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Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Brooklyn Nets and Portland Blazers are two teams that have been pushing this pace this season. They currently rank fourth and ninth in the NBA in pace, respectively. Brooklyn also ranks sixth in the league in offensive rating, while Portland ranks 19th in defensive rating. The Nets are +3.5 point underdogs in a game set at 238.5 points, but they still boast an implied team total of 117.5 points.
Kyrie Irving is the focal point of the Brooklyn offense. He boasts a team-high 34% usage rating through 7 games. He’s averaging 31.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.3 steals (55.8 DK points) in 33.5 minutes per game. Irving has scored 50+ DK points in 5 of his 7 games, including a 76 DK point performance against the Minnesota Wolves. He’s locked into 30+ minutes on a nightly basis, and Irving comes with tremendous upside in this particular matchup.
Caris LeVert likely won’t feature a ton of ownership, but he makes a solid option in a Brooklyn stack. He ranks third on the team with a 27.1% usage rating. He’s also averaging 19.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists (31.8 DK points) in 32.4 minutes per game. LeVert has played 30+ minutes in 5 of his 7 games in 2019, and he’s averaging 35.6 DK points per game in those contests. He isn’t the safest option on this slate, but he makes a great pairing with two of Brooklyn’s chalkier players tonight.
DeAndre Jordan has been ruled out for this game. That means Jarrett Allen will be locked into bigger minutes. On the season, he’s averaging 9.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.3 blocks (25.9 DK points) in 27.1 minutes per game. He has played 30+ minutes in only 3 games this season, posting 34, 24, and 30.75 DK points in those contests. Allen has struggled with fouls early in his career, but that hasn’t been the case this season. Without Jordan to split minutes at center with, Allen should see minutes in the high-20s or low-30s. He makes a strong option in all leagues because of his low price tag tonight.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
The Minnesota Wolves currently lead the NBA in pace through 7 games. They get a matchup against the Golden State Warriors, who rank 16th in pace thus far in 2019. Minnesota only ranks 19th in the league in offensive rating, but Golden State currently ranks last in defensive rating. The Wolves are -11.5 point favorites in a game set at 230 points, and they feature the second highest implied team total on the slate at 120.8 points.
Jeff Teague has already been ruled out, while Shabazz Napier is a game-time decision. That will open minutes for Jarrett Culver once again. He has played a larger role in the offense over his last 3 games, averaging 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists (26 DK points) in 26.7 minutes per game. He’s expected to see around 30 minutes once again tonight, and he should benefit from playing Golden State, who has been struggling with injuries. Culver is necessarily a lock at his current price tag, but he makes an outstanding option.
Andrew Wiggins makes the perfect boom or bust option for this stack. He’s averaging 22.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists (34.9 DK points) in 32.4 minutes per game this season. He’s also coming off of a 47.5 DK point performance against the Memphis Grizzlies. Golden State has struggled to contain scorers in 2019, and Wiggins has attempted 42 shots over his last 2 games. He’ll come with low ownership, but he boasts tremendous upside.
Karl-Anthony Towns is the top option for Minnesota. He owns a team-high 28.8% usage rating. He’s also averaging 1.81 DK points per minute this season. Towns is averaging 26.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 2.0 steals (56.6 DK points) in 31.3 minutes per game. He has flashed tremendous upside, scoring 82.25 DK points in only 28 minutes against the Charlotte Hornets. Towns is a safe option, who also comes with elite upside each night.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
This game has been outlined above, and it features one of the fastest paces on the slate. The Portland Blazers rank 15th in the NBA in offensive rating, while the Brooklyn Nets rank 21st in the league in defensive rating. The Blazers are -3.5 point favorites in a game set at 238.5 points, and they own the highest implied team total on the slate at 121 points.
Damian Lillard has looked outstanding this season. He’s averaging 30.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 1.5 steals (51.8 DK points) in 37.4 minutes per game. Lillard has also scored 50+ DK points in 6 of his 8 games in 2019. He boasts a team-high 29.6% usage rating. Lillard will be one of the higher owned Portland options on the slate, but he’s a lock for this stack.
Rodney Hood has played 30+ minutes in each of his 8 games this season. He’s averaging 11.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.0 steal (21.5 DK points) in 32.1 minutes per game this season. Hood is an extremely cheap option, who has scored 30+ DK points in 2 of his 8 games this season. He’s an extremely cheap option, who is locked into big minutes, but will go overlooked on this slate.
Hassan Whiteside is the obvious option to fill out this stack, but his ownership is a bit too high to be considered with Lillard for tournaments. Instead, I’m siding with Anfernee Simons. He saw 26 minutes in his last game, scoring 17 points with 2 rebounds and 2 assists (24 DK points). Overall, he’s averaging 22.1 DK points in 19.7 minutes per game over his last 3 contests. Simons comes with terrible risk, but he is near the minimum price, and will feature low ownership.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Neto is only averaging 9.4 minutes per game this season. He’s averaging a healthy 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.5 steals (32.6 DK points) on a per-36 minutes basis. Ben Simmons was injured in his last game, and Neto saw 30 minutes. He turned those into 11 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals (25.25 DK points). Neto has always found success when given the opportunity, and tonight should be no different.
He gets a matchup against the Denver Nuggets, who have surprisingly been playing at the slowest pace in the NBA this season. Still, they don’t necessarily possess an elite defense. Neto is expected to play 25-30 minutes tonight. He’s far too cheap, and his price tag is likely to increase for his next game. Neto will likely be one of the highest owned players on the slate, and there’s no reason to avoid him tonight.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Holmes is a bit more expensive than players I normally recommend here, but he’s still a bit too cheap. He’s averaging 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks (24.8 DK points) in only 24.3 minutes per game this season. Holmes has played 30+ minutes in 4 of his last 5 games, averaging 35.8 DK points per game in those contests.
He gets a matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, who rank 17th in the NBA in pace this season. They have also featured an above average defense, but they have struggled at times against bigs. Holmes is expected to play around 30 minutes in this game. He has flashed the ability to score fantasy points in a hurry, and the extended time adds to his ceiling. He isn’t safe enough for cash games, but Holmes makes a great tournament pivot tonight.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)