Tyrese Haliburton will start for the injured Bagley and he can be added to your player pool. Haliburton remains on a limit restriction, but did play 28 minutes last game. He averages a fantasy point per minute.
Add Larry Nance into your player pool.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Wednesday! We are midway through the week and have a nice 10-game NBA slate tonight.
News has been pouring in throughout the day, as we already got word that Victor Oladipo, Kemba Walker, Tristan Thompson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Marvin Bagley, and Kyrie Irving will not play tonight. There is still plenty of news pending that can change the look of this slate, so we must keep tabs on news as we head into lock. Here are some of the players who are in question for tonight: Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Dennis Smith Jr., Wayne Ellington, Jeremy Lamb, Hassan Whiteside, Kevin Love, Danuel House, Ben McLemore, Jimmy Butler, and Serge Ibaka.
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
- Wizards 125
- Kings 123
- Warriors 121.25
- Bucks 120.25
- Nets 118.75
- Warriors -12.5
- Celtics -8.5
- Nuggets -6
- Bucks -5.5
- Raptors -4.5
Position By Position
Russell Westbrook (DK $10400/ FD $10400) – The Wizards and Kings face off tonight in what should be a phenomenal game environment. Not only do both of these teams play at a top 10 pace, but they both rank 27th or worse in defense efficiency. Sacramento is atrocious defensively, especially against opposing point guards, as they rank 27th in defense efficiency against the position over their last 10 games. The Kings give up the third most real points, eighth most assists, sixth most three-pointers, most blocks, and fifth most fantasy points per game to the position. Moreover, Sacramento allows the most points in the paint per game to opposing teams, which bodes well for Westbrook who generates 43.8 percent of his scoring from inside the paint. Westbrook continues to play at an elite level, stuffing the stat sheet on a nightly basis. In a matchup like this one, a ceiling game is certainly possible, and his floor has to be considered one of the safest on the slate. This contest has the highest over/under on the slate, with just a three-point spread, so you definitely want to be invested in this game and it begins with Westbrook.
De’Aaron Fox (DK $9200/ FD $9100) – As I mentioned above, this game is one you want to be invested in and running it back with Fox is something you want to consider. The Wizards struggle immensely against opposing point guards, ranking 23rd in defense efficiency against the position. Washington gives up the fifth most real points and ninth most fantasy points per game to the position as well. Fox remains one of the highest usage players in basketball, sitting at a 29.5 percent usage rate on the season, which is good for top 20 in the NBA. He has attempted no less than 18 shots in nine consecutive games and is in a great position for a huge performance. Washington is giving up the third most points in the paint per game over their last seven contests, which bodes incredibly well for Fox who generates 50.2 percent of his scoring from inside the paint. This will be an up-tempo contest with plenty of scoring opportunities and Fox should take complete of advantage of that in this favorable matchup. He has played well in recent games, topping 50 DK points in three of his last four and we can expect that to continue in tonight’s matchup against a soft Wizards defense.
Dejounte Murray (DK $7500/ FD $7800) – The Spurs will once again be without DeRozan and Aldridge which gives Murray a solid two percent usage bump when they are off the court. Over the last three games with both of these players off the court, Murray has scored 36.5, 24, and 42.5 DK points. In that game where he scored just 24 DK points, the Spurs were blown out by the 76ers which led to Murray not seeing the court in all but six minutes in the second half, a game he played just 22.9 minutes in. Tonight’s contest against the Bulls is expected to be much more competitive and the matchup is a favorable one. Chicago ranks 28th in defense efficiency against opposing point guards and they play at a top six pace. Murray generates 46.4 percent of his scoring from inside the paint and the Bulls are giving the most points in the paint per game over the last seven games and have given up the third most points in the paint per game on the season, making this a slam dunk matchup for Murray to be able to score at will. He is also very capable of stuffing the stat sheet with peripherals and this is the perfect game environment and matchup to do so. If you are looking for a bit more of an inexpensive point guard, Murray makes a ton of sense.
