Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks will be playing in one of the fastest paced games on the slate tonight. These two teams currently rank ninth and first in the NBA in pace, respectively. Los Angeles has looked outstanding offensively, as well, ranking 11th in the league in offensive rating. Atlanta, on the other hand, ranks only 24th in the NBA in defensive rating this season. The Clippers are currently -6 point favorites in a game set at 231.5 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 118.8 points.
Danilo Gallinari is expected to return to the court soon, but tonight isn’t expected to be that night. The rotation should stay similar to the way it’s been, meaning a few players will see an increased role. Patrick Beverley could feature the most ownership of any Los Angeles player, as he is cheap and has caught fire recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 10.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.2 steals (31.3 DK points) in 34.6 minutes per game. He has also scored 47, 35.25, and 53.5 DK points in three of his last five games. Regardless of the recent results, Beverley has played 34+ minutes in each of his last five games, and he gets a matchup against arguably the worst defensive backcourt in the NBA tonight. Speaking of Atlanta’s deficiencies in the backcourt, Lou Williams will also make a great option tonight. He has been inconsistent recently, but he’s still averaging 17.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.0 steal (39.6 DK points) in only 26.0 minutes over the last 10 days. He topped 30 minutes in only one of those games, scoring 66.5 DK points against the Chicago Bulls. In their only matchup this season, Williams scored 41.25 DK points in 30.2 minutes against Atlanta. He’s expected to see similar minutes tonight, and Williams owns an extremely reasonable price tag for his upside. Tobias Harris could be the biggest beneficiary from the Gallinari injury, and he has been playing well recently. He’s averaging 23.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists (42.7 DK points) in 37.2 minutes per game over his last six games. He hasn’t necessarily been the most consistent option, but he owns games with 50.25 and 60.75 DK points over his last five contests. Atlanta has struggled against every position defensively, and this is a matchup Los Angeles can easily take advantage of.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
This game was outlined a bit above, and it is projected to be the highest scoring and fastest paced game on the slate. The Atlanta Hawks have struggled offensively, though, ranking only 27th in the NBA in offensive rating through 48 games. Los Angeles has also struggled defensively at times, ranking 19th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Hawks are +6 point underdogs in a game set at 231.5 points, but they still come with an implied total of 112.8 points.
Somewhat surprisingly, you can always find players for Atlanta that come with relatively low ownership, even in a plus matchup on a small slate. Trae Young will likely be one of the higher owned Hawks, but I simply don’t want to avoid him in this matchup. He has been playing well for quite some time, and he’s averaging 18.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists (35.1 DK points) in 31.6 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s also averaging 37 DK points per game over his last nine games. Furthermore, Young has scored 48 DK points in two of his last five contests. In his only matchup against Los Angeles this season, Young posted a massive double double, scoring 53.25 DK points in 36.6 minutes. Kevin Huerter recently found his groove in the NBA before missing a few games with an injury. He saw his price tag drop quite a bit after scoring only 7.25 DK points in 21 minutes of action in his first game back. He’s expected to return to 30+ minutes tonight, and Huerter was averaging 33.0 DK points per game in his six games prior to his injury. He only saw 13.4 minutes in his only matchup against Los Angeles earlier this season, but he was still able to score 9.75 DK points, averaging 0.73 DK points per minute in that game. He doesn’t need many fantasy points to hit value, and that would put him on pace if he returned to his normal allotment of minutes. Alex Len and Dewayne Dedmon can both be considered for this stack, but I’m siding with the lower price tag and lower projected ownership of Len. He’s only averaging 17.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days, but he’s also averaging 10.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 block (23.7 DK points) per game over that span. Furthermore, Len has seen 19+ minutes in three of his last five games, scoring 33, 29, and 50.25 DK points in those games. He needed only 23.4 minutes to score 32 DK points against Los Angeles earlier this season, and we could see similar production in a plus matchup tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Burke is going to be arguably the chalkiest player on the slate, and for good reason. He recently found himself back in the rotation, averaging 20.5 points, 3.5 assists, and 1.0 steal (29.4 DK points) in 28.1 minutes per game since then. He only played limited minutes in his last game, but he scored 39 DK points in full minutes in his game prior to that.
Burke is expected to see 30+ minutes tonight with Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina dealing with injuries. Burke has yet to compete against the Charlotte Hornets this season, but they have featured an average defense against point guards. You simply won’t be able to find a combination of Burke’s usage and matchup for his price tag anywhere else, and there’s no reason to avoid him tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
If you’re looking to win a tournament, you’ll have to get a bit crazy. That is what Hernangomez is tonight. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 8.2 points and 8.8 rebounds (21.0 DK points) in only 17.2 minutes per game. He has scored fewer than 11 DK points in two of his last five games, but he also owns games with 22.75, 24.25, and 38 DK points over that span.
Hernangomez is only expected to see minutes in the teens tonight, but he has proven that he can hit value at his current price tag in that time. He also gets a great matchup against the New York Knicks, who have struggled against bigs throughout the season. Hernangomez shouldn’t be considered in cash games, but he makes a high upside salary relief option in tournaments tonight.
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