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Plays of the Day
Value: Jeremy Lamb stayed relevant with Nicolas Batum returning to action for Charlotte last night, as Batum only logged 23 minutes in a runaway win over the Grizzlies. Lamb posted a huge double double (18 points, 17 rebounds) in Batum’s absence on Saturday and he seems to have earned some respect from HC Steve Clifford, as the UConn product saw 23 minutes as well and logged 21 points, 9 rebounds and 37.25 DK points to triple the value of his modest price tag on Monday.
Fade: Blake Griffin has been relatively quiet lately and he’s a risky option at a lofty price tag with the Clippers (-12.5) heavily favored against the lowly Brooklyn Nets. Even in a plus matchup, it’s probably wise to avoid Blake for a safer play such as Kevin Love or a superstar with more upside in Anthony Davis.
Games to Target
- New Orleans Pelicans (-5) hosting Los Angeles Lakers (Over/Under = 217.5)
- Charlotte Hornets (-3.5) hosting Detroit Pistons (Over/Under = 201)
Kemba Walker (CHA) vs. DET DK:$7,800/FD:$8,400
This is a classic bounce back spot for Kemba from a DFS perspective after he logged just 29 minutes in a blowout win over Memphis last night. That ensures he’ll be well rested ahead of a projected close home game and he’s likely to carry the Hornets mediocre offense as he’s done all season. The Pistons are a solid defensive team overall, but with Ish Smith and Beno Udrih sharing minutes at PG, they’re coughing up the tenth-most FPPG (44.75) and second-most APG (9.18) to opposing PGs on the season. Walker is sporting a career-high 29.6% Usage Rate with a high 27.9% Assist Rate as Charlotte leans on their playmaking PG, and he’s been much better at home, averaging 25.3 PPG and 44.4 DK PPG at the Spectrum Center through 9 appearances this season.
George Hill (UTA) vs. HOU DK:$7,000/FD:$6,800
Despite moving to a Jazz team that doesn’t light it up offensively by any means, Hill has dramatically increased his production this year and he’s emerged as an excellent cash game play in the mid-tier range. He’s produced at least 30 FPs in 8-of-10 appearances on the year with averages of 21.2 PPG, 4.2 APG and 3.8 RPG and now he’s fully back to speed after missing a couple of weeks with a sprained thumb. Utah’s slow-paced offense will be worth targeting tonight against the hyper-speed Rockets, who allow the ninth-most PPG (105.5) in the NBA and rank 23rd in defensive rating. While he lacks the upside of Walker, Chris Paul or Kyrie Irving, Hill is a good way to get some guaranteed production into your 50/50 and H2H lineups.
Jose Calderon ($3700/$3500) is meeting value despite his limited playing time as the Lakers PG lately and he’ll be worth a look for salary relief.
Tony Parker ($4000/$4500) is locked into a time share with Patty Mills, but he’s very cheap on DK and could serve as a solid addition to a GPP lineup if he gets going against the weak Magic defense.
James Harden (HOU) @ UTA: DK:$11,300/FD:$11,500
Harden might not be heavily owned tonight because DK ranks Utah first in DvP against opposing SGs and the Jazz have a reputation for playing slow-paced, low-scoring games. Yet that didn’t stop The Beard from averaging 32.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 6 APG over 4 meetings with Utah last season and it probably won’t stop him from logging his 17th double double over 18 appearances under new HC Mike D’Antoni. Harden might not be able to rack up easy assists by lobbing passes to Clint Capela off the PnR as he did in a 130-114 waxing of Portland last Sunday, but he’s going to see tons of usage and has a good chance to meet value even if he turns the ball over a lot. This is the cheapest he’s been on DK in 9 games and it’s worth deploying him in any format if you can find value elsewhere.
Jeremy Lamb (CHA) vs. DET: DK:$4,600/FD:$4,000
Surprisingly enough, Lamb stayed relevant with Nicolas Batum returning to action for Charlotte last night. Batum only logged 23 minutes in a runaway win over the Grizzlies, but the fact that Lamb posted a huge double double (18 points, 17 rebounds) in his absence on Saturday seems to have earned some respect from HC Steve Clifford, as the UConn product saw 23 minutes as well and logged 21 points, 9 rebounds and 37.25 DK points to triple the value of his modest price tag. He's going to see increased opportunities with Marvin Williams (knee) out for at least a week, as Lamb's length and versatility makes him capable of playing the 3 or even the 4 in small ball lineups. The Pistons use two pseudo PFs in their standard lineups with Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris starting, while a quicker PF in Jon Leuer logs most of the minutes of their bench, so Lamb should be needed in this matchup and he's a good bet to exceed value once again if he can play 20-25 minutes.
Jordan Clarkson ($6200/$5200) is still way too cheap on FD with D’Angelo Russell out. Lou Williams ($5700/$5000) is another Lakers guard who is worth consideration even though he comes with a bit more risk.
Sean Kilpatrick ($5300/$5300) seems more comfortable as the primary scorer off the bench for Brooklyn and he could see extended run in that role if the Clippers win big tonight.
