Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have been pushing the pace this season, ranking fourth in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a great matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, who rank fifth in the league in pace in 2018. Milwaukee also ranks fifth in the NBA in defensive rating, while New Orleans ranks fourth in the league in offensive rating. Surprisingly, the Pelicans are +8.5 point underdogs, although the game is set at 231 points. They feature an implied total of 111.3 points.
The Pelicans are dealing with a plethora of key injuries, as Elfrid Payton will continue to miss time, while Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic have also been ruled out tonight. This will only be a two man stack, as Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday stick out over the rest of the team. On the season, Davis leads the team with a 28.9% usage rating, and that should spike over 30% tonight. He has caught fire over his last three games, averaging 37.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 3.0 steals (67.8 DK points) in 39.0 minutes per game over that span. He’ll see extra scoring and rebounding opportunities with Randle and Mirotic injured, and he’s a lock with value opening up on this slate. Holiday is another player that will see increased usage tonight, and it could sit slightly below 30%. He has cooled down a bit recently, but he’s still averaging 21.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.9 steals (40.3 DK points) in 38.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He’s an extremely consistent option, though, averaging 38.5 DK points per game over his last 10 games. There are a few players – Tim Frazier, E’Twaun Moore, Solomon Hill – who can be considered to fill out this stack, but only Davis and Holiday are the options that have to be utilized here.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Sacramento Kings have been playing at blazing paces this season, ranking sixth and second in the NBA in pace thus far. Oklahoma City has struggled at times offensively, ranking only 19th in the league through 29 games. This is a plus matchup, though, as Sacramento ranks 21st in the NBA in defensive rating in 2018. The Thunder are -5 point favorites in a game set at 234.5 points, giving them an implied total of 119.8 points tonight.
This is an elite matchup for Russell Westbrook, who will see a plethora of opportunities for peripheral stats in a fast paced matchup. He has triple doubled in four of his last seven games, while nearly triple doubling in two others. On the season, he’s averaging 30.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.5 steals (60.9 DK points) in 35.5 minutes per game against Sacramento this season. Westbrook comes with 70+ DK point upside, especially in this particular matchup. Paul George has been one of the most consistent options in the NBA recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 29.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.2 steals (49.8 DK points) in 34.6 minutes per game. His price tag dropped quite a bit in a plus matchup, and he’s averaging a healthy 51.4 DK points per game over his last eight games. Furthermore, George is averaging a 28.0/7.5/2.5/0.5/1.5 line (45.1 DK points) in 34.4 minutes per game against the Kings this season. The final part of this stack is Steven Adams, who is another consistent option for Oklahoma City. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 20.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals (36.3 DK points) in 33.0 minutes per game. His ceiling sits slightly above 30 DK points, while his ceiling is significantly higher. Similarly to the other two, Adams has found success against Sacramento this season, as he’s averaging 10.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 1.5 steals (36.9 DK points) in 35.2 minutes per game against them. Overall, this trio is averaging 142.9 DK points per game against the Kings this season.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
This game has been outlined a bit above, and it will be one of the fastest paced games of the slate. Milwaukee has looked outstanding offensively this season, ranking third in the NBA in offensive rating through 29 games. This is also an elite matchup, as New Orleans only ranks 24th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Bucks are -8.5 point favorites in a game set at 231 points, and they own one of the highest implied totals on the slate at 119.8 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the most obvious option for Milwaukee, but that doesn’t mean he’s the wrong one. He’s only averaging 26.8 points, 13.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.3 blocks (55.9 DK points) in 34.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. With that being said, he recently scored 77 DK points against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he comes with tremendous upside. Antetokounmpo is also averaging 1.79 DK points per minute at home this season, as opposed to 1.6 DK points per minute on the road. Most players will likely look towards Anthony Davis as an expensive option tonight, leaving Antetokounmpo to be had at lower ownership. Malcolm Brogdon makes an interesting option tonight. He’s questionable with a hamstring injury, which could keep his ownership low. Prior to the game in which Brogdon was injured, he was averaging 32.9 DK points per game over his last nine games. If Brogdon is healthy, he’ll see around 30 minutes tonight, and his price tag has dropped a bit because of his recent injury. He makes an outstanding option, but only if he’s announced as healthy tonight. Brook Lopez has quietly caught fire, and he’s a player that seemingly goes overlooked on a nightly basis. He has scored 25+ DK points in each of his last five games, and he’s averaging 13.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.8 blocks, and 1.0 steal (29.3 DK points) in 29.6 minutes per game over that span. He should be locked into big minutes tonight, and he’s a cheap source of upside on this slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Augustin is a player that has been undervalued for the majority of the season. He has played 28+ minutes in seven of his last 10 games, and he’s averaging 25.1 DK points per game in those games. He was able to score 18 points with five rebounds and seven assists (34.75 DK points) in 32.3 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs earlier this season, as well.
As mentioned above, Augustin gets a matchup against the Spurs, who have struggled defensively throughout the 2018 season. Augustin is expected to play 30+ minutes tonight, and he could see a slight uptick in usage with Nikola Vucevic out. When seeing 28+ minutes, Augustin is an extremely safe option with tremendous upside for his current price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Bamba has been playing at a high level on a per minute basis this season. Through 28 games, he’s averaging 6.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.4 bocks (17.6 DK points) in only 16.6 minutes per game. Overall, he’s averaging 14.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 3.0 blocks on a per-36 minute basis. He also needed only 15.3 minutes to score 30.75 DK points against the San Antonio Spurs earlier this season.
As mentioned above, Nikola Vucevic has been ruled out tonight, leaving Bamba to start and play minutes in the high-20s or low-30s. He gets a matchup against the Spurs, who have struggled defensively this season, but have also performed well against centers. Bamba barely needs any fantasy points to hit value, and he’s arguably the best play on the entire slate.
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