Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder will be playing in one of the fastest paced and highest scoring games on the slate. These two teams currently rank third and seventh in the NBA in pace, respectively. New Orleans also ranks fourth in the league in offensive rating this season, while Oklahoma City surprisingly leads the league in defensive rating. Still, they are +2 underdogs in a game set at 232 points, giving them one of the highest implied totals on the slate at 115 points.
The Pelicans “Big Three” will likely be their chalk options with Nikola Mirotic out tonight. Anthony Davis leads the team with a 28.5% usage rating, while also being arguably the best fantasy option in the NBA this season. He’s averaging 27.4 points, 12.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.8 blocks, and 1.7 steals (59.1 DK points) in 36.5 minutes per game on the season. Excluding his limited game against the Detroit Pistons, Davis has scored 55+ DK points in each of his last nine games, while flashing 80 DK point upside. Julius Randle has been starting, and he’s averaging 34.2 minutes per game over his last five games. In those minutes, he’s averaging 27.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists (48.9 DK points) per game. Randle needed only 28.1 minutes to score 44 DK points against Oklahoma City earlier this season, and he should be locked into 30+ minutes with Mirotic injured tonight. Jrue Holiday is the final piece of the puzzle, and he comes with a surprisingly low price tag tonight. He’s averaging 22.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists, and 2.3 steals (44.8 DK points) in 37.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s coming off of a terrible game against the Boston Celtics, but he had scored 40+ DK points in each of his four games before that, including a 71 DK point performance against the Los Angeles Clippers. This stack isn’t going to come cheap, but it is one of the safest with upside on the entire slate.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Oklahoma City Thunder
This game is outlined above, and as mentioned, it will likely feature the fastest pace on the slate. The Oklahoma City Thunder have struggled at times offensively this season, ranking 16th in the NBA in offensive rating. They get an elite matchup, though, as the New Orleans Pelicans only rank 24th in the NBA in defensive rating. The Thunder are -2 point favorites in a game set at 232 points, and they own the highest implied total on the slate at 117 points.
Russell Westbrook has triple doubled in three consecutive games, including two games with 70+ DK points. In those games, he’s averaging 19.0 points, 14.3 rebounds, 13.3 assists, and 1.7 steals (63.4 DK points) in 37.0 minutes per game. He only saw limited minutes in his only matchup against New Orleans this season, but he found plenty of success, recording 1.53 DK points per minute in that game. Paul George has been another dominant option for Oklahoma City, as he’s averaging 28.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 steals (52.8 DK points) in 33.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has proven that he can find success with Westbrook on the floor, as George has scored 40+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games, including a 77.25 DK point performance against the Brooklyn Nets. PG13 also found success against the Pelicans this season, scoring 52 DK points against them in 37.1 minutes. Steven Adams doesn’t come with as much upside as the other players in this stack, but he has been extremely consistent. He has scored 32+ DK points in nine of his last 10 games. He’s also averaging 19.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.0 block, and 1.3 steals (34.7 DK points) in 29.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He posted similar numbers against the Pelicans earlier this season, and he adds consistency to this stack, while the other two options bring a bit more upside to the table.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Dallas Mavericks have been playing at an average pace this season, ranking 15th in the NBA in pace through 25 games. They’ll see a massive uptick in pace tonight, as they face off against the Atlanta Hawks, who lead the NBA in pace this season. Atlanta also ranks 22nd in the NBA in defensive rating, while Dallas ranks 15th in the league in offensive rating. The Mavs are -9 point favorites in a game set at 223 points, and they feature an implied total of 116 points tonight.
Dennis Smith Jr. has been ruled out for tonight’s game, meaning Jalen Brunson will draw another start. He has started each of his last three games, averaging 14.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.0 steals (26.9 DK points) in 29.0 minutes per game. He’s still entirely too cheap, while consistently exceeding value as a starter. Luka Doncic has been enjoying a great rookie season for Dallas, as he’s averaging 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.0 steal (32.7 DK points) in only 27.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He dominated the Hawks in their only matchup this season, scoring 38.75 DK points in 34.1 minutes earlier this season. Doncic is expected to be locked into 30+ minutes again tonight, and he comes with tremendous upside for a reasonable price tag. Keep in mind, Atlanta has struggled quite a bit against guards this season, adding to the value of Brunson and Doncic. Atlanta has also struggled against centers, and DeAndre Jordan makes an outstanding option. He has scored 40+ DK points in three of his last five games, and he posted 39 DK points against Atlanta in their only matchup this season. Jordan is far from a safe option, but his inconsistencies have kept his price tag reasonable. This is a great matchup for his rebounding potential, and he’s a player that comes with 20/20 upside. Outside of Brunson, the Mavs aren’t a safe stack, but they’ll likely feature relatively low ownership tonight, and they come with tremendous upside.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
McConnell has found some success in limited action throughout the season. Through 22 games, he’s averaging 5.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.0 steal (13.7 DK points) in only 17.2 minutes per game. He is averaging 25.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days, as well, turning those minutes into 20.5 DK points per game. McConnell was forced into 28 minutes in his last game against the Detroit Pistons, scoring 32 DK points.
He will likely see extended run with Jimmy Butler doubtful to play tonight. It wouldn’t be shocking if McConnell matches the 28 minutes he played in his last game, and he has proven that he can easily hit value in that time, especially for a price tag of only $3.5K. He also gets a great matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, who have struggled at times against guards this season. McConnell makes a great option in all leagues tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I’m taking a chance on Blossomgame tonight, but he’s anything but a sure-fire player. He saw 26 minutes in his last game, scoring 11 points with 10 rebounds, two assists, and one block (31.5 DK points) in that game. He was a dominant player in his final two seasons at Clemson, averaging 18.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 34.3 minutes per game.
Blossomgame is a young player that should find minutes in a bad Cleveland rotation. The Cleveland Cavaliers are dealing with injuries to Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, and they are simply running out of healthy big men. Blossomgame could slide into power forward, allowing Larry Nance Jr. to play as a small ball center. His role is the rotation is in question at the moment, but he does come with quite a bit of upside for a low price tag if he’s given those minutes, especially against a weak New York Knicks defense.
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