Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans feel like the “Chalk Stack” on virtually every slate they play on at this point. They rank fifth in the NBA in pace, while leading the league by a somewhat wide margin in offensive rating. They get a tough matchup against the Utah Jazz, who rank eighth in the league in defensive rating and 18th in pace. With that being said, Utah features an upgraded offense this season, and have shown that they are willing to get into shootouts. The Pelicans are small underdogs in a game set at 220 points, giving them an implied total of 109 points tonight.
Anthony Davis has been the leader of the New Orleans team. He’s currently averaging 27.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.5 steals, and 3.8 blocks in 36.0 minutes per game. In three full games, Davis is averaging 68.1 DK points per game. Jrue Holiday will likely be the highest owned option for New Orleans, as he saw his price tag drop in this matchup tonight. He has struggled at times this season, but he’s still averaging 14.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 2.0 steals in 35.3 minutes per game. He has played 38 minutes in each of New Orleans’ competitive games this season, and he should see minutes in the high-30s once again tonight. Elfrid Payton is another player, who is a bit too cheap tonight. He features a usage rating under 20%, but still comes with some triple double potential. Through four games, Payton is averaging 14.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.0 steal in 32.0 minutes per game. These three players lead the Pelicans in minutes, and they all come with tremendous upside. Even in a tough matchup, they should each feature quite a bit of ownership.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Atlanta Hawks only rank 18th in the NBA in offensive rating this season, but they also lead the league in pace. They get a matchup against the Chicago Bulls, who only rank 24th in the NBA in pace, but also rank 29th in defensive rating. Essentially, Atlanta will see a downtick in pace, but uptick in efficiency tonight. They are -6 point favorites in a game set at 232 points, and they feature the highest implied total on the slate at 119 points.
Trae Young has flashed elite upside as a rookie, scoring 60 DK points against the Cleveland Cavaliers two games ago. He’s been a major part of the offense, posting a 28.1% usage rating through four games. He has turned that into 21.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in a team-high 32.3 minutes per game. Taurean Prince has been the other focal point of the offense, recording a team-high 28.5% usage rating this season. He has also flashed versatility this season, as he’s averaging 21.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 28.8 minutes per game this season. The final part of this stack could be multiple players, but I’m going with Kent Bazemore, who ranks second on the team with 29.5 minutes per game. He has turned those minutes into 18.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. Bazemore has also caught fire recently, as he has totaled 55 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists, one block, and four steals (93.5 DK points) in his last two games. The Hawks feature arguably the highest upside stack on the slate tonight.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Phoenix Suns have been slowing the pace down this season, as they only rank 18th in the NBA in pace. They get a matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, who only rank 25th in the league in pace this season. Memphis also features a top-five defense, while Phoenix ranks only 24th in the NBA in offensive rating. The Suns are sizeable underdogs in a game set at 205.5 points, as well. They own an implied total of 98.8 points tonight.
The Suns may go overlooked because of their Vegas odds, but there is clear value on the team with Devin Booker out tonight. Jamal Crawford is a player that should see an increased role, as he could potentially play minutes in the 20s tonight. He hasn’t seen the court much this season, but he is averaging 15.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 29.9 minutes per game throughout his career. Crawford is also a scorer, who can score points in a hurry when he catches fire. T.J. Warren will likely be forced into big minutes, as he could match his 29 minutes from his last game tonight. Warren owns a 26.4% usage rating this season, and could see an uptick without Booker on the court. Warren is also averaging 1.08 DK points per minute on the season. Deandre Ayton was questionable for tonight, but he was recently upgraded to probable, suggesting his injury is not a major concern. He has scored 45+ DK points in three of his four games, while only averaging 10.8 shot attempts per game. Phoenix could lean on Ayton’s offensive game a bit more tonight, and he comes with as much upside as any center not named Anthony Davis tonight. For what it’s worth, Josh Jackson should also see extended minutes tonight, but he didn’t quite make the cut for this article.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have already outlined Crawford above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He’s going to be forced into bigger minutes tonight, and someone has to take over for Devin Booker’s 34.4% usage rating. While Crawford will not take all of that, he should see more than enough to hit value. He’s a cheap option that comes without much risk, especially on FanDuel, where you can drop a score.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Anderson signed a massive contract with the Memphis Grizzlies this offseason, but he hasn’t played a huge role for them. Through four games, he’s averaging 4.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.3 steals in only 22.1 minutes per game. He played 29 minutes in his last game, though, and he’s expected to play minutes in the high-20s again tonight.
Anderson has seen a slight uptick in usage rating for the Grizzlies compared to his career, but it still only sits at 14.1%. He’s a versatile option, though, as he’s averaging 9.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.9 steal, and 1.0 block on a per-36 minute basis in his career. Anderson comes with tremendous upside if he’s playing bigger minutes, but his unknown minutes are the only concern at this point in this game.
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