***UPDATED CORE FOUR AT 5:33PM***
Davis Bertans is starting tonight. He played 38 minutes in his last start.
If Frank Kaminsky gets the start tonight again, he is viable in cash at an affordable price tag. He provides us some much needed salary relief.
Doug McDermott is playing solid minutes of the bench. He’s a good way to get cheap exposure to this game tonight. Not as safe as we like for cash, but can be considered if this is where you land with your roster construction.
Add Isaiah Roby into the cash game player pool. Very affordable and should see a decent amount of minutes.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Wednesday!
We have a nice nine-game slate tonight, filled with plenty of studs to choose from. We have not received a ton of news throughout the day, leaving us plenty of news to keep tabs on as we head into lock. What we do know is that Kevin Durant, Paul George, Devonte’ Graham, Brandon Clarke, Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter, Larry Nance, Gary Harris, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Jrue Holiday are all out.
Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Jae Crowder, OG Anunoby, D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns , and Patrick Beverley are among the notable players listed as questionable for tonight.
The Thunder have just eight players available for tonight’s game, so they will be running a very concentrated rotations. Memphis remains shorthanded, the Hawks continue to deal with injuries to their backcourt, and the Bulls are dealing with injuries to their frontcourt.
Remember 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.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- Raptors 119.75
- Nets 118.25
- Mavericks 118.25
- Clippers 117
- Pacers 116.75
- Lakers -12
- Clippers -10.5
- Nuggets -10
- Raptors -5
- Bucks -4.5
Position By Position
Luka Doncic (DK $10800/ FD $10900) – Doncic may have not lived up to expectations against the Timberwolves the other night, but he still had a solid performance. Tonight, he faces off against a Hawks team that he crushed the last time they faced off, scoring 27 points with 14 assists, eight rebounds, two steals, and one block in 38 minutes. Atlanta has been overly generous to opposing point guards this season, allowing the sixth most real points, 10th most assists, second most steals, fourth most blocks, and most fantasy points per game to the position. The Hawks are also giving up the sixth most points in the paint to opposing teams, which bodes well for Doncic who generates 43.4 percent of his scoring from inside the paint. It’s not surprising that he had a 60+ DK point game against this defense in their first meeting and is in a great position for another strong outing against them this evening. This contest has a healthy implied total and just a four-point spread, so the game environment should also be favorable here.
Russell Westbrook (DK $8400/ FD $9700) – Westbrook rested last game so he should have fresh legs for tonight’s game against the Raptors. Both of these teams play at a top 10 pace, so this matchup should be up-tempo, benefiting Westbrook who likes to push the pace. Toronto is middling defensively, ranking 15th in defense efficiency. However, this is a team that Westbrook has incredible history against. In nine meetings versus the Raptors, he has averaged 64 DK points per game and sports a 100 percent consistency rating. He has not scored below 55 DK points in any of his matchups against Toronto. Westbrook is too cheap on DK if you ask me, especially for what he brings to the table – a solid floor and an immense ceiling. Whenever he steps on the court, he is always a threat to triple-double, and that is not something you can say about many players in this price range.
Malcolm Brogdon (DK $7400/ FD $7200) – Brogdon has hit a rough patch in recent games, shooting the ball poorly. In his defense, he has had some tough matchups and has been in some blowout scenarios a few times during the last four games. None of that should be the case tonight, as he faces a Brooklyn team who ranks 25th in defense efficiency and this game has a two-point spread, to go along with a healthy over/under of 234 points. Brogdon’s price has come down and that is because of his recent performances. Instead of looking at how poorly he has played, let’s look at the cup half full here and take advantage of his price on both sites. Brogdon plays huge minutes on a nightly basis, sitting in ninth overall in the NBA in minutes per game. He generates 38.5 percent of his scoring from inside the paint and the Nets allow the second most points in the paint per game to opposing teams. In addition, Brooklyn yields the 10th highest three-point field goal percentage to opposing teams, which is where Brogdon generates 36.3 percent of his scoring from. If that is not enough to convince you, how about the fact that the Nets allow the fourth most steals per game to opposing teams and Brogdon sits 23rd in the NBA in steals per game. There are numerous ways that he will be able to rack up the stats this evening, in what should be a great game environment. All of that and a discounted price, makes Brogdon very appealing this evening.
