Players are based on DK pricing/positions. Plays noted with (FD) are notably good plays on FanDuel. Please read the entire article, as the rankings are explained in the bottom half (along with what news can radically shift these rankings).
- James Harden
- Devonte’ Graham
- Collin Sexton
- LaMelo Ball
- Damian Lillard/Lonzo Ball
- Eric Bledsoe
- Cam Reddish
- Fred VanVleet
- C.J. McCollum
- Anthony Edwards
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Khris Middleton
- Cody Martin
- O.G. Anunoby
- Jordan Nwora (if no Bobby Portis)/Trey Murphy or Herbert Jones
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Paul George
- Brandon Ingram
- Jaden McDaniels
- Jerami Grant
- Precious Achiuwa
- Mo Bamba
- Myles Turner
- Jusuf Nurkic
- Wendell Carter Jr.
Top Stud over $8K: James Harden
Top Value under $5K: Precious Achiuwa
DK Core: James Harden, Michael Porter Jr., Precious Achiuwa, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Top Stud over $8K: Bam Adebayo
Top Value under $5K: Jordan Nwora (if no Bobby Portis)/Precious Achiuwa
FD Core: James Harden, Jonas Valanciunas, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Aaron Gordon
Jaylen Brown – Yesterday, Jaylen Brown missed the Celtics game with what has been diagnosed as left patella tendinopathy. It apparently is some form of tendinitis that can be treated with rest and the time needed for rest varies from patient to patient. In other words, this is likely going to be a true game time decision, which is annoying because the entire complexion of the Celtics changed with Brown out. Since the start of last season, Jaysom Tatum leads the team with a monstrous 35.4-percent usage rate with Brown (and Kemba Walker) off the floor compared to just a 29.2-percent usage rate with Brown on (and Walker off). For the record, Walker was a large part of the 2020 sample, and he is no longer on the team, but that part feels like it still needs to be pointed out (because he is another high-usage player). Last night, Dennis Schroder started for Brown and took 14 shots (second most on the team) en route to an 18-5-5 line. Expect more of the same tonight if Brown sits and, it should be noted, Al Horford is questionable to play the second end of the back-to-back as well. If he were to sit, Grant Williams, who already played 31-minutes last night, would be the likely starting fill-in.
Kyle Lowry – An ankle injury has landed Kyle Lowry questionable on the injury report once again and Gabe Vincent started for his when he sat. In that game, Vincent played 24.5-minutes, scored two real points, and finished with 8.75 DK fantasy points. Basically, just because he is starting does not mean he is the production beneficiary, and it was Jimmy Butler whose usage rate got the must sizeable bump (up to 31.1-percent). Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro are the top three options on offense in Lowry’s absence and it should be noted Herro attempted 28 shots (in an overtime game) without the starting point guard on Saturday. Duncan Robinson is playing enough minutes to be viable if he gets hot from behind the arc but he is more of a secondary priority to the main trio.
Also, Bradley Beal would be a key situation to watch if this piece of news were not already out there:
Top Game Stack Environments:
Indiana Pacers/Milwaukee Bucks – Both Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez are expected to sit once again tonight although it should be noted Bobby Portis is listed as questionable. Instead of auto-projecting Sandro Mamukelashvili for 25-plus minutes again, fantasy owners will want to be cautious until confirming the status of Portis. Regardless of the frontcourt situation, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton will be tasked with running the offense and George Hill will be the team starter at point guard (PG). The 230.5-point total in this game equates to the highest of any game on the slate even though the Pacers rank just 19th in pace to this point. Essentially, Vegas believes this game will play at the Bucks pace (fifth so far), and neither team ranks above 12th in defensive efficiency so far. The production funneling through the other two Milwaukee superstars is a given and Holiday’s defense out of the lineup should lead to a more favorable matchup for Malcolm Brogdon. Last year, Domantas Sabonis averaged over 48 DK fantasy points per game (FPPG) in three games versus the Bucks, and he is the top priority as the run-back in the game stack. Rookie Chris Duarte has been a spark plug for the Pacers and has played 33-plus regulation minutes in all three games thus far (including 41-plus minutes in back-to-back overtime contests). In a game with just a 2.0-point spread, this one could turn into a fantasy bonanza, especially if the Bucks end up thin.
New Orleans Pelicans/Minnesota Timberwolves – Technically, the Trail Blazers/Clippers game features a higher total, but the Pelicans and Timberwolves are two teams that are objectively defensively deficient. Through two games, the Timberwolves rank second in defensive efficiency but they have played just this Pelicans team and the Rockets. Over a large sample size, that number is going to tumble quickly (after ranking 28th in defensive efficiency last season). Brandon Ingram, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jonas Valanciunas and Devonte’ Graham all have garnered usage rates over 19.5-percent this year with Ingram leading the way at 31.9-percent. Through three games, the Pelicans have been blown out twice, and the only close game they have played in was versus this Timberwolves squad (and they only shot 34.8-percent in that game including 22.5-percent from beyond the arc). Despite only 185 total points in that game, the over/under tonight sits at 226.0-points, meaning the pace of this game likely plays closer to what we would be accustomed to with these teams. As for the run-back, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell are basically the three-headed monster for the Timberwolves offense, with Jaden McDaniels projecting as a solid value because of the minutes (27) for someone priced at just $3,500 on DK.
Slate Edges: Devonte’ Graham (after shooting just 1-10 from behind the arc versus the Timberwolves in the first matchup)