Hello everyone and welcome to your new home for Daily Fantasy Basketball advice. My username on Draftkings is Billsfan777 and you might recognize me from the head to head lobby. Today I will be sharing my thoughts on this busy 13 game night.
Keep in mind that these opinions are as of the afternoon, and things can change with late injury news that occurs right before the 7 PM lock time.
With that said, let me get right into the picks for this slate.
Starter: John Wall - 7500$
While it is discouraging to see how bad the Wizards are playing - and it is never a safe feeling to roster a guy coming off of a long injury - Wall was not limited by any means in his first game back. He saw 34 minutes and was a God-send for the Wizards offense, pouring in 15 points and 14 assists. This was good for 42 Draftkings Points. While a match up in Houston is never a piece of cake, the potential injury to Chris Paul (Questionable) makes Houston's defense vulnerable. Tyler Ulis had a 16 point and 12 assist game against the Rockets over the weekend, and Wall will be asked to shoulder the load with Beal having done so much in his absence in the past few months.
The real kicker here though is Wall's price.
I shouldn't have had to work this hard to sell you because John Wall was close to a 10,000$ player before his injury. Even his bad games consist of lots of assists, steals and rebounds, so if his shot is on, it is just gravy at that point.
The Wizards are really desperate to not fall down to the 8 seed and are playing against a team that has nothing to play for except rhythm before the playoffs. The Vegas Over/Under is 215 in this game and that means that the pace of play should allow Wall to do his thing in the open court.
Wall is simply too underpriced and any concern about Chris Paul's defense locking him up can be countered by him not even needing to score many points at this salary.
Russell Westbrook - 11,800$
Any time Russ faces Kevin Durant, especially at home, Westbrook comes to play. He is expensive, but triple doubles are quite often worth it. It will be a lonely feeling to not have the triple double machine in your lineup tonight.
VALUE PLAY: Sean Kilpatrick - 3,400$
The Bulls are doing the tanking thing, and this is resulting in Justin Holiday starting the game, and being subbed out in the second half. Kilpatrick has been the beneficiary of this, as he has seen 25 minutes in each of his last two games. He has responded by taking double digit shots, and scoring in double figures each game, while crushing his value threshold easily. With Denzel Valentine also out, he will be an elite play tonight.
Jeremy Lamb - 5,200$
In a meaningless game against the tanking Bulls, Nicolas Batum sounds unlikely to suit up for the Hornets. As a starter, Lamb averages 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 18 starts. These numbers don't jump off the page, but they are good enough for his salary, and they are likely to go up against a Chicago team that will not be putting in the appropriate personnel to slow him down with their focus being on getting young guys minutes.
Jaylen Brown - 5,400$
With the Celtics not having any of their four active point guards healthy tonight, Brown is going to be asked to handle the ball a little more than usual. While sharing the court with Al Horford, expect Brown to be involved in plenty of off ball actions to get open on dribble handoffs. Brown should see a big boost offensively, and his efficiency should be there against a Bucks team that can't defend anything lately.
VALUE PLAY - Malik Monk - 3,900$
Monk has seen big minutes and usage in the last two blowouts, and has shown a huge willingness to chuck when on the court. Last game he took 17 shots in 24 minutes. While many of these minutes were with bench units, Monk poured in four threes, and filled up the stat sheet. Tonight, with Nicolas Batum questionable to play, Dwayne Bacon out, and Charlotte officially eliminated, Monk should fit in the lineup and play nice minutes against a porous Bulls defense.
Paul George - 7,700$
To say Paul George struggled last game against Golden State would be an understatement. George went 1-14 with just 5 points in a night that was overshadowed by the Zaza Pachulia incident. However, the previous games against Golden State saw George pour in 38 points, and a 20 point 11 rebound 4 steal performance. Heading back home to Oklahoma City, and being a 4.5 point favourite could make for a really exciting bounce-back performance. The nice thing about George is that he thrives in pace up games, and is playing almost 40 minutes every night with the Thunder battling for seeding.
This game means a lot more for Oklahoma City, both emotionally and in the standings, so I expect them to come out as the more desperate team.
