Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Minnesota Wolves have been playing at an above average pace this season, ranking ninth in the NBA in pace through 13 games. They get a great matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, but they only rank 27th in the league in pace this season. With that being said, Brooklyn also ranks only 22nd in the NBA in defensive rating, while Minnesota ranks 17th in offensive rating. The Wolves are currently -2.5 point favorites in a game set at 224 points, giving them an implied total of 113.3 points tonight.
Minnesota will be without Jimmy Butler tonight because of his trade, but they will also be without Robert Covington and Dario Saric for the time being. That means Josh Okogie will be forced into big minutes, and he’s averaging 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.4 steals on a per-36 minute basis this season. He hasn’t always produced when given the time, but he’s cheap and will be locked into big minutes. Derrick Rose will continue to be locked into big minutes with Jeff Teague injured. He has played 35+ minutes in four of his last five games, averaging 30.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists (44.8 DK points) in 37.0 minutes per game over that span. He’s also averaging 1.2 DK points per minute at home this season. Karl-Anthony Towns will also likely see extra ownership on this slate. He has caught fire recently, scoring 60+ DK points in three of his last seven games. He’s also expected to see an uptick in usage rating with Butler out of the lineup. Brooklyn has struggled against talented bigs this season, and Towns has been a significantly better player in Minnesota, similarly to Rose this season.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers will be playing in one of the fastest paced games on the slate. These two teams rank 11th and eighth in the NBA in pace, respectively. Golden State also leads the league in offensive rating, while Los Angeles ranks 11th in defensive rating. While the Clippers have found defensive success this season, the Warriors are -3.5 point favorites in a game set at 228 points. They feature one of the highest implied totals on the slate at 115.8 points.
Stephen Curry has been ruled out tonight, leaving others to take over his usage and scoring. Quinn Cook is expected to draw another start after scoring 41.75 DK points against the Brooklyn Nets. Shaun Livingston is questionable tonight, though, and if he plays, Quinn will lose some minutes/value. If Livingston is ruled out, Quinn can be locked into all leagues, as he is averaging 1.1 DK points per minute, and comes with a relatively low price tag. Kevin Durant also stepped up with 57.75 DK points without Curry against the Brooklyn Nets. He’s expected to see a usage rating around 33% tonight, as well, and he has proven to be a versatile option. Draymond Green is expected to return to action tonight, and he’s expected to play with the ball in his hands more with Curry out. Prior to his injury, Green scored 42.75 and 49 DK points in his last two games, nearly triple doubling in both of them. He adds a plethora of upside to this stack for a reasonable price tag.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans have both been pushing the pace in 2018, ranking 12th and fourth in the NBA, respectively. Toronto has also featured one of the best offenses in the league, ranking third in the league in offensive rating. This is an elite matchup, as New Orleans ranks only 25th in the NBA in defensive rating. The Raptors are currently -9 point favorites in a game set at 231.5 points, and they own the highest implied total on the slate at 120.3 points.
Teams with the highest implied total on the slate generally don’t go overlooked, but the Raptors could because of their deep rotation. Kawhi Leonard has been the focal point of the offense, posting a team-high 29.4% usage rating this season. When healthy, he’s averaging 24.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.7 steals in 32.4 minutes per game. He has scored 40+ DK points in seven of his eight games with 30+ minutes. Kyle Lowry is the other focal point of the offense, as he’s the only other player averaging over 30 minutes per game this season. Overall, he’s averaging 17.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 11.0 assists, and 1.5 steals in 33.5 minutes per game. Surprisingly, he has only posted a 20.6% usage rating this season, but that hasn’t slowed down his fantasy production. He has scored 40+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games, and he comes with a surprisingly low price tag for this matchup. There are multiple players that can be considered to fill out this stack, but I’m siding with the upside of Serge Ibaka. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 18.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.0 block (1.5 DK points per minute) in only 23.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s expected to see minutes in the mid- to high-20s tonight, and he comes with tremendous upside in this matchup.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Shamet hasn’t necessarily produced at an elite level this season, but he’s averaging 7.3 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 21.3 minutes per game. Over the last 10 days, he has seen an increase in each category besides rebounds. Shamet also played 42 minutes in his last game against the Memphis Grizzlies, although he totaled only 18.5 DK points.
Shamet will be locked into big minutes once again tonight, as the Philadelphia 76ers will be without Robert Covington and Dario Saric, while Jimmy Butler is not yet with the team. While he struggled to produce in his last game, Shamet took 11 three-point attempts, making only one of them. He’ll see a similar role tonight, and he comes with tremendous upside if his shot is falling. Shamet will likely be owned at an extremely high rate tonight, and for a good reason.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Grant has quietly been enjoying a great season. Through 12 games, he’s averaging 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 blocks, and 1.1 steals (24.0 DK points) in 29.5 minutes per game. He has seen a small uptick in minutes over the last 10 days, and that has caused an uptick in DK points per game. Grant has also scored 20+ DK points in each of his last nine games, including a 39.5 DK point performance against the Washington Wizards.
Grant’s minutes fluctuate a bit on any given night, but he should see minutes in the low-30s once again tonight. He somewhat struggled in his only matchup against the Phoenix Suns this season, scoring 22.5 DK points in 37.1 minutes. While that’s far from an elite game, Grant only needs a few more DK points to hit value for his price tag tonight. He’s a safe option, who comes with plenty of upside on any given night.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)