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Plays of the Day
Value: Stanley Johnson should emerge as a great source of salary relief at the minimum price tag on both main DFS sites with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (shoulder) likely out tonight. Johnson jumped right in after KCP went down last night and hit 2 three-pointers while the Pistons were still competitive in the first half, finishing with 8 points and 18 DK points over 38 minutes of playing time. He’s likely to start tonight and could definitely exceed value when given a full slate of playing time.
Fade: It’s another tough matchup for DeMarcus Cousins tonight against a Cavs team that is always capable of slowing down opposing big men. He averaged just 21.5 PPG on 36.1% FG shooting over 2 meetings with Cleveland last year and is a risky option at the top of the board.
Games to Target
- Minnesota Wolves (+2) hosting Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under = 208.5)
- Portland Blazers (-7.5) hosting Orlando Magic (Over/Under = 212.5)
Kyle Lowry (TOR) vs. BKN DK:$8,500/FD:$9,200
Russell Westbrook is even more expensive than usual in a plus matchup against the Wolves, so it may make sense to roll with other options at PG in the effort to craft a more balanced lineup tonight. Lowry and DeMar DeRozan ($8700/$9400) are both capable of putting up huge scoring lines tonight against a Nets team that gives up the most PPG (113.8) in the NBA this year and just provided Tyreke Evans and company with a red carpet to the basket last night. Brooklyn coughs up the most FPPG (50.4) and third-most APG (9.51) to opposing PGs this year, while Lowry has been more consistent than his all-star backcourt mate with averages of 24.2 PPG and 7 APG over the past month. The Raptors (-15.5) could win a blowout tonight, but if this game remains moderately close, Lowry should be very productive for four quarters.
Mike Conley (MEM) @ HOU DK:$7,100/FD:$7,900
Conley is pretty much the polar opposite play when compared to Lowry tonight, as he doesn’t draw a great matchup on paper but his Grizzlies (+7.5) should have to score in bunches to keep up in Houston tonight. He’s a bit pricey on FanDuel right now but for good reason, as Conley is averaging 21.2 PPG and 8.6 APG while playing 36 MPG over his last 5 appearances and he appears to be recovering nicely from back surgery. He’ll have to contend with feisty defender Patrick Beverley tonight, yet he’s more than a willing passer and he should supplement his scoring with several assists against a Rockets team that is now giving up the seventh-most PPG (107.4) in the NBA this year.
Reggie Jackson ($6400/$6500) should bounce back after a blowout loss at the Warriors. Spencer Dinwiddie ($3600/$3900) managed to meet value while going scoreless last night and he should remain a safe punt play with Jeremy Lin (hamstring) out and Isaiah Whitehead (knee) questionable for Brooklyn.
Ricky Rubio ($6100/$6200) has been a great GPP play over his last 2 appearances and he may continue to roll if Zach LaVine (hip) is ruled out. Malcolm Brogdon ($5700/$5300) could also see a significant boost if The Greek Freak is still under the weather.
James Harden (HOU) vs. MEM DK:$11,400/FD:$11,600
This is the cheapest Harden has been on DraftKings in several weeks, but the fact that he faces the Grizzlies third-ranked defense should do little to dissuade you from using him. The Beard already torched Memphis for 16 points and 17 assists in a meeting earlier this season and he should continue to carry the Rockets prolific offense, especially if Eric Gordon (toe) can’t return tonight. Harden is posting a 34.9% Usage Rate and averaging 1.45 FPs per minute when Gordon is off the floor and he’s obviously been killing it lately with averages of 31.3 PPG and 11.4 APG over his last 7 appearances. With a floor of 50 FPs and a limitless ceiling, Harden is clearly worth using in what should be a very competitive home game.
Stanley Johnson (DET) @ UTA DK:$3,000/FD:$3,500 as SF
There are plenty of value options at SG and SF tonight but few true punt plays. Johnson should emerge as a great source of salary relief at the minimum price tag on both main DFS sites with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (shoulder) likely out tonight and potentially out for a few weeks depending on the severity of his injury. Johnson jumped right in after KCP went down last night and hit 2 three-pointers while the Pistons were still competitive in the first half, finishing with 8 points and 18 DK points over 38 minutes of playing time. He’s likely to start tonight against a tough Utah defense, but the second-year man is producing 8.3 points, 5 rebounds, 2.7 assist and 1.5 steals per 36 minutes this year and that makes him very likely to exceed value if given that amount of playing time tonight.
Sean Kilpatrick ($4400/$4100) is starting to flash some upside for the Nets and he could see more minutes at PG with Lin and Whitehead both looking unlikely to play tonight.
Brandon Rush ($3600/$4000) was phenomenal for Minnesota with LaVine out on Wednesday and he’ll be worth a look if that’s the case again. Allen Crabbe ($4500/$4300) is a solid pivot as a pure scorer for the Blazers.
