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Plays of the Day
Value: Sergio Rodriguez is now three-for-three in terms of exceeding value as a PG on both main DFS sites, and neither DK nor FD had time to adjust his price tag after he dropped a double double with 12 points and 11 dimes in a narrow loss to Orlando last night. While he draws a tougher matchup this evening against a Hornets squad with a good defensive reputation, Charlotte has allowed the sixth-most FPPG (46.56) to opposing PGs to open the season.
Fade: DeMar DeRozan is off to a great start for the Raptors and he’s produced 40+ FPs in all three of his appearances. Yet he still lacks any sort of peripheral production with averages of 5.3 RPG and 1.3 APG during that span and he’s not doing anything fancy to get his points. Look for a familiar Wizards team to slow him down with lengthy defender Otto Porter giving him some trouble tonight.
Games to Target
- Phoenix Suns (+3.5) hosting Portland Blazers (Over/Under = 216)
- Los Angeles Clippers (-7) hosting Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under = 209)
Kemba Walker (CHA) vs. PHI DK:$7,500/FD:$8,300
While this game doesn’t have a particularly high Over/Under (197.5) or a particularly close spread with Charlotte (-11.5) heavily favored, I’m considering it a game to target in DFS based on the salaries of several players. There are plenty of cheap Sixers, but Kemba is the Hornets player that should be worth paying up for in a dream matchup, as Philadelphia is giving up the second-most FPPG (53.33) and most APG (12.33) to opposing PGs through three games this season. Walker averaged 23.3 PPG against Philly last year and 27 PPG the year before, and he’s consistently posted better numbers at home throughout the past couple of seasons. He’s been quietly awesome in tough matchups against the Heat and Celtics over his last two appearances, but it will look like the Red Sea opening up for Kemba tonight given the opponent.
Sergio Rodriguez (PHI) @ CHA: DK:$4,900/FD:$5,100
Sergio is now three-for-three in terms of exceeding value as a PG on both main DFS sites, and neither DK nor FD had time to adjust his price tag after he dropped a double double with 12 points and 11 dimes in a narrow loss to Orlando last night. While he draws a tougher matchup this evening against a Hornets squad with a good defensive reputation, Charlotte has allowed the sixth-most FPPG (46.56) to opposing PGs to open the season. For Rodriguez, a performance even half as good as the one he produced on Tuesday would be just fine, because his price tag is still so low across the industry that he can meet value with ease while playing 30-35 minutes for the new-look Sixers..
Deron Williams ($5200/$6200) will be worth a look if J.J. Barea (knee) is inactive tonight. Tim Frazier ($6200/$5500) is becoming more expensive on DK, but he’s still a great mid-tier option for cash games.
I love Eric Bledsoe ($6900/$7500) at that price tag on DK against Damian Lillard, who is not really interested in defense. On FanDuel, consider Jeremy Lin at $6500 and pray that the Nets keep a game close at home.
James Harden (HOU) @ NY: DK:$11,200/FD:$11,200
It’s very difficult to get Mr. Triple Double Russell Westbrook ($12,900) into DraftKings lineups, but Harden can fit on that site and he offers almost as much upside. He’s a virtual lock for a double double in Mike D’Antoni’s system, and it’s worth the negative 3-4 FPs from 7-8 TOs when he’s averaging 11.8 APG on the season. Harden found his rhythm as a scorer last night with a season-high 41 points against the Cavs stout defense and now he’ll face a Knicks team that is ranked 26th in defensive rating so far this year. Harden is an exhibitionist, who loves playing at basketball’s most famous arena, as he’s averaging 29 PPG and 9 APG over his last three appearances at MSG. Those numbers were diminished by blowout wins, but the way the Rockets are playing defense (30th in defensive rating) this year, it would be surprising if the Knicks didn’t match his offensive production down the stretch.
Avery Bradley (BOS) vs. CHI: DK:$5,800/FD:$6,500
Hopefully concerns over Bradley’s mild shoulder injury and the return of Marcus Smart (ankle) to the Celtics rotation will keep his ownership rate down, because I love playing AB at a mid-tier price tag in cash games. He’s one of the toughest players in the NBA today, so I’m not worried about him missing time, and Brad Stevens frequently gives him more minutes than star PG Isaiah Thomas because of Bradley’s defensive prowess, which will certainly be required against the Bulls star-studded back court tonight. He logged a whopping 41 minutes in a loss at Chicago last week and is off to a great start with averages of 21.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 4.7 APG through three appearances. Those are the numbers of an all-star and he might not be able to sustain that level of production, but Bradley should keep your DFS lineups on pace for the goal of 250-300 total FPs.
Gerald Henderson ($3400/$3900) is a risky play given his inconsistent role thus far for the Sixers, but he played 31 minutes last night and will have revenge on his mind in a return to Charlotte.
