Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs have been slowing the pace down throughout the 2018 season, ranking 21st in the NBA in pace thus far. They get a matchup against the Golden State Warriors, who rank 10th in the league in pace through 52 games. San Antonio also ranks fifth in the NBA in offensive rating, while Golden State only ranks 15th in the league in defensive rating. With that being said, the Spurs are +14.5 point underdogs in a game set at 230.5 points, but they still feature an implied total of 108 points tonight.
San Antonio will be without Derrick White, DeMar DeRozan, and LaMarcus Aldridge tonight, meaning minutes and usage will be distributed through the remainder of the rotation. Jakob Poeltl is absurdly cheap, and he’ll likely be the highest owned player on the slate. Through 51 games, he’s averaging 0.96 DK points per minute. He’s expected to see minutes in the mid-20s, and he could see a slight uptick in usage, as well. In his only matchup against Golden State this season, Poeltl scored 11.75 DK points in only 7.5 minutes, and he’s an elite salary relief option tonight. Marco Belinelli has been playing well recently, averaging 12.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists (21.4 DK points) in 23.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days. He has generally been sitting around 20 DK points when given the minutes, although he has flashed 30+ DK point upside. He is expected to play minutes in the high-20s tonight, while seeing his usage rating increase a few points. Belinelli relies heavily on scoring, and San Antonio will need him to keep pace with one of the best offenses in the NBA in this matchup. He’s simply too cheap for his recent production and projected role in the offense tonight. Davis Bertans is the other player that will feature plenty of ownership. He has found success recently, averaging 11.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.0 steal (24.1 DK points) in 27.5 minutes per game over the last 10 days. Similarly to the other players for San Antonio, he’s likely to see his usage rating increase a bit tonight. Bertans is also expected to play minutes in the low- to mid-30s for the Spurs tonight. He has played 30+ minutes in three of his last 10 games, and he’s averaging 29.9 DK points per game over that span. Rudy Gay, Bryn Forbes, and Patty Mills can also be considered in this stack, but they likely won’t see as much ownership as the three players listed above, and they are the better fantasy options for their price tags tonight.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Utah Jazz have been pushing the pace a bit more than normal this season, ranking 14th in the NBA in pace through 54 games. They get a matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who currently rank 13th in the league in pace this season. Utah only ranks 20th in the NBA in offensive rating in 2018, but Phoenix ranks 29th in the league in defensive rating through 55 games. The Jazz are -14.5 point favorites in a game set at 220.5 points, giving them one of the higher implied totals on the slate at 117.5 points.
Rudy Gobert has cooled off a bit recently, but there’s no reason to avoid him in this stack. Over the last 10 days, he’s averaging 16.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.3 blocks (37.8 DK points) in only 28.5 minutes per game. He has been a walking double double, who has the potential to contribute in each of the five categories. He also recently scored 46.75 DK points in only 28 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks, and he gets an even better matchup tonight. Phoenix has featured one of the worst defenses in the NBA against centers, and Gobert should have no issues dominating at home in this matchup. Donovan Mitchell is in a similar position to Gobert. He’s averaging only 23.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists (36.9 DK points) in 33.1 minutes per game over the last 10 days, but this is a matchup that can’t be ignore. Phoenix ranks 29th in the NBA against shooting guards, and Mitchell is averaging 1.2 DK points per minute at home this season. He has flashed 60+ DK point upside only a few games ago, and Phoenix simply doesn’t have anyone that can guard him. Jae Crowder is a salary relief option, who makes this stack a bit more affordable. He’s as inconsistent as anyone on the team, but he comes with tremendous upside for his price tag. He has scored between 7 and 40 DK points in each of his last 10 games, displaying his full range of potential outcomes. He has played 30+ minutes in each of his last two games, though, scoring 26.75 and 27 DK points in those games. He’s expected to see 30+ minutes again tonight, adding to the upside of this stack. Keep in mind, Utah is currently as risky of a stack and nearly anyone on this slate, so only consider them in tournaments tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
I have already outlined Belinelli above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has consistently been scoring 20+ DK points when given the time on the court, and he’s expected to see increased minutes tonight. He’ll also see an increased role in the offense, making him a bit safer, while also adding to his upside. This is projected to be a fast paced and high scoring game, which is the type Belinelli needs as a scorer to hit his ceiling. He’s an elite play tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
I have already outlined Poeltl above, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He’s averaging slightly under 1.0 DK point per minute on the season, and he’s expected to play minutes in the mid-20s. For his price tag, that simply can’t be beat. Furthermore, he has found success in limited minutes against Golden State this season, and Poeltl should not be avoided in cash games. He can also be used in tournaments if you need a cheap option and are fine eating the chalk.
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