Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves have been pushing the pace throughout the 2018 season. These teams rank fifth and 11th in the NBA in pace, respectively. New Orleans also features an elite offense, ranking fourth in the NBA in offensive rating. Minnesota has struggled at times defensively, ranking 19th in the league in defensive rating through 36 minutes. The Pelicans are -5.5 point favorites in a game set at 227.5 points, giving them one of the highest implied totals on the slate at 116.5 points.
The Pelicans have a clear “Big Three,” although Elfrid Payton is expected to return to action tonight. Anthony Davis has been the focal point of the New Orleans offense, recording a 29.1% usage rating through 33 games. He has been playing at an extremely high level over the last 10 days, as well, averaging 31.6 points, 16.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.6 steals (65.4 DK points) in 39.1 minutes per game. Davis posted only 47.25 DK points in his last game, but he has scored 60+ DK points seven of his eight games prior to that, including an 84.25 DK point performance against the Dallas Mavericks. Furthermore, Davis is averaging 1.73 DK points per minute at home this season. Julius Randle quietly ranks second on the team with a 26.7% usage rating. He’s another player that has dominated in New Orleans this season, where he’s averaging 1.38 DK points per minute. Randle is seemingly beginning to heat back up, scoring 48.75 and 41 DK points in his last two games after failing to score 40+ DK points in any of his four games prior to those. The final focal point of the offense is Jrue Holiday, who owns a 25.2% usage rating on the season. Similarly to Davis and Randle, he has been at his best at home, where he’s averaging 1.24 DK points per minute. He has also been playing well recently, averaging 21.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.2 blocks (44.4 DK points) in 37.2 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 39+ DK points in nine of his last 10 games, including five games with 45+ DK points. This stack isn’t going to come cheap, but it will certainly be worth it in cash games tonight.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Houston Rockets have been slowing the pace down this season, ranking only 28th in the NBA in pace thus far. They will see a downtick in pace tonight, as they face against the Memphis Grizzlies, who rank last in the league in pace this season. Memphis also ranks sixth in the NBA in defensive rating in 2018, while Houston ranks second in the league in offensive rating. The Rockets are -4.5 point favorites in a game set at only 200.5 points. They feature an implied total of only 102.5 points tonight.
The Rockets are expected to utilize a short rotation with Chris Paul and Eric Gordon injured tonight. James Harden owns an elite 38.2% usage rating this season, and that’s expected to jump well over 40% tonight. He’s averaging 40.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and 1.8 steals (66.0 DK points) in 39.4 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has scored 60+ DK points in eight of his last nine games, including four games with 70+ DK points. He also scored 69.5 DK points in 40.3 minutes against Memphis in their only matchup this season. Austin Rivers has performed well in three games with Houston, averaging 10.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists (21.3 DK points) in 33.6 minutes per game. He’s going to be locked into minutes in the high-30s tonight, and he could see a slightly larger role with Gordon out. Rivers is a better option on FanDuel where his price tag has yet to increase, although he’ll likely feature lower ownership on DraftKings, adding to his value in tournaments. Clint Capela will likely feature a bit of ownership tonight, but he makes a great option, especially in a Houston stack. He’s coming off of a terrible game against the New Orleans Pelicans, but he’s still averaging 14.6 points, 17.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.4 blocks (41.8 DK points) in 33.0 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Prior to that game, Capela had scored 50+ DK points in each of his last three games. The low Vegas total of this game will likely keep their ownership a bit lower, but Houston comes with quite a bit of upside because of their lack of options in their rotation tonight. Special shoutout to AP, who caused me to look deeper into this stack tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose are both doubtful tonight, thrusting Jones into the starting role. He started the Minnesota Timberwolves last game, scoring 12 points with four rebounds, five assists, and five steals (34 DK points) in 36 minutes. On the season, Jones is averaging 0.75 DK points per minute, even with a low usage rating. That could increase in the starting lineup tonight.
Jones is expected to play minutes in the mid- to high-30s once again tonight. He has performed well when given extended minutes throughout the season, and he gets an elite matchup against a fast paced New Orleans Pelicans team. Jones will be owned at one of the highest rates on the slate, and he makes an elite option.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Kleber has been playing a larger role in the offense recently, averaging 27.0 minutes per game over his last three games. In that time, he’s averaging 6.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 2.7 blocks (20.6 DK points) per game. He’s also averaging a 5.5/5.5/2.0/1.5/0.5 line (19.9 DK points) in 27.1 minutes per game against the Oklahoma City Thunder this season.
As mentioned above, Kleber gets a solid matchup against the Thunder, who rank 20th in the NBA against power forwards this season. Kleber is expected to play minutes in the high-20s again tonight, and he’s an extremely cheap option. While he doesn’t come with elite upside, Kleber makes a solid option on the smaller slate.
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