Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers will be playing in the fastest paced game of the slate. These two teams currently rank fourth and third in the NBA in pace, respectively. Oklahoma City has struggled at times offensively, though, ranking 18th in the NBA in offensive rating through 43 games. Los Angeles, on the other hand, has found plenty of defensive success, ranking sixth in the league in defensive rating thus far. With that being said, the Thunder are -10 point favorites in a game set at 226.5 points. They feature the highest implied total on the slate at 118.3 points.
Russell Westbrook has been the focal point of the Oklahoma City offense this season, posting a team-high 31.2% usage rating through 35 games. He has also caught fire recently, averaging 25.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 14.2 assists, and 2.0 steals (64.7 DK points) in 38.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Westbrook shot only 3-20 from the field in his first matchup against Los Angeles, but he was still able to score 60 DK points in that game. He comes with elite upside in this matchup. Paul George is another player that found success in his only matchup against Los Angeles this season. In that game, he scored 53.5 DK points in 34.2 minutes. He has cooled down quite a bit recently, though, as he’s averaging 23.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.4 steals (43.8 DK points) in 38.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. With that being said, PG13 has scored 40+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games, including four games with 50+ DK points. Jerami Grant is a cheaper option to fill out this stack. He has also found quite a bit of success recently, averaging 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.8 blocks, and 1.0 steal (30.3 DK points) in 36.1 minutes per game. He has also scored 37.25, 26.5, and 48 DK points in his last three games. Grant adds a bit of risk to this stack, but he makes it a bit more manageable in terms of salary. It’s also a small slate, meaning any stack will come with some risk tonight.
NOTE: While writing this article, Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby, and Kawhi Leonard were ruled out. The Toronto Raptors will also be a “Chalk Stack” tonight.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Charlotte Hornets have been playing at a slightly below average pace this season, ranking 17th in the NBA in pace through 43 games. They will see a massive uptick in pace tonight, as their opponents, the Sacramento Kings, rank second i the league in pace this season. Charlotte has looked good offensively, though, ranking 12th in the NBA in offensive rating, while Sacramento ranks 19th in the league in defensive rating. The Hornets are currently -3 point favorites in a game set at 229.5 points, giving them an implied total of 116.3 points tonight.
Kemba Walker will feature some ownership, but he needs to be considered in this stack. He leads the team with a 31.3% usage rating this season, although he has been struggling a bit recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 24.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.0 steal (37.5 DK points) in 33.1 minutes per game. He’s coming off of a 52.5 DK point performance against the San Antonio Spurs, though, and he comes with tremendous upside for his current price tag. Walker will also benefit from the pace and lack of defense in this game. Marvin Williams is an option who has caught fire recently, averaging 10.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.0 steal (26.7 DK points) in 29.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Williams has also scored 25+ DK points in five of his last six games, including three games with 30+ DK points. He looked outstanding against Sacramento in their first matchup this season, and he should be able to find similar success tonight. Bismack Biyombo hasn’t necessarily been playing well recently, but he’s averaging 5.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.2 blocks (19.6 DK points) in 21.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s likely to play minutes in the low- to mid-20s, and he’s a matchup based play. Sacramento has struggled with rebounding throughout the season, and Biyombo has been an elite rebounder. He adds cheap upside to a stack already filled with upside.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
VanVleet has found success in limited minutes throughout the season, averaging 10.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists (22.7 DK points) in 26.3 minutes per game. He has also looked outstanding throughout the season when filling in for Kyle Lowry, playing 30+ minutes per game.
He’s expected to see minutes in the 30s tonight with Kyle Lowry, OG Anunoby, and Kawhi Leonard out. He gets a great matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who currently rank 26th in the NBA against point guards. He needed only 20.2 minutes to post an 8/3/6/1/2 line (26.75 DK points) against Phoenix in their only matchup this season. He can safely be considered in all leagues.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Powell has been playing limited minutes throughout the season, but he has found success recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 11.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists (18.3 DK points) in 21.2 minutes per game. He has only played 30+ minutes in one of his last five games, scoring 30.5 DK points in that game.
Powell is expected to play 30+ minutes again tonight with the players mentioned above sitting out. He gets a great matchup against a weak Phoenix Suns defense, who have struggled throughout the 2018 season. Powell only played 13.6 minutes in their only matchup this season, but he scored 13 DK points in that game. He makes an elite salary relief option on this slate.
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