Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Minnesota Wolves and Sacramento Kings will be playing in one of the fastest paced games on the slate tonight. These two teams rank 11th and second in the NBA in pace, respectively. Minnesota has featured a slightly below average offense, ranking 16th in the league through 12 games. They get an elite matchup, though, as Sacramento ranks only 21st in the NBA in defensive rating. The Wolves are currently -3 point favorites in a game set at 230 points, and they feature the highest implied total on the slate at 116.5 points.
The majority of the Minnesota team will likely feature ownership due to the matchup and injury to Jeff Teague. Derrick Rose has essentially played in three games without Teague, and he’s averaging 34.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists (47.0 DK points) in 37.7 minutes per game. He’s expected to be locked into big minutes once again tonight, making him a great option, even for his increased price tag. Andrew Wiggins isn’t an overly flashy player, but he’s averaging 18.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 block, and 2.2 steals (33.1 DK points) in 36.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 30+ DK points in four of his last five games, and Wiggins is a player that will benefit from the fast paced, high scoring nature of this matchup. Taj Gibson might feature less ownership than some of the other Wolves player, but he rounds out this cash stack. Gibson has looked outstanding on a per minute basis this season, as he’s averaging 14.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks on a per-36 minute basis. He has played 30+ minutes in each of his last two games, scoring 43.25 and 33.75 DK points in those games. He’s expected to play similar minutes tonight, making him an elite option for a low price tag. Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler can also be considered in this stack, but I find them slightly more difficult to trust, especially in cash games, than the other players mentioned.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Philadelphia 76ers have been pushing the pace early this season, ranking sixth in the NBA in pace through 12 games. They get a matchup against the Charlotte Hornets, who rank only 17th in the league in pace this season. Charlotte also ranks 11th in the league in defensive rating, while Philadelphia has struggled offensively, ranking only 21st in the NBA in offensive rating thus far. Still, the Sixers are -6 point favorite in this game, giving them one of the highest implied totals on the slate at 116 points.
The Sixers team starts with Joel Embiid, who owns a ridiculous 32.0% usage rating this season. He has turned that into 27.7 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.3 blocks (53.9 DK points) in 34.2 minutes per game. He has also flashed tremendous upside recently, scoring 65+ DK points in two of his last four contests. Furthermore, Embiid posted a 27/15/2/2 line against Charlotte in their only matchup earlier this season. Ben Simmons is the other focal point of the team, although his 21.9% usage rating doesn’t tell the whole story. He’s a triple double threat on a nightly basis, as he’s averaging 14.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in 31.0 minutes per game this season. He has cooled off a bit recently, but he has still scored 45+ DK points in each of his last two games. The final part of this stack is a bit more difficult, but Dario Saric, who I seemingly regret playing on a near nightly basis, makes the cut. He’s coming off of a big game, scoring 31.25 DK points in 36 minutes against the Indiana Pacers. He’s expected to play big minutes again, and Saric is a player that comes with tremendous upside, although he shouldn’t be considered in cash games.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Detroit Pistons have played at an average pace in 2018, ranking 15th in the NBA in pace. They will see a massive uptick tonight, as they battle the Atlanta Hawks, who lead the league in pace this season. Atlanta has also struggled defensively, ranking 22nd in defensive rating, giving Detroit a bit more offensive rating, even though they rank only 25th in the NBA in offensive rating through 10 games. The Pistons are -4.5 point favorites in a game set at 226 points, and they enter this game with an implied total of 115.3 points.
Andre Drummond has posted a surprising 26.2% usage rating this season, and he has caught fire recently. He has scored 58+ DK points in three of his last four games, while averaging 24.0 points, 22.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.7 steals (60.5 DK points) in 39.0 minutes per game. Blake Griffin has also been a focal point of the offense, posting a 30.1% usage rating through 10 games. He has found plenty of success with Drummond, as Griffin is averaging 27.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists (50.3 DK points) in 36.4 minutes per game this season. This makes sense as a two player stack, but for the sake of the article, I’ll also add Langston Galloway. Galloway hasn’t produced a ton of fantasy points this season, averaging 8.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists (15.5 DK points) in 23.5 minutes per game. He has caught fire recently, though, scoring 68.75 DK points in 61 minutes over his last two games. He could potentially see fewer minutes with Reggie Bullock healthy tonight, but Galloway is a high upside option for a low price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Rozier has played extremely well in a limited role this season. Through 11 games, he’s averaging 7.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists (19.1 DK points) in only 22.3 minutes per game. Overall, he’s averaging a 12.3/7.3/3.2/1.2/0.7 line on a per-36 minute basis. He has played 25+ minutes in three of his last 10 games, averaging 24.7 DK points in those games.
Rozier is expected to draw the start with Kyrie Irving out tonight, and he could see 30+ minutes. He will be a fresh player after playing only 21 minutes in the Celtics overtime win against the Phoenix Suns last night. The matchup against the Utah Jazz is less than ideal, but they haven’t been the elite defense this season that they have been in the past. Rozier has become an “avoid at your own risk” type of player tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I have already outlined Gibson above, so I won’t do that again here. He’s likely going to be locked into 30+ minutes tonight, and there’s very little reason to avoid him. On the season, he owns 0.97 DK points per minute, and he gets a matchup against one of the fastest paced teams in the NBA. Furthermore, Sacramento ranks last in the NBA against power forwards, and Gibson is a player that can be considered in all leagues tonight.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)
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