Brandon Knight ($5300/$5800) completely flopped with Devin Booker out of the lineup on Monday but he’ll be worth a look if that’s the case again tonight. Seth Curry ($3400/$3800) would only be worth a look if both Barea and Wes Matthews (foot) are out for Dallas tonight
Jimmy Butler (CHI) @ BOS: DK:$7,700/FD:$7,600
Few players are as patient and consistent as Butler, who is now dealing with two ball-dominant guards in his backcourt in Rondo and Wade. His production seems to have tapered off because of their presence this season, but in reality, the Bulls have simply blown out their last two opponents and required now late-game heroics from Jimmy Buckets. Tonight’s tilt in Boston (-3.5) is likely to go down to the wire and Butler might exceed the 24 points that he put up in his first meeting with the C’s this season. He averaged 27.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 4.3 APG over three meetings with Boston last season and has little trouble working against former college teammate Jae Crowder.
T.J. Warren (PHO) @ POR: DK:$5,900/FD:$5,500
The Blazers stay home tonight after getting run up and down the floor by the Warriors in a blowout loss on Tuesday. It's fair to speculate that Portland's wing players could be a bit tired, which bodes well for the young Suns, who also like to play an uptempo style. Warren has emerged as the Suns most reliable wing scorer and he should see even more usage tonight if Devin Booker (toe) remains out of the lineup. Even if Booker returns, you should like Warren's chances to meet value and serve as a great mid-tier option in cash games given his consistent scoring ability and tendency to pile up peripheral stats.
Otto Porter ($4500/$4900) is a very solid cash game play at this price tag with a floor of around 20 FPs and a ceiling in the high 30s or low 40s.
Robert Covington ($4800/$4900) is mired in a bad shooting slump, but he nearly met value despite going scoreless in a second consecutive game last night, so he clearly has upside if he can connect from deep.
Blake Griffin (LAC) vs. OKC: DK:$8,600/FD:$9,100
Blake might be lightly owned tonight because Anthony Davis just put up another monstrous game and Griffin doesn’t have particularly good splits against OKC over the past couple of years. Of course, Serge Ibaka is no longer in a Thunder uniform and that makes a huge difference when you consider the defensive capabilities of Domantas Sabonis and Enes Kanter. Griffin was able to dominate in his last appearance despite taking just 7 shots from the field and logging 32 minutes due to some foul trouble, but he should see heavy run in a heated rivalry game between these two WCF contenders. His Defensive Rebounding Rate (28.7%) is way up and he’s still seeing plenty of usage as Chris Paul’s favorite partner in PnR sets, so feel free to deploy Griffin in any format tonight.
Al-Farouq Aminu (POR) vs. PHO: DK:$4,400/FD:$4,600
Aminu has emerged as an appealing value play on either main DFS site at this modest price tag. Dubbed "The Prince," because of his royal heritage, Aminu had an outstanding run towards the end of last season and into the playoffs, as he matched up well against the Warriors small ball lineups and produced counting stats across the board. He was quiet over the Blazers first two games of the year, but has since found his rhythm with 11 points, 23 rebounds, 4 blocks and 4 steals to produce 29.5 DK points in B2B games. The Suns remain one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA and they play with plenty of pace, so this seems like another plus spot for Aminu.
Marvin Williams ($5000/$5300) is a great cash game play as a versatile front court player who should chew threw the Sixers soft defense.
Indeed, Dario Saric ($4500/$3900) found his shooting stroke last night with 21 points over 31 minutes of run and he’s worth a look as a punt play on FD this evening.
Dwight Howard (ATL) vs. LAL: DK:$7,600/FD:$8,200
We've questioned his motivation over the past couple of seasons, but Howard will definitely put all of his energy into a #RevengeGame against the Lakers this evening. That franchise spit on him on his way out the door a couple of years ago and he responded by averaging 18.3 PPG and 13.3 RPG against the Lakers in his first season in Houston and posting some big lines against the Purple and Gold in recent years. Now D12 is back home in Atlanta, and seemingly comfortable with his role as a rebounder and finisher. He's exceeded value by producing big double doubles in 2 of his 3 appearances this year and seems destined for big numbers once again with Lakers center Timofey Mozgov (chin) questionable to suit up tonight. Even with Mozgov in the fold, the Lakers are giving up an above average 49.72 FPPG to opposing centers this season and they remain one of the worst teams in the league in terms of defending the paint.
Marc Gasol (MEM) vs. NO: DK:$6,000/FD:$6,800
Big Spain and Mike Conley got some rest last night and the Grizzlies were pulverized by a young Wolves team, but both leaders should be back on the court for a winnable matchup against the Pelicans. Gasol is under priced on both main DFS sites because of talk that he’d be on a minutes restriction to open the season, but playing 30.5 MPG over three contests has done little to curb his solid averages of 19.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 35.6 DK PPG. He averaged 22.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 6.3 APG with some huge lines against New Orleans last year and shouldn’t have much trouble dissecting a Pels defense that gives up the sixth-most PPG (111) this year and is 0-4 as a result.
Cody Zeller ($4300/$4800) doesn’t have much upside due to his minutes restrictions, but he’s a solid play and gets an upgrade with Roy Hibbert (knee) out and Joel Embiid (rest) not expected to play for Philly tonight.
After a disastrous season opener, Joakim Noah ($4900/$4600) has established a solid floor by producing peripheral stats and he faces the worst rated defense in the NBA tonight.