Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have been playing at one of the fastest paces in the NBA this season, ranking third overall in pace through 16 games. They get a matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, who rank only 27th in the league in pace in 2018. San Antonio also ranks 14th in the NBA in defensive rating, while New Orleans ranks fifth in the league in offensive rating. The Pelicans are currently -7.5 point favorites in a game set at 222 points, and they feature an implied total of 114.8 points.
Anthony Davis has been the leader of the New Orleans team this season, posting a 27.7% usage rating through 13 games. He’s been playing at an elite level on a nightly basis, averaging 27.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.8 blocks (59.5 DK points) in 38.0 minutes per game. He also gets the added bonus on FanDuel for blocks and steals. Jrue Holiday has been one of the most consistent players in the NBA since Elfrid Payton went down in an injury. He has scored 40+ DK points in nine of his last 10 games, including a 58.25 DK point performance against the Toronto Raptors. He owns one of the highest usage ratings on the team, and is averaging 19.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and 1.6 steals (42.9 DK points) in 36.1 minutes per game on the season. Nikola Mirotic is another higher priced player for the Pelicans, who should feature some ownership. When healthy, he’s been scoring 40+ DK points on a near nightly basis, as he is averaging 1.29 DK points per minute this season. He has proven time and time again that he can score well, even when Davis and Holiday are hitting value. The Pelicans aren’t going to be a cheap stacking option, but these three players will lock you into roughly a 140 DK point floor on this slate.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks will be playing in one of the fastest paced games on the slate. These two teams rank ninth and first in the NBA in pace, respectively. Los Angeles also ranks fourth in the league in offensive rating through 15 games. Atlanta has struggled defensively, as well, ranking only 22nd in the NBA in defensive rating this season. The Clippers are -8 point favorites in a game set at 231 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 119.5 points.
The Clippers are in a bit of an odd spot at this point, as their guard rotation will drastically change if Avery Bradley is active. Lou Williams has featured a 31.9% usage rating this season, and he’s finally playing bigger minutes. Over the last 10 days, Williams is averaging 19.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists (32.9 DK points) in 31.2 minutes per game. He’s a high upside option, but could see fewer minutes if Bradley is active. Tobias Harris is an absurdly consistent option, scoring 35+ DK points in each of his last six games. He’s also averaging 19.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists (38.8 DK points) in 38.2 minutes per game this season. Harris will be locked into big minutes once again tonight, and he’s an athletic forward that will benefit from the pace of this game. Another big man that will benefit from the pace tonight is Montrezl Harrell. He has caught fire recently, averaging 1.29 DK points per minute over the last month. He’s also averaging 28.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Over that span, he’s averaging a healthy 37.1 DK points per game, and he adds tremendous upside to this stack.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Philadelphia 76ers have been pushing the pace early this season, ranking seventh in the NBA in pace through 18 games. They’ll see a downtick in pace tonight, as the Phoenix Suns rank only 22nd in the league in pace in 2018. With that being said, Phoenix also ranks 27th in the league in defensive rating, while Philadelphia ranks 18th in offensive rating. It should come as no surprise that Philadelphia is a -11.5 point favorite in a game set at 219.5 points, and they own an implied total of 115.5 points tonight.
Joel Embiid has been a usage monster this season, posting a 32.3% usage rating through 18 games. He has turned that into 27.7 points, 12.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.2 blocks (55.3 DK points) in 34.5 minutes per game. He has also scored 55+ DK points in three of his last four games. Ben Simmons also makes an outstanding tournament option. He struggled in his first game with Jimmy Butler, but posted a 23/11/9/2 line for 53.75 DK points in his last game. His usag rating is only sitting at 20.9% on the season, but Simmons is seen as a facilitator in the offense. He comes with triple double potential on a nightly basis, as he’s averaging 14.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.4 steals in 33.1 minutes per game. Phoenix simply doesn’t have anyone that can guard either of these players, as well. The final part of the stack is Mike Muscala, who is a salary relief option. Muscala isn’t an elite option while on the court, but he’s averaging 30.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. In those games, he’s also averaging 8.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. He has scored 19+ DK points in three of his last four games, and he has been a better option in Philadelphia this season. He makes this stack a bit more affordable, as well.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Morris has stepped up extremely well in the absence of Will Barton this season. Through 16 games, Morris is averaging 9.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists (20.1 DK points) in 23.5 minutes per game. He has seen his minutes increase recently, though, as he has played 28+ minutes in each of his last four games. In that time, he’s averaging 24.1 DK points in 30.5 minutes per game.
Morris is expected to play 30+ minutes once again tonight. He gets a tough matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, but this game should feature plenty of scoring. Overall, this game features a total of 225.5 points, and Morris should see plenty of opportunities to score fantasy points. He’s an elite salary relief option, who should feature quite a bit of ownership on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Finney-Smith has seen somewhat of a limited role this season, as he’s only averaging 26.3 minutes per game. In that time, he’s averaging 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds (18.7 DK points) per game. He is averaging 22.3 DK points in 30.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days, though. He also totaled 28.25 DK points in 40 minutes against the Golden State Warriors in his last game.
He could see extended minutes once again tonight, as J.J. Barea and Dwight Powell already ruled out. DFS will certainly be forced into big minutes if Wesley Matthews is ruled out again, although he’s a game-time decision at this point. Finney-Smith gets a solid matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have struggled at times against the small forward. If Matthews is ruled out, DFS can be considered in all leagues. If Matthews is starting, DFS is best suited for GPPs.
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