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Plays of the Day
Value: Troy Daniels is only slightly more expensive two nights after he dropped a career-high 31 points and was the unquestioned top per dollar play on Saturday's slate. The Grizzlies desperately need a pure offensive player right now and the former D-League all-star is making the most of his opportunities by averaging 23 PPG on 24-of-44 FG shooting (54.5%) over his last 3 appearances and he could keep rolling tonight against a weak Pelicans defense tonight.
Fade: Kevin Durant and the Warriors (-13.5) are huge favorites at home as per usual and they should put the Pacers away early. While KD remains an excellent cash game option, there are probably better ways to spend your salary on a full slate this evening.
Games to Target
- Houston Rockets (-5) hosting Boston Celtics (Over/Under = 219.5)
- Philadelphia 76ers (+4.5) hosting Denver Nuggets (Over/Under = 211.5)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) vs. SAS DK:$9,500/FD:$10,100 as SG
You certainly get a little more upside with Russell Westbrook at the top of the board, but Giannis is providing a similar floor with at least 52 DK points in five of his last six appearances. He’s one of the few triple double threats in the NBA on a nightly basis and he’s worth a look even though the Bucks host a savvy Spurs defense and Kawhi Leonard tonight. In past seasons, you might trust Gregg Popovich to create a stifling game plan that keeps the Greek Freak from going off and he did post his worst averages (9 PPG, 4 RPG, 2 APG) over 2 meetings with the Spurs last season. Yet this year’s San Antonio squad is slightly inferior and seems liable to nightly lapses, which could occur against a feisty young Bucks squad in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo is averaging 24.5 PPG, 6.3 APG and 53.2 DK PPG over 11 home games this season and he’s worth a look even in a tough matchup on paper.
Denis Schroder (ATL) vs. OKC DK:$6,100/FD:$6,000
Let’s continue to consider the upside of Russell Westbrook’s adversary in potential shootouts. The Thunder gives up the fourth-most FPPG (46.94) and Atlanta coughs up the second-most FPPG (48.39) to opposing PGs this season, so both Westbrook and Schroder could go off in a potentially close game, but obviously the Hawks PG is half the price of Mr. Triple Double. Schroder’s been fantastic over his last 4 appearances, yet his upside has been diminished by consecutive blowout losses without Hawks leader Paul Millsap. While Millsap (hip) could return tonight and eat into Schroder’s usage, that will likely ensure more of a close game and give the Hawks PG a chance to show what he can do against a tiring Westbrook.
Sergio Rodriguez ($5000/$4600) will remain a solid option if Jerryd Bayless (wrist) is unable to play tonight. Deron Williams ($5100/$5800) is dropping tons of dimes for Dallas and he’s still a bit under priced on DK given his upside when healthy.
Rajon Rondo ($6500/$6200) blew up for a triple double on Friday before disappearing in an ugly loss at Dallas on Saturday, so he might be lightly owned in this plus matchup against Portland.
James Harden (HOU) vs. BOS: DK:$11,800/FD:$11,400
This is a game that you might want to target tonight with a lofty Over/Under (219 points) and a relatively close line with Houston (-5) favored. Boston is playing at a slower pace this year, but the Celtics have regressed on the defensive end in a big way to the point that they're ranked 20th in defensive rating and cough up the second-most FPPG (42.66) to opposing SFs this season. Harden is playing more of a hybrid PG, but he’s still slashing like a wing player and he should be able to score against a Celtics team against which he averaged 24 PPG on 44.8% FG shooting last season. He’s had ample time to rest after a herculean effort to defeat the Warriors in 2OT and a win in Denver the next night, and The Beard has been money with averages of 31.8 PPG, 9.3 RPG and 7.8 APG on 2+ days of rest since last season.
Troy Daniels (MEM) @ NOP: DK:$4,200/FD:$4,200
For some reason, Daniels is only slightly more expensive two nights after he dropped a career-high 31 points and was the unquestioned top per dollar play on Saturday's slate. The Grizzlies desperately need a pure offensive player right now and the former D-League all-star is making the most of his opportunities by averaging 23 PPG on 24-of-44 FG shooting (54.5%) over his last 3 appearances. You'd expect some of the better defensive teams in the league to key in on Daniels and force him to put the ball on the floor, but New Orleans is ranked 26th in 3PT allowed per game (9.7) and the Pelicans aren't exactly known for their defense, so feel free to roll with Daniels at his still reasonable price tag.
Tony Allen ($4100/$4100) is another member of the Grizzlies “Nasty Nine” who is playing big minutes and is therefore a great cash game play.
Dwyane Wade ($6500/$7000) will return for the Bulls tonight and he could roast poor defender C.J. McCollum all evening.