Kyle Lowry (DK $7300/ FD $7600) – Lowry played just seven minutes in his last game due to a back injury so some might be concerned. Fear not mafia, as he is not on the injury report and is expected to play his regular allotment of minutes. The matchup doesn’t get much better than this against a Washington team that ranks 29th in defense efficiency and plays at the fastest pace in the league. The Wizards allow the seventh most three-pointers and the third highest three-point field goal percentage to opposing teams, putting Lowry in a great position this evening as he generates 50.6 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. In addition, Washington yields the second most real points, fourth most rebounds, 11th most assists, 11th most three-pointers, and third most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. This is an absolute smash spot for Lowry, who prior to last game had posted 45+ DK in three of four games. He remains affordable on both sites and is in a great position for a strong outing.
Hamidou Diallo (DK $6500/ FD $6500) – OKC will once again be shorthanded this evening as they have been for several games. This means Diallo should once again see an expanded role, heavy minutes, and more ball handling duties. He has now scored over 30 DK points in four consecutive games, with two double-doubles in two of those contests. He has played at least 31 minutes in each of the last four games as well and should play as many minutes as he can handle in this contest. Despite the blowout potential here, the Thunder are running an eight-man rotation, so that should not impact Diallo all that much. The price is also starting to climb, but it is still at a point where there is value to be had. He makes for a nice mid-range play tonight.
Terry Rozier (DK $6200/ FD $6100) – Graham will miss yet another game this evening, which puts Rozier in play once again. Rozier played just 27 minutes in the last game due to a blowout, but still posted a solid stat line of 15 points with four assists, three boards, and a steal. Tonight’s game should be more competitive as it has a four-point spread. Rozier generates most of his scoring from beyond the arc (52 percent) and faces a Memphis team that yields the third highest three-point field goal percentage as well as the 11th most three-pointers per game. LaMelo Ball stole the show last game and he too is a strong play on his own, though I prefer him in tournaments instead of cash. However, Rozier has also been efficient with Graham off the floor in the last two games and he remains reasonably priced. If you are looking for a mid-tier guard this evening, he makes a ton of sense. He is PG/SG eligible on DK, giving you some nice flexibility with roster construction.
Tomas Satoransky (DK $4400/ FD $4000) – Hear me out. Satoransky is not the safest option to consider, but at this low price, he does not need to do a ton to reach value. He does come off the bench but has played at least 21 minutes in each of his last three games, including 27 minutes and 23 minutes in his last two. He is not a high usage player and does not take a ton of shots but does provide peripheral stats. Satoransky is active on the boards, can facilitate the ball, and will get you defensive stats most nights. He averages 0.92 fantasy points per minute and I have him penciled in for 22-24 minutes this evening, which should be enough to reach value.
James Harden (DK $10400/ FD $10600) – Harden has flourished in each of the last two games with Durant out and Durant will once again sit out this evening. In the last two games, Harden has averaged 34 minutes, 25 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and one steal per game, while sporting over a 30 percent usage rate. Harden will once again see an expanded role with Durant out and is in a great position to post strong numbers. We know what Harden is capable of when one of the big three is off the court and the type of floor/upside combination he offers.
Zach LaVine (DK $9000/ FD $9300) – LaVine continues to produce consistent numbers, with 40 or more DK points in eight of his last 10 games. He draws a nice matchup tonight against a Pelicans team that gives up the eighth most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards. New Orleans also allows the most three-pointers per game to the position and gives up the most three-pointers per game to opposing teams, both of which bode well for LaVine who generates 36.2 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. He has topped 50 DK points in two of his last three meetings against the Pelicans, so he has had success in this matchup. He is pricey, but he is worth paying up for given his floor and upside combination.
