Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I will be bringing you my top plays, and my favorite Laker (if the Lakers are playing), 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
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, New York Knicks ($9,500): It is rare that my top play of the day is someone who has seen his price increase as much as Porzingis has this season, but it is tough to ignore the safety he provides on tonight’s slate.
This is not a very appealing slate from a fantasy perspective so we will have to make some uncomfortable choices to get the options we want tonight, although Porzingis is my top cash game option on tonight’s slate, as I feel he has the safest floor of all the high-priced options.
Going into last night’s game against Charlotte, Porzingis led the NBA in in usage rate at 35.5 percent and he also led the NBA in field-goal attempts per game at 22.2. Porzingis was averaging 30.2 points per game heading into that contest, and he was averaging 46.8 DraftKings points per game. While Kristaps didn’t have a great game against the Hornets, he did put up 28 points with five rebounds for 41.25 DraftKings points.
Tonight, Porzingis gets a significantly better matchup against an Orlando Magic squad that is surrendering the second-most fantasy points in the NBA to opposing power forwards at 53.49 per game.
The Magic are allowing opponents to pull down 46.9 rebounds per game, while also allowing them to score over 106 points and 50.2 points in the paint. Not only do the Magic struggle to defend the roll man in pick-and-rolls, where Porzingis is averaging 1.38 points per play, but they also struggle to defend post-ups where Kristaps is one of the most effective big men in the NBA.
Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors ($9,300): Now that we have my favorite cash game play out of the way, it is now time to cover my favorite GPP option on the board. Tonight’s matchup between the Warriors and the Timberwolves is projected to be a high-scoring affair, although it has some blowout risk, with a lot of great options.
My top option from this game, Stephen Curry gets an elite matchup against a team that is allowing 51.62 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards, the third highest mark in the NBA and is also allowing opponents to shoot 49.5 percent from the floor this season. Curry, who has averaged over 16 field-goal attempts per game this season, should be able to light up the scoreboard tonight and I want to have as much of him as I can.
Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons ($8,400): Drummond’s price tag is a little on the high side for a “mid-range” option, but he comes in as an excellent GPP play so I wanted to get him in here. Drummond is an elite rebounder against a poor rebounding team and does an excellent job posting up defenders and scoring in the paint.
Drummond is a consistent double-double machine and has at least 90 games of at least 15 points and 15 rebounds in his career. Going up against a Pacers squad that has mobile big men that can pull Drummond out of the paint, and give him fits on the offensive end, I do have a little concern about him, but he still has the ability to put up a huge game tonight.
In addition to Drummond’s ability to rack up double-doubles against just about anyone, he has finally shaken his free throw problem and is hitting 75 percent of his attempts from the line this season. Because of his ability to hit free throws, teams are unable to play “Hack-A-Drummond” with him which is allowing him to stay on the floor for more minutes. Drummond has played at least 34 minutes in six of the Pistons’ 10 games this season and he has notched at least 14 rebounds in six of those 10 games as well.
The Indiana Pacers are allowing 44.2 rebounds per game to opponents, but more importantly, they are allowing a league-high 51.2 points in the paint and 14.2 second-chance points to opponents. They are in the top-five of fantasy points allowed to opposing centers, 55.84, and have been abused all season by big men that can crash the glass.
Reggie Jackson, PG, Detroit Pistons ($6,000): It is a pair of Pistons in this section, as Reggie Jackson comes in as a great mid-range cash and GPP point guard option on tonight’s slate. Jackson has been a consistent option to target this season, averaging 31.6 DraftKings points, and only failing to score 30 fantasy points in three of Detroit’s 10 games, but he does have the downside of rarely playing more than 31 minutes per game.
That being said, Jackson is averaging 1.07 DraftKings points per minute, and he does have the second-highest usage rate on the team at 25.1 percent.
The Pacers are allowing 109.1 points per game to opponents, while allowing them to shoot 47.7 percent from the field, and have struggled to defend point guards this season. Indiana is allowing opposing point guards to rack up 47.71 fantasy points on the year, and have also struggled to defend the pick-and-roll where they are allowing the second-highest score frequency, 43.5 percent, to the primary ball handler in the pick-and-roll.
Jackson, while not the most efficient guard in the pick-and-roll, is operating in that role 55 percent of the time this year and should be able to attack the Pacers weak defense tonight.
Tyson Chandler, C, Phoenix Suns ($4,300): There aren’t a lot of great value options on tonight’s slate, so instead of going for high-upside options, I am going to pick out a couple of options that have safe floors and can notch 22-25 DraftKings points on tonight’s slate.
Chandler is in a strange timeshare in Phoenix, splitting time with Alex Len, Marquese Chriss, and Dragan Bender at center, but he has averaged 25.3 minutes per game this season while never playing fewer than 22 minutes in any of their 11 games.
Chandler is averaging 9.3 rebounds on the season but we have seen him pull down 14 rebounds in three games this season, while eclipsing 10 boards in six of his 11 games, so there is an opportunity for him to rack up a double-double tonight against a Miami team that is allowing 45.2 rebounds and 16.9 second-chance points to opponents this season.
Chandler is not an attractive option, but this is a tough slate, so fits the need for a guy that can get 20+ fantasy points while providing salary relief to get some of the studs in our lineups.
UPDATE: Chandler’s status was changed to questionable for tonight’s game. If he sits, Alex Len will move into the starting lineup and play extra minutes to matchup with Hassan Whiteside. Len becomes an excellent play in all formats if he starts.
Taj Gibson, PF/C, Minnesota Timberwolves ($4,200): After posting three-straight games with at least 10 rebounds, it is time to start noticing Taj Gibson as a consistent and safe fantasy option in DFS. Gibson’s role was questionable going into the season, but he has averaged 29.3 minutes per game on the year and has averaged 32.2 per game over his last five games. Gibson is averaging 10.8 points and 8.8 boards over that stretch of five games, and tonight he gets a matchup against a fast-paced Golden State squad that has struggled at times on defense.
The Warriors have allowed 111.3 points per game to opponents this season, to go along with 42.3 rebounds, and currently, rank in the top-five of fantasy points allowed to both power forwards and centers. It should be noted that this early on in the season, fantasy points allowed can be skewed easily by one or two big games, but we have seen the majority of power forwards against Golden State this season post solid outings, so I think it is something that continues tonight.
Gibson isn’t a high-upside option tonight, but I do think it is possible for him to score 25+ DraftKings points in this spot, making him a solid cash game option.
Lakers Play of the Day
Kyle Kuzma, SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers ($6,100): The Boston Celtics are an excellent defensive squad, allowing only 93.2 points per game to opponents this season, so it is tough to recommend anyone from the Lakers’ side of the game to attack this team with, but if I am going to use anyone, it would be Kyle Kuzma.
Kuzma has been exceptional so far, this season, averaging 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, but he has been thrust into the starting lineup due to an injury to Larry Nance. Since entering the starting lineup two games ago, Kuzma has averaged 17 points and 12.5 rebounds in 38 minutes.
The Celtics have allowed 52.1 points and 22.4 rebounds per game to opposing forwards this season, and if anyone is going to put up a double-double tonight, it is Kuzma. Kuzma was able to overcome a terrible matchup against Memphis, on his way to a 31-point effort, so there is hope that he can put up a solid outing tonight against Boston.
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