We have four games on the main NBA slate tonight, with three intriguing matchups to target for DFS purposes.
The lone game that’s unappealing is the Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic contest. Both coaches can be frustrating with the minutes they give their best players, though a competitive matchup should make the workloads a bit more predictable.
Still, all four games have Vegas totals of 200 or better, which means that you should be considering players from all of these contests. I have the ones I’m considering, after today’s news and notes:
- It appears as though Michael Carter-Williams will continue to start for the Bucks. I have more on him below.
- James Johnson started at small forward for the Raptors last game, though it’s unclear whether that’ll continue. I have more on him below.
- Emmanuel Mudiay (ankle) is out again. That makes Jameer Nelson a great value once again.
Make sure to check the news up until tip:
BUILDING BLOCKS – Studs and Must-Have Values to Build Your Core Lineup
Jameer Nelson, PG, DEN ($5,200): Nelson remains the best value at either guard position as the starter for the Nuggets. The Pelicans aren’t good at defense, so a 25-30-point day in DraftKings from Nelson isn’t out of the question if he gets the workload.
DeMarcus Cousins, C, SAC ($10,000): I think it’s safe to say that Cousins is feeling a bit better, and I prefer him tonight over Anthony Davis. The Raptors have been weak against opposing centers, so the matchup is looking pretty good for the Kings’ franchise player as well.
More studs to consider: Kyle Lowry, PG, TOR ($8,300) – Eric Bledsoe, SG, PHX ($8,400) – Anthony Davis, PF, NO ($10,300)
BARGAINS – Complementary Players and Punt Plays
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, MIL ($6,000): I still find it hard to trust Carter-Williams, but the Bucks are running out of options. Coach Jason Kidd has seemingly pulled the plug on the O.J. Mayo as a point guard experiment, and Carter-Williams is getting a full workload at the point.
DeMar DeRozan, SG, TOR ($7,200): You could talk me into any of the Raptors tonight, but DeRozan gets one of the best matchups a shooting guard can have. The Kings like to push the pace as well, so that could mean more opportunities for DeRozan to fill it up.
Khris Middleton, SG, MIL ($5,500): The Suns have trouble stopping either guard position, so I don’t mind Middleton as a mid-tier value play. If this game is played in the Suns’ style, we could be looking at a nice scoring day from the sharpshooter, who benefits from the three-pointer bonus on DK.
Omri Casspi, SF, SAC ($6,000): Casspi is expensive now, but I still like him tonight at a weak position. He continues to get big minutes as the Kings’ starting power forward, and I don’t see a defender on the Raptors that would scare me in this spot.
James Johnson, SF, TOR ($3,600): If Johnson starts, he’s a nice value at small forward tonight. He has the ability to contribute across all categories when he gets enough run, which gives him considerable upside for such a cheap price.
Luis Scola, PF, TOR ($5,000): Scola’s minutes are rather unstable, but he’s one of the better values at power forward on this slate. The Kings struggle across the board defensively, so if you don’t want to spend up for one of the bigger names, I don’t mind Scola.
Nikola Vucevic, C, ORL ($7,100): Vucevic flashed his upside in his last game, and he could dominate the boards against the Hawks tonight. The only concern I have is Scott Skiles and his tendency to cut any player’s minutes at any time.
Joffery Lauvergne, C, DEN ($4,400): If you want to go cheap at center, grabbing one of the Denver centers isn’t a bad idea. My favorite is Lauvergne, who should start for the Nuggets. The Pelicans give up a ton of points to opposing centers, and Lauvergne is the most skilled offensive big for the Nuggets.
LOTTERY TICKETS – 5 Tournaments Options
Elfrid Payton, PG, ORL ($6,300): Payton has been playing well as of late, and should be under-owned against a good team like the Hawks. If he keeps it going, he’s money tonight.
Tyreke Evans, SG, NO ($7,600): A pair of disappointing performances should keep Evans’s ownership low, even as he gets one of the best matchups in the league for point guards.
Danilo Gallinari, SF, DEN ($6,700): Gallo has the highest upside at the small-forward position today, especially against a weak defense like the Pelicans. He had a bad game last time out, which could keep his ownership down.
Kenneth Faried, PF, DEN ($6,000): Faried is a high-variance guy, which is perfect for tournaments. He’s in a good spot tonight against a bad defensive team in the New Orleans Pelicans, and could post a double-double if he gets the minutes.
Bismack Biyombo, C, TOR ($4,800): I don’t like Biyombo in cash against the unstoppable force that is DeMarcus Cousins, but I don’t mind him in tournaments. The Kings are bad against opposing centers, so there’s upside here.
BUYER’S REMORSE – Reasons for Skepticism
Tobias Harris, SF, ORL ($6,200): Don’t chase that 52 DK point game.