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NBA DFS 2/1/18 – Bales’ Stacks and Hidden Gems

Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have been playing at a slightly above average pace throughout the 2018 season, ranking 13th in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a matchup against the Boston Celtics, who rank 20th in the league in pace through 51 games. New York has struggled offensively this season, ranking only 26th in the NBA in offensive rating through 50 games. Boston, on the other hand, has featured an elite defense, ranking third in the league in defensive rating in 2018. The Knicks are currently +13 point underdogs in a game set at 215.5 points, giving them an implied total of 101.3 points.

New York traded away Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke last night, and the players their received from the Dallas Mavericks – DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., and Wesley Matthews – have already been ruled out tonight. That leaves a plethora of minutes and usage to go to the few Knicks players in their rotation tonight. Luke Kornet is expected to return from injury tonight, and he has made an outstanding fantasy option when given the minutes. Overall, he’s averaging 1.0 DK point per minute on the season. He has also played 27+ minutes in five of his last 10 games, averaging 35.8 DK points per game in those contests. He’s expected to draw the start again tonight, and he’ll be forced into minutes in the high-20s or low-30s. Kornet is arguably the best option on the entire slate. Mario Hezonja is another cheap option, who will be forced into big minutes. He was recently put back in the rotation, averaging 11.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.0 steals (22.3 DK points) in 29.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Hezonja should play the role as a volume scorer tonight, as New York simply doesn’t have too many options, who can create their own shots in their rotation at the moment. He’s extremely safe for his current price tag. Noah Vonleh is a bit more expensive, but he’s still too cheap for the role he is expected to play tonight. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 8.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.0 block (26.6 DK points) in only 27.3 minutes per game. While he has certainly been an inconsistent option throughout the season, he has also flashed 50+ DK points upside when given the court time, and he’s expected to play 30+ minutes tonight. Vonleh is also averaging 34.4 DK points in only 28.5 minutes per game against Boston this season. Damyean Dotson, Kevin Knox, and Allonzo Trier can all be considered in this spot, as well.

 

Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack

Boston Celtics

This game has been outlined above, and it’ll likely be played at a slightly below average pace. The Boston Celtics have found offensive success with a slow pace throughout the season, though, ranking ninth in the NBA in offensive rating thus far. Their opponents, the New York Knicks, haven’t found the same defensive success, as they rank only 28th in the league in defensive rating. The Celtics are -13 point favorites in a game set at 215.5 points, and they feature an implied total of 114.3 points tonight.

There’s so much love for the Knicks tonight that Boston seems to be going overlooked. Kyrie Irving is expected to return to full minutes tonight, and he was playing at an elite level prior to his injury. He has scored 60+ DK points in four of his last five games, while scoring 45+ DK points in each of his last six. Irving has surprisingly struggled against the Knicks this season, but they simply don’t have anyone that will be able to guard him in this matchup. He’s surprisingly cheap for his recent production and upside, but the blowout factor could cause him to go a bit under-owned tonight. Al Horford is another Celtics player that has caught fire recently. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 16.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals (45.4 DK points) in 29.2 minutes per game. He has been cleared to play 30+ minutes on a nightly basis, but Boston simply hasn’t needed him to do so recently. He has scored 45+ DK points in his last three games with 29+ minutes, and he scored a healthy 1.57 DK points per minute in a blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets. Furthermore, Horford is averaging 40.1 DK points in only 29.0 minutes per game against New York this season. Marcus Morris is another Boston player that could potentially go overlooked tonight. He has been playing well, averaging 12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists (27.9 DK points) in 27.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He doesn’t come with overly impressive upside, but he does have a high enough ceiling to be considered for his current price tag. He has also found plenty of success against New York this season, averaging 28.6 DK points in 28.4 minutes per game against them. Boston certainly comes with the blowout factor tonight, but that could keep their ownership at the percentages we want to take advantage of.

 

Hidden Gem: Value Guard

Monte Morris

Morris has found quite a bit of success when given the minutes throughout this season. Through 50 games, he’s averaging 10.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists (21.1 DK points) in 24.2 minutes per game. He drew the start in his last game for an injured Jamal Murray, scoring 20 points with seven rebounds, seven assists, and two steals (44.75 DK points) in 40 minutes of action.

Murray has been ruled out for this game, and Morris is slated to draw the start once again. While it’s unlikely that he sees 40 minutes like his last game, he’ll likely play at least 30 minutes tonight. He gets a good matchup against the Houston Rockets, who he is averaging 33.9 DK points in only 27.4 minutes per game against this season. Morris is a safe salary relief option, who comes with more than enough upside to be considered in tournaments, as well.

 

Hidden Gem: Value Big

Luke Kornet

I have already outlined Kornet above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has been a dominant per minute player, averaging 1.0 DK point per minute through 22 games this season. He has also looked outstanding in extended minutes, as he has flashed a 30 DK point floor with a significantly higher ceiling when given 27+ minutes. He gets a solid matchup against the Boston Celtics, who have struggled at times against big men this season, and Kornet is a player that can safely be considered in all leagues. In fact, he should be used in all leagues tonight.

 

Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)

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