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Plays of the Day
Value: Ish Smith took the reins of the Pistons offense and handed out 16 assists over 33 minutes of playing time while Reggie Jackson logged just 20 minutes on Thursday. Ish appears to be the main PG for Detroit going forward and he should be able to operate very freely this evening against a Celtics team that gives up the tenth-most FPPG (44.03) and ninth-most PPG (23.25) to opposing PGs this season.
Fade: Nikola Jokic has really struggled over his last 2 appearances and tonight’s matchup against the stingy Grizzlies defense is far from appealing. Marc Gasol can keep him from scoring and the disciplined guards on that team shouldn’t get beat on back cuts to give him easy assists.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (-6.5) hosting New Orleans Pelicans (Over/Under = 214)
- Toronto Raptors (-4.5) hosting Portland Blazers (Over/Under = 210.5)
Chris Paul (LAC) vs. CHA DK:$8,300/FD:$8,600
Paul was unlucky enough to draw the Spurs top-rated defense in his first game back from a lengthy absence and he still managed to meet value with 17 points and 35 DK points (31.7 FD points) in a losing effort. Tonight he’ll draw a much better matchup against Kemba Walker and a Hornets team that’s giving up an above average 44.1 FPPG, 23.1 PPG and 8.5 APG to opposing PGs over the last month. CP3 is still certainly the general of his offense and Blake Griffin quickly took a backset as playmaker on Friday night. Feel free to use Paul until his price tag begins to rise.
Ish Smith (DET) vs. BOS DK:$4,500/FD:$4,500
Even though Reggie Jackson was not traded ahead of Thursday’s deadline, his role continued to shift, as he played just 20 minutes while Smith took the reins of the offense and handed out 16 assists over 33 minutes of playing time. Ish appears to be the main PG for Detroit going forward and he should be able to operate very freely this evening against a Celtics team that gives up the tenth-most FPPG (44.03) and ninth-most PPG (23.25) to opposing PGs this season. At such a modest price tag on both main DFS sites he makes a lot of sense as a play on a short slate.
Cory Joseph ($4500/$4200) should remain an extremely solid cash game play if Kyle Lowry (wrist) is out again.
Austin Rivers ($4700/$4800) is still going to see a significant role with CP3 back and he’s much cheaper across the board now. Also consider the consistently overlooked Mike Conley ($7900/$7600) against Denver’s porous defense.
DeMar DeRozan (TOR) vs. POR DK:$8,800/FD:$8,600
While Kyle Lowry (wrist) is listed as questionable, he seems closer to doubtful since he’s been listed as out indefinitely by the club. With Lowry off the floor this season, DDR is sporting a ridiculous 43.4% Usage Rate, while averaging 0.99 points and 1.35 FPs per minute. He just went for a career-high 43 points against Boston on Friday and draws a much, much better matchup tonight against Portland’s 27th-ranked defense. The Blazers give up the fifth-most PPG (110) in the NBA and starting SG C.J. McCollum is far more likely to trade buckets with DeRozan than seriously try to stop the Raptors star.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (DET) vs. BOS DK:$5,600/FD:$5,300
He stood out alongside Smith as one of the best per dollar plays last Thursday and KCP only sees a marginal price increase on both main DFS sites ahead of another good matchup. Boston has struggled against opposing SGs with Avery Bradley (Achilles) on the shelf over the past several weeks and there’s no reason to expect AB to come back at full strength when he finally takes the floor. Caldwell-Pope is averaging 15.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 3.7 APG over 2 meetings with the Celtics this season and he just played 43 minutes while attempting 25 shots from the field in a close win over Charlotte, so he’s clearly going to be heavily involved in Detroit’s offense as Jackson is apparently phased out.
Marcus Smart ($5600/$6100) would continue to serve as a solid mid-tier option if Avery Bradley is out while Jaylen Brown ($3800/$3900) would be worth a look as a high-risk punt play.
