Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Detroit Pistons continue to slow down the pace in their games this season, ranking only 22nd in the NBA in pace thus far. They’ll see an uptick in pace tonight against the Washington Wizards, who currently rank ninth in the league in pace. Detroit has also struggled offensively, ranking 23rd in the NBA in offensive rating, but Washington only ranks 25th in the league in defensive rating. The Pistons are +5.5 point underdogs in a game set at 217.5 points today. Still, they feature an implied total of 106 points in this matchup.
Similarly to my last article that feature Detroit, this will only be a two man stack. Andre Drummond has been ruled out once again, which will thrust Blake Griffin into a larger role. His usage rating is expected to increase to around 33-35% today, and he’ll feature more opportunities for peripheral stats. In (essnetially) two games without Drummond, Griffin is averaging 35.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.0 steals (57.9 DK points) in 37.5 minutes per game. He has also combined for 47 shot attempts and 26 free throw attempts in those games. He has also flashed consistency, scoring 54 and 61.75 DK points in his two contests without Drummond. Griffin gets an elite matchup against a fast paced Washington team tonight, and his price tag under $10K is a bit confusing on such a small slate. Zaza Pachulia is the other player that will benefit from the injury to Drummond. On the season, he’s averaging 11.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.8 steals on a per-36 minute basis. He played 28 minutes in the game Drummond was injured, followed by 35 minutes in his last outing. When given the extended minutes against the Sacramento Kings, Pachulia posted a 7/12/3/1/1 line (29 DK points). He’s expected to play similar minutes tonight, and Pachulia scored 1.07 DK point per minute in his only matchup against Washington this season. He should feature a plethora of ownership on this slate, and he makes for an avoid at your own risk type of play.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Orlando Magic are another team that has been playing at a surprisingly slow pace this season. Through 46 games, they rank 26th in the NBA in pace. They get a matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, though, who currently lead the league in pace in 2018. Atlanta also ranks only 23rd in the NBA in defensive rating this season, while Orlando ranks 26th in offensive rating. With that being said, the Magic are only +1 point underdogs in a game set at 221 points. They feature an implied total of 110 points today.
Nikola Vucevic will likely feature some ownership today, but there are two elite salary relief centers today, which could keep his ownership a bit lower than expected. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 21.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists (45.4 DK points) in 33.1 minutes per game. He has scored 44+ DK points in each of his last four games, including a 50.25 DK point performance against the Brooklyn Nets. Atlanta currently ranks 23rd in the NBA against centers, and Vucevic is one of the best in the NBA. Atlanta also features one of the worst defensive backcourts in the NBA, and Evan Fournier is a high risk, high reward option. He’s averaging 16.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.4 steals (30.0 DK points) in 36.6 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He also recently flashed his upside, scoring 38 DK points against the Brooklyn Nets. This is nearly as good of a matchup as Fournier can get, as he’s a scorer facing a fast paced team that struggled defensively against shooting guards. Aaron Gordon makes a solid option for the final part of this stack if he’s active, but D.J. Augustin will likely feature less ownership. As mentioned above, Atlanta features one of the worst defensive backcourts in the NBA, and this is a matchup Augustin can take advantage of. He’s averaging 29.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days, and he has turned those into 12.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists (21.9 DK points). He has flashed quiet upside this season, though, and he owns 35+ DK point upside in the right situation. The entire Magic team will benefit from the pace of this game, and they make a sneaky stacking option tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Sexton has featured plenty of ups and downs throughout his rookie season, but he’s averaging 13.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.0 steal (23.7 DK points) in 31.0 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has also scored 23+ DK points in four of his last five contests, while flashing 30+ DK point upside throughout the season. I don’t truly believe we have seen Sexton’s ceiling at this point in his career either.
He gets a great matchup against the Chicago Bulls, who rank 19th in the NBA against point guards. In two matchups against them, Sexton is averaging 22.9 DK points in 33.4 minutes per game. He’s expected to see similar minutes tonight, and he continues to make a consistent option for his price tag. I feel he makes sense in tournaments tonight, as well, as he does come with sole upside for his price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Ante Zizic/Zaza Pachulia
I have outlined Pachulia above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He’s expected to play minutes in the mid-30s, and he makes an elite option because of his per-minute statistics. He also gets a matchup against a fast paced team that has struggled against centers. There’s no reasons to avoid him, specifically in cash games.
I’m giving you a double gem today because I feel you need exposure to Zizic, as well, and playing both on DraftKings is likely the best route to go. He’ll be locked into 30+ minute again tonight with injuries to the entire Cleveland Cavaliers frontcourt. He has played 24+ minutes in four of his last five games, scoring 30+ DK points in each of those games. Zizic gets an elite matchup against the Chicago Bulls, and he comes with significantly more upside than he has flashed thus far. Similarly to Pachulia, it’s dangerous to avoid him on this slate.
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