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Plays of the Day
Value: The Nuggets may be without both Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari again tonight and that would open up a lot of opportunities for versatile PF Juancho Hernangomez. The rookie is averaging 13 PPG and 5.2 RPG over his last 4 appearances and averages 0.77 FPs per minute when WilChan and Gallo are off the floor this season.
Fade: LeBron James appears to draw a great matchup tonight at the Nuggets and he will assuredly put up good numbers on the road in a high-scoring affair, but will he really pay off his lofty price tag? For my money, I’d rather save at SF and try to squeeze Russell Westbrook into lineups in a classic get right spot against the 76ers.
- Denver Nuggets (+3.5) hosting Cleveland Cavs (Over/Under = 228.5)
- Sacramento Kings (+3.5) hosting Milwaukee Bucks (Over/Under = 204.5)
Isaiah Thomas (BOS) vs. IND DK:$8,100/FD:$8,600
The Celtics (-7.5) and Pacers should play a much more competitive game tonight than the Vegas line would indicate. Indiana’s defense has improved of late, but the Pacers are giving up an above average 8.91 APG and 21.6 PPG to opposing PGs this season. Thomas is averaging 25.5 PPG over 2 meetings with Indy this year, but most importantly, he’s at home, where he’s averaging a ridiculous 30.3 PPG on 48% FG shooting and we know that he is fully capable of turning up in the fourth quarter. Take advantage of Thomas at a slightly diminished price tag.
Jeff Teague (IND) @ BOS DK:$6,500/FD:$6,600
If you’re on board with Thomas carrying the Celtics in a tight game, you should be excited to keep riding Teague at his modest price tag. He was a no-brainer option at under $6K on DraftKings the other night and should be able to work over IT on the other end considering his reputation for mediocre defense against PnR sets. Teague is averaging 25.5 PPG and 6 APG over 2 meetings with the Celtics this year and Boston gives up the tenth-most FPPG (44.22) along with the tenth-most PPG (23) to opposing PGs this season.
Malcolm Brogdon ($5000/$5000) met value even though Giannis played for the Bucks last night and he’s definitely worth a look against a poor Kings defense. Jamal Murray ($4500/$4000) will be a great value once again if Wilson Chandler (groin) and/or Danilo Gallinari (knee) are inactive.
Rajon Rondo ($5700/$5600) was dynamic last night while logging 40 minutes against Toronto and he’s worth using in GPP formats in the hopes that he can rekindle some of his old magic.
Will Barton (DEN) vs. CLE DK:$7,500/FD:$6,500
IF both Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler sit out another game for Denver, THEN you can consider Barton at his lofty price tag on DK. Otherwise, he’s probably too pricey as a volatile playmaker off the Nuggets bench in a matchup against a Cavs defense that can either be above average or terrible depending on the mindset of their fearless leader. Barton is averaging 22.8 PPG and 5.3 APG over his last 4 appearances and he’s sporting a 24.6% Usage Rate while averaging 0.97 FPs per minute with Chandler and Gallo both off the floor this season. Cleveland is giving up the third-most FPPG (40.5) to opposing SGs this year and will certainly force the opposition to score in bunches tonight.
Denzel Valentine (CHI) vs. DET DK:$4,900/FD:$4,600
Valentine came up a little short of value last night, but he still played a whopping 35 minutes despite struggling with his shot. He’s going to have a consistent role with D-Wade out for the year and will be worth a look on the second half of a B2B set with Jimmy Butler and others potentially getting a bit of rest after a dogfight in Toronto. The Bulls (+1) are expected to get into another close game against conference rival Detroit and if last night’s dividends from the Raptors game are any indication, this will be a game to target. Valentine is a versatile player who doesn’t need to score much to exceed value and that makes him worth a look despite the relatively low point total (199) on this game.
Buddy Hield ($5000/$4600) is coming off a very strong game at the Spurs and that makes him worth a look against a mediocre Bucks defense. Garrett Temple ($4200/$4200) is another Kings guard to consider with Tyreke Evans (ankle) and Ben McLemore (personal) iffy to play tonight.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5900/$5400) was very quiet in the Hawks loss on Monday but draws a much better matchup tonight against a Wizards team that gives up the most PPG (26.57) to opposing SGs over the last month.
Jimmy Butler (CHI) vs. DET DK:$8,900/FD:$8,900
Butler made us look stupid as a potential fade last night with 37 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in an OT loss at Toronto. Yet he’d be worthy of a recommendation tonight regardless of how he performed on the front end of a B2B set because the rest of the position is relatively bare aside from the ultra-expensive LeBron James. Jimmy Buckets should continue to get his against a Pistons team that he’s burned to the tune of 26 PPG, 6 RPG and 4.7 APG over 3 meetings this season and happens to give up the most RPG (9.85) to opposing SFs over the last month. He’s sporting a 34.2% Usage Rate and averaging 1.38 FPs per minute with Wade off the floor this season and the Bulls have essentially nowhere else to turn for offense.
