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Plays of the Day
Value: Paul Zipser is the most obvious value play in Chicago at a price tag that remains below $4k on both main DFS sites. Zipser’s role appears to be safe considering he’s logged 28-plus minutes in 4 consecutive games and met value in all of those appearances. His production has spiked lately with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 46.75 DK points (42.8 FD points) over his last 2 games and he faces a porous 76ers defense tonight.
Fade: John Wall draws a juicy matchup at home against the Nets, but the game shouldn’t be competitive enough for him to do much heavy lifting down the stretch. The same can be said for Steph Curry and company as they host the weak Kings in the nightcap.
- Chicago Bulls (-6.5) hosting Philadelphia 76ers (Over/Under = 210)
- Houston Rockets (-8) hosting New Orleans Pelicans (Over/Under = 230.5)
- Boston Celtics (+15) hosting Phoenix Suns (Over/Under = 219.5)
Isaiah Thomas (BOS) vs. PHO DK:$8,200/FD:$8,500
Potential blowouts abound tonight and the Celtics (-15) are no exception as they host a banged up, inexperienced Suns team that is playing its fifth game over the last seven nights. Still, I’ll trust Thomas to produce over Steph Curry and the Warriors (-16.5) starters for example, and it’s certainly possible that Phoenix puts up a fight on the road after Tyler Ulis and company stunned Boston in a meeting last month. Thomas essentially cost his team that game with a mental mistake in the final seconds and he’s been motivated to burn a Suns franchise that acquired him and benched him behind Goran Dragic for the better part of a year. He exacted some revenge with 35 points and 5 assists in a previous meeting with Phoenix and is clearly capable of dominating in a juicy matchup against the second-worst scoring defense in the league.
Tyler Ulis (PHO) @ BOS DK:$7,100/FD:$6,200
He played 45 minutes in a blowout loss last night! This is the stuff dreams are made off when looking for cash game plays in NBA DFS and Ulis remains squarely in play with Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and T.J. Warren all likely out again tonight. He’s sporting a 21.6% Usage Rate and averaging 0.82 FPs per minute with EB and Warren off the floor this year and if you extrapolate that production over 40-45 minutes, he’s a virtual lock for 37 FPs again tonight regardless of how competitive this game might be. Ulis is therefore a fantastic bet to exceed value on FanDuel and a reasonable cash play on DK at that price tag, as he draws a good matchup against a Boston team that gives up the ninth-most FPPG (44.23) to opposing PGs this season.
Ish Smith ($4800/$4700) got the start for Reggie Jackson on Wednesday and responded by exceeding value in a third straight game for Detroit.
Rajon Rondo ($6200/$6300) could have a big game against the Sixers porous defense tonight as he continues to play big minutes with D-Wade done for the year. Kemba Walker ($7700/$7700) is also worth consideration against the Cavs horrible backcourt D.
Giannis Antetkounmpo (MIL) vs. ATL DK:$9,700 as PG/SF/FD:$10,300
Most likely the best PG play on DK tonight at a price tag that’s somehow under $10k, Giannis faces a Hawks team that happens to give up the most FPPG (48.4) to opposing PGs over the last month. The Greek Freak returned from a mild ankle sprain to produce 54 points, 21 rebounds and 9 assists over 2 big games against Portland and Sacramento, so he’s clearly healthy and maintaining his role as a do-everything player for Milwaukee. While his overall splits are modest (24.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG and 4.7 APG over 3 meetings) against Atlanta this season, those are skewed by his worst game of the year in which he barely played due to foul trouble. Antetokounmpo bounced back with 33 points while playing close to 40 minutes in a loss at Atlanta and now he’ll face a shorthanded Hawks team at home, where he’s averaging a clean 50 DK PPG on the season.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (ATL) @ MIL DK:$6,000/FD:$5,800
Timmy Jr. leads the charge of popular Atlanta value plays tonight with Kent Bazemore and Paul Millsap still out. He’s sporting a 29.7% Usage Rate with both of those players off the floor this season and just went off fro 29 points and a full line against a Wizards team that’s giving up the most PPG to opposing SGs over the last month and now he faces a Bucks team that’s giving up the an above average 22.08 PPG to SGs this season while focusing on shutting down opposing PGs (read: Dennis Schroder). If Schroder is contained by that trapping style, Hardaway Jr. should get plenty of open looks and he’s been knockdown while shooting 45% from the floor over his last 5 appearances.
Monta Ellis ($4000/$4300) has been playing around 25 MPG for Indy and he should be productive against the fast-paced Nuggets tonight. If Brandon Ingram (knee) sits tonight, consider Nick Young ($3700/$3700) as a risky value.
Bradley Beal ($7800/$8000) is coming off a huge game and could light it up again if the Nets keep things competitive in Washington tonight.