Delon Wright (DK $5800/ FD $5400) – After a disappointing outing in his first game back from a seven-game absence, Wright has turned in two strong performances in back-to-back games. He has played 31 minutes in each of his last two contests and has scored no less than 30.8 DK points in any of those games. Tonight, he draws a solid matchup against a Toronto team that will be missing a few key players once again and a team that ranks 24th in defense efficiency against point guards over their last 10 games. Wright is affordable on both sites and this is a matchup he should have no trouble producing quality numbers in. He is not going to score a ton of points but is capable of contributing to multiple categories for fantasy production, and this is a good matchup for him to do just that. For those looking for a mid-range point guard on both sites, Wright is someone to consider.
Sterling Brown (DK $4600/ FD $4800) – On FD, it’s unlikely I will be rostering Brown this evening being that the PG position has several appealing options. However, on DK where Brown is SG/SF eligible, he becomes much more appealing as a value option. The Rockets continue to be shorthanded and tonight will also be without Oladipo. This should open up the door for Brown to receive more opportunities and even if this game blows out, Brown should play solid minutes. He has now played at least 28 minutes in seven consecutive games and has scored at least 18 DK points in five of those contests. Granted, his floor is not consistent, but the minutes will be there, and the Rockets face off against a Warriors team that play up in pace.
Tomas Satoransky (DK $3800/ FD $3900) – Satoransky has now started in each of the last two games for the Bulls, which has led to him playing 26 and 31 minutes in those contests. He has also been very productive in those two starts, averaging 11.5 points, seven assists, four rebounds, two steals, and one block in those contests, while scoring over 30 DK points in both of those games. Assuming he starts again this evening, we can go right back to the well here with Satoransky, as he remains incredibly underpriced given the circumstances. This is a matchup against a Spurs team that ranks 25th in defense efficiency against opposing point guards, making it a favorable matchup for Satoransky. He averages 0.88 fantasy points per minute and should play 27-30 minutes this evening, so there is no reason to think he does not return value at this low price. In seven games where he has played at least 26 minutes this season, Satoransky has topped 28 DK points in all but two of those contests. Assuming he starts, he can be considered one of the best point per dollar plays on the slate.
James Harden (DK $10900/ FD $11000) – It’s Harden, and the Nets continue to be without Durant. We know the drill by now with Harden with Durant off the court. Not only does he provide us with an incredible floor, but also an insanely high ceiling. In addition, the Nets will be without Irving tonight and when both Durant and Irving are off the court, Harden sees a 7.5 usage bump and a 13.3 percent increase in assist rate. The matchup is one he should exploit, as the Pacers rank 27th in defense efficiency against the position over their last 10 games. Harden is a triple-double threat whenever he is on the court and tonight is no different, especially given the fact that he will carry this offense on his back this evening.
Bradley Beal (DK $9300/ FD $9500) – I mentioned above how much I love this game and Beal is another way you can get exposure to this contest. The matchup against the Kings is one that favors Beal as they rank 29th in defense efficiency against opposing shooting guards. Beal can score inside the paint, as he generates 37.5 percent of his points from the paint, and the Kings allow the most points inside the paint per game to opposing teams. In addition, Beal produces 21.2 percent of his points from beyond the arc and the Kings surrender the eighth most three-pointers, as well as the highest three-point field goal percentage to opposing teams. If that doesn’t do it for you, maybe the fact that Sacramento yields the third most real points, second most assists, ninth most three-pointers, sixth most steals, and third most fantasy points per game to shooting guards will convince you. Beal has had some up and down performances in recent games, but there is no denying that he is still a very consistent player. This is a great game environment and one that he should flourish in.