LeBron James (CLE) @ SAC: DK:$9,700/FD:$9,900
His teammates basically failed to show up on the second half of a B2B set in Portland on Wednesday, but LeBron certainly wasn’t at fault for the blowout loss with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists over his 31 minutes of run. With question marks surrounding the Cavs as they struggle on their road trip, James should be forced to answer the bell with a bigtime performance against a Kings team that’s ranked 23rd in defensive rating and 28th in opponents 3PT shooting (.380%) this season. He averaged 23.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 8 APG over 2 meetings with Sacramento last year and he should be able to find Cleveland’s sharpshooters or drive all the way to the basket in a high-scoring affair tonight.
Evan Turner (POR) vs. ORL: DK:$4,300/FD:$4,400
The Blazers are moving the ball quite beautifully lately and their gluttony of wing players is working out as each of them are beginning to find their role in Terry Stotts’ offense. Turner’s role is to play as a point forward and lead the offense after Damian Lillard takes his first break and if he plays well enough, as he did on Wednesday with 11 dimes, he can play enough to return 5x value on his price tag. Turner’s poor jump shot is the only thing that kept him from flirting with a triple double in a blowout win over the Cavs and he draws a plus matchup tonight against a Magic team that coughs up the seventh-most RPG (9.08) to opposing SFs and sixth-most FPPG (46.06) to opposing PGs over the last month.
Shabazz Muhammad ($4100/$3900) would become a safe value option if LaVine can’t go for the Wolves.
Michael Beasley ($4000/$4400) might follow up his blowup game on Wednesday with another solid scoring performance against his former team in the Heat. Aaron Gordon ($5700/$4900) is worth a look in a matchup against the Blazers 30th-ranked defense tonight.
Paul Millsap (ATL) vs. BOS: DK:$7,600/FD:$8,100
The Hawks (-2.5) host a tough Celtics team tonight and they’re expected to get into a dogfight. That bodes well for their two most essential players in Dennis Schroder ($6800/$7000) and Millsap, while the bigger Millsap draws a much better matchup on paper against the second-worst rebounding team in the NBA. Boston simply can’t win on the glass and they’re coughing up the seventh-most RPG (12.82) to opposing PFs this season. Millsap torched the C’s with averages of 22.5 PPG, 10.3 RPG and 3 APG while shooting 57.6% from the floor over 4 meetings last year and he’s been solid lately while meeting value in 7 consecutive appearances. Perhaps he’ll flash some upside in a matchup against former running mate Al Horford.
Enes Kanter (OKC) @ MIN: DK:$5,600/FD:$5,900
Regardless of the matchup or circumstances, Kanter continues to flirt with a double double on a nightly basis and earn the right to play around 30 minutes off the bench for the Thunder. His services will be required tonight in a tough matchup against Karl-Anthony Towns and a Wolves team that actually gives up the fourth-most PPG (22.96) to opposing centers this season. Kanter is averaging 15.3 PPG and 9.3 RPG over his last 6 appearances and he could continue to do work in the paint against an opponent that ranks 27th in FG defense (.469%) this evening. This is a prime game to target and you can still get exposure to the Thunder while fading Westbrook if you use a high-usage big man in Kanter.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($5300/$5800) might be a superior pivot off Kanter for cash game lineups tonight as he continues to meet or exceed value for the Blazers.
James Johnson ($5700/$5600) has a very good floor-ceiling combination for the Heat. Nerlens Noel ($4800 as C on DK/$4700) has surpassed Jahlil Okafor on the depth chart and he might see more usage if Joel Embiid (ankle) is at less than one hundred percent.
Hassan Whiteside (MIA) @ MIL: DK:$8,400/FD:$8,600
Both DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns draws tough matchups tonight, so it’s not too far-fetched to think that Whiteside could lead all centers in FP production this evening. Milwaukee posts good DvP numbers against his position, but struggles to contain game-changing talents such as Whiteside, who posted 12 points, 17 rebounds and 6 blocks over just 29 minutes when he faced the Bucks earlier this season. He’s coming off a huge 20-20 game against the fast-paced Warriors and faces another young team that loves to get up and down the floor tonight.
Dwight Howard (ATL) vs. BOS: DK:$7,400/FD:$7,600
Previously irrelevant center Jonas Valanciunas just grabbed a ridiculous 23 rebounds in a comeback win over the Celtics on Tuesday night. Let me say that again: 23 freaking rebounds from a guy that had grabbed 25 boards over his previous 3 games. Howard is averaging an impressive 13.1 RPG at home and comes into this plus matchup with 60 boards over his last 4 appearances, so he should be a problem for the Celtics tonight. He’ll have the added motivation of trying to prove that he’s a suitable replacement for departed free agent Al Horford and he certainly has the edge in the rebounding department.
Mason Plumlee ($5600/$6500) is always a reliable option and he’s under priced on DK. Kelly Olynyk ($4100/$3700) will be worth a look for the Celtics, especially if Amir Johnson (ankle) misses another game.
I would definitely consider Marc Gasol ($6900/$8200) in any format at that price tag on DK.