With the all-star break approaching, we have a monster 9 game slate tonight. One thing I can tell you is that 320 is not winning a tournament tonight. Hell, 300 might be the cash line in 50/50s and doubles ups. It’s going to take guys getting at least 5-6X at every position and a couple smashing through that to win today, so fringe options are not recommended.
With the all-star break approaching, we have a monster 9 game slate tonight. One thing I can tell you is that 320 is not winning a tournament tonight. Hell, 300 might be the cash line in 50/50s and doubles ups. It’s going to take guys getting at least 5-6X at every position and a couple smashing through that to win today, so fringe options are not recommended. We have a lot of strong plays today and with so many games a robust group of guys for cash. I always try to narrow it down to only 3-5 guys a position and I did my best to cut the list today and only keep the cream of the crop. The guys I listed here are my favorite plays to exceed 5-6X today as I think that’s what it is going to take to win.
Top Projected Totals
- Thunder 118.75
- Raptors 118.5
- Timberwolves 116
- Rockets 115.75
- Bucks 114
Biggest Pace Bump
- Bulls +4.1
- Trailblazers +3.9
- Pistons +3.1
- Rockets +1.5
- Nuggets +1.1
Highest Projection over Average
- Pistons +6
- Raptors +5
- Timberwolves +4.5
- Cavs +4
- Thunder +3.5
- Pacers +3
Russell Westbrook – League tying 9 straight triple-doubles and we aren't talking barely making it here. He’s averaging just shy of 20 points a game, over 13 rebounds, and over 14 assists with 2 defensive stats. Those stats are good for over 60 fantasy points per game. OKC is at home in what should be a closely contested game, meaning full run for Westbrook against Damian Lillard defense and the Thunder are projected for above average production. He’s expensive, but he’s going for the all-time record and to be the first player in NBA history to have 10 straight triple-doubles. My guess is the floor tonight is even safer than normal as you know he wants to pass Wilt for that record.
Chris Paul – Paul was up over 30 minutes last game and just shy of 50 fantasy points. I was surprised to see the Rockets are not only paced up here, but projected for above average production. CP3s production and minutes have trended up since his return and while the price has too, it’s not back to where it was yet. He’s dropped 40 and 49 the last two games and is under $8K, so he’s reasonably priced with reasons for upside.
Kyle Lowry – On DK you get a nice little discount to him from CP3 and Lowry has been playing really well lately too. He’s been over 40 in his most recent games and the Raptors are projected over average, slightly paced up, and at home here today after trading away some of the glut on the perimeter (Delon Wright, CJ Miles).
Dennis Smith Jr. – Since being given the keys to the Knicks offense after the trade, DSJ has looked good. He’s played over 30 minutes, put up over 33 fantasy points and had a usage rate over 30% in the past three games since becoming the man. HE’s priced where matching his worst effort as a Knick would still not hurt you in cash games as that would be over a 5X return. His best efforts at the price would give him near 7X and that would make him a guy with the price and upside to help push you over the projected high score line pace today. Big fan of him in this new role for fantasy and he’s playing well over 30 minutes and producing with it so far.
Jamal Murray – Since returning from injury he has popped off for two 40+ point games too. I like him a tad less than DSJ, but you still have to mention him. He’s a good play here, but I always pause playing guys against the Miami Heat. The reason I’m a little more OK with it today is that the HEat are on a road back-to-back and Denver is slightly paced up here.
Patrick Beverley – The thing I love about Beverley is that worst case he is ok and best case he smashes. His game logs are a good example. Beverley is playing more minutes now, routinely seeing over 30 a game. On his bad days he still gets you around 25, which doesn't kill you. On his good days, he smashes for 40+ which can put you way over the cash line and even makes him a GPP option. Minnesota’s PG situation is in shambles right now, so he may draw a hobbling Teague, a banged up Bayless, and the rest of the time be matched up with journeyman Isaiah Canaan. If you can't afford the better plays mentioned above, Beverley is as low as I go right now without some confirmation. (Canaan would be in play provided all the Minnesota guards are out or limited).
Luka Doncic – I know James Harden is on this slate and I’m never going to tell you not to pay for him, but as CP3’s production goes up, Harden’s seems to come down. If Harden was priced at $10K, I’d say fine as he’s still likely to go for 50 or even 60, but those 70-80 point games with 40% usage and much less likely with CP3 back. Anyway, Doncic is a discount and has been producing the same type of 50+ point games right now. With DSJ gone, this is clearly and unquestionably Luka’s team right now. He does a little bit of everything for them too. He’ll rebound, he’s got great court vision and feel, and he can score. For a couple grand less he definitely has a lower ceiling, but the floor is currently as high or very close.
