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Plays of the Day
Value: Kosta Koufos was solid with 10 points and 7 boards the last time DeMarcus Cousins (suspension) missed a game and he’s averaging 0.30 rebounds and 0.88 FPs with Big Cuz and Rudy Gay off the floor this year. Tonight he’ll face a Celtics team that’s ranked 27th in total rebounding rate and coughs up the sixth-most FPPG (49.03) to opposing centers this season, so he stands out as a chalk value play that you won’t want to fade in most formats.
Fade: Anthony Davis has put together a few solid games in a row and most importantly, he’s stayed healthy enough to finish those contests. Yet it’s very hard to trust him against Utah’s top-ranked defense on the road tonight even if he manages to play a full slate of minutes.
Games to Target
- Atlanta Hawks (-4.5) hosting Denver Nuggets (Over/Under = 224.5)
- Indiana Pacers (+2.5) hosting Cleveland Cavs (Over/Under = 216)
Stephen Curry (GSW) vs. CHI DK:$10,000/FD:$9,900
Both Curry and Isaiah Thomas are appealing options in great matchups tonight, but blowout concerns could lower their respective ceilings. With DeMarcus Cousins (suspension) OUT and Jimmy Butler (heel) questionable, the visiting teams in these matchups might not have enough firepower to keep things close late and that should lead to another restful fourth quarter for Steph. Yet he’s managed to average 36.5 PPG thanks to his scorching 59.3% FG shooting (and 57.4% from downtown) despite the Warriors winning quite easily in 3 of their last 4 appearances. Klay Thompson (personal) is expected to rejoin the Warriors ahead of tonight’s game but if he stays with his family, Curry would see a huge spike in usage, and in any case, he’s set to abuse the Bulls revolving door rotation at PG, as Chicago coughs up the fourth-most APG (9.46) and 12th-most FPPG (44.55) to the position over the last month.
Jrue Holiday (NO) @ UTA DK:$8,000/FD:$8,200
The Pelicans offense runs through two men in Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, yet you never know how long The Brow will last on a given night and you can guarantee that the stout Jazz defense will have plans to limit him in Utah tonight. Holiday has consistently exceeded value with bigtime performances over 6 of his last 7 appearances and he draws a much better matchup than Davis tonight, as the Jazz actually cough up the fourth-most PPG (25.92) to opposing PGs over the last month and have been burned by some of the more athletic floor generals in the league lately. It’s hard to bet against Holiday when he’s shooting 53% from the floor and averaging 24 PPG over his last 6 appearances.
Darren Collison ($5300/$5400) and Ty Lawson ($4700/$4700) will both see huge spikes in usage with Cousins out for the Kings tonight. Consider Tyus Jones ($3300/$4200) as a punt if Kris Dunn remains out for the Wolves.
You have to love playmaking guards against the Cavs right now and tonight that means considering Jeff Teague ($7100/$7400) as a correlation play in Indiana. Look for Michael Carter-Williams ($4600/$5000) to step up if Jimmy Butler (heel) can’t go for Chicago.
DeMar DeRozan (TOR) @ MIN DK:$8,100/FD:$8,900
The Raptors all-star is a bit under priced right now because he’s missed 5 of their last 7 games, but DDR showed no signs of rust while leading his team to a win over the Clippers on Monday. The Mid-Range Monster hit 11-of-22 FG attempts for 31 points in that game and now he faces a Wolves team that just lost its starting SG for the year with Zach LaVine suffering a torn ACL. DeRozan went for 27 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in his last meeting with Minnesota and that’s not a coincidence, as the Wolves cough up plenty of peripheral stats to wing players due to their fast pace of play. Tonight’s game should be high scoring since the young Wolves are more dangerous at home and that makes it a contest to target.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (ATL) vs. DEN DK:$5,700/FD:$5,600
If you need a mid-tier play with a solid floor-ceiling combination, Hardaway Jr. could be your guy tonight. He just managed to meet value in a blowout win over Orlando and a brutal matchup against Utah and now his team will host one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. The Nuggets rank dead last in defensive efficiency and cough up the third-most PPG (111.3) with most of that production coming from opposing backcourts. Denver allows the second-most FPPG (42.96) and sixth-most PPG (24.14) to opposing SGs over the last month, while Hardaway has emerged as a reliable scorer for Atlanta and basically the third option behind Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder. The Michigan product is averaging 19.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 3.6 APG while seeing 34.3 MPG over his last 5 appearances and is worth consideration in any format.
Danny Green ($4000/$3900) has actually been solid lately and will be worth a longer look if Kawhi Leonard (quad) is out tonight for the Spurs. Consider Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5700/$5300) as a high-upside play against the weak Lakers defense.
Dwyane Wade ($7800/$8000) might be able to turn back the clock and carry the Bulls at Oracle Arena if Jimmy Butler remains out.
LeBron James (CLE) @ IND: DK:$10,600/FD:$11,500
The King is now priced appropriately on FanDuel, but remains a relative bargain on DK as the best bet for a triple double with Russell Westbrook and James Harden getting tonight off. James has put his team on his back with averages of 28.3 PPG, 11.2 APG and 8 RPG as the Cavs have won 5 of their last 6 contests, including his monstrous line (32 points, 17 assists) in a dramatic OT win over streaking Washington that might turn Cleveland’s fortunes around. Tonight, he’ll look to be a road warrior in his first meeting with Indiana this season and he should be able to get what he wants offensively against Paul George, who is giving lackluster effort on the defensive end this year. LeBron averaged 28.7 PPG on 49.3% FG shooting over 3 meetings with the Pacers last year and he needs to do more right now since Cleveland’s defense has fallen apart.
