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Plays of the Day
Value: With Derrick Rose (ankle) doubtful to suit up on either end of the Knicks upcoming B2B set, Brandon Jennings will have a chance to get comfortable as a starting PG. The shifty lefty is averaging 12.4 points and 7.2 assists per 36 minutes this season and he should see plenty of run in what a high-scoring affair at Washington tonight.
Fade: The Spurs are now one of three teams that have held Russell Westbrook without a triple double in his career and you can expect that to continue tonight in San Antonio after they dropped B2B games last weekend and will look to get back on track by shutting down the Thunder’s best (perhaps only) weapon.
Games to Target
- Los Angeles Lakers (+3) hosting Denver Nuggets (Over/Under = 228)
- Houston Rockets (-12) hosting Sacramento Kings (Over/Under = 224.5)
Jrue Holiday (NO) @ TOR DK:$7,700/FD:$7,800
Even with Anthony Davis returning to the Pelicans lineup and stunningly finishing a game on Sunday, Holiday stayed red hot with 26 points and 11 assists against the Wizards. He’s averaging 21.6 PPG, 9.6 APG and shooting a scorching 55% from the floor (53% from downtown) over his last 5 appearances as Holiday is often asked to carry the offense when Davis checks out of the game. The Brow might be over the nagging quad and hip injuries that kept him out of action sporadically over the past couple of weeks, but he’ll still need Holiday as a PnR partner and deadly outside shooter to keep the Raptors defense honest. Toronto coughs up the seventh-most PPG (24.04) to opposing PGs this season and represents an easier matchup for Holiday than the last 2 teams he toasted in the Spurs and Wizards.
Brandon Jennings (NYK) @ WAS DK:$5,100/FD:$5,600
With Derrick Rose (ankle) doubtful to suit up on either end of the Knicks upcoming B2B set, Jennings will have a chance to get comfortable as a starting PG. The shifty lefty is averaging 12.4 points and 7.2 assists per 36 minutes this season and just produced a double double with 18 points and 11 dimes over an absurd 53 minutes in a 4OT loss at Atlanta. Clearly, he’s not ceding too many minutes to rookie Ron Baker or any other reserves while Rose is out, so Jennings seems like a safe mid-tier option to deploy against a Wizards team that is playing with increasing pace and efficiency offensively while still ranking in the bottom 10 in terms of opponents FG shooting (46%) this season. Jennings managed to post 20 and 16 assists over 2 appearances against Washington off the bench this year and he could get over 30 minutes of run this time around.
Ty Lawson ($4000/$4600) and Darren Collison ($5300/$5100) are playing alongside each other for the Kings and both are worth a look in a plus matchup against the Rockets tonight.
Kemba Walker ($7900/$8300) is definitely worth a look in GPP formats as he’ll look to keep pace with the high-scoring Blazers in Portland tonight. If Emmanuel Mudiay (back) remains out, Jameer Nelson ($5600/$5100) will be worth a look in most formats.
James Harden (HOU) vs. SAC DK:$12,200/FD:$12,500
Harden played as poorly as he has all season and produced his weakest FP total (38.5 DK points) in a loss at Indiana on Sunday, which makes him a great bounce back candidate as an elite option tonight. He shot 3-of-17 from the floor and 2-of-10 from deep against the Pacers, but returns home tonight where he should be more comfortable against a Kings team that coughs up the ninth-most FPPG (38.84) and fourth-most PPG (24.06) to opposing SGs this season. Harden averaged 36.3 PPG and 8 APG against Sacramento last year and his relatively modest splits (19 PPG, 12 APG, 10 RPG) over 2 meetings with the Kings this year are skewed by a blowout due to the absence of DeMarcus Cousins in their last matchup.
Lou Williams (LAL) vs. DEN DK:$5,500/FD:$6,200
While the potential return of D’Angelo Russell (calf) to action tonight could put a damper on Williams’ prospects, he could still serve as a great tournament play even if the Lakers get their starting PG back on a limited basis. Lou Will owns the second unit and he’s sporting a 31.5% Usage Rate over the last two months regardless of whether Russell has been active or not. After destroying the Blazers awful defense for three quarters last Wednesday, he came down to earth against an elite Jazz defense, but tonight he’ll face a Nuggets team that coughs up the most FPPG (41.39) to opposing SGs and allowed Sweet Lou to go for 24 points, 7 assists and 42.5 DK points in a previous meeting this season.
Courtney Lee ($4300/$4800) continued to exceed value thanks to the extended periods in the Knicks last game but he’s been solid recently and should see more usage if D-Rose remains out.
He didn’t miss a beat in his return to action on Sunday and DeMar DeRozan ($7800/$8900) is a bit under priced on DK ahead of a juicy matchup against New Orleans tonight.
Kawhi Leonard (SA) vs. OKC: DK:$8,800/FD:$9,600
It will be very interesting to see if Leonard guards Westbrook for extended periods tonight and if he can hold the Thunder’s superstar in check, there is a chance that the Spurs (-8.5) win another blowout at home. Yet that is probably the only scenario in which Kawhi falls short of value in a plus matchup against a Thunder squad that coughs up the third-most PPG (21.38) to opposing SFs this season. He was on an absolute tear earlier this month and returned to action with a couple of solid lines over the weekend, but the Spurs somehow lost their last two tilts against the lowly Pelicans and Mavs, so chances are HC Gregg Popovich will ride Leonard for as many minutes as the MVP candidate can handle in a tough test at home this evening.
