LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been ruled for tonight’s contest. Bump up Kyle Kuzma and add Talen Horton-Tucker, Kentavious Caldwell-Poper, and Andre Drummond (GPP only) to your player pool.
Kyrie Irving has been ruled out. James Harden will play, but will have minutes restrictions. With that news, Harden is no longer in play. Bump up Durant and Brown. Blake Griffin is an interesting GPP option now as well. I have Claxton projected for 17-19 minutes and he is near min price on FD and absolute min on DK. He is averaging a fantasy point per minute and is a possible punt play if needed at the center position.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Wednesday! Today I’ll be breaking down tonight’s six-game slate.
If news throughout the day is any indication on what to expect from tonight’s slate, it’s going to be a wild one. We already received word that Steven Adams, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kemba Walker, Robert Williams, Marcus Smart, Nassir Little, and Joe Harris have all been ruled out for tonight. Despite all that news, there is still a ton of pending news that could have an impact on tonight’s slate. Therefore, as always, make sure to keep a close eye on injury news throughout the day.
I will be in the live chat tonight from 6:00PM to 7:00PM 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
- Hawks 122.5
- Nets 118.75
- Jazz 117.5
- Lakers 116.75
- Mavericks/Trail Blazers 116.5
- Lakers -11
- Mavericks -7.5
- Celtics -7
- Hawks -6.5
- Nets -5
Position By Position
- Russell Westbrook
- Trae Young
- Payton Pritchard (if starting)
- Dejounte Murray
- Raul Neto/Ish Smith
- Luka Doncic
- Kira Lewis
- DeMar DeRozan
- Eric Bledsoe
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker
- Kevin Huerter
- James Harden
- Bruce Brown
- Evan Fournier (DK)
- Joe Ingles (cash)/Bojan Bogdanovic (GPP)
- Bogdan Bogdanovic
- Kyle Kuzma
- Naji Marshall
- Rui Hachimura
- Kevin Durant
- Jayson Tatum
- James Johnson
- Davis Bertans
- Kenyon Martin
- John Collins (GPP)
- Clint Capela (GPP)
- Rudy Gobert
- Tristan Thompson
- Jakob Poeltl
- Willy Hernagomez/Jaxson Hayes
Key News To Watch
- Tony Snell – questionable
- Cedi Osman – questionable
- Trey Lyles – questionable
- James Harden – probable
- Kyrie Irving – questionable
- Kristaps Porzingis – questionable
- Danuel House – questionable
- Christian Wood – questionable
- DaQuan Jefferies – questionable
- Alex Caruso – questionable
- Anthony Davis – questionable
- LeBron James – questionable
- Kyle Kuzma – probable
- Talen Horton-Tucker – probable
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – probable
- By now you should know the drill with the Rockets. They are playing shorthanded, which has led for them to run tight rotations in recent games. For what it’s worth, last game they did run a 10-man rotation, however both Anthony Lamb and Danuel House played fewer than 14 minutes in that contest. Once again, Kenyon Martin played huge minutes on Monday, as he was on the court for 38.9 minutes. Outside of Martin, only Jae’Sean Tate played over 30 minutes, as he played 30.9 minutes. As it has been for the Rockets in recent games, they are heavy dogs tonight, as the Lakers are favored by 11 points. Christian Wood, DaQuan Jefferies, and Danuel House are all questionable for tonight’s game. Their statutes will ultimately determine how we approach this team and what type of rotation we can expect. What we do know, is that Martin is in line for huge minutes and remains affordable on DK and can also be considered on FD. Kelly Olynyk continues to post huge numbers, though he is priced appropriately on both sites. That said, he is someone you can consider in tournaments tonight and although he played just 29 minutes last game, his minutes have been safe as of late, even in blowout scenarios. The same can be said about Tate, who remains affordable on both sites, especially FD. Outside of these players, it truly is a wait and see game for the Rockets, to see who ends up playing and who does not.
