Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Philadelphia 76ers have been playing at a slightly above average pace this season, although that may increase after ranking fourth in the NBA in pace last season. Detroit has been playing at a below average pace since the beginning of the 2017 season, and that likely will not change. They have also found defensive success this season, but Ben Simmons has been ruled out tonight, increasing ownership to Philadelphia’s other players. Still, the Sixers are -1 point favorites in a game set at 217 points, giving them an implied total of 109 points tonight.
Markelle Fultz could see the most ownership of any Sixer tonight, as he’s expected to see a new role with Simmons injured. He’s expected to start at point guard, and he could see a small boost in usage rating tonight. Overall, Fultz is averaging 11.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.8 steals on an inefficient per-36 minute basis. Joel Embiid will also command plenty of ownership, as his role grows even larger. He leads the team with a 32.1% usage rating, while more rebounds and assists could open up with Simmons injured. Embiid is averaging 28.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.0 blocks in a team-high 34.3 minutes per game. While I slightly prefer Dario Saric, the final part of the stack is Robert Covington, who will also feature a plethora of ownership. He isn’t seeing a ton of usage, but he’s averaging a 13.3/5.0/1.0/2.0/1.0 line on 34.0 minutes per game. He played 38 minutes in his only game with Simmons injured, although he struggled to produce in this game. There are a multitude of solid options for the Sixers tonight, but these three are going to command the most ownership.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans are a team that loves pushing the pace, ranking first in the NBA in pace in 2017, while ranking second in pace early this season. They get a matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, who have been slowing the pace down and focusing more on defense this season. That likely won’t matter tonight, though, as New Orleans has featured the best offense in the NBA by a mile this season. The Pelicans are -6.5 point favorites in a game set at 238.5 points, and they feature the highest implied total on the slate at 122.5 points.
Anthony Davis surprisingly only features a 27.5% usage rating this season, but that’s likely to increase as the season progresses. He has been an elite option, averaging 28.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.5 steals, and 2.5 blocks in 33.0 minutes per game. He’s averaging 2.0 DK points per minute this season, and he’s expected to play minutes in the high-30s if this game stays close. Nikola Mirotic is the other focal point of this offense, as he owns a 29.5% usage rating through two games. He’s also averaging 33.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 30.5 minutes per game. Mirotic has scored 50+ DK points in each of his two games this season, and he’s still far too cheap on this small slate tonight. Jrue Holiday is the final part of this stack. He struggled in his first game before totaling 43.5 DK points in only 27 minutes against the Sacramento Kings. Holiday is a versatile option, who can score fantasy points in multiple categories. This stack won’t come cheap, but has the potential to be the highest scoring stack on the slate.
NOTE: Elfrid Payton, E’Twaun Moore, and Julius Randle can be considered in a New Orleans stack, as well.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have already outlined Fultz above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He’s going to draw the start at point guard once Ben Simmons is officially ruled out, adding to his usage rating tonight. He could potentially see 30+ minutes tonight, and Fultz is a player that can contribute in multiple categories. He’s going to be owned at an extremely high clip, and he’s an avoid at your own cost type of player tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Bjelica has been a night and day type of player this season. He has scored 30+ fantasy points twice this season, playing 27 and 31 minutes in those games. He’s averaging 15.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game in those starts. In his only other game, Bjelica scored 6.75 DK points in 11 minutes.
Bjelica is expected to play nearly 30 minutes tonight, although his usage rating is only sitting around 15% this season. With that being said, he’s a player that has always found success when on the court, and that has been the case this season. He’s in a similar situation to Fultz, where he should be owned at an extremely rate. Once again, here’s another fade at your own risk option on a three game slate.