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Plays of the Day
Value: Fred Van Vleet scored 15 points over 25 minutes in yet another loss for Toronto on Friday and the Raptors could be without both DeMar DeRozan (ankle) and Kyle Lowry (illness) today. That should pave the way for Van Vleet to log solid minutes again and he’ll face a Nets team that coughs up the most FPPG (49.61) to opposing PGs this season.
Fade: Damian Lillard has consistently underwhelmed for DFS investors and the Blazers since coming back from injury a few weeks ago and he draws a tough matchup today against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder.
Games to Target
- Boston Celtics (-5.5) hosting Los Angeles Clippers (Over/Under = 222)
- Portland Blazers (-4) hosting Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under = 216.5)
Russell Westbrook (OKC) vs. POR DK:$12,800/FD:$12,400
With no elite options at SF and very few centers worth paying up for on an extremely short slate, fading Westbrook is really only a good strategy in GPP formats. The unquestioned top play of the slate will be at home against a Blazers team that ranks 26th in defensive rating and coughs up the fifth-most PPG (109.9) in the NBA this year. While Portland limited Westy to 20 points over 27 minutes in mid December, the Blazers were up by 21 after 3 quarters in that contest and Russ never saw the floor again. Today’s contest should be much closer at Loud City with the Thunder (-4) actually favored, and we just saw what Westbrook can do in a close game, as he led his team to a win over the Grizzlies with a 38-point triple double on Friday night.
Fred Van Vleet (TOR) @ BKN DK:$3,000/FD:$3,600
Those who remember Van Vleet from his days at Wichita State should have an appreciation for his talent, which is why he was able to jump ahead of Cory Joseph and score 15 points over 25 minutes in yet another loss for Toronto on Friday. Raptors HC Dwayne Casey has to keep trying different things with DeMar DeRozan (ankle) likely out and the fact that Kyle Lowry is clearly under the weather after missing practice on Saturday should pave the way for Van Vleet to log solid minutes again. He’ll face a Nets team that coughs up the most FPPG (49.61) to opposing PGs this season and is certainly worth a look in tournament formats.
Raymond Felton ($4900/$4700) remains a solid source of salary relief and a good option to pair with Westbrook if you’re going that route. Spencer Dinwiddie ($3300/$3800) seemed to pass Isaiah Whitehead on the Nets depth chart and he’s worth a look as a punt play.
If you fade Westbrook, it’s likely in order to use Isaiah Thomas ($9900/$10,900) in the hopes he has another huge fourth quarter.
C.J. McCollum (POR) @ OKC DK:$7,200/FD:$8,000
The Blazers offense is running through CJM much more than Damian Lillard lately and that trend continued on Friday in a narrow loss to the Mavericks. McCollum went for 28 points while attempting a team-high 20 shots from the field and he’s sporting a 29.4% Usage Rate while shooting 51.4% from the floor since the calendar turned to 2017. The Thunder will likely have Russell Westbrook chasing Lillard tonight while McCollum operates against an inferior defender in Victor Oladipo and the smooth SG has been able to produce in even the toughest of matchups all year.
Norman Powell (TOR) @ BKN DK:$5,700/FD:$4,800
While the Raptors rotation at PG is a bit of a question mark, we know that Powell will log heavy minutes as long as DeRozan is ruled out today. The Cal product is playing like an elite talent and he’s really been the only bright spot for Toronto over the last week. Powell is averaging 17.4 PPG when making 6 different spot starts for DeRozan and he’s sporting a 22.5% Usage Rate when DDR is off the floor this year. The Nets give up the second-most FPPG (40.77) to opposing SGs this season and Powell might be the top option for Toronto against Brooklyn’s league-worst defense with Kyle Lowry iffy to play through an illness.
J.J. Redick ($5200/$4900) is playing well for the Clippers right now and he should be able to get loose against a Celtics team that’s struggled to defend opposing SGs without Avery Bradley (Achilles) available.
