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
LeBron James, SF/PF, Cleveland Cavaliers ($10,900): After crowning himself The King of Madison Square Garden, James is taking his talents to Charlotte to try and conquer the Hornets tonight, and he is the one high-priced stud I am targeting on the slate.
James continues to play a heavy dose of minutes for the Cavs, averaging 39 per game over his last five contests, and is the focal point of the offense without Rose. James is posting a 30 percent usage rate on the season and is averaging 1.42 fantasy points per minute.
As long as Rose continues to sit out, we will continue to get “Point LeBron” and he has the chance on any night to put up a massive game.
The Hornets rank 24th in the NBA in defensive efficiency against small forwards, surrendering 43.15 fantasy points per game to them, and are one of the worst teams in the NBA defending players in isolation. There simply isn’t anyone on the Charlotte side of this game that will be able to stop LeBron tonight.
Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers ($8,600): After playing 36 minutes against the Clippers on Monday, it looks like “The Process” may fully be unleashed for the Sixers and his price doesn’t currently reflect the production Embiid puts out when playing normal minutes.
Embiid is putting up a massive 1.49 DraftKings points per minute this season while averaging 20.9 points and 10.8 assists. He is averaging 43 fantasy points per game on the season and has notched over 50 fantasy points in two of his last five games.
He has attempted at least 15 shots in four of those contests and continues to be a usage monster for this team, soaking up a 34.1% usage rate, the third-highest mark in the NBA.
Embiid can easily pull down double-digit boards against a Lakers team that is surrendering 46 rebounds per game and they are allowing almost 50 fantasy points per game to opposing centers this season, while allowing 49.4 points in the paint, putting Embiid in an excellent spot to exceed value at his price.
Marc Gasol, C, Memphis Grizzlies ($7,500): Tonight’s matchup between the Pacers and Grizzlies doesn’t present a lot of fantasy appeal, but I am extremely interested in at least one player from the Memphis side of this game.
Gasol gets one of the best matchups for opposing big men on the slate, as the Pacers are allowing the third most fantasy points per game to opposing centers, 59.21, and have allowed 45 rebounds per game to opponents.
The Pacers are allowing over 50 points in the paint to opponents this season, while also allowing them to shoot a blistering 65 percent at the rim, where Gasol has attempted 58 percent of his shots this season.
Indiana is allowing opponents to shoot 48 percent from the floor this season, as well, which should help Gasol cure the shooting woes he has had over the last five games.
Kemba Walker, PG, Charlotte Hornets ($7,400): Well, the Cleveland Cavaliers are on tonight’s slate, so of course, I am going to be attacking them with as many pieces as I can. The best place to start attacking Cleveland is at the point guard position, where they rank near the bottom of the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing 46.02 fantasy points per game to them.
They are allowing 112.5 points per game, while allowing opponents to shoot 47.5 percent from the field, and have been turning the ball over 16.3 times per game.
Walker is always one of my favorite point guard options to roster on a nightly basis, as he almost always goes overlooked, and he has been outstanding for the Hornets this season, producing 21.7 points with 6.6 assists per game.
Walker is coming off a 44.75 DraftKings points performance against the Celtics and has eclipsed 40 DraftKings points in five of his 12 games this season. This game will be in Charlotte, which should help quell the fears of those that believe in his home/road splits, and we should see him put up a huge game tonight.
Kris Dunn, PG, Chicago Bulls ($4,900): With Justin Holiday sidelined for tonight’s contest in OKC, the Chicago Bulls will shuffle their lineup around once again and move Kris Dunn into the starting lineup next to Jerian Grant. Since returning from injury seven games ago, Dunn has been impressive, averaging 25 DraftKings points per game in 25.3 minutes.
He has been shooting the ball extremely well, hitting 43 percent of his shots, and has been a hound on defense, pulling in three or more steals in four of his seven contests. Without Holiday on the floor this season, Dunn is averaging 1.03 fantasy points per minute with a usage rate of 30.1 percent, which should put him in an excellent position to succeed tonight, despite the average matchup.
T.J. McConnell, PG, Philadelphia 76ers ($4,500): McConnell has stepped up into a larger role with Fultz and Bayless sidelined recently, and tonight he gets an excellent matchup against the Lakers. McConnell has been slumping over the last three games, which has led to a price drop, making this an even more appealing spot to target McConnell.
McConnell’s has only averaged 5.5 field-goal attempts over his last four games, compared to the 8.75 per game he was attempting just a few games ago when he was exceeding value with ease, but the lack of shots shouldn’t be an issue tonight as the Sixers and Lakers should be playing at a fairly high pace.
The Lakers rank 24th in defensive efficiency against opposing point guards this season, allowing them to score 49 fantasy points per game, and have allowed opponents to shoot 45 percent from the floor. McConnell’s floor is further boosted tonight, as the Lakers are turning the ball over 18.1 times per game, and he should find his way on the receiving end of a few extra steals.
Lakers Play of the Day
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Los Angeles Lakers ($5,100): Tonight’s matchup between the Sixers and Lakers features a plethora of fantasy goodness, and I am looking towards Caldwell-Pope as my top option from the L.A. side of this game.
Caldwell-Pope continues to play heavy minutes, and seems to be the only one Walton won’t bench, and he is producing while on the floor, averaging 24.9 DraftKings points per game this season.
The Sixers rank 29th in the NBA in defensive efficiency against shooting guards, allowing 46 fantasy points per game to them, while allowing opponents to shoot 44 percent from the floor. The Sixers have been prone to allow opponents to torch them on mid-range jumpers, letting them shoot 41 percent on mid-range attempts, where Caldwell-Pope is attempting nearly 30 percent of his shots this season.
Caldwell-Pope is coming off a great performance against the Suns, where he put up 15 points with 9 rebounds and is in a prime position to repeat that performance tonight.
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