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Plays of the Day
Value: Tristan Thompson came alive on Sunday for 19 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 steals and a whopping 52.5 DK points (49.9 FD points) in a tough matchup against the Thunder. Now he’ll face a Mavericks team that ranks dead last in total rebounding and correspondingly coughs up the most RPG (18.67) to opposing centers this year, while the absence of Kevin Love (back) secures his playing time and usage.
Fade: Eric Bledsoe is on a tear right now, but you have to be able to trust the Grizzlies defense to slow him down. Memphis is one of the toughest teams against opposing PGs and can pack the paint while forcing the mediocre jump shooter to hurt them from the perimeter.
Games to Target
- Dallas Mavericks (+4.5) hosting Cleveland Cavs (Over/Under = 208)
- Boston Celtics (-6) hosting Detroit Pistons (Over/Under = 214.5)
Isaiah Thomas (BOS) vs. DET DK:$9,400/FD:$10,000
Everything lines up for Thomas to continue performing as an elite play tonight, as he’s at home against a team that struggles to defend the PnR and should be able to score enough to keep this contest competitive. Detroit (+6) is giving up the eighth-most FPPG (44.51) to opposing PGs and Thomas has scored 51 points over two meetings with the Pistons this season. He’s been on a tear since December 1 with per game averages of 31.2 PPG and 6.6 APG during that span and he’s been even more deadly at home, where he averages 30.1 PPG on 49% FG shooting this year. If Al Horford (groin) and/or Avery Bradley (Achilles) remain out for Boston, Thomas will become an even safer play, but he can be locked into cash games regardless of their status.
Kyrie Irving (CLE) @ DAL DK:$8,200/FD:$8,600
With Kevin Love (back) ruled out tonight and not even making the trip to Dallas, several Cavs will have to step up in an effort to build on the momentum of Sunday’s win over the Thunder. Kyrie went for 29 points and 10 assists in a solid performance yesterday and he should be safe to deploy on the second half of a B2B set given the situation. Irving is sporting a team-high 36.3% Usage Rate and averaging 1.19 FPs per minute with Love off the floor this season and he should be able to carve up a shorthanded Mavericks team that will be forced to rotate inexperienced PGs in Seth Curry and Yogi Ferrell along with hobbled veteran Devin Harris with two of their veteran guards (Deron Williams and J.J. Barea) inactive tonight.
D.J. Augustin ($3400/$3500) returned to the Magic lineup on Friday and came alive with 21 points against Toronto last night. Isaiah Whitehead ($3200/$3800) had a great game on Friday and he’ll get his opportunities with Jeremy Lin (hamstring) out indefinitely.
The frequently overlooked Mike Conley ($7000/$7500) could have a big game tonight against a fast-paced Suns team that can’t guard opposing PGs.
Zach LaVine (MIN) vs. ORL DK:$6,700/FD:$6,400
LaVine is heating up at the right time, as he coincidentally faces the same team that he burned for a season-high 37 points earlier this season at home tonight. The Wolves are rapidly improving offensively with a talented starting five and now rank 10th in Offensive Rating, so they should be able to burn Orlando’s 22nd-ranked defense tonight. The Magic is coughing up the seventh-most FPPG (39.56) to opposing SGs over the last month and has been starting a true SF at SG in Jeff Green with Evan Fournier (foot) out. Fournier has a chance to return tonight, but he’s not a great defender and would likely be rusty after missing eight consecutive games, so LaVine draws a great individual matchup either way.
Seth Curry (DAL) vs. CLE DK:$5,300/FD:$4,300
The Mavericks are going to have to lean on the younger Curry as their main PG tonight with Deron Williams (toe) and J.J. Barea (calf) inactive. And since it makes sense to use several Cavs tonight with Kevin Love inactive, you might want to use some of the Mavs highest-usage players in lineups to create positive correlation in this game. While they finally got a win against a quality team yesterday, Cleveland is still coughing up 108.3 PPG while going 7-7 this month. The Cavs allow the sixth-most FPPG (39.32) to opposing SGs on the season and are giving up the eighth-most FPPG (46) to opposing PGs over the last month, while they should be tired on the second half of a B2B set. Curry just burned the Spurs elite defense for 24 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists last night and he should continue to make the most of his opportunities as a playmaker on an aging team.
Wesley Matthews ($4500/$5400) is another Mavericks player to consider at a cheap price tag on DK tonight. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5500/$5400) has been quiet lately, but could come alive in a prime matchup at Boston tonight.
If Al Horford or Avery Bradley are out tonight, Jaylen Brown ($3600/$3900) will still be worth a look as a punt play with the Celtics hosting the athletic Pistons.
