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Plays of the Day
Value: With Deron Williams (groin) all but ruled out tonight, J.J. Barea emerges as a great value play. He was already seeing a consistent role off the bench for the fast-paced Mavs with a 22.1% Usage Rate so far this season and now he could be looking at a starting role with far more ball handling responsibilities in a plus matchup. Portland allows the ninth-most FPPG (45.97) and third-most PPG (27.0) to opposing PGs this season.
Fade: Jimmy Butler came alive late to meet value against the Celtics on Wednesday, but he’s otherwise been a disappointment in DFS circles this season. With two Alpha guards on his team now, it’s simply not in his nature to demand shots or control the ball, so his offensive numbers should continue to decline.
Games to Target
- Los Angeles Lakers hosting Golden State Warriors (-11) (Over/Under = 226.5)
- New Orleans Pelicans (-3) hosting Phoenix Suns (Over/Under = 212.5)
John Wall (WAS) vs. ATL DK:$8,500/FD:$9,000
After last night’s fiasco with Russell Westbrook and the Thunder falling apart in embarrassing fashion at Oracle Arena, it’s probably wise to find a safe play at PG. Wall has been as consistent as they come in DFS terms because his turnover numbers are overshadowed by a 34.7% Usage Rate and 56.9% Assist Rate that trails only Westbrook and James Harden for the league lead. He’s dropped a double double in all three of his appearances this season and is usually better at home, where he averaged 20.7 PPG and 2.1 SPG last season. Wall’s individual matchup is also much easier against Dennis Schroeder rather than savvy veteran Jeff Teague, so if Washington’s frontcourt can simply contain Paul Millsap and keep this contest closer than the opener in Atlanta, we should see a big line from Wall.
J.J. Barea (DAL) @ POR: DK:$4,800/FD:$5,100
With Deron Williams (groin) all but ruled out tonight, Barea emerges as my personal favorite value play. He was already seeing a consistent role off the bench for the fast-paced Mavs with a 22.1% Usage Rate so far this season and now he could be looking at a starting role with far more ball handling responsibilities in a plus matchup. Portland allows the ninth-most FPPG (45.97) and third-most PPG (27.0) to opposing PGs this season, but Damian Lillard and company are certainly keeping their games interesting with their ability to put up points. When D-Will missed a couple of weeks in late March last season, Barea averaged an impressive 22.3 PPG and 6.29 APG for Dallas, which would certainly indicate that he can exceed value tonight.
Isaiah Whitehead ($3600/$4500) might draw the start at PG for Brooklyn and he’s a low-upside punt play. Tyler Johnson ($4800/$4700) is a more appealing value play on FD despite drawing a tougher matchup against Toronto.
Patty Mills ($3800/$3900) should start for the Spurs with Tony Parker (rest) out and he’s a great tournament play even though he’ll face a stingy Jazz defense tonight.
DeMar DeRozan (TOR) vs. MIA: DK:$8,000/FD:$8,500
I’ve doubted DeRozan in his two tough matchups (vs. CLE, @WAS) this year, but he just kept on balling in those games with 32 and 40 points. He’s produced at least 41.5 FD points (42.25 DK points) in all four appearances this year and is playing with an inspired sense of control and motivation, as he’s shooting 55% (56-of-101) from the floor. Even with a stingy Heat defense coming to town, DeRozan is the premier play at his position tonight. He shouldn’t have much trouble producing against poor defender Dion Waiters, or SF Justise Winslow if Miami goes with a cross match, so you should lock DDR in cash game lineups once again.
Sean Kilpatrick (BKN) vs. CHA: DK:$4,400/FD:$4,700
I was worried that Kilpatrick's price tag would almost double after he dropped a double double with a career-high 24 points to triple value on both main DFS sites the other night, but it only went up $600 on DK and $800 on FD. I would be excited to use him at this price regardless, but of course, the fact that Jeremy Lin (hamstring) will miss around two weeks for the Nets makes Kilpatrick a much more appealing play. While Isaiah Whitehead might draw the start at PG for Brooklyn, it should be Kilpatrick logging the majority of the minutes at PG and finishing the game if the Nets (+6.5) can hang tough at home this evening. The third-year man out of Cincinnati is averaging 23.9 points, 6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per 36 minutes so far this season and he might see 30-35 minutes of run for the Nets with Lin out.
Wes Matthews ($5000/$5000) is playing huge minutes for Dallas regardless, and he might see more usage if Dirk Nowitzki misses another game tonight. Plus it’s a #RevengeGame against his former team in the Blazers.
Dion Waiters ($4800/$4700) is still a bit under priced given his consistent role with Miami this year. If you need another punt play, consider Mavs combo guard Seth Curry ($3100/$3500) as a longshot.
