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Plays of the Day
Value: Khris Middleton was on a tight minutes limit after missing most of the season with a knee injury but he was able to drop 20 points and grab 7 boards while playing 26 minutes in his final game before the ASB. Now he’s had eight full days to rest ahead of a tough home game against Utah and he’s a good bet to meet value if he can log 20-plus minutes again.
Fade: I wouldn’t touch Giannis Antetokounmpo in the same matchup against Utah, as Middleton’s return takes some of the weight of The Greek Freak’s shoulders, while the Jazz pretty much shut him down in their last meeting and Rudy Gobert’s imposing presence will continue to make it difficult on Giannis.
- Denver Nuggets (-9.5) hosting Brooklyn Nets (Over/Under = 232)
- Toronto Raptors (-3.5) hosting Boston Celtics (Over/Under = 215.5)
Isaiah Thomas (BOS) @ TOR DK:$9,000/FD:$9,800
His price tag on DK is very appealing considering what Thomas is capable of down the stretch in close games. He’s dropped 71 points and 14 assists over 2 close contests against the Raptors and tonight’s tilt promises to be very competitive as both teams look to assert their status as the main challenger to Cleveland in the East. Toronto gives up an above average 23.1 PPG to opposing PGs this season and Kyle Lowry is frequently exhausted from his efforts on the offensive end, so look for The King in the Fourth to exploit him as well as the new members of the Raptors rotation (Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker) if the Celtics opponents lack communication on defense.
Yogi Ferrell (DAL) @ MIN DK:$5,300/FD:$5,500
The Mavericks are waiving Deron Williams to make room for the future, i.e. Ferrell. The Indiana product flashed tons of potential with D-Will out for several games last month, as he averaged 14.2 PPG and 4.7 APG over his last 10 appearances leading into the ASB. Ferrell is sporting a 21.4% Usage Rate and averaging 0.83 FPs per minute with Willaims off the floor this season and his only real competition for playing time is Devin Harris with J.J. Barea still inactive. Minnesota gives up the eighth-most FPPG (45.9) and fifth-most APG (9.73) to opposing PGs this season, while poor defender Ricky Rubio is still in a Wolves uniform and could struggle to contain a speedster like Ferrell.
Raymond Felton ($3900/$4500) is strangely cheap on both main DFS sites and he’s almost a lock to meet value if Chris Paul (thumb) doesn’t return tonight.
D’Angelo Russell ($6600/$5700) will look to make Magic Johnson proud in his first game for new ownership and he draws a good matchup against the Thunder. Jeremy Lin ($5000/$5800) is a true wildcard to consider in his first game in months.
DeMar DeRozan (TOR) vs. BOS DK:$7,800/FD:$8,100
DeRozan should benefit from some extended rest to his ailing ankle and come out of the ASB much like he did at the beginning of the season, when he averaged 28.8 PPG and 4.5 APG over the first 18 games of the year. That included a stellar performance against the Celtics with defensive stalwart Avery Bradley active and now AB is questionable with an Achilles injury. With Bradley out, the Celtics have struggled to contain star players on the wing and DeRozan will have a significant height advantage over Marcus Smart if the C’s use him as their shutdown defender. In any case, a battle between the second and third best teams in the ECF sets up very well in DFS terms and DeRozan comes at a discount due to his inconsistent performance over the last month.
Khris Middleton (MIL) vs. UTA DK:$4,400 as SF/FD:$4,600
It’s not really about the matchup for Middleton so much as the circumstances relative to his price tag. He was on a tight minutes limit after missing most of the season with a knee injury but he was able to drop 20 points and grab 7 boards while playing 26 minutes in his final game before the ASB. Now he’s had eight full days to rest ahead of a tough home game against Utah and he’s a good bet to meet value if he can log 20-plus minutes again. The Bucks coaching staff is particularly obscure about injury news and rotation plans, so we might not hear much about how much Middleton is capable of playing time, but my instincts tell me that he’s going to prove to be under priced once again as he works back from injury.
With Lou Williams gone, Jordan Clarkson ($4800/$4400 as PG on FD) should become a more consistent part of the Lakers rotation, while Nick Young ($4600/$4300) will have more opportunities to chuck shots.
Dwyane Wade ($7200/$7900) is another veteran who could blow up out of the ASB as he benefits from extended rest and faces a horrible Suns defense tonight.