Jimmy Butler (CHI) vs. PHI DK:$9,200/FD:$9,500
The Bulls roster is also chalk full of values, which we will discuss below, but of course Butler is the main man in that offense with Dwyane Wade out for the season and he’s sporting a 33.1% Usage Rate while averaging 1.28 FPs per minute with Wade off the floor this year. Butler followed up a 37-point double double in Toronto with a solid line in a blowout win over Detroit, and should be asked to do a bit more with the Bulls hosting the surprisingly competitive Sixers tonight. Philly is giving up the third-most overall FPPG (217.95) over the last month and has given up plenty of production to Butler in the past, including a career-high 53-point performance last year.
Paul Zipser (CHI) vs. PHI DK:$3,800/FD:$3,800
Right alongside Butler in terms of drawing a juicy matchup, Zipser is the most obvious value play in Chicago at a price tag that remains below $4k on both main DFS sites. While Bobby Portis and Joffrey Lauvergne could fall out of the rotation with Robin Lopez returning from suspension, Zipser’s role appears to be safe considering he’s logged 28-plus minutes in 4 consecutive games and met value in all of those appearances. His production has spiked lately with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 46.75 DK points (42.8 FD points) over his last 2 games. There’s really no reason to fade him against a Sixers team that’s been just awful defensively since Joel Embiid went down for the season.
Thabo Sefolosha ($4600/$3900) is another good source of salary relief with the Hawks shorthanded on the wing and Taurean Prince ($4500/$3900) is more of a risk-reward value in the same situation.
Wilson Chandler ($6500/$6600) played a big role in his return from a multi-game absence on Wednesday and draws a plus matchup against the Pacers. Speaking of which, Andrew Wiggins ($7000/$7000) could make mince meat out of the Lakers 30th-ranked defense.
Nikola Jokic (DEN) @ IND: DK:$9,400 as C/FD:$10,100
It’s pretty easy to use Jokic after his price drop on DK and the change doesn’t make much sense ahead of a plus matchup against Indiana. The Pacers cough up the sixth-most FPPG (52.26) to opposing centers over the last month and struggle to defend the position with 6-foot-10 natural PF Myles Turner starting at the 5. Jokic is an expert at using his length to score over undersized defenders or dish to teammates with his incredible passing ability, which is how he was able to burn Turner and the Pacers for 22 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists over just 30 minutes in a previous meeting this season. He could see more run in a close road game and will continue to dominate touches as the leader of Denver’s fast-paced offense.
Marquess Chriss (PHO) @ BOS: DK:$5,900/FD:$5,000
Like fellow rookie Tyler Ulis, Chriss is a fantastic bargain on FanDuel tonight and he should continue to see a big rise in usage with Warren and Bledsoe inactive for Phoenix. The sole bright spot in the Suns bad loss at Brooklyn last night, Chriss went for 23 points and 11 rebounds to provide 3x returns on value and like Ulis, he played heavy minutes despite the lopsided score. That makes him safe to use against a Celtics team that gives up the tenth-most FPPG (45.79) to opposing PFs over the last month and struggles to rebound at times.
Ersan Ilyasova ($5700/$4700) has yet to really take advantage of his starting job but he’ll continue to see a steady role for the Hawks with Paul Millsap (knee) ruled out.
Nikola Mirotic ($5400/$4600) is worth GPP consideration after his massive game with Robin Lopez out on Wednesday and he’s quite cheap on FanDuel.
DeMarcus Cousins (NO) @ HOU: DK:$10,000/FD:$9,300
Boogie woke up in a big way in what he’s admitted is the toughest matchup for him against Marc Gasol and the physical Grizzlies defense, burning that squad for 41 points, 17 rebounds and plenty of peripheral stats in an impressive win for New Orleans. Now he’ll face a Rockets team that’s giving up the fourth-most FPPG (50.11) to opposing centers this season and the fifth-most overall PPG (111.31) over the last month while playing at a very fast pace. He averaged 25 PPG, 9.7 RPG and 3 BPG over 3 meetings with the Rockets as the lead dog in Sacramento and dealt with a couple of blowout losses in those meetings, while the Pelicans are bound to be a little more competitive on the road.
Alex Len (PHO) @ BOS: DK:$4,500/FD:$4,800
Len was the best value play on yesterday’s 5-game slate and he should remain squarely in play after seeing a price drop on FanDuel. The big man went for 11 points and 11 boards to exceed value in a plus matchup against the Nets on Thursday, and while the Celtics are a stronger overall defensive team, they still give up the eighth-most FPPG (48.79) and RPG (15.71) to opposing centers while ranking 27th in total rebounding on the year. Kelly Olynyk might serve as a good value in his own right, but he stands little chance of stopping the massive Len defensively, while Alan Williams’ illness could limit him on the second half of a B2B set after he only managed 16 minutes last night.
Clint Capela ($5300/$5400) is a great mid-tier option to consider against a Pels team that gives up the most RPG to opposing centers this season. Kelly Olynyk ($4000/$4200) is worth a look as a value play with some upside.
While most might target Nikola Vucevic during his hot streak, I’ll go with Andre Drummond ($7800/$7800) in some GPP lineups because of how horrible Vucci Mane is on the defensive end.