Paul George (DK $7900/ FD $7600) – George has turned in two meh performances in his last two games, one of which was against the Mavericks team he faces off against tonight. In fact, he has not done well against Dallas this season, though in his defense, he played just 24 minutes in their first meeting as the Clippers got blown out in that contest. That being said, this is a still a favorable matchup for George against a Mavs team that ranks 22nd in defense efficiency against the position. In addition, Dallas allows the fourth highest three-point field goal percentage to the position, as well as the seventh most three-pointers per game to opposing teams, both of which bode well for George who generates 44.1 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. This is not the best game environment on the slate, but George comes in at a very nice price tag this evening and it’s a matchup he can exploit even though he has not done well in this spot this season.
Caris LeVert (DK $6800/ FD $4400) – FD continues to drop the ball with LeVert’s pricing, as he is just too cheap on their site. He made his Pacers debut on Saturday and has started in each of the last two games for Indiana. LeVert has played 27 and 29 minutes in his first two games for Indiana, and has averaged 15 points with 4.5 rebounds, two assists, and 1.5 steals per game, while scoring 20.4 and 30.4 FD points. He faces his former team this evening, a Nets team that plays fast and is far from great defensively. LeVert is well over a fantasy point per minute producer and should play minutes in the high 20’s, potentially even in the low 30’s. Taking that into consideration, it’s difficult to pass up on him over on FD where he is criminally underpriced.
Buddy Hield (DK $6400/ FD $6500) – Normally I prefer Hield in tournaments, but I am willing to make the exception with him in cash this evening, considering the game environment. The Wizards have struggled against the position over their last 10 games, ranking 16th in defense efficiency. In addition, Washington is extremely generous from beyond the arc, as they surrender the eighth most three pointers per game and the fourth highest three-point field goal percentage to opposing teams. Not to mention, over the last five games, no other team has allowed a higher three-point field goal percentage to opposing small forwards than the Wizards. This is all great news for Hield who generates 70.4 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. He can be volatile, though this is a situation where more often than not, he will turn in a solid performance. He is affordable on both sites and is a great way to get exposure to this game.
Jimmy Butler (DK $9700/ FD $10800) – Butler is getting up there in price, especially on FD where he is a tad too expensive for my liking. That said, on DK he is still in play for me, even at this price. Butler continues to play incredible basketball and has been one of the more consistent players in the league. Tonight, he faces off against a Memphis team that ranks 29th in defense efficiency against opposing small forwards. The Grizzlies are also giving up the second most real points, ninth most rebounds, second most assists, ninth most three-pointers, 10th most steals, most blocks, and most fantasy points per game to the position. Talk about a smash spot for Butler, who since the start of February, is averaging 23.1 points, 8.6 assists, 8.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game (19-game sample size). In that span, he has triple-doubled four times. Butler has now scored over 50 DK points in each of his last seven games and in all but three of his last 15 games. Talk about consistency! Please note, he was added to the injury report today with an ankle injury, so it is something to monitor.
Kevin Porter Jr. (DK $6800/ FD $6300) – Porter has played incredibly good basketball since making his season and Houston debut on March 11. In four games with the Rockets, he has averaged 34.5 minutes, 18.3 points, 8.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game, while scoring 40+ DK points in all but one of those contests. The Rockets will once again be extremely shorthanded this evening and even though this game is expected to be a blowout, Porter is a safe bet for big minutes. He has played no less than 29 minutes in any of his four games and in two of those, the Rockets lost by at least 20 points in each contest. The Warriors play up in pace which should provide more touch opportunities for Porter. He is averaging well over a fantasy point per minute and is sporting a healthy 25.5 percent usage rate with the Rockets. Please note that he is listed as a PG on DK.
