Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns have both been playing at a below average pace this season, as they rank 19th and 20th in the NBA in pace, respectively. Chicago has struggled offensively this season, ranking last in the NBA in offensive rating through 17 games. This is an elite matchup, though, as Phoenix only ranks 27th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Bulls are +1 point underdogs in a game set at 217 points, and they feature an implied total of 108 points tonight.
There isn’t going to be one major “Chalk Stack” at this point in the day, but I’m siding with the value of Chicago on this slate. Ryan Arcidiacono has played 29+ minutes in six consecutive games, although he hasn’t always produced while on the court. Over the last 10 days, Arcidiacono is averaging 8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists (20.1 DK points) in 31.1 minutes per game. His 10.1% usage rating is a major concern, but he doesn’t need many fantasy points to hit value, and there aren’t many player this cheap that are locked into 30+ minutes. Justin Holiday is in a similar as Arcidiacono. He only owns a 13.9% usage rating this season, but he’s averaging 34.9 minutes per game this season. Over the last 10 days, Holiday is averaging 11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.8 steals (25.0 DK points) in 33.1 minutes per game. He has also scored 22+ DK points in nine of his last 10 games, while flashing nearly 40 DK point upside over that span. Zach LaVine is a bit more expensive, but he will likely feature some ownership on this slate. He leads the team with a ridiculous 32.9% usage rating, while also averaging a team-high 35.9 minutes per game. He has cooled off a bit recently, but has still scored 40+ DK points in two of his last four games. The Suns simply don’t have the defense to slow down LaVine, and he should be locked into minutes in the high-30s once again tonight.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orlean Pelicans and Philadelphia 76ers have been pushing the pace early this season, ranking third and seventh in the NBA in pace, respectively. New Orleans has also featured an elite offense, ranking third in the league in offensive rating in 2018. Philadelphia ranks 11th in the NBA in defensive rating, but they have shown defensive holes at times in their games. The Pelicans are +4 point underdogs, and they own an implied total of 116.3 points on this slate.
At this point, the Pelicans stack is a bit obvious. Their three main players – Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic, and Jrue Holiday – have all seen a decrease in price tag on this slate. Holiday has been playing at an elite level with Elfrid Payton injured, and he’ll be in a position to do that once again tonight. He has scored 40+ DK points in all but one game without Payton. He is also averaging 21.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.7 steals (46.2 DK points) in 35.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s entirely too cheap at his current price tag tonight, as well. Mirotic is coming off a bad game, playing only 29 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs, but he should be locked into 30+ minutes tonight. He has been enjoying an elite season, as he’s averaging 1.26 DK points per minute this season. Furthermore, Mirotic is averaging 44.2 DK points per game on the road. Davis also features an oddly low price tag on this slate. Similarly to Mirotic, he wasn’t needed as much in his last game, but he should see minutes in the high-30s tonight. Over the last 10 days, Davis is averaging 32.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 1.0 steal (62.6 DK points) in 37.5 minutes per game. He has scored 58+ DK points in six of his last seven games, while flashing unmatched upside on this slate. These three players aren’t going to come cheap, but they are relatively safe, and come with tremendous upside.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Milwaukee Bucks have quietly been playing at a fast pace this season, ranking fifth in the NBA in pace through 16 games. They get a matchup against the Portland Blazers, who rank only 15th in the league in pace this season. They have also featured a dominant defense, ranking ninth in defensive rating in 2018. With that being said, Milwaukee owns an elite offense, ranking second in the league, behind only the Golden State Warriors, in offensive rating. The Bucks are -7 point favorites in a game set at 225 points, giving them an implied total of 116 points tonight.
Eric Bledsoe only owns a 21.1% usage rating this season, but he has caught fire recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 18.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.8 steals (40.2 DK points) in 31.2 minutes per game. Bledsoe has scored 34+ DK points in each of his last six games, as well. Bledsoe is also averaging 1.3 DK points per minute at home, as opposed to 1.01 DK points per minute on the road. Malcolm Brogdon has also been playing well recently, averaging 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists (26.1 DK points) in 29.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s a cheap option, who has scored 30+ DK points in three of his last six games, including a 39.5 DK point performance against the Denver Nuggets. His minutes have been a bit inconsistent this season, but he’s expected to see around 30 minutes tonight. Brook Lopez is a final boom or bust option for this stack. He has played 30+ minutes in four of his last five games, and he’s averaging 34.8 DK points per game in those games. Lopez also scored 33.5 DK points in 29.5 minutes against Portland earlier this season, and he’ll come with low ownership on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have outlined Arcidiacono above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has consistently seen 30+ minutes per game, and that should be the case once again tonight. While he doesn’t posted elite per minute numbers, his time on the court should be enough to allow him to hit value. He’s expected to be owned at a high rate on this slate, and he’s an easy way to fit more expensive players into your lineups.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Zeller has performed well on a per minute basis this season, as he’s averaging 9.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists (21.3 DK points) in 24.2 minutes per game. He has also played 30+ minutes in three of his last four games, scoring 24, 26.75, and 28.5 DK points in those games. Zeller hasn’t needed big minutes to hit value at his current price tag, but his recent uptick in minutes has only helped his cause.
Guillermo Hernangomez has been ruled out tonight, meaning Zeller will be locked into as many minutes as he can handle. While he has had issues with fouling, he’ll likely be playing slightly more controlled, knowing that his primary backup is injured. He gets a tough matchup against the Indiana Pacers, who have performed well against the center this season. Zeller doesn’t need to have an elite game to hit value, though, and he’s a safe option, even in a tough matchup.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)
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