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Plays of the Day
Value: Tony Parker returns from a four-game absence tonight and he should be well rested ahead of a plus matchup against a Pelicans team that gives up the fourth-most FPPG (45.88) and most PPG (25.34) to opposing PGs this season.
Fade: The 76ers defense is no joke right now and it should become much stronger with Joel Embiid expected to suit up tonight. For that reason, as well as the potential return of Eric Gordon (back) to help carry the load for James Harden and the Rockets, I have no problem fading the ultra-expensive superstar.
Games to Target
- Toronto Raptors (-4) hosting Milwaukee Bucks (Over/Under = 213.5)
- Indiana Pacers (-4) hosting Sacramento Kings (Over/Under = 211)
Kyle Lowry (TOR) vs. MIL DK:$8,600/FD:$8,600
The Raptors will host the Bucks tonight and could very likely be without the services of all-star SG DeMar DeRozan (ankle), which would open up a ton of shots for everyone on the roster. Lowry’s been the biggest beneficiary in terms of opportunities with DDR out, as he attempted 44 FGs while playing a whopping 82 minutes on a B2B set earlier this week. He’s sporting a 30% Usage Rate and averaging 1.17 FPs per minute with DeRozan off the floor this season and absolutely carried Toronto in a tough matchup at Memphis on Wednesday. Now he faces a Bucks team that’s not nearly as elite defensively and Lowry managed to score 37 points on 50% FG shooting (12-of-24) over his last 2 meetings with Milwaukee, so he’ll have a very big game if he can be that efficient while carrying a heavier load this evening.
Goran Dragic (MIA) @ CHI DK:$7,500/FD:$7,200
Dragic can serve as a solid cash game option in the upper-tier range with some sneaky upside if Hassan Whiteside (ankle) is either inactive or hobbled tonight. The Dragon is averaging 22.8 PPG, 6 APG, 5.6 RPG and 40 DK PPG over his last 5 appearances, as he’s benefitting from extra playing time with both backup PGs on the shelf in Tyler Johnson (shoulder) and Josh Richardson (back). Tonight he’ll look to lead the Heat on the road against a Bulls team that is giving up the fourth-most FPPG (47.91) and most APG (10.29) to opposing PGs over the last month, as Chicago has become increasingly dysfunctional and lacks any sort of continuity at that position. Dragic also boasts a 30.2% Usage Rate with Whiteside off the floor this season and the big man could realistically miss tonight’s game.
Tony Parker ($4500/$4700) returns from a four-game absence tonight and he should be well rested ahead of a plus matchup at New Orleans. Matthew Dellavedova ($4400/$3900) is a decent punt play to consider in cash games despite his lack of upside.
Dennis Schroder ($6400/$6700) has exceeded value in four consecutive appearances and draws a good home matchup tonight against a Wizards defense that’s even worse on the road. Jeff Teague ($7200/$7200) is coming off a huge game and he torched the Kings defense last week.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) @ TOR DK:$10,000 as PG/SF/FD:$10,300
It’s tough to figure out why DraftKings would continue to lower The Greek Freak’s price tag as he continues to meet value with diverse stat lines. He’s averaged 29.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 8 APG over 2 meetings with Toronto this year and should be able to exceed value once again in what should be a close matchup whether DeRozan plays or not for Toronto. The Raptors are ranked 21st in total rebounding and give up the seventh-most PPG (24.43) to opposing PGs this season, but there are really no ways to quantify what Antetokounmpo does for the Bucks or ways to predict how he’ll carve up the Raptors on the road tonight.
Dion Waiters (MIA) @ CHI DK:$6,800/FD:$6,200
As mentioned above, the struggling Bulls are falling apart with internal rifts and all sorts of social media beef potentially dividing their locker room. Those issues could make a struggling defense even worse as they look to get back on track at home tonight, while both Waiters and Goran Dragic are capable of exploiting any lapses from HC Fred Hoiberg’s team. Waiters will become a much more appealing play if Whiteside is inactive tonight, as he sports a team-high 34.7% Usage Rate and averages 1.46 FPs per minute with Whiteside, Johnson, Richardson and Justise Winslow off the floor this season. Waiters has emerged as Miami’s closer and he should take it right to his predecessor Dwyane Wade in a plus matchup tonight.
Norman Powell ($4600/$4200) will remain a fantastic value play if DeRozan is out for Toronto. Garrett Temple ($4200/$4400) is a reasonable pivot with the Kings facing a Pacers team that’s playing on 0 days rest.
Perhaps Dwyane Wade ($7000/$7900) will put his money where his mouth is by leading the Bulls to a win over his former team this evening.