LeBron James (CLE) @ MIL: DK:$9,700/FD:$10,100
If you do fade Harden, it will probably be to pay up for the King at SF, as he clearly possesses a better floor-ceiling combination than anyone else on this short slate. While his performance doesn’t look much different on the court, LeBron might be drawing motivation from Phil Jackson’s subversive comments as well as Russell Westbrook taking the lead for most triple doubles amongst current NBA players. James logged a triple double in what should’ve been an easy win over the 76ers on Sunday and he’s been very productive against the young Bucks with averages of 26.8 PPG, 8 RPG and 7 APG over 4 meetings last season. Milwaukee gives up the ninth-most FPPG (40.55) to opposing SFs this season and LBJ might get into the game a bit more if he starts to go head-to-head with the Bucks best player in Antetokounmpo.
Trevor Ariza (HOU) @ UTA: DK:$5,600/FD:$5,400
It’s rare that you don’t necessarily want to target a Rockets game, but that’s the case tonight with a lowly 203-point Over/Under set in Utah. Still, the FPs have to come from somewhere, and a steady rebounder and defender such as Ariza could thrive in a grinder of a game. He’s been rolling with averages of 13.4 PPG and 27.5 DK PPG over his last 5 appearances and his playing time is certainly guaranteed in an effort to contain Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood on the wing for Utah. Offensively, Ariza is a spot-up shooter who might succeed against a Jazz team that is ranked atop the league in opponents FG shooting (.424%), but is an average 15th in opponents 3PT shooting (.348%) on the year. At the very least, he should meet value and continue to pay off as a solid cash game play.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($4000/$4200) is worth a look in GPP formats on the off chance that he goes off to keep the Nets competitive at home, while he’s a decent bet to meet value even if his team loses badly.
He’s been amazingly awful this season, but Aaron Gordon ($4600/$4100) is still playing big minutes for Orlando and he’ll be worth a look if Jeff Green (back) is out tonight.
Anthony Davis (NYK) vs. OKC: DK:$11,600/FD:$12,000
If forced to choose between Davis and Harden in GPP formats, I’ll probably go Brow tonight, but there is always the off chance that he suffers a minor injury and destroys anyone who put their faith in him. Yet Davis has produced at least 30 points and 9 rebounds in all 5 of his complete games, with the exception coming when he left a blowout win over Atlanta last week to get his knee checked out. He's been on an absolute tear this season and faces a soft Lakers front that is coughing up the fifth-most FPPG (44.92) to opposing PFs this year while ranking 28th in defensive rating. The Lakers play at the fourth-fastest pace in the NBA while the Pelicans rank ninth in pace, so this is a game to target and it's quite obvious which player you want to target for the home team.
Kevin Love (CLE) @ MIL: DK:$8,200/FD:$8,400
In cash games, you could easily downgrade Davis to Kevin Love and be able to afford James Harden for more safety tonight. The Cavs are playing beautiful basketball right now and are actually on pace to average the most 3PTM per game (13.8) in NBA history right now. Increased ball movement has really benefitted a sharpshooter like Love, who is shooting 43% from deep and averaging a double double with 22.3 PPG and 10.7 RPG on the season. He’s exceeded value in three straight appearances despite logging just 29.7 MPG during that span, as he’s shot a ridiculous 19-of-29 from downtown. While the Bucks defend the 3PT line well, they’ll be forced to collapse on LeBron like all teams and that will free up Love for more open shots.
Frank Kaminsky ($5400/$4700) has been very consistent for the Hornets and he’ll probably start once again with Marvin Williams on the shelf.
Terrence Jones ($4900/$4800) completely disappeared in a low-scoring bout with the Mavericks on Sunday but he could bounce back against the fast-paced Lakers.
Rudy Gobert (UTA) vs. HOU: DK:$6,500/FD:$6,800
I would only consider Gobert as a tournament play, because he’s even riskier than usual given his role as a rim protector against this team. James Harden will attack the basket relentlessly and dish or go right into the body of Utah’s shot blocker before flopping and drawing at least a couple of calls tonight. While Gobert might add a couple of blocks to a potential double double against the fast-paced Rockets, he could also wind up in foul trouble and find himself on the bench. Yet while he’s out there, Gobert has been extremely productive in the extended absence of Derrick Favors (knee), as he’s averaging 12.6 PPG, 12.2 RPG and 3.2 BPG over his last 5 appearances and he’s definitely worth a look in this plus matchup.
Nikola Vucevic (ORL) @ SAS: DK:$6,200/FD:$7,000
It's impossible to ignore what Vucevic is doing for the Magic right now despite a seeming lack of confidence from his head coach. He was relegated to a bench role last week, yet still managed to drop 65 points and snare 46 rebounds over three appearances to exceed value in home tilts against the Suns, Wizards and Bucks. While he draws a tougher matchup tonight against the Spurs, San Antonio has not been the same defensive team without Tim Duncan's leadership and they're actually allowing opponents to shoot an above average .451% this season while coughing up the sixth-most DK PPG to opposing centers. Only consider Magic players in tournament formats, but if Vooch continues to come off the bench, his playing time may be more secure in a potential blowout.
Pau Gasol ($5500/$6100) clearly doesn’t have too much upside in a Spurs uniform but he’s cheap enough to pay off in cash game formats as a relatively safe option.
John Henson ($3900/$4100) came out of nowhere to post a huge line on Sunday and he’ll be worth a look against the Cavs as a true longshot.