Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I will be bringing you my top plays for that day’s DraftKings slate.
I will focus on two high-priced players, two players in the mid-range, and two value plays to help build your lineups.
High Priced Plays
DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans ($11,300): We are once again presented with the conundrum of which Pelicans’ big man to play, and I am again going to lean heavily towards Cousins in this matchup. Obviously, Anthony Davis is an excellent play as well, but due to his injury history, he is best reserved for GPPs.
Cousins is coming off another big game against the Clippers, where he pulled down 15 boards while scoring 35 points, and has notched a double-double in all but one game this year. Cousins holds a team-high 33.9 percent usage rate, which is seven percent higher than Davis, and also leads the team in minutes per game at 38.2.
Cousins is averaging a massive 1.57 DraftKings fantasy points per minute this season and is going against a Hawks team that is not only allowing the most rebounds per game to opponents, 47.7, and over 55 fantasy points per game to opposing centers, this is too good of a spot to pass up for Cousins.
Not only is he an excellent cash game option, Cousins has upside for GPPs as well.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, New York Knicks ($9,600): Porzingis returned from his elbow injury with a vengeance against the Sacramento Kings, dropping 34 points in 27 minutes, and he looks to continue his hot scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.
Porzingis currently leads the NBA in usage at 36 percent and he is attempting 21.5 shots per game. He’s shooting the ball at a blistering 51.3 percent from the floor this season and is averaging 46.5 DraftKings points per game while notching 1.43 points per minute.
The Cavs have been an absolute sieve on defense this season, allowing opponents to score 113.4 points per game while allowing them to shoot 47.8 percent from the floor. Opponents are shooting 40 percent on shots in the mid-range, where Porzingis is attempting 24 percent of his shots, and have surrendered 48 fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards this season.
Porzingis scored 32 points while pulling down 12 boards against this Cavs team earlier this season, and I expect a similar performance out of him tonight.
Tim Hardaway Jr, SG/SF, New York Knicks ($6,200): I am going to pick on the Cavaliers as long as they continue to struggle, and tonight I am doing that by pairing Porzingis and Hardaway Jr. in my lineups.
Hardaway busted out of his shooting slump earlier this season against the Cavaliers, dropping 34 points with eight assists, on his way to 57 DraftKings points, and I am expecting him to catch fire again tonight.
The Cavaliers rank 27th in defensive efficiency against opposing shooting guards, allowing 45.79 fantasy points per game, and have allowed opponents to shoot over 40 percent from beyond-the-arc the season. Hardaway has attempted at least seven three-pointers in eight of the teams 12 contests this season and has attempted at least 10 total shots in every one of those games.
The Knicks should have no issues keeping this game competitive and Hardaway is in line for a great game if that happens. He can be used for both cash games and GPPs.
T.J. Warren, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns ($6,200): Tonight’s matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Suns is chocked full of fantasy goodness, so just about everyone from both sides is in play, but if forced to choose one player from the Suns, it would be T.J. Warren.
Warren has been heavily involved in the offense as of late, averaging 16.8 field goal attempts per game over the last six contests, and has averaged 29 minutes per game during that span.
Warren’s 25.9 percent usage rate is the second on the team behind Devin Booker, and is second on the team in rebounds per game, 5.9, among the starting five.
The Lakers are allowing 106.8 points per game to opponents this season, and have allowed opponents to shoot 45 percent from the floor against them.
Warren notched 43 DraftKings points against this Lakers squad earlier this season, and that is a reasonable expectation again tonight.
Derrick Favors, PF/C, Utah Jazz ($4,600): The Jazz just can’t seem to shake the injury bug, losing Joe Johnson, Dante Exum, and Rudy Gobert for an extended period of time this season, and that will open things up with two excellent sources of value tonight.
The first of those two options, Favors, started at center in place of Gobert on Saturday and put up 24 points with 12 boards on his way to 46 DraftKings points. While Favors only sees a 1.4 percent usage increase with Gobert off the floor, his increased minutes and the move to center position boosts his floor, and his upside, especially in a matchup against a terrible Minnesota Timberwolves defense.
The Timberwolves are surrendering 111.8 points per game to opponents, 41.5 rebounds per game, and have allowed them to score 49 points in the paint this season. The are also allowing opponents to shoot 68 percent at the rim, the second-highest in the NBA, where Favors is attempting 40 percent of his shots this season.
We can pencil Favors in for around 33-35 minutes tonight, as long as he stays out of foul trouble, and that is all we need against a Timberwolves team that is allowing over 52 fantasy points to opposing centers.
Thabo Sefolosha, SG/SF, Utah Jazz ($4,300): With Gobert out, and Favors sliding down a position, Sefolosha will slide into the starting lineup as the power forward for Utah, putting him in an excellent spot to succeed tonight.
Sefolosha is always a volatile option, so he is best reserved for GPPs, but at only $4,300 he allows us to get some of the higher end options in our lineups.
The absence of Gobert provides Sefolosha with a 3.6 percent bump in usage but it also moves him closer to the basket where he has an increased opportunity for rebounds, putbacks, and steals. Anytime you can move a player down a position and closer to the basket, you increase not only their floor but also the upside they possess.
Sefolosha is attempting 43 percent of his shots at the rim this season, where the Timberwolves are allowing opponents to shoot at the second-highest efficiency in the NBA, 68 percent, and he can also stretch the floor and knock down the three-ball from the corner where the Timberwolves are allowing opponents to shoot almost 40 percent.
Sefolosha notched 17 DraftKings points in 24 minutes against the Wolves earlier this season and the increased minutes tonight should help him easily exceed value.
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