Devin Booker (DK $8100/ FD $7700) – If Paul ends up missing tonight’s game, Booker becomes a strong play once again. We saw firsthand last game what Booker is capable of doing when Paul is not playing. In the Suns last contest, Booker attempted a season high 27 shots, scoring a season best 36 points with eight assists (second most of the season), seven rebounds (season high), one steal, and one block. That performance was good for 54.8 DK points and it was the first time this season he topped 50 DK points, after doing it 21 times last season. So far this season, Booker has seen a 2.1 percent usage bump, a 7.1 percent increase in assist percentage, and a 2.8 percent increase in rebounding percentage when Paul is off the court. Booker will get more ball handling duties this evening, should Paul sit, and in a paced-up matchup against the Bucks, that is a good thing. Milwaukee is a tough defensive team, but they have been generous from beyond the arc where Booker generates 28.3 percent of his scoring from. So long as Paul sits out, Booker is firmly in play in cash tonight.
Kevin Huerter (DK $5600/ FD $5000) – Huerter has played no less than 34 minutes in four straight games and has been rock solid during that span. He is shooting the ball well, especially from beyond the arc where he has shot over 40 percent during the last four games. Tonight, he faces off against a Dallas team that is giving up seventh most three-pointers per game. This bodes well for Huerter who generates 56.4 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. He had a huge performance against the Mavs a few games ago, scoring 21 points with 10 assists, five boards, and two steals. In that game, he made four three-pointers. I am not expecting a repeat performance but would not be shocked to see another solid outing. The Hawks are missing some backcourt and wing players tonight, so Huerter should once again play heavy minutes in this contest. I prefer him on FD where he is cheaper, but he is viable on both sites.
Bryn Forbes (DK $3800/ FD $4200) – Forbes entered the starting lineup on Monday and should once again get another start with Holiday out. Forbes played 26 minutes on Monday, scoring 15 points with five rebounds and one assist. He has now scored 20+ DK points in three of his last four games and in all but two games this season where he has played at least 22 minutes. Forbes is incredibly cheap on both sites tonight and provides us with nice salary relief. On FD, I might consider finding the extra $500 for his fellow teammate Donte DiVincenzo, who is also viable tonight, but on DK I like the $1400 discount we get on Forbes from DiVincenzo. This is of course, so long as Forbes is starting.
Kawhi Leonard (DK $9400/ FD $9700) – George will be out once again tonight, which means that Leonard makes for a fantastic play. When George is off the court, Leonard sees a 2.5 usage bump to go along with a 1.3 percent increase in rebounding percentage. In the last two games with George off the court, Leonard has averaged over a 30 percent usage rate and has finished with a double-double in each of those contests. Tonight, he draws an incredible matchup against a Timberwolves team that ranks 21st in defense efficiency. Minnesota gives up the fifth most rebounds and fourth most blocks, to go along with 7.6 steals per game, so this is a spot where Leonard can stuff the stat sheet. The one concern here is the fact that the Clippers are favored by double-digits, so there is the possibility of a blowout. That said, if this game stays remotely close and Leonard plays his regular allotment of minutes, he could smash here.
Khris Middleton (DK $7900/ FD $7600) – Middleton is coming off an incredible performance, missing a triple-double by two rebounds. He took advantage of Holiday’s absence and became the Bucks primary facilitator which should be the case again this evening, as Holiday will not play. When Holiday is off the court, Middleton sees a 1.7 percent usage rate and an 8.3 percent increase in assist percentage. The matchup is not ideal being that the Suns have played good defense this season, but we have seen Middleton put up strong performances in tough matchups before. He remains affordable on both sites and typically offers a solidified floor.