- The Celtics have announced that Marcus Smart, Kemba Walker, and Robert Williams will sit out tonight. This is a Boston team already without Jaylen Brown who is out for the season. When all of these players are off the court, the biggest beneficiary from a usage standpoint is Payton Pritchard who sees a 6.5 percent usage bump and sports a healthy 23.2 percent usage rate in these instances. In addition, Pritchard owns an 18 percent assist rate and a 7.4 rebounding rate when they are off the court. Jayson Tatum sees a 3.3 percent usage bump in this instance, sporting a 34.1 percent usage rate, 22 percent assist rate, and a 10.6 percent rebounding rate. Tatum has to be considered an incredibly strong pay up option this evening given the circumstances and the matchup against the 24th ranked Cleveland defense. Other players who see a notable usage bumps are Tristan Thompson (6%), Romero Langford (4.7%), Aaron Nesmith (3.3%). Evan Fournier also gets a bump, and he is way too cheap on DK where he is priced at just $5500. That is an incredible price tag for him, making Fournier an extremely strong point per dollar play on DK. He has now topped 40 DK points in back-to-back games and has not scored fewer than 33 DK points in any of his last five contests. We could see Pritchard in the starting lineup this evening and he is essentially min price on both sites. If he starts, he can be considered a very strong value option this evening. Thompson is another player to consider from Boston. Depending on the starting lineup, we could see more value pop up for us from the Celtics side. This is certainly a team we can look at for value.
- The Pelicans will be without Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, and Steven Adams this evening. Essentially four of their starters are out tonight. When these players are off the court, Eric Bledsoe is the primary beneficiary, seeing a massive 11.4 percent usage rate increase. In these instances, Bledsoe leads the team with a 30 percent usage rate, while also sporting a 29.8 assist rate and a 7.7 percent rebounding rate. Jaxson Hayes is right behind Bledsoe, as he sees an 8.7 percent usage increase with these players off the court, followed by James Johnson who sees a 5.9 percent increase in usage. Nickeil Alexander-Walker has the second highest usage rate for the Pelicans when all of these players are off the court at 25 percent, followed by Hayes (24.4%), Johnson (23.7%), Willy Hernangomez (21.5%), and Kira Lewis (21.5%). This is another team that we can look for tonight for value and players who may be underpriced given the circumstances. Bledsoe, Johnson, Hernangomez, Alexander-Walker (so long as there are no minutes limit), Naji Marshall, and Hayes are the primary targets for New Orleans. Kira Lewis and Wenyen Gabriel are two other extremely cheap options that can be considered if you need salary relief.
- James Harden is expected to play tonight. He has not played since April 5th and although there are no indications that he will be on a minutes limit, it would not be at all surprising to see them take it easy on him, being that the Nets are essentially locked into a top three seed in the East. If he is not on minutes limit and Kyrie Irving, who is questionable, sits, then Harden would become an interesting GPP option. Keep in mind, he comes with risk tonight given the lengthy absence. Kevin Durant would be the primary target from this Nets team if you’re interested in investing in Brooklyn tonight.
Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks: This is a rematch of Monday night, a game that ended in a 125-124 Atlanta victory. This contest has the highest over/under on the slate and a 6.5-point spread, the Hawks being favored. The sites finally adjusted Russell Westbrook’s price as he is above $12K on both sites. The crazy part of it is that even at this price, he can be considered tonight, especially with all of the value that we have available. Westbrook broke the all-time NBA triple-double record on Monday night against this Hawks team, recording his 182nd career triple-double. He has now scored 80 or more DK points in four of his last five games and has scored at least 60 DK points in 10 of his last 12 games. The floor is incredibly high here and even at this price tag, we cannot take him out of our player pool tonight. Other players to consider from this Wizards team are Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans, Ish Smith, Raul Neto, and Robin Lopez. On the Atlanta side, it starts with Trae Young who remains too affordable on FD and can also be considered on DK. He had a stellar performance on Monday night against the Wizards team, scoring 36 real points with nine assists and six rebounds. Young has scored no less than 36 real points and 53 DK points in both meetings against Washington this season and should once again be in a position for a big outing. As expected, Clint Capela was dominant on Monday night, grabbing 22 rebounds and scoring 10 points. He should have his way with this frontcourt again this evening and makes for an incredibly strong tournament option. We can also look at Bogdan Bogdanovic, John Collins (GPP), and Kevin Huerter as options from the Hawks side. This is a game you want to be invested in this evening. Below is an image of the rotations these teams ran in Monday’s game.
Note: Outside of the Washington and Atlanta Hawks game, there is not another game I intend on stacking tonight. Instead, I like the idea of targeting teams that will be shorthanded tonight and roster a couple of players from those teams in addition to the WAS/ATL game stack.
DraftKings: Russell Westbrook, Jayson Tatum, Evan Fournier, Payton Pritchard (if starting)
FanDuel: Russell Westbrook, Jayson Tatum, James Johnson, Clint Capela
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**