Khris Middleton (MIL) @ SAC DK:$6,200/FD:$6,400
While Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to play through an ankle sprain last night, he was largely ineffective, leaving Middleton to step up as the top offensive option for Milwaukee. He came through with a great game against Portland’s poor defense and faces an even weaker unit tonight in the young Kings. Sacramento is giving up the second-most overall FPPG (218.1) over the last month and the most FPPG (42.08) to opposing SFs during that span. He’s been somewhat inconsistent as a mid-tier option, but Middleton should be worth his price tag in a great matchup with The Greek Freak clearly playing at less than one hundred percent.
Paul Zipser ($3100/$3500) was great for the Bulls last night and certainly worth a look as a true punt play on both main DFs sites.
Thabo Sefolosha ($4300/$3800) exceeded value by a wide margin with Kent Bazemore out on Monday but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily trustworthy as a player who rarely looks for his own offense.
Nikola Jokic (DEN) vs. CLE: DK:$10,000 as C/FD:$10,300
The Nuggets will host the world champions tonight in a true test after they lost by one point to Houston’s high-powered offense due to a late defensive lapse. This game could turn into another shootout and if it does, Jokic will be in great position to follow up on his 22-point, 13-rebound, 8-assists line on Monday. He put up 27 points and 13 boards against Cleveland earlier this year and could see a serious boost in usage if Gallo and WilChan both remain out, as he leads the team with averages of 0.66 points, 0.41 rebounds and 1.50 FPs per minute with both of those players off the floor this season. Cleveland is giving up the third-most FPPG (53.95) to opposing centers over the last month while both Tristan Thompson (mouth) and Kevin Love (knee) are a bit banged up as they prepare to guard The Joker.
Kristaps Porzingis (NY) @ UTA: DK:$6,200/FD:$6,500
I don’t think you can ignore The Zinger simply because he’s facing an elite defensive team in the Jazz. Utah is tough to score on overall, but the biggest chink in their armor is at the PF spot, where Derrick Favors (knee) has been unable to suit up and natural SFs such as Joe Ingles and Joe Johnson have been logging minutes as “Stretch Fours.” Porzingis can easily shoot over those players or go inside against Trey Lyles or Boris Diaw, which is how he was able to drop 28 points on 10-of-18 FG shooting in a meeting with the Jazz earlier this season. He’s been solid when healthy with averages of 16.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.3 APG and 3.5 BPG over his last 4 appearances and is a good bet to exceed value if the Knicks (+10.5) are competitive on the road tonight.
Juancho Hernangomez ($4700/$3800) will also be worth a look for the Nuggets if Chandler and/or Gallinari remain out. Ersan Ilyasova ($5500/$4500) should be a very solid cash game play as the replacement with Paul Millsap (knee) out for Atlanta.
Richaun Holmes ($6200/$6200) was immense on Monday and will be worth a look if Jahlil Okafor (knee) remains inactive for Philly.
Nikola Vucevic (ORL) vs. CHA: DK:$7,900/FD:$8,000
You could pay up for Nikola Jokic in a good matchup against the Cavs, or you could get a more reasonably priced Nikola and hope for comparable production in a matchup that might be even better. The Hornets are giving up the fourth-most RPG (16.03) and an above average 48.3 FPPG to opposing centers this season, while Vooch has been on a tear since Serge Ibaka was traded. Seemingly unaffected by the Achilles injury that held him out for a couple games a couple weeks, he’s averaging 19.4 PPG and 12.4 RPG over his last 5 appearances with bigtime double doubles in 4 of those games and Charlotte doesn’t have the personnel to stop a player with his combination of size and skill.
Rudy Gobert (UTA) vs. NY: DK:$7,700/FD:$8,800
While he’s in danger of spending a lot of the fourth quarter resting in a blowout win, Gobert should thrive in this plus matchup for as long as he’s out there. Along with Gordon Hayward, he was one of the best per dollar options on Monday’s slate and The Stifle Tower should continue to pay dividends as a surefire bet for a double double at a modest price tag on DraftKings. He’s averaging 14.4 PPG, 13 RPG and 4 BPG over his last 5 appearances and faces a Knicks team that gives up the fourth-most FPPG (53.67) and most PPG (28.17) to opposing centers tonight.
Enes Kanter ($5100/$5500 as PF on FD) could have a filed day against the 76ers barely-there interior defense.
Greg Monroe ($5300/$6400) met value in a close win over Portland last night and draws a much better matchup tonight against a Kings defense that’s deteriorated without DeMarcus Cousins.