MLK Day is normally a big slate in the NBA, and that is why we only have a little 4 gamer here on Tuesday. It should be a high scoring one, as the three games with totals listed are all over 227. The one game we are waiting on is Clippers/Mavericks. The Clippers average 114 and Dallas about 110. Neither is great defensively, so I would assume the total for that game ends up around that 224 number they average combined. We do have…
MLK Day is normally a big slate in the NBA, and that is why we only have a little 4 gamer here on Tuesday. It should be a high scoring one, as the three games with totals listed are all over 227. The one game we are waiting on is Clippers/Mavericks. The Clippers average 114 and Dallas about 110. Neither is great defensively, so I would assume the total for that game ends up around that 224 number they average combined. We do have high total in most of these games with the smallest spread likely coming in Clippers/Mavericks depending on the injury news. Danilo Gallinari has been out for a game and a half and looks like he will miss this one too. The questionable player is Lou Williams. It’s interesting because that would mean the Clippers could be down two of their top scoring threats that tend to combine for 60 minutes of court time or more. Tobias Harris has benefitted, and the guards in Patrick Beverley and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have traded off great games as well. Those are the guys I would look at to step up here.
UPDATE: Kawhi Leonard will sit out again today in order to play in Indiana tomorrow. With him sitting, Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka tend to see the biggest bumps. Pascal Siakam also sees a bump, but not as much. All of them become more interesting, especially because th matchup is a good one. All three are now cash game viable and likely take some ownership.
TOP PROJECTED TOTALS
- Raptors – 119.75
- Timberwolves – 116.75
- Thunder – 116.5
BIGGEST PACE BUMP
- Blazers: +4
- Raptors: +3.5
- Mavericks: +1.4
HIGHEST PROJECTION OVER AVERAGE
- Raptors: +6
- Timberwolves: +5
- Suns: +5
FAVORITE CASH PLAYS
Russell Westbrook – You can absolutely use him today, but I don't think you have to. When Harden and Davis are on some of these slates, I start by jamming them in and figuring the rest out, but Westbrook is not that guy right now. He has the ability to go off, but I’m not afraid to leave him out. I’m not saying Westbrook doesn't play well, I assume he ends up near a triple-double with about 60 fantasy points. My hope though is this is not the spot he goes off for 70-80. At his price, you can make up for him going for 55-65 ish. He is likely to end up there and you can build lineups around him, but I prefer to save a little at PG with some of the other solid higher-end options that are cheaper and spend elsewhere today.
Kyle Lowry – Lowry is cheaper than Lillard on both sites by a few hundred bucks today and those were the guys I debated. Lillard is playing on the road against a good defense on the tail end of a back-to-back. Not exactly the best spot to target. Lowry, on the other hand, plays on the team with the highest total and gets the second biggest pace bump. Lillard gets the pace bump too, but the Raptors are projected for 6 points over average while the Balzers project for 2 points under. With the discount and the better matchup, I prefer Lowry to Lillard here.
Derrick Rose – Very good spot for Rose who just dropped 40 DK points on them two days ago when both teams last played. With Tyus Jones out, Rose not only gets to run and gun the second unit but also sees time with the starters on the floor. This Phoenix matchup is definitely one to take advantage of. I prefer the FD price to the DK one as they are both basically the same and the multiple needed on FD is lower. On DraftKings you can also play him at SG too, so I would expect him to be useful on both sites for roster construction.
Patrick Beverley v. Shai Gilgeous Alexander – With Lou Williams out, SGA had a 40 point game in 40 minutes of action and P-Be followed it up with a 50 point game last time out. These two guys are tough to love for cash, given that they trade off having big games, but both guys are dirt cheap and have recently had a big game. If Lou Williams remains out, both guys should benefit. SGA feels like the safer play due to the fact he followed up that 40 point 40 minute game with 37 minutes next time out. He took a back seat to Beverley in production that game, but P-Bev is not known as a fantasy producer, so I’m chalking that one up to luck. I would not be looking for him to repeat that kind of performance.
Devin Booker – The Suns are at home and are projected for 5 points over average. Booker is the highest usage player, takes the most shots, and normally plays the most minutes too. With the game being at home, they have a better chance of keeping it close. Booker has a high floor and a huge ceiling when his shots are all dropping. He’s even cheaper on FanDuel than he is on DK and I always love when a guy I like has that going for him. At under $8K on FanDuel I am expecting to have a ton of exposure to him in all formats, but especially cash given his high floor due to the minutes and usage.
Bogdan Bogdanovic – This Kings team is not an easy one to predict right now. Part of the problem is everyone's healthy. Earlier in the season, you had Bogdan, Bjelica and Bagley all miss time. That shortened up the rotation for a fast-paced team and helped boost a lot of the floors for fantasy. Now the problem is everyone is healthy and guys are not seeing well into 30+ minutes anymore. Bogdan is still seeing his minutes though, and he was never the guy playing 35-40 anyway, as him being out was a main reason the other guys (Fox, Hield, Shumpert) did. He is not only playing good minutes, but he’s also being productive in them. He is coming off an 11 assist game against Brooklyn and had 7 assists the game before. He’s scored 17+ points in 4 of the last 5 games too. There are a lot of ways Bogdan can get you value and that’s why he’s solid in cash games.
Wes Matthews – I don't love him to repeat the big game he just had, but at his price, even a pedestrian game of 22-25 fantasy points will do. I know Dennis Smith Jr. is expected back, but I think that hurts the minutes for Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith more than Matthews. I still expect Matthews to get his 28-32 minutes and needed just 22-25 means even if he just gets us .7-.8 fantasy points per minute he could reach value. That is right on his average, so the worst case he doesn't hurt you and best case he smashes value again.
