Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs have been slowing the pace down this season, ranking only 25th in the NBA in pace through eight games. They’ll see a small uptick in tonight, though, as the Orlando Magic currently rank 20th in the league in pace. San Antonio has also found plenty of offensive success this season, ranking 10th in the league in offensive rating. Orlando has struggled defensively through eight games, as well, ranking 20th in the NBA in defensive rating. The Spurs are currently -8 point favorites in a game set at 205.5 points, giving them an implied total of 106.8 points.
DeMar DeRozan continues to play at an elite level for the Spurs, leading the team with a 30.2% usage rating. He’s averaging 21.3 field goal and 6.3 free throw attempts per game, as well. Overall, DeRozan is averaging 27.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He has also scored 60+ DK points in three games this season. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the other focal point of the offense, posting a 26.6% usage rating through eight games. He’s nearly averaging a double double this season with 20.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 35.9 minutes per game. Dante Cunningham should also see plenty of ownership tonight, and he makes this stack a bit more affordable. He’s far from an elite player, but he was able to score 33.75 DK points in 38 minutes in his last game. On the season, he’s averaging 4.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 22.3 minutes per game. He’s expected to play minutes in the high-20s tonight, making him an outstanding salary relief option on a smaller slate.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Portland Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves will face off in one of the fastest paced games on the slate, as these two teams rank 13th and 11th in the NBA in pace, respectively. Portland also ranks fourth in the NBA in offensive rating, while Minnesota ranks only 26th in the league in defensive rating. The Blazers are -6 point favorites in a game set at 226.5 points, and they feature an implied total of 110.3 points.
Damian Lillard has been the clear-cut focal point of the Blazers offense, leading the team with a 30.5% usage rating. He also leads the team with 29.2 points and 5.8 assists per game, while also averaging 5.0 rebounds in 34.0 minutes per game. Jusuf Nurkic has posted a 25.3% usage rating through nine games, but he generally goes overlooked because of his inconsistent minutes. He’s averaging 1.3 DK points per minute this season, and he has played 28 and 30 minutes in his last two games. Nurkic is also averaging 16.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in only 26.0 minutes per game in Portland this season. Al-Farouq Aminu is another player that has been heating up recently, scoring 31.25 and 34.0 DK points in his last two games. He played 30+ minutes in each of those games, and was able to post a double double in each game. He’s expected to play similar minutes again tonight, and Aminu is a player that thrives in fast paced games. The Blazers players come with plenty of risk, but they also comes with quite a bit of upside on a slate that features limited games.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Mack has featured mixed results early this season, as he’s averaging 10.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 25.5 minutes He only owns a 16.8% usage rating this season, but he has been playing at a high level recently. Mack has seen 30+ minutes in each of his last two games, totaling 33 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists, and one steal (63 DK points) in those games.
He is dealing with a thumb injury, but he is fully expected to play tonight. His role is expected to stay similar, as he should see minutes in the high-20s or low-30s. He’ll continue to see limited usage, but Mack has flashed tremendous upside recently. There are limited options on a smaller slate, and he makes a great salary relief option in tournaments.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Vonleh played limited minutes early this season, but he has earned more with his play. He’s averaging 7.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in only 19.6 minutes per game. He’s also averaging 1.2 DK points per minute. Vonleh played 33 and 29 minutes against the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets before playing only 10 minutes due to foul trouble against the Dallas Mavericks.
Vonleh could feature lowered ownership because of his last game, but he’s expected to see his minutes jump back up to the mid- to high-20s. He gets a great matchup against the Washington Wizards, who have struggled against big men this season. Vonleh is a double double threat when given the minutes, and that should be the case once again tonight.
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