Jonathon Simmons (SA) @ PHI: DK:$3,600/FD:$3,700
How about a dirt cheap punt play to pair with The King and make other stars affordable as well? Simmons is going to become a popular play if Kawhi Leonard (quad) is ruled out and it seems quite likely that HC Gregg Popovich would keep the Spurs star out of action in a winnable game at Philadelphia after Kawhi left Monday’s game due to the lingering injury. When Leonard is off the floor, Simmons sports a 21.5% Usage Rate and averages 0.73 FPs per minute this season and he could be asked to lead the second unit, as he done lately with averages of 10 PPG and 19.4 DK PPG while playing just 21 MPG over his last 4 appearances. A matchup against the Sixers is much more appealing with Joel Embiid (knee) iffy to play and Simmons has more upside than potential starter Kyle Anderson should Leonard sit tonight.
Brandon Ingram ($4400/$4000) is going to see more and more minutes for the Lakers as the season begins to wind down. Jaylen Brown ($3600/$3800) is seeing steady run for the Celtics with Avery Bradley out and he could be productive in a potential blowout tonight.
Kent Bazemore ($4400/$4700) has been quiet in some recent lopsided games but could thrive in a fast-paced matchup with Denver. Marcus Morris ($6000/$5800) is en fuego for the Pistons and draws a great matchup against the Lakers.
Blake Griffin (LAC) @ NY: DK:$9,300/FD:$9,400
Griffin put up his first triple double in years with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a losing effort in Toronto on Monday. He’s sporting a 29.8% Usage Rate and averaging 1.34 FPs per minute with Chris Paul off the floor this season and leads the team with 0.17 assists per minute under those circumstances. The offense should run through Blake tonight in MSG against a Knicks team that’s fallen apart defensively to the point that they were undressed by the lowly Lakers on Monday. New York coughs up the second-most FPPG (48.57) to opposing PFs over the last month and it’s fair to question the health of Kristaps Porzingis (Achilles) as we approach the All-Star Break.
Larry Nance Jr. (LAL) @ DET: DK:$4,200/FD:$4,300
Continuing with the trend of offering a high-priced stud and a potential value play, Nance Jr. could serve as one of the best per dollar options at PF tonight. With Julius Randle (illness) playing limited minutes over the Lakers last several games, Nance Jr. has proved quite capable with 28 points and 211 rebounds to lead his team to a close loss in Boston and an easy win in New York recently. Randle only managed to play 7 and 21 minutes while Nance saw 30-plus minutes in both of those contests and he’s honestly a more consistent player than the young lefty. In the interest of “player development,” which is now the main focus of the tanking Lakers, Randle could spend more time on the bench and learn how a second-generation NBA player in Nance Jr. makes the most out of his talent by refusing to take any plays off.
Anthony Tolliver ($4000/$4600) is a high-upside value play to consider with the Kings searching for offense beyond Cousins.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($7100/$7600) would see a huge spike in usage if Leonard sits tonight. And we mentioned his apparent health issues, but Kristaps Porzingis ($6800/$6600) is still under priced and could have a breakout game at some point before the ASB.
Hassan Whiteside (MIA) @ MIL: DK:$7,900/FD:$9,100
Based on the salary flexibility in each lineup, you can consider paying up for Karl-Anthony Towns or getting a discount on FanDuel with Andre Drummond, but Whiteside stands out as the best per dollar option on DK for me tonight. He’s an easy bet for a double double when he’s giving full effort and Miami’s 11-game winning streak should keep everyone motivated in a Heat uniform. Tonight he’ll face a Bucks team that’s undermanned down low has allowed Mr. Whiteside to average 15.7 PPG, 13.7 RPG and 2.7 BPG over 3 meetings this season. He should make it 4 consecutive good games against Milwaukee as he continues to dominate the glass.
Kosta Koufos (SAC) vs. BOS: DK:$3,600/FD:$4,900
The Kings (+8) are certainly underdogs with Cousins inactive, but their superstar is not particularly efficient or consistent on both ends of the floor, so his absence might be a bit overrated tonight. If you agree with that theory, then you should have no issues rolling with Sacramento’s starters, including Cousins likely replacement at center. Koufos was solid with 10 points and 7 boards before getting yanked in a blowout loss at Houston the last time Cousins sat out a game and he’s averaging 0.30 rebounds and 0.88 FPs with Big Cuz and Rudy Gay off the floor this year. Tonight he’ll face a Celtics team that’s ranked 27th in total rebounding rate and coughs up the sixth-most FPPG (49.03) to opposing centers this season, so he stands out as a chalk value play that you won’t want to fade in most formats.
Guillermo Hernangomez ($5900/$6000) continues to produce when given the opportunity and he would remain a safe mid-tier option if Joakim Noah (hamstring) is out tonight.
Kelly Olynyk ($3700/$4000) tends to produce when the Celtics win rather easily and he could be heavily involved if Boston pulls away in Sacramento tonight.