Kawhi Leonard (SAS) @ LAC DK:$8,700/FD:$9,600
The Clippers gave up 25 points and a whopping 15 rebounds to Kevin Durant in a blowout loss last night and now cough up the third-most RPG (10.1) to opposing SFs over the last month. There’s a massive hole in the Clips roster at that position and Leonard is certainly physical and talented enough to take advantage of it. He’s averaging 20.5 PPG despite shooting just 11-for-32 (.344%) from the floor over 2 meetings with LAC this season and that’s bound to regress towards the mean since he’s shooting 48.8% from the floor on the road this season and is completely unflappable. Take advantage of his modest price tag on DK and use him liberally in cash games.
T.J. Warren (PHO) @ CHI DK:$4,600/FD:$5,000
With P.J. Tucker gone, Warren should become a far more consistent producer in a fast-paced offense. He’s flashed plenty of upside this season but also shown a scary low floor when HC Earl Watson decides to roll with a superior defender in Tucker for heavy minutes. With P.J. off the floor this season, Warren sports a 20.3% Usage Rate and averages 0.43 points per minute and he was heating up before the ASB with good scoring performances in 3 of 4 games. Warren happened to burn the Bulls for 16 points on 8-of-17 shooting in a meeting earlier this season and he should be able to meet value now that he’s locked into a steady role.
Brandon Ingram ($4000/$3600) is another Lakers player who should see an increased role under new management. Josh Richardson ($4000/$5300 as SG on FD) is more of a boom-bust option but he’s very under priced on DK.
Robert Covington ($6300/$6600) is logging very heavy usage with Joel Embiid (knee) out and he should fire away against the Wizards this evening.
Blake Griffin (LAC) vs. SA: DK:$8,600/FD:$9,700
Griffin’s price tag continues to plummet on DK for little reason, as his modest production in last night’s beatdown at Golden State is hardly any cause for concern. Chris Paul (thumb) remained inactive and it’s hard to expect him to play the following night against the Spurs, but regardless, Griffin is looking at heavy usage in another high-scoring affair. The Spurs have a great defensive reputation and are incredible stingy on the perimeter, but prime Tim Duncan isn’t walking through that door and David Lee and company are coughing up the tenth-most PPG (22.55) to opposing PFs over the last month, so the matchup definitely isn’t daunting enough for Griffin to be this cheap on DraftKings.
Dario Saric (PHI) vs. WAS: DK:$6,400/FD:$6,200
He was earning more and more playing time heading into the break and the 76ers coaching staff is reportedly going to reward Saric with steady run and a starting role at PF going forward. He’s averaging 16 PPG, 6.9 RPG and 2 APG over 9 games this month despite starting just once and playing 28.2 MPG during that span, so he’s certainly capable of meeting value at his rising price tag if he plays 30-plus minutes in a good matchup tonight. Washington is improving defensively, but still gives up the third-most FPPG (48.88) to opposing PFs over the last month and will likely struggle to matchup with the shifty Saric.
Bobby Portis ($5000/$4200) has a clear path to minutes now that Taj Gibson has been traded.
Paul Millsap ($7400/$7700) is a great GPP option regardless, but he’ll be worth a longer look if Dennis Schroder is disciplined for missing Wednesday’s practice and sits for part or all of tonight’s game.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) @ DAL: DK:$10,500/FD:$10,400
Towns draws a fantastic matchup at home out of the break and the young superstar should take full advantage. He is averaging 25.7 PPG, 12.8 RPG and 51 DK PPG while shooting 54.5% from the floor in Minnesota this season and tonight he’ll face a Mavericks team that ranks dead last in total rebounding on the season. Dallas coughs up the third-most RPG (16.12) to opposing centers this year and just moved defensive stopper Andrew Bogut for rail-skinny Nerlens Noel. KAT went for 26 points and 10 boards in a meeting with the Mavericks earlier this season and could very well exceed those numbers tonight.
Rudy Gobert (UTA) @ MIL: DK:$7,100/FD:$7,600
The Stifle Tower will tower over the Bucks under sized front court and remain a fantastic bet for another double double. Gobert averages 12.9 PPG, 12.6 RPG and 2.5 BPG this season and he roasted Milwaukee for 26 points and 14 rebounds in a previous meeting this year. He’s one of the most consistent DFS options in a Jazz uniform because of the team’s slow pace and focus on the defensive end, where Gobert is the anchor and arguably the most valuable player, forcing Utah’s coaching staff to give him 33.3 MPG on the season. If you can’t quite afford Towns tonight, Gobert is a fine consolation option as an upper-tier play.
Kelly Olynyk ($5000/$4900) is a bit pricey coming out of the break but he’s still worth a look in his native Canada this evening.
Hassan Whiteside ($8000/$9000) carried a lot of momentum into the ASB and he’s a great GPP play despite drawing a tough matchup in Atlanta.