Will Barton (DK $5600/ FD $5400) – Barton continues to play huge minutes for the Nuggets, playing no less than 36 minutes in each of his last four games and no less than 30 in each of his last five. He has also attempted 11 or more shots in three of the last four games. Barton is once again in line for heavy minutes in tonight’s matchup against the Cavs and although this might not be an ideal game environment, Cleveland is a team that has been generous to the position, allowing the fifth most fantasy points per game. Barton can be volatile, so rostering him is taking on some more risk than you normally would in cash games, but it’s a risk I don’t mind taking this evening. He generates 42.3 percent of his scoring from inside the paint and the Cavs allow the 12th most points in the paint. Not to mention, Cleveland also surrenders the highest three-point field goal percentage and 11th most three-pointers per game, which also bodes well for Barton who generates 40.8 of his scoring from beyond the arc. As you can see, there is a path to potential success here for a player that is playing huge minutes and remains affordable.
Kyle Anderson (DK $5600/ FD $5700) – Anderson has stepped it up in the last two games for the shorthanded Grizzlies, playing 30 or more minutes in each of those contests. So far this season, whenever he has played 30 or more minutes, Anderson has scored at least 30 DK points in all but one of those games (seven game sample). He has now attempted at least 13 shots in each of his last two games and should continue to see more shot opportunities with Memphis still down a ton of players. The Hornets are giving up the most assists, 12th most steals, and 11th most blocks per game to opposing teams, so Anderson should be able to rack up the peripheral stats in this one. He has four assists, one steal, and at least one block in each of his last two games. His price is reasonable given the circumstances in Memphis and the matchup at hand, making him a nice option in cash games this evening.
Kendrich Williams (DK $4700/ FD $4500) – Williams has played in at least 30 minutes in each of the last three games, starting in two of those contests. He should once again be in line for heavy minutes given how shorthanded OKC is and the concentrated rotation they have been running. Williams has taken full advantage of his opportunities in recent games, averaging 29.8 minutes, 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game over his last four. During that stretch he has scored no less than 20 DK points in any game. This is far from a great matchup and there is a chance of a blowout, but Williams is blowout proof here and comes at a very cheap price considering his current role on this offense.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (DK $10600/ FD $10900) – Giannis somewhat let us down last game, despite a solid performance, as he did not quite hit value at his price tag. That said, it is fine to go back to the well here tonight considering this should be a competitive game and anytime that is the case with Giannis, he is in play. I don’t like this game environment as much as I like some of the other game environments for some of the other top priced players, but in games where he has played at least 31 minutes, he has scored 50+ DK points all but three times (16-game sample size). He should play his regular allotment of minutes tonight, in what Vegas expects to be a competitive game. That being the case, we should expect quality numbers from one of the more consistent players in basketball.
Domantas Sabonis (DK $8600/ FD $9300) – Sabonis finds himself in a great matchup tonight against a Nets team that struggles inside the paint. Brooklyn allows the second most points in the paint per game, which bodes extremely well for Sabonis who generates 51.8 percent of his scoring from inside the paint. In addition, the Nets are yielding the second most real points, eighth most rebounds, 10th most assists, and second most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards. Sabonis is 14th in the NBA in offensive boards per game and the Nets are giving up the sixth most offensive rebounds per game. As you can see, this is a slam dunk matchup for Sabonis, who has been one of the most consistent players this season. His price will not put you in a bind either, making him one of the better overall plays on this slate. Oh yeah, this should be a great game environment too.
Zion Williamson (DK $8100/ FD $8400) – As I have said all season, Williamson has not displayed his ceiling all that much this season, but the floor has been stable, and his price remains reasonable. The Bulls play up in pace, which should create plenty of touch opportunities for Williamson in this contest. On paper, the Bulls have done a solid job defensively against the position, but they are shorthanded in the front court with some key players out. I expect Williamson to dominate in this contest and produce once again another solid stat line. He played just 21 minutes last night because of a blowout, so should be nice and fresh for this contest.
John Collins (DK $7500/ FD $7000) – Collins faces off against a Dallas team that he completely crushed the last time they faced off. In that contest, he scored 35 points with 12 rebounds and one assist, which was good for 53.5 DK points. The Mavs are giving up the eighth most rebounds per game to opposing teams and the sixth most rebounds per game to opposing power forwards. This bodes well for Collins who averages nearly eight rebounds per game. I normally prefer Collins in GPP because of the inconsistent floor from time to time, but tonight on FD, he makes for a viable option considering his price.
