Four. That’s how many games we have tonight, yet we yearn for more. Enough to riot and start a war? Please ignore what I just wrote. I need my reputation restored. I implore you to ignore. Let’s get back to the business at hand, which is to select the right core, that can bring us the high score. Let me hear you roar!
None of the teams are playing the first leg of a back-to-back, while MIA and LAC played last night.
Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns ($9,200) – The Clippers played last night, so Kawhi will more than likely sit this one out. George will garner a usage rate in the low 30 percent range and be the bonafide alpha if Kawhi is out.
George is not a slam dunk by any means, as he’s scored fewer than 40 DKFP nine times with two below 30. That said, in the games that Kawhi has missed this season, George has gone for at least 50 DKFP four times with a high of 75.25. The matchup isn’t great as the Suns are 12th in defensive rating, but the volume should be there for George. It’s just a matter of hitting his shots or not.
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies at Milwaukee Bucks ($10,400) – I was going to fade Morant because the Bucks are first in defensive rating and do an excellent job protecting the paint. Then I slapped myself in the face, went to the mirror and asked myself, “Are you stupid?” Ja was all that I could answer.
Morant does have three games under 40 DKFP, so it’s within the range of outcomes that he puts up a dud. That said, he’s gone for at least 50 DKFP 10 times and feasted on some really good defensive teams in the process.
On a bigger slate, I’d entertain going somewhere else, but it may be tough to do so on a small slate. It comes down to the available value and roster construction.
Other Options - Tyler Herro ($8,000), Kyle Lowry ($6,700), Malik Beasley ($5,900)
Dyson Daniels, New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz ($3,700) – Daniels has started five of the last six games, but he’s been a part of the rotation since mid-November due to all the injuries. Well, there’s another one the Pelicans have to deal with, as Jose Alvardo is out for Thursday’s game along with Brandon Ingram. Daniels will likely play over 30 minutes in what should be a good game environment. The Jazz are 11th in pace and 24th in defensive rating.
Daniels is only averaging 0.8 DKFP per minute but he should get the minutes and could get some cheap assists and buckets down low since the Jazz allow the most points at the rim.
Other Options - Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($4,900)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Memphis Grizzlies ($12,200) – I haven’t played Giannis much this season because, while he’s been good, he hasn’t been great, which makes it difficult to pull the trigger due to the high price tag. He’s gone for 60 DKFP nine times, with six of those in the first two weeks of the season.
That said, raw points are raw points and you know Giannis is going to at least get you somewhere around 50, and the ceiling is 80 or higher if things break right. Projected ownership and the amount of value will determine whether to go here or not.
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz ($9,800) – The Utah Jazz allow the most points in the paint. Uh, yeah. It’s not a matter of if Zion feasts but how much? These teams played on Tuesday and Zion went for 46.75 DKFP. He only played 26 minutes due to the Jazz blowing out the Pelicans by 21 points. I’m expecting a much closer game tonight.
On Wednesday, Zion shot 10-of-16 for 26 points to go along with 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. A full complement of minutes should get him closer to 60 DKFP.
Other Options - Paul George ($9,200), Lauri Markkanen ($8,100), Khris Middleton ($6,800), Malik Beasley ($5,900), Kelly Olynyk ($6,000)
Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz ($4,700) – Nance only put up 18.8 DKFP on Tuesday against the Jazz in 23 minutes. That is slightly under the range of expected outcomes because he averages 0.97 DKFP per minute. On the season, the production has been all over the map, but he did go for over 40 DKFP in the prior two contests and has six other games with at least 30.
Nance has thrived in the small-ball center role. In addition, he’s been contributing more in the defensive categories. If the ownership is high, then fade. If it’s low, then go forth and prosper. If it’s neither, then pray.
Other Options - Dyson Daniels ($3,700)
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat at Houston Rockets ($8,600) – Bam came into the season wanting to be more aggressive on offense. That did not manifest as much as hoped early in the season. as he scored at least 20 points five times in the first month of action (span of 14 games).
Since then, the usage and shot attempts have ticked up and he’s gone for at least 20 points in eight games (span of 12 games). That’s translated to at least 40 DKFP in eight games with three 50-burgers.
The Rockets are 27th in defensive rating.
Other Options - Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,200), Kelly Olynyk ($6,000), Bobby Portis ($6,200)
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($4,900) – Over the last six games, Kessler has averaged 22 minutes, 10.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. He’s put up 40.25, 24, 37.5, 16.25, 26 and 38.5 DKFP. Coaches raved about his IQ all offseason and he’s now carved out a niche in the rotation. Against the Pelicans on Tuesday, he played 23 minutes and contributed 11 points, 16 rebounds and 3 blocks. On the season, Kessler is averaging 1.12 DKFP per minute.
Other Options - Larry Nance Jr. ($4,700)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.