Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Washington Wizards have been pushing the pace throughout the 2018 season, ranking seventh in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a matchup against the Charlotte Hornets, who currently rank 15th in the league in pace. Washington only ranks 20th in the NBA in offensive rating through 36 games, while Charlotte ranks 14th in the league in defensive rating. The Wizards are only +1.5 point favorites in a game set at 219 points, and they own an implied total of 108.8 points tonight.
John Wall, Dwight Howard, and Markieff Morris have already been ruled out tonight, while Otto Porter Jr. is listed as questionable. Tomas Satoransky is a cheap option, who will slide into the starting lineup. He’ll be one of the highest owned players on the slate after playing 39 minutes in the Wizards last game. In those minutes, he totaled nine points with four rebounds, three assists, one block, and two steals (24 DK points). While that isn’t an elite total, Satoransky is entirely too cheap, and he’s a must play at home in cash games. With Morris out, Thomas Bryant will also make an elite salary relief option on this slate. He’s expected to play minutes in the high-20s or low-30s tonight. On the season, he’s averaging 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds (16.5 DK points) in 16.0 minutes per game. He has played 30+ minutes in two of his last four games, totaling 33 and 51.25 DK points in those games. He has also been a better option at home this season, and there’s no reason to avoid him in cash games. Trevor Ariza is another option who will likely feature plenty of ownership. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.8 steals (31.0 DK points) in 39.0 minutes per game. He has been locked into massive minutes since joining the Wizards, and that will be the case again tonight. He has also been a relatively consistent option, and he comes with a surprisingly low price tag. Bradley Beal will see an uptick in usage with Wall out. He can also be considered in cash games, but he didn’t make the top three. For what it’s worth, if Porter is ruled out, as well, Jeff Green can also be considered in cash.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Surprisingly, the Houston Rockets only rank 28th in the NBA in pace through 34 games this season. They will see a massive uptick in pace against the New Orleans Pelicans, who rank fourth in the league in pace in 2018. While Houston has been slowing the pace down this season, they lead the NBA in offensive rating. On the other side, New Orleans ranks only 26th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Rockets are -3 point favorites in a game set at 228.5 points tonight. They feature the highest implied total on the slate at 115.8 points.
James Harden has been the focal point of the Houston offense, posting an elite 37.9% usage rating. He has been playing at an extremely high level recently, scoring 60+ DK points in seven of his last eight games. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 39.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.6 steals (63.4 DK points) in 38.6 minutes per game. Harden has flashed a 60 DK point floor with a ceiling nearing 90 DK points. Clint Capela is another player that has been playing at a high level recently, averaging 17.4 points, 18.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.0 block (46.0 DK points) in 33.3 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 40+ DK points in four of his last five games, including two games with 50+ DK points. I considered using Eric Gordon here, but I’m siding with the price tag of Austin Rivers. In two games with Houston, he’s averaging 10.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists (18.3 DK points) in 32.1 minutes per game. He doesn’t come with elite upside, but he is averaging 25 DK points in 25.4 minutes per game against New Orleans this season. While he is in a different situation, Rivers makes a great option for a low price tag.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers continue to push the pace in their games, ranking ninth in the NBA in pace this season. They’ll see a downtick in pace tonight, though, facing off against the San Antonio Spurs, who rank only 25th in the league in pace thus far. Los Angeles has also looked outstanding offensively, ranking fifth in the NBA in offensive rating. Furthermore, San Antonio ranks 20th in the league in defensive rating this season. The Clippers are -3.5 point favorites in a game set at 225.5 points, giving them an implied total of 114.5 points.
As mentioned yesterday, Lou Williams features an elite 31.8% usage rating this season. He has seen inconsistent minutes, but he comes with tremendous upside. He has played 20+ minutes in four of his last five games, scoring 40+ DK points in each of those games. Overall, he’s averaging 27.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 6.5 assists (43.4 DK points) in 25.5 minutes per game. Williams’ inconsistent minutes have kept his price tag reasonable, and he comes with tremendous upside. Danilo Gallinari is another player that has found plenty of success recently, only struggling in blowouts, in which he saw limited minutes. Still, he’s averaging 22.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists (39.4 DK points) in 30.3 minutes per game. Excluding the blowouts, Gallinari has scored 40+ DK points in four of his last five games. He is expected to play minutes in the mid- to high-30s tonight, and Gallinari is averaging 0.97 DK points per minute in two matchups against the Spurs this season. Tobias Harris has struggled a bit recently, but he’s still averaging 19.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists (35.3 DK points) in 33.0 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 48.75, 58.75, and 52.5 DK points in three of his last 10 games, as well. Harris is also averaging a 17.5/6.5/3.5/0.5 line (31.4 DK points) in 33.4 minutes per game against the Spurs this season. Los Angeles certainly comes with quite a bit of risk, but these three players come with tremendous upside, as well.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Lin has been playing well recently, averaging 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists (22.2 DK points) in 20.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has played 20+ minutes in four of his last five games, scoring 20+ DK points in each of those games. Lin is also averaging 22.2 DK points in 19.3 minutes per game at home this season.
Lin is expected to play minutes in the low-20s tonight. He comes with an extremely reasonable price tag, and gets a plus matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland has struggled against point guards this season, and Lin is a player that can score fantasy points in a hurry. He may not be a great cash option, but he can be considered in tournaments for his low price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I have already outlined Bryant above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Bryant is expected to play minutes in the high-20s tonight, and he has played at an elite level when given the minutes this season. He has played 28+ minutes in three of his last seven games, averaging 38.3 DK points per game over that span. He’s been a better option in Washington, and Bryant can be used in all leagues, especially if Otto Porter Jr. is ruled out tonight.
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