Tonight’s main NBA slate features eight games, and as always, that will be the schedule that this article will focus on for DraftKings players. The Clippers and the Nets will not be under consideration for this article – they tip at 5:00 EST.
If you are honing in on one game tonight, take a look at the Lakers at Rockets matchup. The total is nearly 210, and even though the Rockets are heavy favorites, you have to like the potential in this contest. Unless the Rockets flip a switch and suddenly become a team capable of dominating a game the entire way, though, James Harden, Dwight Howard, and pretty much any Rocket becomes viable. The Lakers’ key players – D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Lou Williams, and Kobe Bryant – are all in play as well.
I have thoughts on that group and much more below. After today’s news and notes, of course:
- Ryan Anderson (illness) is out again tonight. Alexis Ajinca should see an uptick in value in his absence.
- Jordan Clarkson (ankle) is doubtful against the Rockets. More on the Laker guards below.
- Trevor Ariza (back) and Ty Lawson (illness) are game-time decisions tonight. I have thoughts on Corey Brewer below, and Pat Beverley is a bit more interesting if Lawson isn’t available.
- Klay Thompson (ankle) has a shot to play tonight against the Bucks. Thompson playing would actually bump up the values of all the Warriors, who would see easier looks with the shooter back in the fold.
- Brad Beal (leg) is questionable tonight. I wouldn’t expect him to play given the description of his issues, and Gary Neal is my favorite play in his place.
Make sure to check the news up until tip:
BUILDING BLOCKS – Studs and Must-Have Values to Build Your Core Lineup
Damian Lillard, PG, POR ($8,800): John Wall is a fantastic play tonight as well, but I will build around Lillard and take the $500 in savings. He is going to start out the game being defended by Jose Calderon, and I love his upside in that matchup.
Corey Brewer, SF, HOU ($4,000): This one obviously only applies if Brewer draws the start for Trevor Ariza tonight, but if he does, you are looking at the premier value play of the night. He has put up 30 DraftKings points in back-to-back starts, and a matchup with the Lakers provides similar potential production.
More studs to consider: John Wall, PG, WAS ($9,300) – James Harden, SG, HOU ($10,800) – Paul George, SF, IND ($10,200)
BARGAINS – Complementary Players and Punt Plays
D’Angelo Russell, PG, LAL ($4,800): Russell is slowly being handed the keys to the Lakers by Byron Scott, and it has resulted in back-to-back games in which he has scored at least 22 points. Those performances have translated to totals of 29 and 45 DraftKings points, so with Jordan Clarkson likely out again, feel free to fire up Russell.
Lou Williams, PG, LAL ($4,900): Williams is more scoring dependent, but as long as he is seeing 30+ minutes per game he is in play at this price. The Rockets are awful at defense, so I have no problem using both Russell and Williams tonight. It is worth noting that one of the two will face Patrick Beverley, a good defender, and Williams is probably the one that will get to go against the matador that is James Harden.
Wesley Matthews, SG, DAL ($5,300): Shooting guard is often a wasteland, but I like to use Matthews in good matchups given his 30+ minute workload and license to fire up all the shots he wants. Against one of the worst wing defending teams in the Wizards, he should be able to pay back his salary.
Gary Neal, SG, WAS ($3,800): If Brad Beal is out, Neal becomes my preferred option at shooting guard. He has seen steady minutes for the up-tempo Wizards, and has a much higher upside than likely starter Garrett Temple.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, POR ($5,100): If Trevor Ariza starts, rendering Corey Brewer useless for DFS, I will probably be pivoting to Aminu, who has been disappointing recently. I don’t feel great about using him, but he played well in his last contest and should still see 30 minutes. That is worth a gamble at this price point.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, NY ($7,600): The Trail Blazers are a matchup to target when you are looking for bigs, and Porzingis has huge upside regardless of matchup. A 20-10 game isn’t out of the question here against the Blazers’ front line.
Taj Gibson, PF, CHI ($4,200): Gibson is currently my top punt play at power forward, though he might be too risky to use in cash. He is currently starting, but it doesn’t represent his workload correctly as his minutes have been up and down. Still, Gibson could easily get to 20 DraftKings points, making him a potential value.
Pau Gasol, C, CHI ($7,700): Gasol’s minutes are not as secure to be in the 30’s as you would like, but the Pelicans are simply terrible against opposing centers. I like Gasol to take advantage with the Pelicans on the second night of a back-to-back.
Dwight Howard, C, HOU ($7,200): Howard could be the top option at center tonight, but a potential blowout with the Lakers holds him back a bit. Still, at a mere $7.2k, he could easily blow past his implied value.
LOTTERY TICKETS – 5 Tournaments Options
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, MIL ($5,600): Carter-Williams is always a tournament option, but I like him a bit more considering the pace of this game should be good, and the odds of the Bucks having to go small are rather high.
Evan Turner, SG, BOS ($4,900): A matchup with a small-ball oriented Hornets squad is a plus for Turner, but he is tournament-only due to the taxing game he just played in last night. I still love his upside if he sees extended minutes on the second night of a back-to-back.
Carmelo Anthony, SF, NY ($7,800): Paying up at small forward in tournaments is going to be popular tonight, although Anthony might not be the public’s favorite target. I like him a lot if the Knicks decide to roll with him at the four during this one, but his scoring upside is always present regardless.
Draymond Green, PF, GS ($8,200): Chasing points? Sure, but Green’s upside with Klay Thompson sidelined was obvious last night. If he didn’t play so many minutes last night, I would have him in every cash lineup.
Ian Mahinmi, C, IND ($5,100): I will probably punt center in tournaments, and Mahinmi is in a solid spot tonight. The Pistons can give up big games to opposing centers, and Mahinmi has been on fire lately. I will take a chance on him at only $5.1k.
BUYER’S REMORSE – Reasons for Skepticism
Stephen Curry, PG, GS ($10,700): I won’t be playing Curry at his price after he just played 47 minutes against Avery Bradley last night.
Cody Zeller, PF, CHA ($4,700): Zeller’s life as a value play seems to be over with Frank Kamisky emerging and Spencer Hawes still a thing.