LeBron James (CLE) @ TOR: DK:$9,700/FD:$9,400
It was only a matter of time before James put his foot down and brought the Cavs out of their collective slump with a competitive effort. He produced 27 points and 13 dimes, but did turn the ball over 8 times in a losing effort to the Bulls on Saturday. Perhaps most encouragingly, The King logged 45 minutes in that contest and his HC clearly agrees that it’s time for the Cavs to right the ship and correct their current 3-game losing streak. Tonight is another statement game at Toronto, which has been one of the perennial challengers to Cleveland’s supremacy in the ECF in recent years, and LBJ is averaging 23.7 PPG and 8.8 APG over his last five meetings with the Raptors. Toronto is playing with more pace this year and giving up more PPG (102.1) as a result, so this game has some sneaky shootout potential.
Will Barton (DEN) @ PHI: DK:$5,100/FD:$5,200 as SG
This is the type of bargain you look for when a player is working his way back from injury. Barton missed several weeks with an ankle sprain, aggravated the injury after coming back to early, and was very quiet over his first three appearances back in the lineup in late November. Yet he's played 33 and 34 minutes over his last two starts to produce a combined 37 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists and 72.5 DK points (66.9 FD points) during that span. Tonight he faces a weak 76ers defense that is giving up the sixth-most PPG (107.8) and ranks 22nd in FG defense (.460%) this season. Barton is instant offense off the bench and he should be very productive in one of the games you'll want to target this evening.
Troy Williams ($4400/$3800) is another solid value play with Memphis shorthanded right now.
Brandon Ingram ($4500/$4100) continues to produce with the Lakers shorthanded in the backcourt. Also consider Sam Dekker ($3700/$3900) if Trevor Ariza (back) remains out for Houston.
Taj Gibson (CHI) vs. POR: DK:$5,600/FD:$5,900
As per usual, there are superstar PFs such as Anthony Davis that you can pay up for, or safer plays in the upper-tier range such as Kevin Love, but if you want to save a bit and still maintain a solid floor in cash game lineups, you can go down to the mid-tier range and use Gibson. The Bulls tough PF has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 13 appearances and produced a double double in 3 of his last 5 starts. Like the rest of the Bulls, he was very quiet in a blowout loss at Dallas on Saturday, but tonight he draws a dream matchup against the Blazers dreadful defense. Portland coughs up the most FPPG (47.92) and most PPG (23.71) to opposing PFs this season, as the Blazers revolving rotation at that position consists of players that are simply too skinny to play against the physical 4s in this league.
Kenneth Faried (DEN) @ PHI: DK:$5,100/FD:$5,700
Let's stick with a game that has a relatively close line and a 210.5-point Over/Under with two of the worst defensive teams in the NBA clashing in Philly tonight. The Nuggets can get up and down the court with anyone and they should play with even more pace now that slow-footed center Nikola Jokic (wrist) has been ruled out for two more games. With Jokic out on Saturday, Faried only managed 10 points, 6 rebounds and 19 DK points, but that production came against an elite Jazz defense and not the 76ers 23rd-ranked defense. Hopefully the DFS public ignores Faried after that relatively dud and fails to consider his increased opportunity with Jokic out tonight.
Dwight Powell ($3900/$3800) is coming off one of the best games of his young career and he’ll continue to play a big role with Dirk Nowitzki possibly done for the season.
After two quiet games, Frank Kaminsky ($4900/$4700) erupted for 21 points against Minnesota on Saturday and he’ll be worth a look against the inconsistent Mavs tonight.
Rudy Gobert (UTA) @ LAL: DK:$6,500/FD:$6,900
You can save a bit at center with some of the young studs on the board tonight including Gobert, who has been quiet over his last 2 appearances in some tough matchups, but could definitely exceed value at the Staples Center tonight. The Lakers are allowing the ninth-most FPPG (47.38) to opposing centers this season, but more importantly, they rank fourth in pace and dead last in opponents FG shooting (.477%), indicating that Gobert should get plenty of opportunities for easy finishes tonight. The Stifle Tower is still averaging 11 PPG, 12.4 RPG and 3.2 BPG over his last 5 appearances and his role as Utah’s man in the middle remains more secure with Derrick Favors (knee) out indefinitely.
Joel Embiid (PHI) vs. DEN: DK:$6,900/FD:$6,400
It's really hard to fade The Process at a solid mid-tier price tag, especially while his minutes restriction continues to rise. He's now able to play 28 minutes and he dropped a cool 25 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists over 27 minutes in a blowout loss on Friday before resting on Saturday. Now the young phenom should be ready to ball in a plus matchup against a Nuggets team that tends to limit opposing centers when rotating big European centers Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic, but the former is injured and the latter appears to be in the doghouse after logging just 17.5 MPG over his last 5 appearances. Embiid is averaging an absurd 1.55 DK points per minute this season and that gives him a great chance to exceed value once again.
Steven Adams sprained his ankle last night, so Enes Kanter ($4500/$4900 as PF on FD) could draw the start for OKC or see an increased role off the bench.
The Bucks duo of John Henson ($4700/$4700) and Greg Monroe ($4000/$4700) are both worth a look as longshots to consider against the Spurs tonight. You could also go the other way with Pau Gasol ($5300/$6100) against that uninspiring defensive combo.