I could see C.J. McCollum ($7600/$7600) getting into an individual battle with DeRozan and trading buckets down the stretch.
Nicolas Batum (CHA) @ LAC DK:$6,900/FD:$7,100 as SG
Batum isn’t going to force his offense, but he should be quite productive across the board in a game to target out at Staples Center. He put up 25 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds in a meeting with the Clippers earlier this season and should be able to exploit the opposition’s hole at the 3, as the Clips give up the third-most RPG (10) and seventh-most APG (4.1) to opposing SFs over the last month. Batum is more likely to help your lineups by flirting with a triple double and putting up great peripheral stats, so the fact that LAC is more vulnerable in those departments bodes well for his prospects tonight.
Maurice Harkless (POR) @ TOR DK:$4,800/FD:$4,700
You might consider pivoting onto a similar play such as P.J. Tucker ($4600/$4700) if Al-Farouq Aminu returns for the Blazers tonight, but with both Aminu and Evan Turner (hand) out, Harkless was free to exceed value while playing a whopping 38 minutes on Friday. He’s not an exciting player from a statistical standpoint, but he could easily meet value at this modest price tag even if Aminu takes most of the minutes at PF this evening. Harkless happened to put 10 points with a full line in a meeting with Toronto earlier this season and he’s met value in 4 consecutive appearances dating back to before the ASB.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ($5200/$5800) could also take advantage of the Clippers’ deficiencies on the wing tonight.
Marcus Morris ($5600/$6000) is a candidate to get hot and exceed value in a potential shootout with the Celtics.
Anthony Davis (NO) @ OKC: DK:$9,500/FD:$9,900
He’s a full $1K cheaper than his superstar teammate on DraftKings and The Brow is apparently much more comfortable taking the lead as the cornerstone of the Pelicans franchise. He scored 39 points on 34 FGA in a loss at Dallas last night and one could infer that Cousins (3-of-9 from the field) is willing to defer to Davis until he gets up to speed with his new team. The Brow is certainly capable of carrying New Orleans in a tough matchup at OKC and he would draw a much more favorable individual matchup than Boogie, who will have to try and score on rock solid center Steven Adams this evening.
Taj Gibson ($4700/$4700) should see more run for the Thunder in an attempt to slow down The Brow and it’s not as if he needs a lot of plays run for him while integrating into a new team.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($5400/$5600) is actually probable to return from his knee injury tonight but he might go lightly owned because of the questionable tag.
Marc Gasol (MEM) @ DEN: DK:$7,900/FD:$8,400
Nikola Jokic appears to be hitting a bit of a sophomore slump out of the ASB and his struggles could continue tonight against the Grizzlies and a former Defensive Player of the Year in Gasol. Big Spain has been ultra-consistent all season and flashed upside in plus matchups, so he’s definitely worth a look against a Nuggets squad that ranks dead last in defensive rating and coughs up the third-most PPG (111.8) in the NBA this year. He’s averaging 21.5 PPG on 62% FG shooting while playing just 27.2 MPG over 2 comfortable wins over Denver this season and his Grizzlies (+2) are actually underdogs on the road this time around, so we should see that production increase.
Jusuf Nurkic (POR) @ TOR: DK:$5,600/FD:$5,500
Nurkic sees a huge pay bump after breaking out with a full line (12 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks) in his first game out of the ASB, but he is still a very strong mid-tier play. The Blazers went after this guy for a reason and they’re going to give him heavy run because of their aforementioned struggles on the defensive end. Tonight Nurk will face off with a Raptors squad that’s giving up the eighth-most DK PPG to opposing centers and he should bring some much needed toughness to Portland’s front line in this tough road game.
Kelly Olynyk ($4900/$4700) should bounce back from his first off game in a while with a strong showing in Detroit.
Andre Drummond ($7800/$8100) has dominated the weak-rebounding Celtics over the past couple of seasons and he could turn in a big double double tonight.