Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Denver Nuggets have been slowing the pace this throughout the 2018 season, ranking only 27th in the NBA in pace thus far. They’ll see a massive uptick in pace tonight, facing off against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who rank sixth in the league in pace this season. Denver does rank eighth in the NBA in offensive, although Oklahoma City leads the league in defensive rating. Still, the Nuggets are only +1.5 point underdogs in a game set at 218.5 points, giving them an implied total of 108.5 points.
There are three players for the Denver Nuggets that stick out as chalky options – Monte Morris, Trey Lyles, and Mason Plumlee. Morris has played bigger minutes recently, as he has seen 28 and 30 minutes in his last two games. In that time, he was able to score 38.5 and 32.5 DK points. Morris could see a slightly smaller role with Jamal Murray healthy tonight, but he’s still expected to play nearly 30 minutes for an absurdly low price tag. Plumlee and Lyles will continue to see time with Paul Millsap injured. In two games without Millsap, Lyles is averaging 9.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.5 steals (24.6 DK points) in 30.0 minutes per game. Surprisingly, he saw only 22 minutes in his last game, but he’s averaging 0.97 DK points per minute this season. For his current price tag, Lyles simply doesn’t need to see a plethora of minutes. Plumlee is in the same situation as Lyles, as he’s averaging a healthy 1.14 DK points per minute this season. He saw 35 minutes in his last game, scoring 12 points with 10 rebounds, one assist, two blocks, and one steal (32.0 DK points). Plumlee needed only 20.5 minutes to score 29.8 DK points. Morris, Lyles, and Plumlee combine to cost only $12.7K, and they are a cheap stack that comes with a relatively high floor and a tremendous ceiling.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings have both been playing at an above average pace this season. These two teams currently rank 13th and second in the NBA in pace, respectively. Golden State also leads the league in offensive rating through 29 games. This is a plus matchup, as Sacramento ranks only 21st in the NBA in defensive rating. The Warriors are currently -7.5 point favorites in a game set at 235.5 points, and they feature the highest implied total on the slate at 121.5 points.
Stephen Curry is coming off of a tough game against the Toronto Raptors. In that game, he scored only 19.25 DK points in 33 minutes. He had caught fire before that, though, scoring 64.25 and 69.25 DK points in two of his last three games prior to that game. He gets an elite matchup, as Sacramento has struggled against backcourts throughout the season. Curry is one of two elite scorers for Golden State, and he makes an elite option in what should be a fast paced, high scoring game. Kevin Durant has struggled to hit value with a healthy Golden State team, but I’m looking for his scoring prowess tonight. On the season, he’s averaging 28.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.0 steals (51.3 DK points) in 35.4 minutes per game. Durant scored 73.75 DK points against the Kings earlier this season, although Curry was not available for that game. Durant and Curry make one of the highest upside duos on the entire slate. Draymond Green has struggled since returning from injury, scoring only 26.75 and 31.5 DK points in his only two games back. With that being said, he’s a player that comes with triple double potential and can contribute in each of the five categories. The fast paced nature of this matchup will give Green the opportunity to contribute peripheral stats, adding to his upside. This isn’t a cash stack because of their price tags, but this is a great tournament stack, as most fantasy players won’t be willing to pay this amount for a three player stack.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Boston Celtics have been playing at a slower pace throughout the season, ranking 22nd in the NBA in pace thus far. They get an elite matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, who lead the NBA in pace through 27 games. Atlanta also ranks 22nd in the league in defensive rating this season, while Boston ranks 12th in the NBA in offensive rating. It comes as no surprise that the Celtics are -12 point favorites in a game set at 220.5 points. They own an implied total of 116.3 points.
Kyrie Irving hasn’t been the most consistent option this season, but he has flashed tremendous upside. He’s leading the Boston Celtics with a 29.5% usage rating, while averaging 22.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.6 steals (42.2 DK points) in 32.0 minutes per game. Irving is coming off of a massive 54.25 DK point performance against the Washington Wizards, and he has scored 37+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games, including four games with 50+ DK points. Marcus Morris is another player for the Celtics that is locked into big minutes. With Al Horford injured, Morris has played 40 and 32 minutes in his last two games, scoring 41.75 and 43.5 DK points in those games. He’ll be locked into 30+ minutes again tonight, and Atlanta has struggled against power forwards this season. Morris is a high upside option, who still comes with a surprisingly low price tag. Jayson Tatum has somewhat lacked upside this season, but he’s the third player for Boston that will be locked into 30+ minutes tonight. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 17.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists (29.8 DK points) in 30.1 minutes per game. He needed only 22.6 minutes to score 24.5 DK points against the Hawks earlier this season, and he’ll likely see a full games worth of minutes tonight. The Celtics feature an above average offense against one of the worst defenses in the NBA, yet they are seemingly going overlooked tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have outlined Morris above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has been playing minutes in the high-20s or low-30s, while scoring 38.5 and 32.5 DK points in his last two games. He played only 24 minutes in his game before that, scoring 21.75 DK points. Furthermore, Morris needed only 20.2 minutes to score 19.5 DK points against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their only matchup, and he makes a safe option, who also comes with quite a bit of upside.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
The Denver frontcourt makes sense here, but I wanted to offer someone else. Dedmon has played 30+ minutes in three of his last for games, and he’s averaging 7.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.0 steals (26.1 DK points) in 28.4 minutes per game over that span. He’s coming off of a bad game against the Dallas Mavericks, but he was able to score 25+ DK points in his three games before that.
Dedmon will be locked into minutes in the high-20s once again tonight. He gets a tough matchup against the Boston Celtics, who have have performed well against big men throughout the season. With that being said, Dedmon is entirely too cheap for how well he has been playing and the minutes he will get tonight. He’s a great option in all leagues on this slate.
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