Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have been pushing the pace early this season, ranking fourth in the NBA in pace through 11 games. They get a matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who only rank 21st in the league in pace this season, though. Still, New Orleans ranks eighth in the league in offensive rating, while Phoenix ranks only 27th in defensive rating. The Pelicans are currently -9.5 point favorites in a game set at 229 points, and they feature an implied total of 119.3 points tonight.
Elfrid Payton is expected to be a game-time decision, but he’ll feature a plethora of ownership if he’s active. Payton has seen his price tag drop drastically, but he’s averaging 14.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.0 steal (36.6 DK points) in 32.0 minutes per game when healthy. After a string of bad games where he was dealing with an injury, Anthony Davis looked elite once again against the Chicago Bulls. On the season, he’s averaging 24.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 steals, and 3.3 blocks in 37.5 minutes per game. His recent game alone will add to his ownership tonight, as well. Jrue Holiday will command ownership tonight, as well. He has been playing at an elite level without Payton on the court, scoring 40+ DK points in six consecutive games. During that stretch, Holiday is averaging 21.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 9.8 assists, and 1.3 steals (46 DK points) in 38.0 minutes per game. While Holiday likely will play without the ball in his hands as much with Payton back, he’ll continue to build off of his recent success. If Payton is out, Holiday makes an elite option, and Nikola Mirotic can be added to the stack, assuming he suits up tonight.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings will be playing in the fastest paced games of the night, as these two teams currently rank third and first in the NBA in pace, respectively. Los Angeles also ranks seventh in the league in offensive rating, while Sacramento ranks 19th in defensive rating. It’s an elite matchup for each team, but the Lakers are currently -5.5 point favorites. The game is set at 239 points, and they own the highest implied total of the slate at 122.3 points.
The Lakers are in need of wins, meaning LeBron James will be forced into big minutes. On the season, he’s averaging 26.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.5 steals in 35.2 minutes per game. James leads the team with a 29.7% usage rating this season, as well. He has scored 50+ DK points in seven of his last nine games, including three games with 60+ DK points. Brandon Ingram has featured plenty of ups and downs this season, but he has been locked into solid minutes. He’s coming off of a 40.75 DK point performance against the Minnesota Wolves, and he has played 30+ minutes in each of his last four games. Kyle Kuzma is the final part of this stack. He’s another player that has performed well this season, while playing big minutes. Through 11 games, he’s averaging 19.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists (29.6 DK points) in 31.5 minutes per game. The Lakers have a deep team, but these three players feature the most upside in this type of game, making them an outstanding stack.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
Golden State Warriors
The Golden Warriors haven’t been playing at a blazing pace this season, but they do rank 10th in the NBA in pace through 12 games. They get a matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, who have been slowing the pace down in their games, ranking only 26th in the league in pace in 2018. Brooklyn also ranks as a slightly below average defense, while Golden State leads the NBA in offensive rating. The Warriors are -7.5 point favorites in a game set at 225 points, giving them an implied total of 116.3 points on this slate.
Stephen Curry and Shaun Livingston have been ruled out tonight, leaving Quinn Cook to handle the majority of the point guard minutes. He has seen very limited minutes this season, but he’s averaging 20.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.6 assists on a per-36 minute basis. Quinn has also scored 20+ DK points in three consecutive games, and he’s an elite salary relief option on this slate. Kevin Durant will also see an uptick in usage tonight. He has performed well on the season, as well, averaging 26.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in 34.4 minutes per game. He’s averaging 18.6 shot attempts and 6.2 free throw attempts per game, and he could see a small uptick in those averages tonight. Klay Thompson will likely be called upon to help the offense more, as well. On the season, he’s averaging 20.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 33.0 minutes. Thompson has also caught fire a bit recently, scoring 38.75 and 37.0 DK points in his last two games. The Warriors are a stack that could go overlooked, but the come with tremendous upside with reasonable salaries.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Canaan isn’t exactly an elite fantasy option, but he has been playing well since returning from injury. Over the last 10 days (four games), Canaan is averaging 13.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists (23.3 DK points) in 35.1 minutes per game. He has scored 23+ DK points in three of those four games, as well.
Canaan is expected to play minutes in the mid- to high-30s again tonight. He gets a great matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans in a game that should feature a fast pace and plenty of scoring. The Pelicans also rank as one of the bottom teams in the NBA against point guards this season, as well. Canaan will see plenty of opportunities to score points and contribute peripheral stats, making him a relatively safe option for a low price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jackson was seen as one of the most NBA ready rookies in the draft, and that has been the case early this season. Through 10 games, he’s averaging 12.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.1 steals (25.0 DK points) in 24.2 minutes per game. Jackson has also played 30+ minutes in each of his last two games, scoring 40.25 and 34.5 DK points in those games.
The Memphis Grizzlies have been dealing with plenty of injuries this season, and that is the case once again tonight. That should force Jackson into bigger minutes, and he could potentially see 30+ minutes again tonight. He gets an elite matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers, who rank 28th in the NBA against power forwards. Jackson certainly comes with some risk, but he’s a high upside option for a low price tag tonight.
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