While I don't often like using narrative in my analysis, I believe that in some cases we can make an exception. Tonight, I expect George to show up in a big way, and he is way too cheap for the upside he provides.
Rudy Gay - 4,500$
Rudy Gay has been a terrific story for the Spurs.
He has been playing few minutes, which is why he is so cheap, but he is priced at a point where his production per minute is making him worth the investment. Gay has posted 19 Draftkings points or more in the last eight games, and has been getting better and better every game. While he doesn't provide much upside, he has a very safe floor, and showed flashes of upside last game when he caught fire.
Today's matchup against a fast paced Clippers team has serious playoff implication, and I expect Popovich to lean on Gay more and more as the season winds down towards playoffs.
VALUE PLAY: Jae Crowder - 4,100$
This is not for the faint of heart, but Jae Crowder is simply too cheap to not consider. Last year on Boston, we consistently paid 6 for Crowder, and while he is not that player anymore, he has been very close to it in Utah. He has been playing close to 30 minutes every night, and a matchup against the Lakers, who love running Kyle Kuzma at the 4 will call Crowder's number for a lot of minutes tonight. Crowder just needs a simple 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assist type of game to crush his value threshold, and a matchup against the Lakers will provide that sort of reasonable expectations.
Julius Randle - 8,100$
Randle is in for a tough matchup in Utah, but he is priced down for it. It has not mattered who Randle has played since the Nance trade, and all that should matter is his price tag. He is aggressive to the basket every play, he rebounds well, and sees an increase in usage rate with Lonzo Ball, Jordan Clarkson and Isaiah Thomas off the court. Randle sports a 28% usage rate and 1.20 Draftkings points per minute. Given that he is playing close to 40 minutes in this situation, it is safe to plug this guy in, despite the tough road matchup.
Someone On The Dallas Mavericks:
Dirk Nowitzki, Salah Mejri and Dwight Powell are questionable for the game tonight against the Trail Blazers. Nerlens Noel has found another way to not be on the court as he has been suspended. That leaves Dallas with Maxi Kleber as the possible only active big man along with Harrison Barnes, Jalen Jones and Jonathan Motley stepping up to bigger man roles than they are used to. Be sure to monitor this situation as once the actives are announced, there will be some good value to look at. If everyone plays, I would look in another direction, but if either Dirk, Mejri or Powell sit, I would look towards some of the active bodies that will be forced into minutes.
Danilo Gallinari - 5,100$
Gallo is never fun to roster, but he is down to around the range where he basically averages value. Gallo is playing over 30 minutes and if he sees a few shots go down, the Clippers are desperate for someone to step up in a big way offensively with the season on the line. There is upside here, and he can't really hurt you at his price if he struggles.
Nikola Jokic - 9,800$
Jokic is on another planet right now, and is still way too cheap. The Nuggets are in must win mode, and Jokic is playing 40 minutes a game over the last three. Two of them went to overtime, but without the overtimes, he was still on the court for 38 minutes. Jokic is averaged 25 points 16 rebounds and 6 assists over his last 3, and he has averaged 47 Draftkings points per game in just 32 minutes per game at home this season. Add an extra 5-6 minutes, and that gives you more chances for the triple-double bonus, and gives him a chance to post another monster stat line.
Myles Turner is a good defender, but he does not scare me in any way and he did not slow Jokic once last year, who posted a 31 point and 17 rebound game against him.
Rudy Gobert - 7,500$
Gobert is playing big minutes right now and facing a Lakers team that will likely be without Brook Lopez. Ivica Zubac and Julius Randle will keep Gobert locked in the paint, which will allow Gobert to be in a position to gather double digit rebounds with ease, and he will have a good opportunity to generate offense himself in these matchups on the offensive ends. The blocks that he will likely provide against a smaller Randle will be gravy on top. He is too cheap.
Ivica Zubac - 3,300$
Speaking of Zubac, he is too cheap and productive per minute to be ignored, even against Rudy Gobert. He simply needs an 8 point, 7 rebound type of performance, and Gobert's presence may force Zubac into very big minutes.
Best of luck in your games tonight! If you are not a member of Draftkings, join now!