LeBron James (CLE) @ DAL: DK:$10,000/FD:$10,500
The most obvious candidate to lead the Cavs offense on a nightly basis and the clear-cut top option at the top of the board on a short slate tonight, LBJ happens to be priced very reasonably on DK despite flirting with a triple double in four straight games and producing two during that span. With Kevin Love off the floor, James is posting a 32.6% Usage Rate and averaging the most FPs per minute (1.37) on the Cavs while taking on more responsibilities on the boards. He was relatively quiet over 29 minutes in a blowout win over Dallas earlier this year, but the way Cleveland (-4.5) is playing defense right now, the Cavs are barely favored on the road and they should require another bigtime effort from James to beat anyone.
Jae Crowder (BOS) vs. DET: DK:$6,100/FD:$6,300
He struggled for long stretches after coming back from a nasty ankle sprain, but Crowder is playing with confidence on both ends of the floor and once again serving as a mid-tier staple for cash game lineups. He’s averaging 19 PPG while shooting 50% from the floor and 43% from downtown over his last 5 appearances and would’ve posted even better numbers last Friday if Boston didn’t happen to win by 30 over Orlando. Crowder is far more comfortable at home, where he’s averaging 14.2 PPG and shooting an impressive 97% at the FT line this season and he draws a good matchup tonight against a Pistons team that coughs up the seventh-most FPPG (41.55) to opposing SFs over the last month.
Wayne Ellington ($4500/$4300 as SG on FD) will only be worth a look in cash games if Tyler Johnson (shoulder) misses another game for Miami.
The minutes are there for Marcus Morris ($5400/$5300) and he’s certainly capable of filling it up in what should be a high-scoring game at Boston tonight.
James Johnson (MIA) vs. BKN: DK:$5,800/FD:$6,000
Johnson is often the forgotten man in Miami’s rotation with Goran Dragic leading the offense and Dion Waiters hitting all the big shots down the stretch, but he’s still a star in the box score. Apparently losing playing time to D-League call-up Okaro White lit a fire under JJ, because he went on to produce 24 points, 17 rebounds, 14 assists and 74.75 DK points (72.4 FD points) over his last 2 appearances. Tonight he’ll face a Nets team that gives up the second-most FPPG (47.06) to opposing PFs over the last month and should be even weaker at that position with starting 4 Trevor Booker (illness) playing at far less than full strength.
Channing Frye (CLE) @ DAL: DK:$3,400/FD:$3,800
Kevin Love’s likely replacement in the SLU for the Cavs comes at a significant discount on DraftKings and Frye has plenty of upside on that DFS site due to his ability to knock down threes. The stretch four is posting a 20.7% Usage Rate and averaging 0.85 FPs per minute with Love off the floor and he’s been a decent enough punt play while playing under 20 minutes over his last several appearances. Tonight he should log 20-30 minutes as a replacement for Love and he’s likely to exceed value against a Mavs team that ranks dead last in opponents 3PT shooting (.396%) this season.
Dirk Nowitzki ($5100/$5700) is a great option in any format as he should benefit from Love’s absence by scoring on Channing Frye and other Cavs forwards.
Aaron Gordon ($5200/$5200 as SF) was quite on Sunday but could dominate skinny Andrew Wiggins in the paint this evening.
Andre Drummond (DET) @ BOS: DK:$7,700/FD:$8,000
The Celtics should be able to expose Drummond’s poor PnR defense on one end, but have little chance of stopping the elite rebounder on the other end tonight. Big Dre is averaging 20 PPG and 17 RPG over 2 meetings against Boston this year after scoring 16.8 PPG on 54% FG shooting over 4 meetings with the undersized Celtics last year. Boston is ranked 27th in total rebounding and would be even more vulnerable down low if Al Horford (groin) is inactive or hobbled tonight. Drummond recently posted a monstrous line against a Heat team that was playing without its starting center in Hassan Whiteside and he should be able to reach that double double bonus on DK with ease in this matchup.
Tristan Thompson (CLE) @ DAL: DK:$4,600/FD:$4,900
Here’s one more value to consider in a Cavs uniform tonight, as Thompson came alive on Sunday for 19 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 steals and a whopping 52.5 DK points (49.9 FD points) in a tough matchup against the Thunder. Now he’ll face a Mavericks team that ranks dead last in total rebounding and correspondingly coughs up the most RPG (18.67) to opposing centers this year. Thompson’s playing time will be much more secure with Love inactive, as he’s averaging a team-high 0.36 rebounds per minute with K-Love off the floor this year. Give him a look if you need salary relief this evening.
Kelly Olynyk ($4400/$4100) would clearly become more appealing if Horford is out, but he might see enough playing time either way to create mismatch issues for the Pistons.
Brook Lopez ($6500/$7500) is worth a look tonight simply because Heat center Hassan Whiteside appears disinterested on both ends of the floor and is hardly playing good defense.