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Plays of the Day
Value: Dwyane Wade (wrist) is doubtful to suit up tonight and Jimmy Butler (heel) is looking like he might just rest his ailing foot until the ASB, which would open the door for all of the Bulls reserve guards to log huge minutes. Michael Carter-Williams is usually the biggest beneficiary when Butler sits, and he’s sporting a team-high 27.7% Usage Rate while averaging 0.85 FPs per minute with both Wade and Butler off the floor this season.
Fade: Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are both putting up solid numbers lately, but neither have flashed much upside. It’s hard to imagine that changing with the Raptors (-7) favored on the road tonight against a very shorthanded Bulls team that’s basically packed it in for the ASB already.
Games to Target
- Los Angeles Lakers (-1.5) hosting Sacramento Kings (Over/Under = 217.5)
- Minnesota Wolves (+4) hosting Cleveland Cavs (Over/Under = 219)
Kyrie Irving (CLE) @ MIN DK:$8,400/FD:$9,000
The obvious top option on a short slate with Kevin Love (back) ruled out, Irving has been hot lately anyways as the Cavs are scoring 123.7 PPG this month while righting the ship. Kyrie is averaging 24.2 PPG with a 32.2% Usage Rate during that span and he should be asked to take even more shots as the only primary scoring option next to LeBron James tonight. When Love is off the floor, Irving sports a 35.7% Usage Rate while averaging 0.79 points and 1.19 FPs per minute this season and he draws a great matchup tonight against the Wolves 24th-ranked defense. Minnesota coughs up the eighth-most APG (8.74) to opposing PGs this season and Irving posted a big double double with 14 points and 14 dimes despite shooting poorly the last time he faced the Wolves.
Ricky Rubio (MIN) vs. CLE DK:$6,900/FD:$6,800
Both point guards are worth using in this Valentine’s Day tilt and those who have a DFS love affair with Rubio will have little trouble getting behind him when they analyze his matchup. Cleveland allows the most FPPG (49.1) and second-most APG (9.62) to opposing PGs over the last month and Rubio’s main skill is clearly his passing. The Wolves PG hasn’t been consistent overall, but he tends to come through in plus matchups and he’s coming off consecutive double doubles with a combined 32 points and 23 assists in home games against the Pelicans and Bulls. He went for 14 points and 13 assists in a H2H battle with Irving and the Cavs earlier this season and is a good bet to exceed value at a modest price tag.
Darren Collison ($7100/$5700) is a little rich for my blood on DK but he’s a great bargain on FanDuel, especially if Ty Lawson (leg) remains out.
Rajon Rondo ($4700/$4800) is worth a look in tournament formats with both Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade expected to sit for the Bulls tonight. Also like D’Angelo Russell ($5600/$5900) as a bounce back candidate.
Lou Williams (LAL) vs. SAC DK:$5,400/FD:$6,100
Because the Lakers primary focus is officially “player development,” Williams is seeing less playing time yet he’s still producing with ridiculous efficiency. The veteran SG went for 21 points over just 19 minutes in a win over the Bucks last weekend and he’s averaging 20.3 PPG while logging 22.1 MPG over his last 4 appearances. Perhaps Lakers HC Luke Walton will get into tonight’s winnable home game against the shaky Kings defense and allow Sweet Lou to log a few more minutes against a team that ranks 26th in opponents 3PT shooting (.372%) this season and coughs up the fourth-most PPG (25) to opposing SGs over the last month. Sacramento is using young Ben McLemore as its primary two-guard right now and Williams could take the Kansas product to school while drawing some of his textbook three and four-point plays.
Michael Carter-Williams (CHI) vs. TOR DK:$5,200 as PG/FD:$4,600
This is the game with the largest spread on this slate so it’s not necessarily one to target, but it is where you can go to find value. Dwyane Wade (wrist) is doubtful to suit up tonight and Jimmy Butler (heel) is looking like he might just rest his ailing foot until the ASB, which would open the door for all of the Bulls reserve guards to log huge minutes. MCW is usually the biggest beneficiary when Butler sits, and he’s sporting a team-high 27.7% Usage Rate while averaging 0.85 FPs per minute with both Wade and Butler off the floor this season.
Kyle Korver ($4400/$4000) is a pretty reliable value right now with Iman Shumpert (ankle) out and he should see a boost with K-Love out as well..
Nick Young ($4300/$4600) is more of a boom-bust option than Williams in the same matchup, while Ben McLemore ($4500/$4100) could get hot again and see steady run if Lawson remains out for the Kings.
