Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Brooklyn Nets have been slowing the pace down a bit this season, ranking 18th in the NBA in pace through 49 games. They get a matchup against the New York Knicks, who currently rank 12th in the league in pace this season. New York has also struggled defensively, ranking only 29th in the NBA in defensive rating in 2018, while Brooklyn has ranked 13th in the league in offensive rating thus far. The Nets are -9 point favorites in a game set at 222.5 points, giving them an implied total of 115.8 points.
Brooklyn is dealing with plenty of injuries, as Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Allen Crabbe, Jared Dudley, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are all injured to some degree. Shabazz Napier saw a string of seven games recently where he saw 20+ minutes in each of those games. Over that span, he’s averaging 15.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 26.9 minutes per game. He was consistently scoring 20+ DK points in those games, while also flashing significantly higher upside. Napier played only 18.5 minutes in his only matchup against New York this season, scoring 19 DK points. He’s an absurdly cheap option, and will be one of the highest owned players on the slate tonight. D’Angelo Russell is another player that will be locked into big minutes with Dinwiddie injured. He has been playing at an exceptionally high level recently, averaging 28.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.2 steals (50.2 DK points) in 32.5 minutes per game. Russell has scored 50+ DK points in four of his last five games, but his price tag doesn’t represent that. Furthermore, Russell is averaging 39.4 DK points per game at home, as opposed to only 33.9 DK points on the road. Surprisingly, Russell is averaging only 27.7 DK points in 30.3 minutes per game against New York, but he’s playing at far too high of a level to overlook. DeMarre Carroll is another player that will feature some ownership tonight. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 14.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists (25.1 DK points) in 30.5 minutes per game. He comes with some risk, but that has kept his price tag low. Carroll is expected to be locked into 30+ minutes tonight, and he makes another outstanding salary relief option for Brooklyn tonight.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Houston Rockets continue to slow down the pace of their games, ranking only 28th in the NBA in pace thus far. They’ll see an uptick in pace against the Toronto Raptors, who rank 16th in the league in pace through 50 games. Toronto does rank eighth in the NBA in defense rating, but Houston also ranks second in the league in offensive rating this season. The Rockets are currently +3 point underdogs in a game set at 228.5 points, but they still feature an implied total of 112.8 points tonight.
When stacking Houston, it has to begin with James Harden. He is the best fantasy option in the NBA, while posting a usage rating north of 40%. He’s also averaging 52.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.0 block, and 2.6 steals (78.7 DK points) in 38.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Excluding a 55 DK point performance against the Philadelphia 76ers – a blowout in which Harden didn’t play the fourth quarter – he has scored 70+ DK points in seven consecutive games, including games with 88, 85.5, and 97.25 DK points. He has been a significantly better option in Houston this season, and he makes an elite option in all leagues tonight. Kenneth Faried has played two games with Houston tonight, averaging 12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.5 steals (26.8 DK points) in 24.3 minutes per game. He played 26 minutes in his last game, posting an 11/8/1/3/3 line (33.5 DK points) against the New York Knicks. He gets a solid matchup against the Toronto Raptors, and Faried could potentially see increased minutes once again tonight. He makes a high upside option on this slate. Eric Gordon has found success since returning to the Houston lineup. In his four games back, he’s averaging 19.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists (30.0 DK points) in 29.1 minutes per game. He has scored 30+ DK points in three of those four games, struggling only in a blowout loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Gordon saw a decrease in his price tag tonight, and he’s entirely too cheap for his current production. He’s another cheaper option, who makes Harden’s price tag a bit more manageable tonight.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Charlotte Hornets have been playing at a slightly below average pace through 47 games this season. Overall, they rank 17th in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, who will be looking to push the pace tonight, as they rank sixth in the league in pace through 46 games. Charlotte has found some offensive success, ranking 12th in the NBA in offensive rating this season, but Milwaukee leads the league in defensive rating. The Hornets are +11 point underdogs in a game set at 230.5 points, but they still own an implied total of 109.8 points tonight.
Kemba Walker will be the highest owned player for Charlotte tonight, but he’ll still feature relatively low ownership for an expensive option. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 24.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.8 steals (43.5 DK points) in 34.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has been extremely consistent recently, scoring 38+ DK points in each of his last six games, including a 52.5 DK point performance against the San Antonio Spurs. In two games against Milwaukee this season, Walker is averaging 47.8 DK points per game. Jeremy Lamb has been somewhat inconsistent recently, but he’s averaging 15.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists (28.8 DK points) in 28.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s still extremely cheap, and he has played 30 minutes in each of his last two games. He’s expected to play solid minutes again tonight, and Lamb is averaging only 29.3 DK points in 28.4 minutes per game against Milwaukee this season. The Hornets will need Lamb and Walker’s scoring potential to keep this game close, as well. Bismack Biyombo quietly comes with tremendous upside, especially for his low price tag. He recently played only nine minutes against the Sacramento Kings, but he had played 20+ minutes in eight of his last nine games. In those games, Biyombo is averaging 27.2 DK points per game. He has also flashed elite upside, scoring 39.5 and 42.75 DK points in two of those games. Biyombo is somewhat consistent, but we’re attacking his tremendous upside on this slate tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have already outlined Napier above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has looked outstanding when given the minutes, flashing a 20 DK point floor with a significantly higher ceiling. He’ll likely play minutes in the mid-20s tonight, and he gets a solid matchup against the New York Knicks. Napier is one of the easiest options on the slate to use for his price tag, and he makes an “avoid at your own risk” type of play tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Plumlee has looked outstanding in limited minutes throughout the 2018 season. Through 46 games, he’s averaging 7.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.0 steal (21.5 DK points) in 19.3 minutes per game. He has also scored 20+ DK points in two of his last four games, while also recently scoring 42 DK points in only 20 minutes in an elite matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Plumlee gets an elite matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who feature one of the worst defenses in the NBA against centers. In three matchups this season, Plumlee has needed only 17.1 minutes to average 18.9 DK points per game. Nikola Jokic has been suspended tonight, meaning Plumlee will be locked into bigger minutes. He doesn’t need many fantasy points to hit value, and he makes an outstanding option in all leagues tonight.
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