Will Barton (DK $5400/ FD $5500) – I said it in the last article and I’ll say it again, Barton is someone I tend to gravitate towards often. The reason for that is because he typically comes in at a reasonable price, he plays big minutes, and he has found his groove as of late, turning in some solid performances and providing us with a more stable floor in recent games. In fact, over his last 10 games, Barton has exceeded expectations in 80 percent of his contests. He has now scored no less than 26 DK points in eight of his last 10 games and at least 35 DK points in four of his last five. The matchup against the Hornets is one that he should exploit as they rank 25th in defense efficiency against opposing small forwards. Charlotte is giving up the second most three-pointers per game to opposing teams and the sixth highest three-point field goal percentage to small forwards. This bodes exceptionally well for Barton who generates 43.6 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. This is also a paced-up spot for the Nuggets, as the Hornets play at a top 10 pace in the league. Barton remains affordable on both sites and can be considered a relatively strong point per dollar play.
Kenyon Martin (DK $5200/ FD $5000) – It was a frustrating evening for those who rostered Martin last night, as he finished with seven points, five boards, two dimes, two blocks, and 19 DK points. He attempted just six shots, the lowest amount he has attempted since being recalled from the G-league. That should change tonight as the Rockets will be without Oladipo in tonight’s contest. Martin is playing big minutes, having played no less than 29 minutes in each of his last four games and even if this game blows out, as it is expected to, Martin should play significant minutes as the Rockets will run a concentrated rotation tonight, being that they are extremely shorthanded. Please note, he is PF eligible on DK.
Joe Harris (DK $4700/ FD $3800) – The Nets will be without both Irving and Durant tonight, which should create some more scoring opportunities for Nets players. In instances when both of them are off the court, Harris sees a 2.1 percent usage bump, a 1.9 percent increase in assist rate, and a 1.2 increase in rebounding rate. Harris is in the starting rotation and generally plays solidified minutes for Brooklyn. The Pacers give up the fifth highest three-point field goal percentage to the positions, which bodes well for Harris who generates 68.8 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. Being that he will have more scoring opportunities this evening and that he is priced as if Irving was playing, we can consider Harris a solid value play this evening, especially on FD where he is near min price.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (DK $11000/ FD $11400) – You know the drill by now with Antetokounmpo. If he is playing in a competitive game, he is firmly in play and offers one of the safer floors of any player in basketball. Based on the spread of tonight’s game between the 76ers and Bucks, Vegas is projecting this game to stay close as the Bucks are favored by just 5.5 points. Philly will be without Embiid tonight, which makes this a better matchup for Giannis than it appears on paper, as he scores a lot from inside the paint. Over the last three games, two of which Embiid sat out, Philly is giving up the 11th most points in the paint per game. I expect him to take advantage of that this evening and so long as this game remains close, Giannis is in a good position to post up huge numbers.
Domantas Sabonis (DK $9400/ FD $9200) – Sabonis has triple-doubled in two of his last four games, finishing shy of a triple-double in both of those other contests by one rebound in one game and by two assists in another. Tonight’s matchup against the Nets will be up in pace as both of these teams play at a top 10 pace. The Nets have been somewhat generous to the power forward position this season, allowing the eighth most fantasy points per game to the position. Sabonis thrives in the paint, as he generates 64.2 percent of his scoring from inside the paint. The good news for him is that he faces a team this evening that gives up the fourth most points in the paint per game. Sabonis did well against Brooklyn the last time he faced off against them this season, scoring 18 points with nine boards, four dimes, two steals, and a block. Keep in mind, he had an off-shooting day that game, as he shot just 35 percent, but still managed to score 41.3 DK points. Sabonis is in a good position to turn in a productive performance, offering us a good balance of a solidified floor, as well as plenty of upside.
Tobias Harris (DK $8400/ FD $7800) – Harris has been lights out in each of his last two games with Embiid out, scoring no less than 48 DK points in any of those contests. This comes to no surprise considering that Harris sees the biggest usage boost of any 76ers players in this instance. Harris gets a 4.9 percent usage bump with Embiid off the floor, as well as a two percent increase in assist rate and averages roughly 5.1 more DK points per game. The matchup against the Bucks tonight is far from ideal, as they play solid defense. That being said, the Bucks have ranked 18th in defense efficiency against power forwards in their last 18 games, so they are middling against the position. So far this season, in games that Embiid has sat out, Harris has scored 38.3, 38.5, 58.5, 33.8, 50.8, and 48.5 DK points. The floor is stable, and the upside is high in this situation, making Harris a strong play this evening at his price tag.
