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Plays of the Day
Value: Nikola Mirotic is averaging 13.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 27.3 DK PPG while logging 24.5 MPG over his last 5 appearances and that playing time has spiked with 62 minutes over the Bulls last 2 games. Mirotic provided 31 points in tough matchups over Christmas and Boxing Day, but now he’ll face a Nets team that ranks 28th in defensive rating and coughs up the most PPG (114.8) in the NBA this season, so it’s hard to imagine his scoring surge slowing down much in this prime matchup.
Fade: Kawhi Leonard should put up his standard efficient line, but with the Spurs (-14.5) expected to demolish the Suns at home tonight, it’s hard to trust any of their starters.
Games to Target
- Portland Blazers (+3) hosting Sacramento Kings (Over/Under = 211)
- Denver Nuggets (-4) hosting Minnesota Wolves (Over/Under = 217)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) @ DET DK:$10,000/FD:$10,300 as SG
This is one of the tougher matchups for a PG, as Detroit ranks third in defensive rating and second in PPG allowed (97.9) this season, but Antetokounmpo is not your average point guard. The Greek Freak is an unstoppable force in the open court and a beast when it comes to piling up peripheral stats, which makes him arguably the most secure guard in the upper-tier price range on this full slate regardless of the defense that he’s facing. The Pistons actually allow the eighth-most FPPG (44.91) and second-most RPG (6.81) to opposing PGs this season, so athletic floor generals have given them issues and Giannis didn’t have much trouble meeting value with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in a game against Detroit earlier this year. He’s met of exceeded value in 13 of his last 14 appearances and the only thing that seems to slow him down is a rare bout with foul trouble.
Stephen Curry (GSW) vs. TOR DK:$8,100/FD:$8,400
As per usual, the Warriors (-10) are heavily favored at home, and their star players might be lightly owned because of concerns about another blowout. Even if they win easily tonight- which is far from a guarantee against a talented Raptors squad- I’m betting on Steph to receive “squeaky wheel” treatment after his lack of involvement on Christmas Day. The two-time reigning MVP took just 11 shots from the field and didn’t touch the ball nearly often enough as he never really got into a rhythm in a narrow loss at Cleveland. He’s gone out of his way to integrate Kevin Durant into the Warriors offense, but after the game Curry recognized that he needs to look for his shot more and play more like the super-weapon that led the Dubs to a league-record 73 wins last season. The Raptors are not a great defensive team this year and they allow the seventh-most PPG (23.61) to opposing PGs, so look at Curry as a relatively cheap option with blowup potential.
Once again, we’re going to have to guess if Chris Paul sits out another game tonight. If he does, feel free to deployAustin Rivers ($4900/$4600) and Raymond Felton ($4700/$4100) in their plus matchup against New Orleans.
Ricky Rubio ($5900/$5800) fell short of 30 FPs for the first time in 6 appearances because the Wolves won a blowout on Monday, but he should get right back to slightly exceeding value in a track meet against the Nuggets tonight.
C.J. McCollum (POR) vs. SAC DK:$7,600/FD:$7,400
He was slow to find his rhythm with Damian Lillard (ankle) out on Monday, but McCollum took over late to finish with 29 points, 7 assists and 44.75 DK points (41.1 FD points) in a narrow loss to the Raptors. With Dame listed as doubtful this Wednesday, CJM should once again led the Blazers offense in a dream matchup against a Kings team that coughs up the fifth-most PPG (24.06) to opposing SGs and ranks 21st in defensive rating this year. McCollum has tormented Sacramento with averages of 27.9 PPG and 3.8 APG over his last 6 meetings with the Kings and he’s obviously going to see increased opportunities, as he sports a 34.6% Usage Rate when Lillard is off the floor this season.
Allen Crabbe (POR) vs. SAC DK:$3,700/FD:$3,600
We’re going to have to wait on injury news about Evan Fournier, Marco Belinelli, J.J. Redick and even Courtney Lee to see if other viable punt plays will emerge at SG, but right now we pretty much know Lillard is going to sit and that makes Crabbe a relatively safe option. He moved into the SLU on Monday and only managed to meet value with 7 points and 5 rebounds, but he notably played 35 minutes and he should see similarly heavy run in a much easier matchup tonight. Crabbe is averaging 12.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per 36 minutes, which is far from eye-popping, but it does make him worth a look at close to the minimum price tag now that he’s probably going to play starters’ minutes.
Jamal Crawford ($5400/$5000) will remain a great value play if either Paul or J.J. Redick sits out tonight’s game with their respective hamstring injuries. Jodie Meeks ($3900/$4400) would also be a great value if Evan Fournier (heel) remains out.
Zach LaVine ($6400/$6500) has been quiet over his last two appearances but he could blow up in a great matchup against the fast-paced Nuggets.
