Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Portland Blazers have been playing at a below average pace throughout the 2018 season, ranking 20th in the NBA in pace through 50 games. They get an elite matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, who currently lead the league in pace. While Portland has been playing at a slower pace, they have found plenty of offensive success, ranking eighth in the NBA in offensive rating. Furthermore, Atlanta only ranks 25th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Blazers are -10.5 point favorites in a game set at 227.5 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 119 points.
Damian Lillard comes with a surprisingly low price tag for his recent production. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 28.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.6 steals (47.8 DK points) in 34.6 minutes per game. He has scored 40+ DK points in each of his last eight games, including a 60.75 DK points performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Atlanta features one of the worst defensive backcourts in the NBA, and Lillard should be able to dominate once again tonight. Atlanta has also struggled against big men this season, and Jusuf Nurkic is one of the best per minute bigs in the NBA. He’s averaging 17.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 3.2 blocks (44.9 DK points) in 29.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 40+ DK points in four of his last five contests, while also scoring 50+ DK points in two of those games. On the season, Nurkic is averaging 1.39 DK points per minute, and he could be even more efficient in a plus matchup against the fastest paced team in the league. C.J. McCollum can be considered because of the matchup, but I’m siding slightly with the price tag of Al-Farouq Aminu. Aminu only played 16 minutes in his last game because of a dislocated finger, but he’s expected to return to full minutes tonight. Even with limited minutes in his last game, Aminu is averaging 9.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists (24.1 DK points) in 26.2 minutes per game. Aminu is an athletic big that will benefit from the pace and opportunities for peripherals in this game. Each of these players will feature a plethora of ownership, but that tends to be the case when there are only four games on a slate.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
This game was outlined a bit above, and it is projected to be a relatively high scoring game. The Atlanta Hawks have struggled a bit offensively this season, though, ranking only 27th in the NBA in offensive rating. The Portland Blazers have struggled at times defensively, as well, as they rank only 16th in the league in defensive rating through 50 games. The Hawks are +10.5 point underdogs in a game set at 227.5 points, but they still own an implied total of 108.5 points tonight.
John Collins has caught fire recently, averaging 22.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists (38.4 DK points) in 29.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 30+ DK points in each of his last nine games, including a pair of games with 50+ DK points. He’s also coming off of a 53 DK point performance against the Chicago Bulls, as well. Collins is expected to see 30+ minutes tonight, and he makes a high upside option, although he doesn’t come with a discounted price tag like some of the other high end options on this slate. Trae Young is a player that does come with that discount. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 9.0 assists (35.1 DK points) in 32.1 minutes per game. He has been extremely consistent, scoring 32+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games. He has also flashed upside over that span, scoring 45+ DK points in two of his last five games. Young has seemingly found his groove in the NBA recently, and he makes an outstanding option because of his combination of consistency and upside for a reasonable price tag. Dewayne Dedmon is a risky option, but his upside is undeniable. He flashed his floor three games ago, scoring only 12.25 DK points in 25 minutes against the Boston Celtics. With that being said, he has scored 33.25, 38.75, and 42.5 DK points in his other three games. He has generally been playing minutes in the mid-20s, but that hasn’t stopped his production recently. He’s splitting minutes with Alex Len, who also comes with tremendous upside, and can be considered in this stack, as well.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Brewer recently signed a contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, and he has been playing big minutes for them. He has seen 28 and 33 minutes in his last two games, scoring 17.25 and 22.75 DK points in those games. He’s a player that has the potential to contribute in each of the five categories, although he isn’t elite at posting peripheral stats (aside from steals).
The 76ers are dealing with multiple injuries tonight, and Brewer will see minutes in the high-20s or low-30s tonight. He isn’t a major part of the offense, but he’s extremely cheap, and should easily exceed value. He gets a tough matchup against the Denver Nuggets, but Brewer makes an outstanding option in all leagues for his price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I have already outlined Aminu above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has seen his price tag drop from his last game because of limited minutes. He only played 16 minutes in that game because of an injury, though, and Aminu should see around 30 minutes tonight. He gets an elite matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, who have struggled defensively, and will be pushing the pace tonight. Aminu can be considered in all leagues.
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