Kawhi Leonard – I do think spending up for at least one SF today is the best roster construction, and I like Kawhi to be my guy there. Kawhi has had some big games this year when he plays and never seems to be overowned. The matchup with the Kings is one where you would expect close to a ceiling game too. I not only have Kawhi projected for the most points at the position today, but I have him with the highest point per dollar number too. It’s not as common for that to happen as you would think and when the top raw score also happens to be the top projected per dollar value, I have to get that guy in my lineups.
Paul George – No hate against Paul George, but I can save $400 on Kawhi and project him better anyway on DraftKings. On FanDuel you save only $100, but the projection still favors Kawhi, so he’s the better play there too. I will absolutely have some exposure to PG13 in GPPs today and I’m not knocking anyone who prefers him to Kawhi, but you likely can't pay for both and if both play well, I would expect a bigger number from Kawhi at a smaller cost.
Kelly Oubre – Oubre benefits more if Richaun Holmes s out. I already expect DeAndre Ayton to miss, so Holmes missing too would mean Acy and Bender playing a lot of 5 with guys like Oubre Warren and Ariza basically splitting most if not all of the 96 forward minutes available today. Oubre has been putting up over 30, and at his $6K FD price and mid $5K DK tag, that is solid value. The Suns are slightly paced up and expected to surpass average scoring today, so I do still want exposure and Oubre is a good way to get some. Holmes returning would affect him a bit, but I still like the price on FD enough to play him anyway.
Mikail Bridges – Bridges is more the FD punt type play for me. He gets the minutes and sometimes does blow up for big scores. Sometimes he doesn't and being able to drop the bad one is appealing. Bridges has also had upside games that are tourney winners and things that could make up for a miss or two in cash. He’s dirt cheap and does play a lot of minutes lately. Those two things alone give him a nice flor and when you also have a ceiling for cheap, that’s the kind of guy I like.
Tobias Harris – I love Harris here today. Gallo went down against the Warriors, and Harris popped off for 40+ DK points. Last game without Gallo for the full time, Harris took 20 shots and scored 60 fantasy points. I looked down the list to see how few times Harris did take 20 shots and what I noticed was a very nice pattern of outperformance when he does. His worst game with 20 or more field goal attempts for 42 fantasy points and he was routinely around 50 whenever he took that many shots. With Gallo out and Lou Williams also banged up, we can project him for a high number again here today. That should mean near 50 fantasy points, a boost in production for him, and enough to be a solid value.
Jerami Grant – I know Noel is back, and that could mean a few fewer minutes for Grant, but he’s playing so many anyway that it might not affect much. Even with Noel back, he still saw over 30 last game too. He was near 40 for a few games without Nerlens, as he doubled as a backup center in addition to his starting forward duties. Grant is not a major upside guy. $0-50 point outbursts are very rare from him, but he does do enough of everything to have a high floor around 30, which is basically 5-6X his asking price. OKC is projected for over average, even if the pace is slower than they are used to.
Al-Farouq Aminu – Paced up spot for him is good. The fact the Blazers are projected to score below average affects him less as he is not a big-time scorer anyway. Aminu gets his big games by racking up rebounds and getting a few points and defensive stats. The last time these teams met he went for 16/15/2 which is something I liked about him. Aminu can get you a double-double and that would easily reach value for him if he does. He even has upside in this matchup as he showed us last game. High floor with upside potential is exactly the kind of guy I want to get a piece of.
Richaun Holmes/Dragan Bender – So with DeAndre Ayton out, we have a lot of value opened up here. Richaun Holmes is the more talented of the two. He is also questionable but is my preferred play if he goes. I would still expect Bender to see about half a game too as they likely split minutes, but Holmes should see the bigger share and produce better when on the floor. If for any reason Holmes misses again, Bender was the main guy who played nearly 30 minutes last game and produced the best of the cheap big men options to cover for Ayton being sidelined.
Karl Anthony-Towns (FANDUEL) – I don't mind spending a $1,500 more for Towns on FD over Nurkic, but the $3,000+ difference on DraftKings is absurd. Towns is in a massively good spot. Ayton is out, and at worst, that means he likely gets matched up with Richaun Holmes and Dragan Bender. Best case is Holmes seeds, and it’s a matchup against Quincy Acy and Dragan Bender. Either way, KAT should smash it.
Jusuf Nurkic – Nurkis is on a tear lately. His minutes have routinely been up near 30 and he is doing everything from scoring to rebounding to setting up teammates with big assist numbers. He just went 22/8/7 with 6 blocks. The game before that he went 15/12/5/2. The one before that he had a 10/10/10 triple-double with 5 blocks. He’s had at least 40 points in each of the last 3 games. On DraftKings, you get a big discount off of Karl Anthony-Towns, almost $3,100, which buys you a lot of upgrades at other positions. On FanDuel, where it is only $1,500, I much prefer Towns.
DeAndre Jordan – I find myself going to Jordan a lot here for a center on DraftKings or a second guy in my utility with Nurk. Not only is this a revenge game, but I like picking on the Clippers with centers anyway. Jordan has 14+ rebounds in 4 of the last 5 games, double-doubling in 3 of them while averaging 30 minutes of action. Last time he played his old team, he had 11/22/4 for 48 fantasy points, and at $7K or below on both sites, that’s a lot of solid upside.