Lauri Markkanen (DK $5800/ FD $5800) – Markkanen tends to get lost in the shuffle being that he has missed 20 games this season. However, when he is healthy and playing his regular allotment of minutes, he has been extremely efficient. In fact, in games where he has played at least 28 minutes in this season (15-game sample size), Markkanen has averaged 20.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game, while scoring 28 or more DK point in all but two of those games. This type of production should not go overlooked, as he is a solid basketball player, but is not priced like the caliber of player he is. Markkanen remains affordable on both sites and has displayed a strong floor, as well as decent upside, making him viable in all formats this evening.
Daniel Theis (DK $4100/ FD $4400) – The minutes have been volatile for Theis in recent games, but with Thompson out, we can expect the minutes to be more consistent for Theis in this contest. In fact, we saw it firsthand last night when Theis played 26 minutes against the Jazz and turned in a strong performance. He scored 15 points with 11 boards and six dimes, finishing with nearly 40 DK points. That was against a much tougher front court than the one he faces tonight. The Cavs, who Boston faces this evening, actually rank 26th in defense efficiency against opposing bigs. The last time these two teams faced off, Theis scored 17 points with six boards, one dime, two blocks, and two steals, finishing with 34.5 DK points in 24 minutes. Keep in mind, Thompson played in that contest. Theis has been someone I gravitate towards when looking for value at the position and it has not always panned out, but he has exceeded expectations in 65 percent of his games over the last month and this is a matchup he has had success in already.
Some thoughts on the center position: Considering the way this slate is shaping up, the center position is not one I intend on paying up for tonight, though if you do, Nikola Jokic is in an incredible spot tonight against a Hornets team that ranks 24th in defense efficiency against opposing centers. If your roster construction leads you to paying up for a center, Jokic would be your best bet.
Richaun Holmes (DK $6700/ FD $6900) – The issue with rostering Holmes most nights is the fact that Bagley cuts into his production. The good news for Holmes this evening is that Bagley is not playing this evening. With Bagley off the court, Holmes sees a two percent usage bump and a one percent increase in rebounding rate. He also averages nearly two more DK points per game. The matchup against the Wizards is one I expect Holmes to flourish in, as they rank 28th in defense efficiency against opposing centers on the season. Washington gives up the third most real points, most rebounds, third most assists, and most fantasy points per game to opposing bigs. Washington is also giving up the third most points in the paint per game over their last seven contests, which bodes incredibly well for Holmes, who generates 75.5 percent of his scoring from inside the paint. This is an absolute smash spot for Holmes and he gets an even bigger boost should Whiteside sit this one out as well.
DeAndre Jordan (DK $5200/ FD $4300) – Jordan has played at least 29 minutes in four of his last five games and no less than 27 minutes in any of those contests. Tonight, he faces off against a Pacers team that plays big, so Jordan should see significant minutes once again. In addition, the Nets will be without Irving and Durant, and when they are off the court, Jordan sees an increase in both rebounding and assist rates. The Pacers have struggled against opposing bigs over their last 10 games, ranking 28th in defense efficiency in their last 10 games against centers. Jordan played 36 minutes and scored 36 DK points the last time these two teams faced off. He averages slightly under a fantasy point per minute and should play 27-30 minutes in this contest. At his price, that can turn into a great return on investment.
DraftKings: James Harden, Bradley Beal, Richaun Holmes, Tomas Satoransky
FanDuel: James Harden, Tomas Satoransky, DeAndre Jordan, Russell Westbrook
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**