Andrew Wiggins – Wiggins is smashing in the last few games and the sites hate him and won't raise his price. Yes, he is scoring dependant, but right now he’s being asked to score and doing it. Derrick Rose and a healthy Jeff Teague are scoring point guards. Guys like Bayless and Canaan playing right now are not. That means Wiggins has had to step it up. We see that in the field goal attempts rising and also the production with his scoring. He may be scoring dependant, but he's scoring enough right now to carry those scores higher.
Jordan Clarkson – The Cavs are a skeleton crew of randoms and Clarkson is taking full advantage of it. He’s always been a high usage guy and volume shooter and that can lead to points. The thing I like most right now is the minutes. Remember they traded Burks away and were already short-handed in the backcourt. Clarkson is routinely playing over 30 minutes right now and when you give Clarkson over thirty minutes he is going to put up numbers. He’s not cheap, but for the production he is reasonably priced. It’s actually a great spot for the Cavs as they are at home, paced up, and projected for 4 points over average. Clarkson should benefit a lot from all of that.
Dion Waiters – This is one of the best plays on the slate in my opinion. I mentioned in yesterday’s write up that he was up to 30 minutes the last game and with Tyler Johnson out that should remain high. Well yesterday he played 41 and he crushed value by putting up nearly 40 fantasy points. I don't expect him to do that every time, but when he gets hot he certainly has that ceiling. Still I think his floor playing 30+ minutes is over 25 and his price is still in the low 4s. The matchup is not great, on the road, and on the tail end of a B2B, but at the price we can get a decent game and feel god and a repeat of yesterday or anything close to it would be a super value and keep you well ahead of cash line pace. Plus you don;t lose potential upsie by going cheap and it allows you to spend that money elsewhere.
Paul George – I’ve been saying this for weeks, but Paul George might be playing the best basketball of his career right now and hasn’t stopped. 9 of the last 11 games he had 31 or more points. He’s routinely knocking down at least 5-6 3s and up to 10 in one game. He’s shooting lights out from all over the floor. Taking and making a lot of shots. This game projects to stay close, and one of the 2 games he didn;t top 31 points he had 27 in only 31 minutes of a blowout. When games stay close, we’ve seen him flirt with near 40 minutes a game, which only helps him raise the floor and ceiling of his production. He’s pricey, but he’s playing and producing like all the other guys in this price range. He and Westbrook have even proven that both can co-exist in fantasy as they have gone for 50-60 points together in most of these recent games. No problem playing either or both in cash today if the money allows me to do so.
Kawhi Leonard – A few less bodies on the perimeter should benefit everyone here. Not that Kawhi really needs any help, he was going to get his minutes and usage regardless. I like the fact you can get a significant savings on him from PG13 and would have no problem dropping down. Kawhi faced the Nets twice this year. The first meeting he had 53 in 37 minutes of action. The second game turned into a blowout, but he was on his way to a monster night dropping 43 fantasy points in just 26 minutes of action. Kawhi has a very high floor, especially in good matchups and this is a very good spot for the Raptors.
Danilo Gallinari – With Tobias Harris gone, he’s now the man in LA. His minutes are revving back up to the high 35-36 minutes a night he was routinely playing before the injury. In his first game he played just 20 and still dropped 28 fantasy points. The last game he jumped from 20 to 29 minutes and the production went from 27 to 39. Today I expect that to climb up over 30 minutes and if he keeps doing it at the per minute pace he has been on, we are looking at over 40 fantasy points for a guy in the $6K price range. That’s a solid value for cash and even the upside to use him in GPPs today. Remember he is the #1 option on a fast pace team that scores a lot of points and he has less competition for shots than he did before the injury.
Jabari Parker – The trade seems to have done him a lot of good as he has produced so far for the Wizards. The thing that has me excited today is that Jeff Green is listed as questionable. The Wizards have a lot of guys that man forward spots now, so it was getting a little crowded. The fact that these guys al can handle more minutes is a good thing when one of them is out. Rather than adding another body to the rotation, the Wizards can just give each guy a few extra minutes here and there. On DraftKings he’s like 5600 and would have to play 30 something minutes to pay that off, but he has put up 6X and 7X in his last two games, so it’s not out of the question. I would only play him on DK if Green sits. On FanDuel he is merely $3900. At that price you can play him even if Green does play. If Green sits though, you can;t make a lineup without using a $3900 Jabari Parker and expect to have anywhere near the same expected upside as the rosters that do. That price is just criminally cheap if Green is out and he should be 100% if that happens.