Trevor Ariza (HOU) vs. SAC: DK:$5,100/FD:$5,100
Like Harden, Ariza dropped an absolute dud with maybe his worst shooting performance of the year in Indiana on Sunday, but unlike The Beard, he’s now available at a significant discount. The Rockets veteran has been slowing down over the last couple of weeks but he’s still capable of contributing across the board and he continues to play heavy minutes for HC Mike D’Antoni. Tonight he’ll face a Kings team that is playing without a SF for extended stretches with Garrett Temple rotating over to the 3 and Ariza managed to average 17.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG and 2.5 SPG over 2 meetings with Sacramento so far this year. The Kings also rank 27th in opponents 3PT shooting (.376%), which means that Ariza and his sharpshooting teammates will likely get plenty of open looks from deep tonight.
Evan Turner ($4700/$4800) remains a steady option for cash game lineups in a good matchup at home against the Hornets.
Danilo Gallinari ($6300/$7000) is benefitting from the absence of Nikola Jokic and he draws a great matchup tonight at the Lakers.
Markieff Morris (WAS) vs. NYK: DK:$6,600/FD:$6,900
Morris has become one of the most dependable mid-tier options in DFS contests recently and it’s hard to imagine that changing in a plus matchup at home tonight. The Knicks are ranked 24th in defensive rating and cough up the sixth-most PPG (108.8) in the NBA along with the sixth-most FPPG (44.12) to opposing PFs this year. Morris only averaged 11 PPG and 7 RPG in 2 meetings with the Knicks much earlier this season, but he’s since taken off with averages of 16.8 PPG and 8.5 RPG while shooting 47.8% from the floor and meeting value in all 15 of his appearances this month. Simply put, you can trust Kieff to produce against a Knicks team that is struggling badly on the defensive end.
Kenneth Faried (DEN) @ LAL: DK:$5,400/FD:$6,600
While he’s listed as probable with a hamstring injury, Faried should be healthy enough to take advantage of his increased opportunities tonight. Nikola Jokic (hip) was doing so much for the Nuggets that he can’t be replaced by one player, but Faried appeared the primary beneficiary while logging extensive minutes at the 5 on Saturday against the Suns. The Manimal went for 21 points and 13 boards over 37 minutes, which is right in line with his per 36 minute averages. Tonight he’ll face a Lakers team that is in a nosedive and ranks 30th in defensive rating while giving up the second-most FPPG (47.06) to opposing PFs over the last month and he should exceed value as long as he’s healthy enough to play steady minutes.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($4500/$5300) is a another solid option in a Blazers uniform, while Hornets PF Marvin Williams ($4900/$5100) can also be trusted in that contest.
Patrick Patterson ($3500/$3900) is worth a gamble as a punt play with the Raptors hosting the Pelicans tonight. Kristaps Porzingis ($6200/$6500) fouled out yet again on Sunday and only managed to play 30 minutes, but he’s healthy enough to take on a full workload and exceed value at this mid-tier price tag.
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) @ HOU: DK:$11,200/FD:$11,400
It won’t be easy to find enough value at other positions to make this possible, but if you can stack Harden and Cousins in GPP lineups tonight you could hit it big in a game to target. These teams combined for 221 and 240 points in 2 meetings this year and the Kings lost by 34 points in Houston because Cousins took the night off to rest in that last meeting. Of course he should be ready to go tonight and he’s been carrying a huge load with Rudy Gay done for the season, as Big Cuz boasts a 41.9% Usage Rate and averages 1.44 FPs per minute when Gay is off the floor. The Rockets are vulnerable down low and allow the second-most APG (4.2) along with an above average 50.75 FPPG to opposing centers over the last month.
Steven Adams (OKC) @ SA: DK:$5,400/FD:$6,000
He’s unlikely to dominate down low against a stout Spurs defense, but Adams could be free to dive to the rim if San Antonio sells out to stop Westbrook in PnR situations tonight. With Enes Kanter (arm) out for the next couple of months, Adams should serve as a really solid value play, as he’s averaging 0.25 rebounds and 0.86 FPs per minute with Kanter off the floor this year. He got off to a great start before getting outworked by Tristan Thompson in his last appearance, yet he should have an easier time securing boards against LaMarcus Aldridge and David Lee tonight in an effort to keep the Thunder in this game on the road.
Joakim Noah ($3500/$4500) is far from a reliable option, but he played over 40 minutes while surging young center Guillermo Hernangomez didn’t see the floor in the Knicks most recent loss. Clint Capela ($4700/$4900) is a safer option in the mid-tier range as he’ll be asked to guard Cousins.
Jusuf Nurkic ($5000/$4100) will not be highly owned tonight but he should get another chance to prove his value with Jokic out for Denver. I love Ivica Zubac ($3500/$3900) as a punt play in the same game.