Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been slowing the pace down this season, ranking 28th in the NBA in pace through 18 games. They will see an uptick in pace tonight, facing off against the Minnesota Wolves, who rank 10th in the league in pace thus far. The Wolves also rank 19th in the league in defensive rating, although they rank second in the same category since trading Jimmy Butler. Cleveland has struggled a bit offensively this season, as well, ranking 19th in the NBA in offensive rating. The Cavs are currently +5.5 point underdogs in a game set at 215 points, giving them an implied total of 104.8 points tonight.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are running a short rotation tonight, which will increase ownership on the majority of their players. Rodney Hood could potentially see the most ownership of the Cavs players tonight. He has performed fairly well this season, averaging 13.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists (21.3 DK points) in 27.5 minutes per game. He has played significantly better at home this season, where he’s averaging 23.0 DK points in only 27.3 minutes per game. He’ll be locked into 30+ minutes tonight, and makes a great option for a low price tag. Tristan Thompson has been playing at a high level for quite some time, and he’ll command ownership tonight. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 14.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.8 steals (37.3 DK points) in 33.4 minutes per game. He has also scored 34+ DK points in six of his last nine games, including four games with 40+ DK points. Furthermore, Thompson has also been a better fantasy option in Cleveland this season. Larry Nance Jr. is another player that will likely be forced into bigger minutes. He has been playing at a high level on a per minute basis this season, as he’s averaging 7.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals (22.6 DK points) in only 21.2 minutes per game. He has played 26+ minutes only three times in his last 10 games, and he’s averaging 31.3 DK points per game in those contests.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets will be playing in one of the fastest paced games on the slate. Through 19 games, these teams rank fourth and 13th in the NBA in pace, respectively. Milwaukee has also featured the best offense in the NBA this season, leading the league in offensive rating thus far. Charlotte, on the other hand, has featured an average defense, ranking 15th in the NBA in defensive rating this season. The Bucks are -4.5 point favorites in a game set at 234 points, and they feature the highest implied total on the slate at 119.3 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the focal point of the Milwaukee offense, posting a 32.8% usage rating this season. Overall, he’s averaging 27.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.4 steals (56.7 DK points) in 33.3 minutes per game. He has been playing at a higher level over the last 10 days, as well, and he posted 74.5 DK points against the San Antonio Spurs in his last game. Eric Bledsoe is another player that has caught fire for the Bucks recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 19.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.8 steals (39.1 DK points) in 30.5 minutes per game. Bledsoe has also scored 40+ DK points in three of his last four games, and he’ll be locked into big minutes once again tonight. Malcolm Brogdon is a cheaper option, who will see plenty of time on the court in this game. Similarly to Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe, he has been heating up over the last 10 days. Over that span, Brogdon is averaging 17.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists (28.5 DK points) in 29.4 minutes per game. He has played 30+ minutes in each of his last two games, scoring 32.25 and 35.25 DK points in those games. This stack could feature some ownership, but it’s difficult to avoid the Bucks, specifically Antetokounmpo, in a fast paced, high scoring matchup.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
This game has been outlined above, and it will feature plenty of scoring with a fast pace of play. Milwaukee has featured a dominant defense, ranking sixth in the NBA in defensive rating this season. Charlotte has found plenty of offensive success, though, ranking fifth in the league in offensive rating this season. The Hornets are are +4.5 point underdogs in a game set at 234 points, but they still own an implied total of 114.8 points on this slate.
It’s a bit shocking that Charlotte could go overlooked in this matchup, but that seems to be the case. Kemba Walker is the star of the show, recording a 32.1% usage rating this season. Over the last 10 days, Walker is averaging 33.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 1.8 steals (53.9 DK points) in 36.4 minutes per game. He has recently scored 43 and 60 points in games against the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, and he could thrive in a game with this projected total. Marvin Williams will likely feature some ownership, but he needs to be mentioned in this stack. He’s absurdly cheap, but has scored 20+ DK points in each of his last three games, including a 41.25 DK point performance against the Atlanta Hawks. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 10.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assist (22.9 DK points) in 28.1 minutes per game. Williams is a cheap way to get minutes in the mid- to high-20s in this game. Jeremy Lamb is another player that is entirely too cheap on this slate. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 18.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.0 steal (33.6 DK points) in 32.2 minutes per game. He has scored 30+ DK points in five of his last six games, and Lamb needed only 20.5 minutes to score 17.0 DK points against the Bucks in their only matchup this season. He makes a great option in a somewhat obvious stack that may go a bit overlooked on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Augustin has quietly been playing well this season. Through 20 games, he’s averaging 10.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists (22.4 DK points) in 27.2 minutes per game. He’s far from a consistent option, but he has flashed tremendous upside this season. Still, Augustin has scored 20+ DK points in seven of his last 10 games, including three games with 30+ DK points.
Augustin’s role has been very defined throughout the season, and that won’t change tonight. He’ll feature a low usage rating in this game, while playing minutes in the mid- to high-20s. He gets a solid matchup against the Golden State Warriors, who have been an average defense against the point guard this season. Augustin isn’t safe enough for cash games, but he makes an outstanding tournament option for his low price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I have outlined Williams above, so I won’t go into too much detail again. He comes with a ridiculous price tag for his recent production and matchup. He’s a consistent option at his current price, and he comes with unmatched upside. This is also an elite matchup for Williams, who has the potential to thrive in a fast paced, high scoring game. He’s someone, who can be plugged into all leagues.
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