Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Chicago Bulls have been slowing the pace down throughout the 2018 season, ranking only 23rd in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a matchup against the Indiana Pacers, who have also been slowing the pace down, ranking only 25th in the league in pace this season. Indiana also ranks second in the NBA in defensive rating, while Chicago ranks last in the league in offensive rating. They’re +6.5 point underdogs in a game set at only 201 points, and they feature an implied total of only 97.3 points tonight.
The Bulls don’t make a great “Chalk Stack” because of their talent, but rather their prices. Justin Holiday was recently traded, while Bobby Portis has been ruled out for tonight. Chandler Hutchison is the minimum price, and he has been named the starter. He’s averaging 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds (10.7 DK points) in only 17.2 minutes per game through 33 games. He has also been a better option at home this season, where he’s averaging 12.0 DK points per game in only 17.5 minutes per game. He’s expected to play minutes in the high-20s tonight, and he makes an elite salary relief option. Shaq Harrison has featured plenty of ups and downs throughout the season, but he’s averaging 6.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.4 steals (15.0 DK points) in 17.4 minutes per game this season. He played 26 minutes in his last game, scoring 23.25 DK points, and he’s expected to play similar minutes tonight. Harrison is another option who has played better at home, where he’s averaging 18.4 DK points per game. Combining Hutchison and Harrison will allow you to construct your lineup however you see fit tonight. An underpriced Zach LaVine fills out this stack, although he has struggled in each of his last two games. With that being said, he’s averaging 23.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists (37.5 DK points) in 34.3 minutes per game on the season. While he isn’t as needed with players like Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn in the lineup, LaVine is still the focal point of the offense, and we’re only going to get him in the $6K range for so long.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers are a team that loves pushing the pace, ranking eighth in the NBA in pace through 37 games. They get a matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who rank 16th in the league in pace this season. Los Angeles also ranks seventh in the NBA in offensive rating, while Phoenix ranks only 28th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Clippers are -4.5 point favorites in a game set at 234 points, giving them one of the highest implied totals on the slate at 119.3 points.
Lou Williams will likely feature some ownership tonight, but he’s a player that is impossible to avoid in this stack. He’s still oddly cheap, while averaging 24.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.0 steal (39.3 DK points) in only 27.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. With that being said, he has played 31, 27, and 31 minutes in his last three games, while scoring 37+ DK points in four of his last five. He’s also averaging 1.5 DK points per minute against Phoenix this season, and he’s expected to play minutes in the high-20s or low-30s once again tonight. Danilo Gallinari is another player that has played well recently, averaging 18.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists (35.1 DK points) in 30.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s also averaging a 26.5/7.5/2.0/1.0/1.5 line (45.6 DK points) in 35.1 minutes per game against the Suns this season. Gallinari has also been surprisingly consistent recently, scoring 35+ DK points in each of his last three games. Tobias Harris has been struggling a bit recently, but he makes the most sense for this stack. He has scored between 24 and 59 DK points in each of his last 10 games, and he’s averaging 36.2 DK points per game over that span. He’s another player that has found success against Phoenix this season, as he’s averaging 25.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.0 block (44.3 DK points) in 37.6 minutes per game. This stack isn’t going to come cheap, but there are very few stacks that will be able to match the upside of this trio on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Augustin has featured plenty of ups and downs throughout the season, but he has caught fire over the last 10 days. Over that span, he’s averaging 20.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.5 steals (35.3 DK points) in 32.2 minutes per game. He has scored 23+ DK points in each of his last four games, as well, including two games with 45+ DK points.
Augustin will be locked into similar minutes tonight, although he gets somewhat of a difficult matchup against the Minnesota Wolves. Still, he has found success, even when playing limited minutes recently, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t find success for his price tag once again tonight. He can be considered in all leagues.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Thompson returned from injury in the Cleveland Cavaliers last game, scoring 14 points with two rebounds, one assist, and two steals (21.5 DK points) in 23 minutes. He’s averaging 12.0 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists (34.3 DK points) in 30.5 minutes per game at home this season, though, and he was scoring fantasy points in the high-30s on a somewhat consistent basis before his injury.
Thompson could still be on a minute’s restriction tonight, but is expected to be increased to the high-20s. He’s averaging over 1.0 DK point per minute in 2018, and he has the potential to exceed value tonight. He also gets a good matchup against the Utah Jazz,, who rank 23rd in the NBA against centers this season. Thompson comes with quite a bit of risk, but he makes an outstanding tournament option.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)