LeBron James (CLE) @ MIN: DK:$10,500/FD:$11,500
There’s certainly a case for James as the most integral play on DraftKings for this short slate while it’s relatively easy to fit him into lineups on both main DFS sites if you use values and fade the Raptors stars in the potential blowout at Chicago. LBJ has cooled off a bit over the Cavs last 3 games but he’s still averaging 26.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG and 9.1 APG since the calendar turned to 2017. The King sports a 32.4% Usage Rate and averages 1.37 FPs per minute with Love off the floor this season and he should rip through Minnesota’s below average defense tonight, as he’s scoring more PPG (26.3) on the road this season and dominated the Wolves with 27 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds in a previous meeting this season.
Matt Barnes (SAC) @ LAL: DK:$5,100/FD:$5,100
Here’s a reasonably priced option to keep your lineups under the salary cap without taking too many unnecessary risks. Barnes has stepped up with Garrett Temple (hamstring) out indefinitely and Rudy Gay (Achilles) out for the year, as he’s averaging 11.2 PPG, 8.8 RPG and 3.8 APG while playing 32.2 MPG over his last 6 appearances. The minutes are going to be there with the Kings still rather shorthanded and they’ll need Barnes to provide some defensive toughness in a matchup between two of the worst defenses in the NBA tonight. The Lakers rank 29th in defensive rating and cough up the fourth-most PPG (110.5) this season, while Barnes is earning his increased playing time with a +15.9 plus/minus rating this month.
DeMarre Carroll ($4200/$4200) has become a steady part of the Raptors offense once again and is a bit under priced.
Doug McDermott ($3800/$3800) is a great tournament play to consider with Wade, Butler and even Paul Zipser (ankle) doubtful to suit up for the Bulls tonight.
Channing Frye (CLE) @ MIN: DK:$4,900/FD:$4,600
This is the position at which you can save tonight, unless you’re using one of the elite centers as a PF on DraftKings. Frye doesn’t seem like the safest play based on his recent game log, but he’s going to see significantly increased opportunity with Kevin Love inactive tonight. Frye’s Usage Rate is boosted to 21.4% and he averages 0.89 FPs per minute with Love off the floor this season, while he posted 45 points and grabbed 14 rebounds over 3 games with Love out at the end of January into early February. The Wolves are ranked 27th in opponents FG shooting (.473%) and 23rd in 3PT defense, so the potential is there for a sharpshooter in Frye.
Bobby Portis (CHI) vs. TOR: DK:$3,500/FD:$3,600
In tournament formats, it might make sense to punt the PF position with some young guys with high upside. Portis might only be worth using again if Nikola Mirotic (back) is ruled out in addition to the Bulls two star guards, but he’s going to be asked to step up in any case with Butler and Wade likely in street clothes. The versatile PF went for 16 points and 6 boards in a blowout loss at Minnesota on Sunday and he could see extra run in a similar situation tonight. He averages 0.92 FPs per minute with a 23% Usage Rate when Wade and Butler are off the floor while that Usage Rate climbs to 24.4% when Mirotic is also inactive this season.
Larry Nance Jr. ($4000/$4300) is basically in a timeshare with Julius Randle for the Lakers and he should be able to meet value tonight.
While he was shut down along with the rest of the Bulls on Sunday, Taj Gibson ($5000/$4600) could show some pride with a good performance at home tonight and he might be worth pairing with Rajon Rondo in some GPP lineups.
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) @ LAL: DK:$12,100/FD:$11,400
While he might have more upside than LeBron James, Cousins isn’t as a close to a must play in my book due to his price tag on DraftKings. Yet you can always expect him to put up a huge line against the Lakers (-1.5) and the close line on this contest bodes well for his usage down the stretch. Speaking of which, Cousins is sporting an absurd 41% Usage Rate and averaging 1.43 FPs per minute with Rudy Gay done for the year and he’s certainly capable of dominating a Lakers team that ranks 29th in opponents FG shooting (.478%) and coughs up the third-most FPPG (51.21) to opposing centers this season.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) vs. CLE: DK:$10,000/FD:$10,400
The only thing that can slow down KAT is apparently a blowout win, as he produced just 38.25 DK points (37.4 FD points) while attempting just 11 shots in an easy win over the shorthanded Bulls on Sunday. There’s no way he’ll be that passive in a test against the defending NBA champions at home tonight, where he happens to average 25.7 PPG, 13 RPG and 51.3 DK PPG on the season. He went for 26 points, 12 rebounds and 55 DK points in a meeting with Cleveland earlier this year and has seen a rise in production lately with Zach LaVine (knee) done for the season. With averages of 26.6 PPG and 12.1 RPG over the last two months, he has just as much upside as Cousins at a much cheaper price tag on DK.
Robin Lopez ($4800/$4800) remains a solid value with limited upside for the Bulls. Tarik Black ($3900/$4200) offers a bit more risk and potential reward if he can match up with Cousins and the Kings tonight.
Lucas Noguiera ($3400/$3900) is still seeing heavy run with the Raptors a bit banged up and he could benefit from a blowout in Chicago.