Patrick Williams (DK $5500/ FD $4400) – Williams was not great in his last game, but once again played big minutes as the Bulls continue to be missing some key players in their frontcourt. That will be the case again tonight, so we can expect Williams to play minutes in the mid-30’s again and he comes in at a very affordable price, especially on FD where he is just too cheap. This is far from a great matchup here for Williams but considering the minutes he will play as well as the price on FD, it is tough to pass up on him. I don’t think you need to go here on DK, but on FD he provides us with some much-needed value on a slate filled with pay up options.
Nikola Jokic (DK $11000/ FD $11100) – As you can see, there are many pay up options to choose from tonight and it will all boil down to how you want to construct your lineup. Jokic continues to be one of the more consistent players in basketball and is having an MVP type of season. He is averaging a near triple-double on the season and is all but a lock to double-double here tonight. The matchup against the Cavs is one he should dominate in, as Drummond is far from an elite defender. Jokic can score at will, is active on the boards, and is one of the best facilitating big men in the league. His ability to stuff the stat sheet on any given night gives him an incredible floor to go along with a massive ceiling. The only concern is the potential blowout here, but that is a risk worth taking with a player like Jokic.
Andre Drummond (DK $8300/ FD $7700) – If you are not trying to pay all the way up at center, perhaps an affordable Drummond will interest you. The Cavs continue to be shorthanded in their frontcourt, so Drummond is in a position to play big minutes in this contest so long as it remains competitive. The matchup at hand is not all that great, but Drummond is cheaper than he should be on both sites, especially on FD where he is below $8K. His floor is solidified, and he possesses a ton of upside, yet he is not priced that way tonight.
Al Horford (DK $6200/ FD $6200) – If you are hesitant about Horford, I get it. This is not a great matchup and there is a chance that this game blows out. However, OKC is expected to have just eight players active tonight, meaning that they will run a concentrated rotation. Since returning from his absence, Horford has been extremely consistent eclipsing 30 DK points in all but one contest and displaying his upside with a 50+ DK point performance. His price has not increased all that much during this stretch, so he remains very affordable despite his recent performances. Horford is arguably the top, or at worst, second best offensive option for the Thunder tonight, so if this game stays remotely close, he will be a big reason as to why.
Myles Turner (DK $6000/ FD $6800) – A couple of tough matchups and a couple of bad games, and now we have a discounted Turner this evening. Tonight, he faces off against a Nets team that is extremely generous to opposing centers. They allow the second most real points, third most assists, third most three pointers, second most steals, and fifth most fantasy points per game to the position. In addition, Brooklyn gives up the second most points in the paint to opposing teams and Turner generates 46.4 percent of his points from inside the paint, making this a great spot for him. Don’t be discouraged by his recent performances and focus on the matchup at hand. This is a prime spot for an underpriced (on DK) Turner.
DeAndre Jordan (DK $4500/ FD $5100) – If you are looking for a cheap option at center, Jordan makes for a great option. He is not a high usage player, nor does he play huge minutes, but tonight he faces a Pacers team that plays big, which means he will be on the court for a decent amount of time. Indiana allows the 10th most points in the paint per game, which bodes well for Jordan who generates 81.6 percent of his scoring from the paint. In addition, the Pacers give up the eighth most blocks per game to opposing teams, which is another source of fantasy points for Jordan who averages 1.3 blocks per game. Indiana is also 13th in rebounds allowed per game, so as you can see there are multiple paths to a successful night here for Jordan. He averages a fantasy point per minute and should play 21-24 minutes in this contest, so he should pay off his cheap price tag here.
DraftKings: James Harden, Domantas Sabonis, Kendrich Williams, Russell Westbrook
FanDuel: James Harden, Domantas Sabonis, Kendrich Williams, Patrick Williams
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**