Kevin Durant (GSW) @ LAL: DK:$10,100/FD:$9,900
The clear-cut winner of the first round bout between KD and Westbrook, Durant utilized his superior supporting cast to get easy open looks and he drained most of his shots with razor-sharp focus to produce 39 points (on 15-of-24 shooting) in a blowout win. Now he’ll face a Lakers team that is giving up the fifth-most PPG (110.8) and playing at the sixth-fastest pace in the NBA this year, but most importantly, is playing more competitive basketball and scoring 107.2 PPG (ninth-most in NBA) with Luke Walton at the helm this season. This is a letdown spot for the Warriors after their emotional win at home last night and I’m not saying they’re going to lose by any means, but a surprisingly close game is certainly possible, and that’s the only obstacle potentially preventing KD from producing 50+ FPs on both main DFS sites again.
Otto Porter (WAS) vs. ATL: DK:$4,800/FD:$5,100
Porter's been a steal on both main DFS sites this season given his consistency. He's played 74 minutes over Washington's two close contests this year and he should see plenty of run as the Wizards (-2) look to exact some revenge over the Hawks at home tonight. While he was just a solid cash game play over his first two appearances this year, Porter flashed upside with 23 points on nearly immaculate shooting (11-of-13) and added 13 rebounds for a double double to exceed value by a wide margin on DK. He's one of Washington's best rebounders and one of the best in the league at his position, while he faces a Hawks team that is much more vulnerable at the 3 with DeMarre Carroll no longer in town.
I’ll consider Harrison Barnes ($5800/$5000) if Dirk is out for the Mavs. Otherwise, I’ll pivot onto Suns budding young star T.J. Warren ($6200/$5900) in a plus matchup against the Pelicans.
Lance Stephenson ($4200/$4000) is a risky play as always, but he earned 45 minutes of run in an OT loss on Wednesday and he might play a big role in a potential shootout with the Suns.
Anthony Davis (NO) vs. PHO: DK:$10,900/FD:$11,200
While the rest of the Pelicans stepped up to force overtime in Memphis on Wednesday, Davis had his first truly bad game of the season and turned in a DFS dud. Hopefully that will keep his ownership rate down in a dream matchup against a Suns team that literally doesn't have a typical PF on the roster. Jared Dudley has been starting at the 4 for Phoenix with rookie Marquesse Chriss backing him up, while slow-footed centers Alex Len and Tyson Chandler spend some time playing alongside each other. The point is that none of those players have a chance of stopping The Brow when he gets going, and we should see a huge bounce back effort from the big man with the most upside in the NBA.
Paul Millsap (ATL) @ WAS: DK:$7,700/FD:$8,100
The unquestioned heart and soul of this Hawks team, Millsap came up short in what seemed like a great matchup against the Lakers on Wednesday. Yet he’s otherwise been fantastic for Atlanta this season with some big lines, including a 28-7-6 line to produce 48.25 DK points (45.4 FD points) over just 31 minutes in an easy win over Washington on opening night. As mentioned above, the rematch between these teams should be much closer, while Millsap should still be able to rip through a Wizards squad that’s coughing up the eighth-most DK PPG to opposing PFs this season. You could pay up a little more for Draymond Green or Blake Griffin for increased safety, but Millsap is a great GPP play at a reasonable price tag.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($4500/$4700) is producing pretty solid numbers for the Blazers and the only risk is the crowded frontcourt rotation in Portland.
JaMychal Green ($4800/$4700) is coming off his first big game of the season for Memphis and he might see extra playing time as the primary defender of Blake Griffin tonight.
Hassan Whiteside (MIA) @ TOR: DK:$8,400/FD:$8,400
Like Davis and Millsap, Whiteside is coming off a very weak performance and hopefully that will keep his ownership rate down. The Heat’s young beast simply got into foul trouble with DeMarcus Cousins bulling into people and whining for whistles all night on Wednesday, but that’s not really the modus operandi of Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas. Whiteside should have an easier time guarding the less versatile big man, while Toronto could struggle to contain him. While Whiteside posted modest numbers 13 PPG, 11.7 RPG and 2.7 BPG over 3 meetings with the Raptors last year, he’s seeing increased usage for the Heat with D-Wade out of town and he should take a step forward in terms of production while Goran Dragic potentially takes a step back after his back game against the Kings.
Marc Gasol (MEM) vs. LAC: DK:$6,700/FD:$7,000
We've been nixing notions that Gasol is on a true minutes limit this year, as he apparently will just avoid playing on too many B2B sets in order to rest his ailing foot. Yet Big Spain played 38 minutes in an OT win over New Orleans on Wednesday, and exceeded value easily with 8 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals. If he can produce that many peripheral stats and exceed the value of a mid-tier price tag, imagine what he can do if he doesn't shoot so poorly (3-for-18 from the field) in a plus matchup against a Clippers team that's coughing up the fifth-most DK PPG to opposing centers this year.
Mason Plumlee ($4900/$5000) has been dirt cheap all season, but very consistent since he struggled due to foul trouble in the Blazers opener.
Tyson Chandler ($4400/$4500) is a boom-or-bust option to consider as a punt play on FanDuel.