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
Kyrie Irving, PG, Boston Celtics: ($8,800)- There are a lot of great point guard options tonight, despite only being a three-game slate, but Kyrie Irving tops that list for me tonight. Irving has been a model of consistency for the Celtics this season, scoring over 40 DraftKings points in five of their first 10 games, with his only poor outing coming yesterday in a blowout win against the Magic. Irving is leading the team in usage rate at 28.6 percent this season, while also leading them in points per game at 21 and is notching 2.4 steals in 33.1 minutes.
Irving’s opponent tonight, the Atlanta Hawks, rank 17th in the NBA in fantasy points allowed in the NBA, allowing 45.57 per game, but his individual matchup with Dennis Schroder is one of the best on the board. Last season, Schroder ranked 74th out 79 qualified point guards in defensive real-plus minus at -2.76.
The Hawks are allowing opponents to score 110.6 points per game on 45.4 percent shooting this season, while also turning the ball over 15.5 times per game. There is a chance Irving goes overlooked tonight because of all the great options at this position, and I am locking him into both cash games and GPPs.
D’Angelo Russell, PG, Brooklyn Nets: ($8,200)- I mentioned that there are a lot of great options to choose from at point guard on this slate and D’Angelo Russell comes in as my second favorite tonight. Russell has been a new man in Brooklyn, averaging 21.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists over 27.4 minutes and has scored at least 40 DraftKings points in five of his 8 games played.
One of the biggest knocks on Russell has been that the Nets rarely play anyone on the team over 30 minutes but it has been encouraging to see his minutes trending up since returning from his knee injury, and we finally saw him play 35 minutes against the Lakers in their last game.
The matchup between the Suns and Nets is going to be another high scoring affair, their last matchup on Halloween topped out at 236 points, and we are going to need a lot of exposure to this contest. The Suns rank first in fantasy points allowed to point guards this season, allowing 56.88 and they have allowed opponents to shoot 51 percent from this floor.
The Suns are allowing a massive 117 points per game to opponents, a mark only surpassed by the Nets at 119, so there are going to be plenty of opportunities for Russell to score tonight. We saw him post 47 DraftKings points against the Suns on Halloween and there is a decent chance he matches that total again tonight.
Al Horford, C, Boston Celtics: ($7,200)- The Boston Celtics have started to click on offense and Horford has been a huge beneficiary of the chemistry that he and Kyrie have developed over the last few games. Horford has been lights out from the floor this season, shooting over 54 percent on two-pointers and 46 percent on three-pointers, and will face off against a Hawks team that has struggled mightily on defense this season, allowing 110.6 points per game to opponents.
The Hawks have allowed opposing big men to score over 50 fantasy points per game against them this season, and they rank 24th and 25th in the NBA in defensive efficiency to both the power forward and center positions. The Hawks are allowing a league-high 48.5 rebounds per game to opponents as well, so this is a great opportunity for Horford to pull down double-digit rebounds tonight.
Horford is averaging 14.7 points and 9 rebounds per game so far, this season, and he has posted a 19.1 percent usage rate in Boston’s offense. Horford’s ability to stretch the floor as a big is going to wreak havoc on the Atlanta Hawks tonight and he should be in line for a big performance against his former team. Horford’s consistency makes him an excellent option for cash games and he has flashed enough upside to consider for GPPs as well.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets: ($5,900)- One of the most frustrating parts of breaking down the Brooklyn Nets is trying to predict how their minutes will shake out, but after seeing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson eclipse 30 minutes in four of his last five games, it looks like the rotations may be solidifying a little bit in the Brooklyn frontcourt.
Hollis-Jefferson has been outstanding for the Nets this season, posting 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, with 2.2 blocks and steals per game. His 20 percent usage rate is second on the team among his fellow starters and he has accounted for 24.8 percent of the team’s points while on the floor.
The Phoenix Suns are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA and have allowed opposing power forwards to torch them for over 52 fantasy points per game. They are allowing opponents to pull down 45.6 rebounds per game while allowing 116.5 points to them. These teams played at a frenetic pace when they met on Halloween, posting 115 possessions, and this is the type of game Rondae thrives in. He is going to be a staple in my cash game and tournament lineups.
Alex Len, PF/C, Phoenix Suns: ($4,600)- If the Brooklyn Nets frontcourt rotations are enough to give you a headache, then you probably don’t want to look at the Phoenix Suns rotations this season. Head coach Jay Triano is basically just splitting his center, power forward, and small forward minutes in half and playing these guys 22-26 minutes most nights, which makes things difficult when trying to figure out how to go about getting exposure on a nightly basis.
Tonight, however, 22-26 minutes of Alex Len against the Nets is all we are going to need at only $4,600. Len has been a consistent cash game option this season, despite only averaging 22.2 minutes, posting at least 24 DraftKings points in four of his 8 games, including a 24.25-point effort against this Nets team last week.
The Nets rank near the bottom of the league in pretty much every defensive category this season, and they are allowing an NBA-high 119.3 points per game to opponents. In addition to allowing opponents to score in bunches against them, they also struggle on the glass, allowing 50 rebounds per game to opponents and allowing 15.6 second-chance points this season.
Brooklyn is allowing opposing big men to score 59.1 fantasy points per game against them, the fourth highest mark in the NBA, Len doesn’t have much upside at his price to be considered in GPPs but he is an excellent value option for cash game lineups.
Marquese Chriss, PF/C, Phoenix Suns: ($4,200)- I am looking to attack the Brooklyn Nets with one of the Phoenix big men tonight, and Chriss is my top GPP option from the Phoenix frontcourt. Chriss is a risky option because he can’t stay out of foul trouble most nights, but he has a lot of upside in the right matchups, as evidenced by his two 30-plus point games against the Wizards and Kings this season.
Chriss only has a 15 percent usage rate this season, so he won’t touch the ball a lot, but his ability to stretch the floor and hit from beyond-the-arc makes him a threat tonight against a Brooklyn team that is allowing opponents to shoot 38.4 percent from three-point range. Chriss has attempted 37 percent of his shots from three-point range this season, and I expect him to get hot from three early on in this game. Chriss has the opportunity to put up a huge game tonight if he can stay out of foul trouble.
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