Kevin Knox – I don't love Knox, but at only $4600 on FD, he’s an even better play over there than he is on DK. The Knicks rotation has been a tough one to figure out all year, but one thing that has been a constant theme is that they like Knox and are trying to get him minutes. Right now he’s playing a ton of them. The production is nothing special, but with these huge minutes the floor is high enough and he has upside ceiling.
Bobby Portis – A change of scenery can do a guy good, especially when he moves to a team desperate for rebounding and interior scoring which is what he does best. He played just under 30 minutes in each of the last 2 games and put up 30/6/2 and 10/12/4. Very different paths to get there, but still well over 6.5x both times. Portis can get you fantasy points in bunches and always has when he gets minutes. In Washington he is starting to get minutes and producing like this will earn him even more. Jeff Green being out would benefit him as well as Parker as both guys are ones likely to see their minutes increase as they settle in. The price has risen and is now $6300 on both sites. Better play on FD, but still in play on DK too, especially if you think the minutes could increase as I do in his third game for his new team.
Larry Nance Jr. – Like a lot of people I was excited to see Kevin Love coming back. He played just 6 minutes and then sat the next game. Even if he plays tonight, you are still going to keep getting 30-35 minutes from Nance right now. They are just too thin not to give it to him and he’s healthy enough to handle it as he showed the last couple games. Nance can produce too, 40 and 50 in back-to back contests. This Knicks matchup is a favorable one for him and his team, so we have a lot of positive reasons to expect him to keep playing well.
Kenneth Faried – His ceiling is low, but his floor is consistent right now. As long as Capela is out, his minutes are safe. His work ethic and hustle has been enough to help him live in that 35-40 fantasy points range. It’s not great upside and I do think we need that today, but I’m not going to argue with anyone who locks in these points if he helps you get something else you want to play by coming down to him. I also wouldn't argue if you had extra money and decided to come up to him in cash. He’s not going to win you GPPs, but he’s consistent enough that if you team performs, he is not going to be a guy who hurts you either.
Marvin Williams – I threw him in because I didn't really like a lot of the cheap options today. When I was building lineups I was trying to find one I could really grab onto, but I didn't like the way the builds ended up. The best of the options I considered was Marvin Williams. I’m not really a huge fan of playing him and definitely not a huge fan of attacking the Indy defense, but he is dirt cheap at $4500 on DK. He didn't have great games against Indy this year either with like 22 points both times, but he also did not play a ton of minutes. If he gets up to the 32-35 we have routinely seen him at, maybe that 22 becomes 28-30 and for $4500 that’s over 6X. On FanDuel at $5500, I’m less likely to even attempt this.
Karl-Anthony Towns – No knock on Jokic either as it was close for me, but the two are basically the same price and I prefer the matchup with Los Angeles over the matchup for Jokic against slower paced Miami. The Clippers did just pick up Ivica Zubac so they at least have a big man now, but he’s only playing half a game. The rest of the time Towns will have a huge size advantage over guys like Montrezl Harrell. With the guards all banged up and Minnesota giving 30 minutes to #5 PG Isaiah Canaan last game, the rest of the team has to step up. Josh Okogie and Taj Gibson are not big scorers, so the weight of carrying the offense falls onto Wiggins and Towns.
Andre Drummond – I debated Drummond v. Blake Griffin, because Drummond has been the one putting up bigger games lately for the Pistons. The matchup is also ideal here as the Pistons are paced up at +3.1, projected for 6 points over average, and face a Washington team that is weak on the interior. Drummond will have a big size advantage over a guy like Bobby Portis. He is in line for one of his patented 20/20 type games tonight. I like him much better on DK at $8900 than I do playing him on FanDuel at 5 figures.
Ivica Zubac – The Clippers already were weak on the interior and they traded Boban and released Gortat. The reason for that is they flipped Muscala from the 76ers to get Ivica Zubac from the Lakers. Zubac had played pretty well in recent games for the Lakers and looked god in his debut for the Clips. He did only pay about half a game and I doubt we see a ton more minutes from him today. Still in half a game and at a cheap price he was able to nearly produce a double-double. I debated him against Robin Lopez for a Bulls team just as desperate for height, but Lopez is less likely to play 24-30 minutes. I do project that much for Zubac, which would even be a slight increase for him.