Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Phoenix Suns have been pushing the pace a bit more recently, and they rank 15th in the NBA through 42 games. They get a good matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, who currently rank 11th in the league in pace in 2018. Phoenix has struggled offensively, ranking only 26th in the NBA in offensive rating this season. Dallas, on the other hand, ranks 12th in the league in defensive rating through 40 games. The Suns are +9.5 point underdogs in a game set at 218.5 points, but they still feature an implied total of 104.5 points tonight.
Devin Booker is expected to miss this game with a back injury, opening up minutes and usage for multiple other players in the offense. Kelly Oubre Jr. stepped into a larger role without Booker in the lineup last night, scoring 26 points with five rebounds, four assists, one block, and three steals (46.75 DK points) in 30 minutes. While he’s unlikely to continue that type of per minute production, he’s averaging 0.88 DK points per minute on the season. Oubre is an absurdly cheap option, and he’s a safe play with upside on this slate. De’Anthony Melton is another player that will see a larger role in the offense without Booker starting. In his last game, Melton totaled 10 points with four rebounds, eight assists, two blocks, and four steals (37.5 DK points) in 31 minutes. He has looked outstanding in his limited playing time this season, averaging 10.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.7 steals on a per-36 minute basis. He has performed well in bigger minutes earlier this season, and there’s very little reason to believe he’ll fail to hit value tonight. Josh Jackson is the final part of this stack. He has played 27+ minutes in three of his last four games, scoring 30+ DK points in each of those games. He’s also averaging 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists (29.0 DK points) in 31.2 minutes per game against Dallas this season. Jackson is expected to see similar minutes again tonight, and he’s another safe option, who comes with a relatively low price tag.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have been pushing the pace throughout the 2018 season, ranking sixth in the NBA in pace through 41 games. They get a matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who surprisingly only rank 29th in the league in pace thus far. With that being said, New Orleans also ranks fourth in the NBA in offensive rating, while Cleveland ranks last in the league in defensive rating. The Pelicans are -14 point favorites in a game set at 223.5 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 118.8 points.
Anthony Davis has been an elite fantasy option for the entire 2018 season thus far, posting a team-high 29.3% usage rating through 36 games. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 28.0 points, 15.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 2.5 steals (61.8 DK points) in 36.2 minutes per game. Davis has also scored 80+ DK points in two of his last five games. In his only matchup against Cleveland, Davis averaged 1.76 DK points per minute, although he only played 28.4 minutes in that game. Julius Randle is another player that has caught fire recently, averaging 22.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.8 assists (42.9 DK points) in 35.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 49+ DK points in three of his last five games, as well. Randle also scored 52 DK points in 32.6 minutes in his only matchup against the Cavaliers this season. Randle ranks second on the team with a 26.5% usage rating on the season, and he adds quite a bit of upside to this stack. Jrue Holiday is another high priced option, and he fills out the New Orleans stack. He’s averaging 20.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.6 steals (38.9 DK points) in 35.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Holiday, who is a bit underpriced for his recent production, has scored 40+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games, including a 59.75 DK point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks. Holiday also needed only 26.6 minutes to score 40.75 DK points in his only matchup against Cleveland this season.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Brooklyn Nets have been playing at a slower pace this season, ranking only 22nd in the NBA in pace this season. They’ll see a massive uptick in pace tonight against the Atlanta Hawks, who lead the league in pace in 2018. Brooklyn features an average offense, ranking 14th in the NBA in offensive rating. This is a plus matchup, though, as Atlanta ranks 24th in the league in defensive rating. The Nets are -9 point favorites in a game set at 226 points, and they own an implied total of 117.5 points.
D’Angelo Russell is going to feature some ownership tonight, but he can’t be avoided in a Brooklyn stack. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.0 steal (39.4 DK points) in 31.4 minutes per game. He has scored 40+ DK points in four of his last five games, including a 55.75 DK point performance against the New Orleans Pelicans. Atlanta features one of the worst defensive backcourts in the NBA, and Russell needed only 29.2 minutes to score 56.5 DK points against the Hawks in their only matchup this season. Shabazz Napier has taken on a new role for Brooklyn recently, and he’s averaging 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 28.1 minutes per game over his last five games. He’s also averaging 29.9 DK points per game over that span, including 29.75 DK points in his last two games. Similarly to Russell, this is an elite matchup for Napier, who should find plenty of holes in the Hawks backcourt. Ed Davis is a player that has featured plenty of ups and downs this season. He has played 20+ minutes in four of his last five games, scoring 20+ DK points in each of those games. In those four games, Davis is averaging 25.8 DK points per game. He played 28.3 minutes in his only matchup against Atlanta this season, posting an 8/14/5/1/1 line (31 DK points). The Nets still come with reasonable price tags, and they make a high upside stack, which could go a bit overlooked on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
White has been playing extremely well recently, averaging 17.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.0 steal (29.9 DK points) in 30.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has also scored 25+ DK points in seven of his last eight contests. White is also averaging 0.95 DK points per minute in two matchups against the Memphis Grizzlies this season.
As mentioned above, White gets a matchup against the Grizzlies, who have featured an elite defense this season. He has found success in limited minutes against them, though, and he’s expected to play bigger minutes tonight. He’ll see 30+ minutes in this game, and White is simply too cheap for his recent production. He can be used in all leagues, even in a tough matchup.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Kelly Oubre Jr.
I have already outlined Oubre above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has found success in limited minutes throughout the season, and he scored 46.75 DK points in his last game. He gets a solid matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, and Oubre still comes with an extremely low price tag. He’ll likely feature a plethora of ownership tonight, and he’s an “avoid at your own risk” type of play on the slate.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)