Everytime I write up a slate, it feels like it’s always a three-game slate. I can see Gilligan, the Professor and Mary Ann, too. Well, hopefully we don’t get stuck on this island forever and that the experience is one of ecstasy today.
No teams are playing the first leg of a back-to-back, while LAC played last night.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the Heat favored by six points at home over the Clippers, the Rockets favored on the road by 1.5 points over the Spurs, while the Trail Blazers are one-point home favorites over the Nuggets. The LAC/MIA has the lowest total at 214, while the HOU/SA game has the highest at 231. The POR/DEN has a robust total of 227.
Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs ($7,300) – Porter Jr. is questionable with right knee soreness, so make sure he’s good to go. He’s only missed one game this season and the last time he played was on Monday.
If he plays, he gets one of the best matchups for fantasy. The Spurs play at the seventh-fastest pace and are dead-last in defensive rating. They have also boosted the FPPM for point guards by 6.54% above the league average.
Porter Jr. averages 1.09 DKFP per minute and has exceeded points expectations 50% of the time this season. He’s gone for at least 40 DKFP nine times this season, with three of those 50-burgers.
Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat ($9,200) – The Clippers played last night so Kawhi Leonard ($7,100) is likely sitting this one out. As for George, he missed eight games this season due to injury, but he’s actually played in four back-to-back scenarios.
The matchup doesn’t look great on paper, as the Heat are 26th in pace and 12th in defensive rating. Against small forwards, though, they have boosted the FPPM by a whopping 24.72% above league average.
George averages 1.21 DKFP per minute and, with Kawhi off the court this season, he garners a 32.2% usage rate. In the 10 games without Kawhi, George has two 50 DKFP games including a 75.25 DKFP monstrosity.
Other Options - Tyler Herro ($7,700), Jalen Green ($6,900), Jamal Murray ($7,200)
Romeo Langford, San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets ($3,100) – Langford only played eight minutes in his last game due to spraining his ankle. A lower back issue has surfaced as well, but he’s listed as probable for tonight.
Is he an exciting player with tons of upside? No, he is not. In fact, he averages only 0.62 DKFP per minute. That said, he’s $100 above the minimum and in the prior four games, he’s gone for 15, 25.5, 20.75 and 14 DKFP, respectively. With Devin Vassell ($7,500; knee) doubtful, Langford should start and could get close to 30 minutes of run.
Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets ($7,600) – Johnson is shooting 39% from the field on the season. Gross. But he’s garnering a 28.6% usage rate. If Vassell is sidelined, the usage rate jumps to 34.4%. Yippee! This is what we call the Larry Davis special.
These teams are 28th and 30th in defensive rating and 15th and seventh in offensive pace, so there should be plenty of opportunity to rack up fantasy goodies.
Johnson has four games with at least 40 DKFP on the season with a high of 52 DKFP. The floor is low, as he has two games under 20 DKFP, but the matchup and game environment increase the probability for production in the upper range of outcomes.
Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets ($7,400) – It took some time and injuries to other players for Grant to become comfortable in Portland but, boy, is he now comfortable. He’s exceeded points expectations 70% of the time. Once a $5.7K player, Grant is now above $7K.
In the first 10 games of the season, he had five games with fewer than 30 DKFP and only one above 40 DKFP. In the 13 games since, he has three games below 30 DKFP and eight games above 40 DKFP with three 50-burgers.
The most encouraging thing is that the usage rate was still 34.3% on Sunday when Damian Lillard ($9,700) returned to action. That elevated rate likely won’t continue and some regression should be expected, but somewhere around 28% seems viable.
Other Options - Aaron Gordon ($6,300)
Tari Eason, Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs ($4,300) – It’s sad that Eason only plays around 20 minutes per game. He’s shown that he belongs on the court and his energy and hustle is infectious. He averages 1.09 DKFP per minute and has put up 34.5 DKFP and 28.5 DKFP over the last two contests. On the season, he’s gone over 30 DKFP four times.
The environment is a good one today as it should be an up-and-down affair. Eason should feast. The only question is how many minutes will he get?
Other Options - Eric Gordon ($3,900), Robert Covington ($3,700)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers ($11,300) – Jokic is not the auto-click, regardless-of-price fantasy animal that he’s been in the past. That said, he still averages 1.64 DKFP per minute and can go for 80 DKFP on any given night. Just recognize that he’s gone for at least 60 DKFP only six times this season with a high of 71.5 DKFP. Decisions, decisions.
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Clippers ($8,400) – Bam has been more aggressive on the offensive end recently. He’s scored over 20 points in five of his last six games, which includes a 32-point and 38-point performance. That’s translated to over 40 DKFP in all of those contests with a high of 59 DKFP. In the first 13 games of the season, he exceeded 20 points only four times.
With Jimmy Butler ($8,600; conditioning) questionable and Kyle Lowry (rest) out — and with a decent matchup against Ivica Zubac ($6,500) — Bam will likely continue the increased aggression on offense and produce those fantasy goodies.
Other Options - Jusuf Nurkic ($7,000)
Charles Bassey, San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets ($3,600) – With Jakob Poeltl out, most will likely go with Zach Collins ($5,100) since he will be the starter. Over the last three games in that role, though, Collins has played 27, 22 and 18 minutes, respectively. Granted, the 18-minute game was a blowout but, in those contests, Collins only put up 17.5, 18 and 22 DKFP. Over the last two games, Bassey has played 21 and 20 minutes, putting up 28.25 and 16.75 DKFP.
Collins is likely not going to play over 30 minutes, so Bassey should see close to 20 minutes again. He is $1,500 cheaper than Collins and could match or exceed his production.
Other Options - Nicolas Batum ($3,800)
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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.