Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Minnesota Wolves have been playing at an above average pace this season, ranking 11th in the NBA in pace through 28 games. They get a matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who rank only 22nd in the league in pace this season. With that being said, Phoenix also ranks 26th in the NBA in defensive rating, and they recently traded one of their best defenders – Trevor Ariza. Minnesota only ranks 16th in the league in offensive rating, but they are still -8.5 point favorites in a game set at 215.5 points. They own an implied total of 112 points tonight.
Taj Gibson has been ruled out tonight, which will shift ownership to Dario Saric and Karl-Anthony Towns. Saric will likely be the highest owned player on the slate because of his price tag, though. He has played 31 minutes in each of his last two games, averaging 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists (29.3 DK points) per game. Saric will be locked into similar minutes tonight, and he gets a great matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who have struggled against bigs at times this season. Speaking of bigs, Towns is another player that will likely feature plenty of ownership on this shorter slate. He has been playing well recently, averaging 26.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.8 blocks (53.0 DK points) in 33.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has been an inconsistent option, as well, but that has kept his price tag reasonable. The only major concern is that Towns has been a significantly better option at home this season, but he’s a player that is impossible to avoid in this good of a matchup. Jeff Teague makes a relatively safe option tonight, although he may not see as much ownership as the other two in this stack. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 7.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 11.8 assists, and 1.0 block (29.7 DK points) in 31.3 minutes per game. He has scored 30+ DK points in six of his last 10 games, and he has found more success on the road this season. The Wolves make a great option in this stack, and this trio of players comes with a bit of safety on a questionable slate.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers will be playing in one of the fastest paced games of the night. These two teams currently rank sixth and ninth in the NBA in pace, respectively. Oklahoma City only ranks 19th in the league in offensive rating this season, while Los Angeles ranks in the same spot in defensive rating. Overall, the Thunder are -6.5 point favorites in a game set at 223.5 points, giving them an implied total of 115 points tonight.
Russell Westbrook will feature a plethora of ownership on this slate, and I’m going to avoid him (even in a plus matchup) for the sake of a lower owned stack. Jerami Grant hasn’t been an elite option, but he’s averaging 10.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks (20.2 DK points) in 30.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 20+ DK points in eight of his last 10 games, including a 35.25 DK point performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He comes with an absurdly low price tag, while flashing solid upside. Steven Adams is another player that could go a bit overlooked for Oklahoma City tonight. Los Angeles has featured one of the worst defenses in the NBA against centers, and Adams is averaging 20.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.4 steals (38.6 DK points) in 33.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 33+ DK points in each of his last seven games, including a 53.5 DK point performance in his last games. Paul George is going to feature some ownership tonight, but it’s difficult to avoid him. He has caught fire recently, averaging 30.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.2 steals (53.2 DK points) in 36.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has a floor around 40 DK points, while his ceiling is significantly higher. He’s no longer an easy plug-and-play because of an increased price tag, but he does makes an elite option on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Nicolas Batum has featured plenty of ups and downs throughout the season, averaging 9.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists (23.8 DK points) in 30.2 minutes per game. He’s coming off one of his best games of the season, though, scoring 41.5 DK points on a 21/6/7 line in 39 minutes.
Batum may not see quite that many minutes tonight, but he’s expected to play minutes in the low-30s. He’s a versatile player, who can contribute in multiple categories, and a fast paced matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers only adds to his upside. He hasn’t been playing well enough to be used in cash games, but he makes an outstanding tournament option for his current price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I have outlined Saric above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He’s going to play 30+ minutes with Taj Gibson injured, and he has exceeded value in each of his last two games with 30+ minutes. Saric also comes with tremendous upside, especially in a plus matchup against the Phoenix Suns. He could be the highest owned player on the slate, but you’ll be taking a risk if you choose not to use him.
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