Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Miami Heat have been playing at an above average pace this season, ranking 12th in the NBA in pace through seven games. They get an elite matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, who lead the NBA in pace by a wide margin. Miami has featured an average offense this season, while Atlanta owns a slightly below average defense. The Heat are -5.5 point favorites in a game set at 226.5 points, and they feature an implied total of 116 points tonight.
Justise Winslow will likely be one of the highest owned players on the slate tonight. He’s finally back from injury, and his minutes have stabilized. In his last game, he contributed in each of the five categories, posting a 5/3/5/1/2 line in 30 minutes. He still comes with an absurdly cheap price tag, and he’s expected to play 30+ minutes once again tonight. The other two parts of this stack are Dwyane Wade and Tyler Johnson, as they will both see an increase in minutes with Goran Dragic out. Wade has looked great this season, averaging 0.98 DK points per minute. He has flashed 30+ DK point upside, and he’s expected to play minutes in the mid- to high-20s tonight. Wade is expected to see a slight usage bump, as well. There were rumors that Johnson was playing himself out of the rotation in Miami, but that doesn’t seem to be true. He has played 26 and 25 minutes in his last two games, and he’s averaging 8.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.3 steals in only 23.6 minutes per game this season. He’ll be forced to play bigger minutes with Dragic out, and he makes one of the safest options on the slate in this matchup.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs rank 27th in the NBA in pace this season, but they will see a major uptick tonight. They get a matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, who rank third in the NBA in pace. San Antonio also ranks in the top-10 of the league in offensive rating, while New Orleans ranks 27th in defensive rating. The Spurs are currently -3.5 point favorites in a game set at 228.5 points, giving them an implied total of 116 points tonight.
DeMar DeRozan has played a major factor in the Spurs offense, leading them with a 30% usage rating. He’s also averaging 27.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 37.3 minutes per game. Most importantly, DeRozan is averaging 20.9 shot attempts and 6.6 free throw attempts per game. He’s thriving in his new role, and that is unlikely to change tonight. LaMarcus Aldridge has also been a big part of the San Antonio offense, possessing a 27.1% usage rating through seven games. He’s nearly averaging a double double with 20.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks in 35.3 minutes per game. He comes with a bit more risk than DeRozan, but his upside is undeniable. Rudy Gay makes another great option, but Bryn Forbes fills out the stack for his salary relief. He has quietly played well this season, averaging 13.4 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 steal in 29.4 minutes per game. He only played 22 minutes in the Spurs last game, but that was a blowout, and he had played 30+ minutes in his previous four. He relies heavily on scoring, but Forbes is a cheap option, who helps fit in the top two starts on this team.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I outlined Johnson above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He’s going to be forced into extended minutes with Goran Dragic injured tonight. He’s flashed some versatility this season, and he’s averaging 21.9 DK points per game over his last four games. Johnson is going to feature chalky ownership tonight, but he’s a tough player to avoid, specifically in cash games.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I know these aren’t the most hidden of gems, but I feel a need to truly emphasize these two players. Winslow has yet to flash his ceiling this season, and he’s a near lock to his value at his current price tag. He’s expected to play 30 minutes against one of the worst defenses in the NBA, and Winslow has the potential to contribute in each of the five categories. He’s the top option on the slate at the moment.
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