where Capela turned in a nice performance the last time that these two teams faced off.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. New Orleans: This is a game I have interest in for tournaments tonight. The over/under for this contest is a healthy 230.5, with the Grizzlies favored by nine points. The Pelicans will be without Zion Williamson once again, Brandon Ingram is listed as questionable, and Steven Adams is listed as doubtful. If they miss, Lonzo Ball is extremely appealing in GPP’s, being that when those three players are off the court, he sees a healthy 5.3 percent usage increase. Ball also sports a 23.2 percent assist rate and 7.9 percent rebounding rate in these instances. His floor is not all that stable, but his ability to stuff the stat sheet on any given night, makes him an interesting tournament play. This is a Memphis team that ranks 22nd in defense efficiency against opposing point guards in their last five games. Eric Bledsoe and James Johnson are two other players that grade out well for tournaments from this New Orleans team. Willy Hernangomez and Jaxon Hayes are secondary options that are affordable and can be included as part of a game stack. On the Memphis side, Ja Morant remains incredibly affordable on FD given his ceiling. The matchup is elite against the Pelicans defense that ranks dead last in efficiency against opposing point guards. We know Morant’s floor can be volatile, but the upside is incredibly high. Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, and Jonas Valanciunas are the other players from the Memphis side to consider. Valanciunas should have a feast against this dinged up frontcourt. He does not play a ton of minutes on a nightly basis, but his point per minutes production is well above average.
DraftKings: Russell Westbrook, Joe Ingles, Damyean Dotson, Jaxson Hayes
FanDuel: Russell Westbrook, Trae Young, James Johnson, Rudy Gobert
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**