Tonight features seven games on the NBA slate, perhaps none more fascinating from a DraftKings perspective than the Oklahoma City Thunder traveling to Utah to take on the Jazz.
Since Kevin Durant went down, Westbrook has been a staple for many players. But now, his team will take on a fearsome defensive team in the NBA in their home arena. Westbrook, who annihilates his opponents at the rim, is now tasked with doing so against the likes of Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert.
So, do you fade Russell Westbrook, assuming Kevin Durant doesn’t make his return tonight?
I am in the camp that likely won’t be playing him tonight – I like other options better – but I should have some solid plays for you no matter what side of the fence you currently sit on.
Today’s news and notes:
- Mo Williams (ankle) is doubtful for tonight’s game against the Magic. Matthew Dellavedova is also dealing with leg soreness, so this will be a situation to watch. I touch more on the prospects to watch below.
- Cody Zeller (ankle) is questionable against the Kings. If he sits, Marvin Williams gets a substantial boost in value.
- Luol Deng (hamstring) is questionable tonight. Everything I have read suggests he will attempt to play through it, but Justise Winslow is the obvious beneficiary if Deng sits.
- LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) is a game-time decision tonight. David West would get the biggest boost in Aldridge doesn’t go.
- Kevin Durant (hamstring) may return tonight. He is a game-time decision, so monitor this accordingly, though I am not sure this is the spot to play him even if he is active.
Remember to check the news up until tip-off:
BUILDING BLOCKS – Studs and Must-Have Values to Build Your Core Lineup
Tristan Thompson, PF, CLE ($5,300): It’s a good night to lock in bigs, and it starts with Thompson, the new starting center for the Cavaliers. He put up 35+ DraftKings points in his last start, and the Magic aren’t an intimidating matchup at all. He is a great value play tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins, PF, SAC ($10,300): Who on Charlotte has a prayer of slowing down Boogie Cousins? A starting frontcourt of Marvin Williams and Al Jefferson should get bulldozed by the Kings’ franchise player, who has scored at least 44 DraftKings points in every game aside from the one he exited due to injury.
Karl-Anthony Towns, C, MIN ($7,200): I might pivot to Andre Drummond in some lineups, but Towns is a fantastic value based on the matchup he is getting tonight. The 76ers want to feed the post with Jahlil Okafor, and Towns will be waiting to collect rebounds and reject shots. He should have no trouble getting his on the other end also.
Three more studs to consider: Russell Westbrook, PG, OKC ($12,300) – Kevin Love, PF, CLE ($8,200) – Andre Drummond, C, DET ($9,700)
BARGAINS – Complementary Players & Punt Plays
Matthew Dellavedova, PG, CLE ($4,500): There is some injury concern tonight with Delly, but if he starts he is probably the best punt option on the board at point guard. Just remember to check the injury reports up until tip.
Kemba Walker, PG, CHA ($6,900): The Kings are not good defensively, and Walker has been on a tear of at least 39 DraftKings points in three-straight. With nobody to stop DeMarcus Cousins on the other end, this game could turn into a shootout, and that bodes well for Walker.
Jared Cunningham, SG, CLE ($3,000): If Dellavedova sits, Cunningham will be in line to start for the Cavaliers. That makes him an intriguing punt play at a rather weak position. This is another one where you’ll need to check the news before locking him in.
Rodney Hood, SG, UTA ($5,000): The Thunder don’t defend shooting guards all that well and Hood is piling up the minutes as a fixture of the Utah starting five. If this game goes towards the pace of Oklahoma City, there is tremendous upside with Hood.
Gordon Hayward, SF, UTA ($6,200): Hayward has pretty solid upside for his price, and he should have a pretty easy go of things even if he sees a bunch of Andre Roberson in this one. Given the defensive struggles of the Thunder, there is just too much value in a discounted Hayward.
Jerami Grant, SF, PHI ($4,500): If you want to punt small forward, Grant is my nomination. He contributes across the board, and the matchup with the Timberwolves certainly is not a bad one.
Marvin Williams, PF, CHA ($5,700): Williams is a bit overpriced in Cody Zeller plays, but if he sits, this matchup is perfect for him assuming he sees extended minutes. You could still use Williams if Zeller plays, but the minutes won’t be quite as solidified.
LOTTERY TICKETS – Five Tournament Plays
Trey Burke, PG, UTA ($4,000): The Thunder’s bad defense and Burke’s ability to put up points in a hurry create a potentially profitable tournament play. There are more secure options for cash games, though.
Kevin Martin, SG, MIN ($3,900): Martin has only been seeing around 20 minutes or so per game, but against the 76ers that could be all he needs to put up a bunch of points.
Shabazz Muhammad, SF, MIN ($3,000): Rumor has it that Muhammad could make his way to the starting lineup soon, and if so, the matchup is too good to overlook him at this price point. I wouldn’t play him in cash quite yet, though, there is a case to be made that he is suitable for both formats.
Derrick Favors, PF, UTA ($7,600): Serge Ibaka is not the most favorable matchup Favors will see all year, but there is room to profit if this game gets to be a bit more fast paced. Any of Enes Kanter he sees will be a boon to his value.
Al Jefferson, C, CHA ($6,400): The matchup with the Kings is good, though, there is a serious risk that Jefferson finds himself in foul trouble due to DeMarcus Cousins. Still, the big guy from Charlotte has gotten going as of late and remains a solid tournament play at this price.
BUYER’S REMORSE – Reasons for Skepticism
Brandon Knight, PG, PHX ($8,200): Knight has been phenomenal lately, but a price increase and a matchup with San Antonio gives me pause.
LeBron James, SF, CLE ($10,100): How much is LeBon realistically going to have to do to defeat the Magic at home? I expect others to do the heavy-lifting tonight.