Victor Oladipo ($5400/$5700) wasn’t active when the Thunder were streamrolled in Portland a couple of months ago, but he could definitely be a factor in this matchup.
Jae Crowder (BOS) vs. LAC: DK:$6,200/FD:$6,500
He’s essentially the only safe play on the board at SF tonight and Crowder will be worth paying up for if you’re willing to fade Westbrook. The Celtics swing man is playing great ball lately with averages of 18.9 PPG and 7.1 RPG while shooting 43% from downtown (20-of-47) over his last 7 appearances. He’s always more reliable at home and should be able to produce against a Clippers team that’s been forced to start Raymond Felton at SF at times out of necessity.
Evan Turner (POR) @ OKC: DK:$5,000/FD:$4,900
Turner’s rising price tag makes him less of a safe play, but he’s still worth using if you can’t quite afford Crowder. He’s also a superior play if you want to stack the Thunder-Blazers game, which may very well wind up as the highest-scoring game on this short slate. ET is back in Portland’s SLU and that’s certainly increased his upside, as he went for 24 points while shooting 10-of-17 from the floor in a relatively tough matchup against Dallas on Friday. Now he’ll face a Thunder squad that gives up the third-most PPG (21.56) to opposing SFs this season and is getting into plenty of shootouts lately.
Jaylen Brown ($3800/$3800) logged 38 minutes on Friday and he should be able to meet value again if Avery Bradley remains out for Boston.
Terrence Ross ($4000/$3600) as a longshot option to consider with the Raptors potentially missing both of their all-star guards today.
Blake Griffin (LAC) @ BOS: DK:$8,600/FD:$9,200
While Westbrook is a player that you can fade or play based on how you can balance the rest of your lineup, Griffin is the closest thing to a must play on this slate. He returned to his all-star ways with 29 points over 34 minutes at Phoenix and survived a blowout loss to the Warriors with 31 points over 30 minutes on Friday. He should be asked to carry the mail once again in the Clippers tilt with Boston on Super Bowl Sunday, as he’s sporting a 29.9% Usage Rate and averaging 1.37 FPs per minute with Chris Paul (thumb) off the floor this season. The Celtics allow the seventh-most RPG (12.48) to opposing PFs this year and simply don’t have the personnel to stop a load in the paint like Blake.
Trevor Booker ($4600/$5000) is a bit under priced because he battled an illness last week but he’s healthy now and draws a great matchup against Toronto.
DeAndre Jordan (LAC) @ BOS: DK:$7,000/FD:$7,600
The Celtics are the third-worst rebounding team in the NBA and that makes them worth targeting with both of the Clippers bigs tonight. Jordan is obviously one of the best rebounders in the NBA and he’s averaging 13.6 RPG along with 12.2 PPG this season. Jordan has been a huge problem for Boston in recent years, as he averaged 18 PPG and 14.5 RPG in 2 meetings last season and 17 PPG and 13 RPG against the Celtics two seasons ago. Despite the addition of Al Horford, the Celtics are allowing the fifth-most PPG (24.5) to opposing centers over the last month, which makes DAJ a good bet for a double double.
Lucas Noguiera (TOR) @ BKN: DK:$3,600/FD:$4,000
If you simply want to punt the center position to make room for Westbrook, Griffin and solid options at guard, Noguiera could allow you do just that. The young Brazilian has yet to flash much upside and he has a penchant for picking up fouls during his limited playing time, but he could be asked to do more tonight with Patrick Patterson (knee) questionable at best to suit up on Sunday. Noguiera can play alongside center Jonas Valanciunas and he’s facing a Nets team that allows the second-most FPPG (45.96) to opposing PFs this season, so you could do worse for a punt play.
Steven Adams ($5600/$6100) is a reasonable mid-tier play to consider if you’re stacking the Thunder-Blazers game.
Jonas Valanciunas ($6000/$6100) bounced back from a dud with a double double on Friday and he could thrive against the Nets horrible defense this afternoon.