Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans are likely to feature a plethora of ownership, similarly to every slate they play on. They feature an elite offense, ranking third in the NBA in pace and fourth in offensive rating. They get a matchup against the Golden State Warriors, who rank 11th in the league in pace, although they have featured an above average defense rating this season. With that being said, this game is set at 237.5 points, and while New Orleans is a massive underdog, they still feature an implied total of 113 points.
This stack starts with Anthony Davis, who is currently questionable. He has missed the last two games with an injury, but he’s averaging 27.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 3.8 blocks, and 2.5 steals in 35.6 minutes per game when healthy. Davis has seen his price tag drop a bit because of his injury, making him a nearly must start if he’s healthy tonight. Jrue Holiday will also command ownership tonight, as he’s coming off of a near triple double. He struggled in his first game this season, but is averaging 16.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.6 steals in 33.4 minutes per game. He’ll be locked into big minutes with extra point guard duties because of the injury to Elfrid Payton, as well. The final part of this stack is E’Twaun Moore, who is a cheap way to get a part of this game. Moore isn’t an elite fantasy option, but he’s averaging 30.6 minutes per game this season. He has turned those minutes into 13.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He doesn’t need many fantasy points to hit value, and he makes this stack a little easier on the salary cap.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Golden State Warriors
The pace of this game was touched on above, and it will be one of the fastest paced games on the slate. The Golden State Warriors also feature the best offense in the NBA this season, while the New Orleans Pelicans rank 20th in the league in defensive rating. The Warriors are -11.5 point favorites in a game set at 237.5 points, and they feature the highest implied total on the slate at 124.5 points.
There are three players on this team that feature significantly higher usage ratings than the rest of the team. Through eight games, Stephen Curry features a 31.4% usage rating, while playing 33.6 minutes per game. He has turned that into 32.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He has also scored 50+ DK points in five of his seven games with 30+ minutes. Kevin Durant is the other true focal point of the offense, posting a 29.8% usage rating this season. Durant is averaging 28.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6.1 assists in a team-high 34.6 minutes per game. He has also flashed elite upside, scoring 60+ DK points in two games this season. Klay Thompson is coming off of a ridiculous 66.25 DK point performance, in which he scored 52 points against the Chicago Bulls. He has struggled for the most part this season, but he’s a player that relies fairly heavily on scoring, and this type of outburst could get his game going. He also ranks third on the team with a 26.3% usage rating. Thompson isn’t as safe as Curry or Durant, but he adds plenty of upside for a reasonable price tag to this stack.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves are two teams that surprisingly rank above average in terms of pace this season. Utah also ranks 13th in the NBA in offensive rating, while Minnesota ranks 25th in the league in defensive rating. Utah is a -5.5 point favorite (and growing) in a game set at 218.5 points, and they feature an implied total of 112 points tonight.
Rudy Gobert hasn’t seen much usage this season, but he still makes an elite fantasy option. He’s a walking double double, averaging 17.7 points, 13.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 2.7 blocks in 34.0 minutes per game. He has also been playing at a higher level recently, scoring 56 and 54 DK points in each of his last two games. Donovan Mitchell has been the leader of the offense, sporting a 28.9% usage rating through six games. He’s also taking a team-high 19.2 shot attempts per game. He has flashed 50+ DK point upside, and he’s averaging 22.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 35.8 minutes per game. Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder can both be considered to fill out this stack, but the upside of Ingles makes him the better tournament option. He looked outstanding early this season, averaging 38.9 DK points per game in his first three games. He has cooled off a bit recently, averaging only 23.6 DK points per game over his last three games. He’s seeing similar usage, though, and simply isn’t making his shots. If he is able to play at a slightly more efficient rate tonight, he comes with tremendous upside for a low price tag. This game will likely either be extremely high scoring or a defensive struggle, depending on the type of game each team wants to play at, making it the perfect game to target in GPPs.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Collison struggled through his first five games this season, averaging 16.7 DK points in only 23.4 minutes per game. That has changed over his last two games, though, as he’s averaging 16.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.5 steals (32.3 DK points) in 33.0 minutes per game. While he has seen increased production recently, he still only owns a 17.2% usage rating on the season, which is a major concern.
Collison likely saw an uptick in minutes because of the absence of Tyreke Evans, but that was not the case in his last game. He’s playing well enough to demand bigger minutes as a start, and he’s expected to play minutes in the high-20s, low-30s tonight. He’ll continue to see limited usage, but he has easily hit value when given big minutes this season. Collison certainly comes with risk, but that should be the case again tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Johnson missed the beginning of the season with an injury, but he quickly recovered to enter the Detroit lineup. Through five games, he’s averaging 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 assists in 27.1 minutes per game. He played 35 minutes last night, although he was only able to score 18.75 DK points in a tough matchup against the Boston Celtics.
Johnson is a cheap option, who is expected to play relatively big minutes once again. He gets a significantly better matchup against the Brooklyn Nets in a game that should be significantly faster paced. Johnson continues to struggle as a fantasy option, but he’s a cheap player that will be locked into bigger minutes. He will allow you to get elite options on your lineup, while not immediately eliminating lineups if he struggles.
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