Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans and Washington Wizards will be playing in one of the fastest paced games on the slate. These two teams currently rank third and sixth in the NBA in pace, respectively. New Orleans has also featured a dominant offense, ranking fourth in the league in offensive rating through 21 games. Furthermore, Washington has struggled defensively this season, ranking 29th in the NBA in defensive rating in 2018. The Pelicans are -6 point favorites in a game set at 241 points, giving them the highest implied total on the slate at 123.5 points.
Anthony Davis continues to prove he’s healthy, and he has been playing at an elite level. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 28.2 points, 12.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.2 blocks, and 2.0 steals (59.4 DK points) in 36.0 minutes per game. He has scored 50+ DK points in each of his last 10 games, including six games with 60+ DK points. Davis is also averaging 1.76 DK points per minute at home, as opposed to 1.41 DK points per minute on the road. Jrue Holiday has cooled off over his last two games, but he has been one of the most consistent options in the NBA this season. On the season, Holiday is averaging 19.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 9.1 assists, and 1.7 steals (43.0 DK points) in 36.2 minutes per game. He’s locked into minutes in the high-30s, and he’s one of the safest player on the entire slate. Julius Randle will likely command some ownership, but the consistency of Nikola Mirotic makes more sense in a cash stack. His price tag has dropped a bit, but he has scored 34+ DK points in each of his last four games. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging a 19.0/8.5/0.8/1.0/0.7 line (36.0 DK points) in 33.1 minutes per game. He’s another consistent option in one of the top offenses in the NBA, and this is a matchup that this trio should be able to take advantage of.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Charlotte Hornets have been playing at an average pace through the 2018 season, ranking 14th in the NBA in pace thus far. They’ll see a massive uptick in pace tonight, as they face off against the Atlanta Hawks, who lead the NBA in pace through 21 games. Atlanta has struggled defensively, ranking 23rd in the NBA in defensive rating, while Charlotte ranks fifth in the league in offensive rating. The Hornets are currently -12 point favorites in a game set at 232 points, and they feature one of the highest implied totals on the slate at 122 points.
Kemba Walker has been an elite option for Charlotte this season, posting a team-high 31.8% usage rating through 20 games. He’s been playing at an extremely high level recently, as he’s averaging 31.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.8 steals (51.6 DK points) in 36.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Walker has been a better fantasy option at home this season, and he’s averaging 49.0 DK points in two matchups against Atlanta this season, as well. Jeremy Lamb is a player that is entirely too cheap for his new role in the offense. He has scored 32+ DK points in six of his last seven games. He’s also averaging 1.0 DK point per minute against Atlanta this season, and he should see minutes in the mid- to high-30s once again tonight. Marvin Williams is another player that has found plenty of success against the Hawks this season. In two matchups against Atlanta, Williams is averaging 20.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assist (37.6 DK points) in 31.1 minutes per game. He has also played 30+ minutes in each of his last three games, averaging 30.3 DK points per game over that span. For what it’s worth, Nicolas Batum, Cody Zeller, Tony Parker, and Malik Monk can all be considered in this stack for cheap, as well.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Milwaukee Bucks have been pushing the pace in 2018, ranking fourth in the NBA in pace through 20 games. They get a matchup against the Chicago Bulls, who currently rank 21st in the league in pace. Milwaukee has also been playing at an elite level on offense, leading the NBA in offensive rating this season. On the other hand, Chicago has struggled defensively, ranking only 22nd in the league in defensive rating. It should come as no surprise that the Bucks are -14.5 point favorites in a game set at 227.5 points. They own an implied total of 121 points tonight.
It isn’t very often that we can get nearly every Milwaukee player at lowered ownership, but that may be the case in a potential blowout tonight. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been a usage monster this season, posting a 32.0% usage rating through 19 games. He has also caught fire recently, averaging 30.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.8 steals (63.4 DK points) in 36.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Antetokounmpo also scored more than 50 DK points against Chicago in their only matchup this season, and the Bulls simply do not have anyone that can guard Antetokounmpo. Eric Bledsoe has also been playing at a high level recently, averaging 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.6 steals (35.4 DK points) in 31.6 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Bledsoe is also averaging 1.28 DK points per minute at home this season. Furthermore, Bledsoe scored 47 DK points against Chicago in their only matchup this season. Pat Connaughton has quietly been enjoying a solid season, as he’s averaging 7.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists (17.8 DK points) in 17.6 minutes per game on the season. Connaughton has played 20+ minutes in six of his last 10 games, and he’s averaging 25.8 DK points per game in those contests. Furthermore, Connaughton is a way to hedge yourself a bit against a blowout, as he will play extended minutes if this game gets out of hand. With that being said, Connaughton will likely continue to play around 20 minutes in a normal game, making him a sneaky option, who will likely go overlooked for a low price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Simmons has featured a plethora of ups and downs throughout the season. Overall, he’s averaging 7.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists (15.8 DK points) in 21.3 minutes per game. He has played 10 or fewer minutes in two of his last four games, but he has totaled 53 minutes in his last two contests. In those games, he scored a total of 38.75 DK points.
Simmons will draw another start tonight, and he’s expected to play minutes in the mid- to high-20s once again tonight. He gets a good matchup against the Portland Blazers, who he scored 15 DK points against in only 20.6 minutes earlier this season. He doesn’t possess elite upside, but he’s absurdly priced for his new starting role in this matchup. Simmons is an option that can be used in all leagues.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Larry Nance Jr.
Nance has performed well in limited minutes this season, averaging 7.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.4 steals (23.5 DK points) in 22.2 minutes per game. He drew the start in his last game, totaling 37.5 DK points in 38 minutes. He nearly triple doubled in that game, and he has the potential to contribute in each of the five categories on a nightly basis.
Nance could draw the start again tonight, and he’s tentatively expected to minutes in the 30s again tonight. Regardless of his starting status, Nance should be locked into those minutes with David Nwaba injured. He gets a tough matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but Nance has found plenty of success against tough defenses before. He’s entirely too cheap for how well he can produce while on the court, and Nance makes a great option in all leagues tonight.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)