LeBron James (CLE) vs. BKN: DK:$10,200/FD:$10,800
The Cavs (-14.5) should finally get back in the win column after dropping six of their last eight. The lowly Nets come to town with their 30th-ranked scoring defense and fast-paced offense, which should benefit both LeBron and Kyrie Irving as the Cavs “only” playmakers. When Cleveland faced this team in Brooklyn earlier this month, the Nets were surprisingly competitive and that forced LeBron to pour in 36 points on 14-of-20 FG shooting. It’s hard to expect the tired Cavaliers to blow anyone out right now, so there’s a chance we see LBJ log 40-plus minutes in a fourth consecutive game as he looks to overcome his team’s defensive woes with another transcendent effort on the offensive end. Facing a Nets team that gives up the most FPPG (43.89) to opposing SFs by far this year isn’t a bad spot either.
Kawhi Leonard (SA) @ NO: DK:$9,000/FD:$9,800
Kawhi (hand) returned to practice on Thursday and that essentially makes him probable to suit up tonight, while his questionable tag on both main DFS sites should do well to lower his ownership rate. It does nothing to diminish his fantastic matchup against a Pelicans team that gives up the ninth-most PPG (106.2) in the NBA this season and is wholly incapable of stopping the Spurs sophisticated offense this evening. Leonard draws a great individual matchup against a team that’s coughed up the sixth-most FPPG (41.16) and most RPG (10.25) to opposing SFs over the last month, so he should be ready to dominate on the glass while pouring in 30-plus points in a seventh consecutive appearance.
Jeff Green ($4000/$3900) will serve as a true value play while Aaron Gordon ($5400/$5200) will also be worth a look if the Magic face Boston without Evan Fournier (foot) and backup PG D.J. Augustin (ankle).
Robert Covington ($5700/$5600) has been hot lately and he faces the franchise that brought him into the league in the Rockets, who happen to be terrible in terms of defending the 3PT line.
Kevin Love (CLE) vs. BKN: DK:$8,100/FD:$7,900
Using Love and LeBron worked very well on Wednesday night despite their collective slow start and it should pay off in cash games tonight even if the Cavs win in blowout fashion. Cleveland depends on the Big 3 so much that it’s virtually impossible for two of them to underperform and the Cavs to beat anyone right now given their deficiencies on the defensive end. Love has been great recently with consecutive performances of at least 21 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists and he faces a Nets team tonight that allows the second-most FPPG (45.34) to opposing PFs this season, while ranking 28th in total rebounding rate.
Marvin Williams (CHA) @ NYK: DK:$4,800/FD:$5,100
He’s not a name that inspires much excitement and rarely serves as a great tournament play, but Williams remains a great mid-tier option at a modest price tag on both main DFS sites. The Hornets will look to bounce back from a loss to Golden State by beating up on the struggling Knicks, who rank 25th in defensive rating and cough up the sixth-most PPG (108.1) in the NBA this season. New York also allows the second-most FPPG (46.6) and most PPG (24.69) to opposing PFs over the last month while Williams has averaged 15 PPG over his last 5 road games. As long as he sees around 30 minutes of run tonight, he has a great chance to meet value at MSG.
Nerlens Noel ($5800/$4600) is still worth a look at a modest price tag on FanDuel even if Joel Embiid (knee) returns for the 76ers tonight. Also consider Okaro White ($3500/NA) as a punt on DK if Whiteside sounds iffy for Miami.
Kristaps Porzingis ($6200/$6600) may appear limited by his Achilles injury, but in actuality he’s just struggled with foul trouble over his last 2 appearances and he could break out at any time.
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) @ IND: DK:$11,000/FD:$10,700
Playing Cousins is similar to paying up for Harden or Westbrook this year in that he’s almost guaranteed to give you around 60 FPs if he plays a full slate of minutes. Yet he’s obviously not as expensive as those MVP candidates and he fills a position that lacks upside on a nightly basis, which makes him a much easier stud to consider. Big Cuz has put up huge numbers over his last 3 appearances and he’s carrying the load with a 41.9% Usage Rate when Rudy Gay is off the floor this season. He went for 25 points on 7-of-19 FG shooting while Gay put up 21 points and all five Kings starters scored in double figures when his squad lost to Indiana last week, but tonight he should be far more aggressive against a Pacers squad that’s vulnerable down low with a true PF starting at C in Myles Turner.
Marc Gasol (MEM) @ POR: DK:$8,000/FD:$8,700
The next best option at center tonight is the Grizzlies unquestioned leader, who happens to be coming off a career-high 42-point performance in a narrow win over Toronto on Wednesday. Gasol was on fire before that and he’s averaging 23.8 PPG on 51.3% FG shooting over 11 appearances this month. He’s a great cash game play to consider against a Blazers team that ranks 27th in defensive rating and coughs up the fourth-most FPPG (49.12) to opposing centers this season. Mason Plumlee is a good young player, but he stands no chance against Big Spain and his wide array of moves in the low post along with his silky outside shot.
Willie Reed ($4700/$3900) would become a great value play if Hassan Whiteside misses tonight’s game. Guillermo Hernangomez ($3900/$4700) is outplaying both Joakim Noah and Kyle O’Quinn and he’s worth a look in tournament formats against the weak Hornets frontcourt.
Greg Monroe ($5300/$5700) bounced back from a quiet stretch with two big games earlier this week and he’s far too quick for Raptors starting center Jonas Valanciunas.