Kevin Durant (GSW) vs. TOR: DK:$9,800/FD:$10,000
While Curry is a GPP play to consider in a Warriors uniform, Durant remains the preferred cash game option even when the Dubs are playing at home and therefore expected to win handily. He’s still averaging 26.9 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 4.2 APG and 1.9 BPG to produce 50.4 DK PPG despite playing just 33.6 MPG over 14 appearances at Oracle Arena this year and Golden State might actually be challenged down the stretch by Toronto. The Raptors are posting good DvP numbers against opposing SFs, but struggle to contain the top players at that position, including KD, who posted 30 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in his sole meeting with Toronto this season.
Otto Porter (WAS) vs. IND: DK:$5,900/FD:$5,800
Easily one of the most inconsistent performers in DFS right now, Porter blew up with 32 points, 13 rebounds and 54.75 DK points (49.5 FD points) to carry GPP lineups on Monday, which will make him a more popular on Wednesday to say the least. While you can’t expect anywhere near that level of production, Porter should be able to ride that momentum into a plus matchup against a Pacers team that allows the fifth-most FPPG (39.82) to opposing SFs this season. He posted 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 36.75 DK points (34.8 FD points) at Indiana last week and he’s been much more productive at home this season.
Tony Snell ($3500/$3800) has a scary low floor but he’s also very cheap and therefore worth the risk in some formats. Kent Bazemore ($4700/$4100) is now even cheaper on FanDuel and he should bounce back along with the rest of the Hawks tonight.
Rudy Gay ($6300/$7200) is finally back in the Kings rotation and he’s under priced on DK ahead of a prime matchup against the Blazers 30th-ranked defense.
Anthony Davis (NO) vs. LAC: DK:$11,100/FD:$11,300
Hopefully The Brow will be lightly owned tonight because of the Clippers stellar defensive reputation and the fact that they held him to just 21 points and 5 rebounds in a relative dud (36.25 DK points) for one of the highest-priced superstars in DFS a couple of weeks ago. Yet this Clippers team is a shell of its former self with three starters potentially out and Davis is a much different player at home, where he’s posting incredible averages of 33.4 PPG, 13.3 RPG and 63 DK PPG over 18 appearances this season. We just saw Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets bounce back from a blowout loss to the Clippers with great individual and team results, and Davis could have similar positive regression against a shorthanded opponent.
Nikola Mirotic (CHI) vs. BKN: DK:$4,600/FD:$4,500
The Bulls seem to be making a concerted effort to develop a more balanced offensive approach and that’s led to Mirotic re-entering the rotation and playing heavy minutes lately. He’s averaging 13.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 27.3 DK PPG while logging 24.5 MPG over his last 5 appearances and that playing time has spiked with 62 minutes over the Bulls last 2 games. Mirotic provided 31 points in tough matchups over Christmas and Boxing Day, but now he’ll face a Nets team that ranks 28th in defensive rating and coughs up the most PPG (114.8) in the NBA this season, so it’s hard to imagine his scoring surge slowing down much in this prime matchup.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($4000/$4100) finally seems to be getting healthy for Portland and he’s worth a look after logging 33 minutes on Monday.
As always, you can consider Kristaps Porzingis ($7500/$7700) in GPP formats or as a much cheaper pivot off Anthony Davis tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) @ POR: DK:$11,400/FD:$11,000
Big Cuz is somehow cheaper than usual on FanDuel ahead of a matchup that he’s dominated at every turn. Rudy Gay (hip) returned from a lengthy absence and Cousins faced off with elite young defender Joel Embiid last Monday, but he still produced 30 points and 54.75 DK points (50.9 FD points) for his third huge line over his last four appearances. He’s at risk of flopping in tough matchups against teams like Utah, Dallas, or Memphis, but routinely rips through paper-soft units such as Portland’s, which ranks dead last in defensive rating. Of course, Cousins just demolished the Blazers frontcourt for 55 points and 14 rebounds in a transcendent performance eight days ago and the home team simply doesn’t have the personnel to stop arguably the most talented big man in the NBA today.
Nikola Jokic (DEN) vs. MIN: DK:$6,400/FD:$7,000 as PF
Jokic and the young Nuggets were taken to school in a blowout loss at the Clippers last week and he got into foul trouble in his next appearance, but still managed to meet value against the Hawks before blowing up for 50 DK points (46 FD points) in a bounce back effort against the Clips on Monday. The Nuggets young center has run laps around Jusuf Nurkic in their competition for the starting job and he’s improving the entire offense with his ability to create off the dribble and pass out of double teams. Tonight, Jokic faces another talented young center in Karl-Anthony Towns, but KAT is still working on his defensive prowess, as Minnesota coughs up the fifth-most PPG (23.21) to opposing centers and ranks 26th in defensive rating this year.
You might see Lucas Noguiera ($3800/$3900) replace stiff-hipped center Jonas Valanciunas very quickly for the Raptors at Oracle Arena tonight.
Mason Plumlee ($5700/$6600) had a huge game while Cousins went off at the other end last week and that’s not a coincidence, as Boogie is mostly concerned with avoiding foul trouble on the defensive side of the ball.