After two games on Tuesday, we got a meaty 12-game slate on Wednesday, only to return to a two-gamer today. Two is better than zero, though, and we got hoops back in our lives!!! I’m with Cube in that I gotta say today is a good day. James Harden is out for Philadelphia while Devin Booker ($9,100) and Bradley Beal ($6,400) are doubtful, so Jordan Goodwin ($3,200) will likely be the chalk du jour of the day.
DraftKings Sportsbook has MIL favored by 6 points at home over PHI and the total of that game is 227. The LAL are 5.5 home favorites over PHO and the total is at 225.5.
Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($9,000) – Lillard will be making his season debut in a different uniform for the first time in his career. In Portland, he was often garnering a usage rate above 30%, so that could come down because this is still Giannis’ team. That said, it shouldn’t decrease too much and the pick-and-roll action will be lethal with him and Giannis. If teams pack the paint to stop Giannis, that will open up room for Lillard to make it rain from downtown or pass to a teammate spaced out beyond the arc. If teams prioritize limiting Lillard, that means plenty of assists. Either way, Lillard should rack up those precious fantasy goodies.
Other Options - Tyrese Maxey ($7,500)
Jordan Goodwin, Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors ($3,200) – Goodwin is a sub-1 fantasy points per minute player. His hallmark is on the defensive end, where he can rack up steals. While the offense isn’t great, the bag is not devoid of rabbits. That said, at the end of last season with the Wizards, Goodwin balled out in the final five games, three of which he started. He averaged 26.3 minutes, 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.6 blocks. During that period, he produced 41.25, 22.75, 31, 34 and 31.25 DKFP. With Booker and Beal likely out, Goodwin should start and play 30 minutes. He’s going to be mega chalk, but at $3,200, it’s hard not to eat it because no one else in that price range could match the expected production.
Other Options - Saben Lee ($3,000), Grayson Allen ($4,200), Malik Beasley ($5,000), De’Anthony Melton ($5,300)
Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers ($8,900) – I like Giannis a lot but I can’t ignore the price on Durant and the fact that he should garner as much usage as he can handle tonight with both Booker and Beal unlikely to play. On a per-minute basis, his 1.33 FP/Min pales in comparison to Giannis’ 1.79. Roster construction and projected ownership numbers will play a huge part because both have similar raw points projections, but Giannis is projected to be rostered at a much lower number. Decision. Decisions.
Other Options - Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,200), Tobias Harris ($6,600)
Paul Reed, Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks ($3,600) – All offseason, Nick Nurse has been raving about Reed, even mentioning that he could play alongside Embiid. We shall see tonight how many minutes he will get but the uncertainty works in our favor. At the least, he should get the backup center minutes, so roughly around 14 minutes. He could also get backup power forward minutes and play alongside Embiid. The risk is minimal at $3,600 while the upside is high. Reed averages 1.1 FP/Min and can rack up the fantasy goodies in a variety of ways.
Other Options - Josh Okogie ($4,700), Austin Reaves ($5,600)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks ($10,300) – Outside of Nikola Jokic, there isn’t a more well-rounded center in the game, as Embiid can literally do it all. With no Harden in the mix, the usage rate will likely be over 30%, possibly even in the mid-to-high 30s. There really isn’t much else to write. Embiid is awesome. It comes down to roster construction.
Other Options - Anthony Davis ($8,900), Jusuf Nurkic ($6,100)
Drew Eubanks, Suns at Los Angeles Lakers ($3,900) – Reed is my favorite value at center but I wrote him up in the forward section, so Eubanks it is. A ringing endorsement, huh? Eubanks played 19 minutes in the opener and will likely play somewhere in the teens. He won’t score much but he can grab some rebounds and block some shots. He’s also a capable passer. He put up 20.25 DKFP in the opener. While I wouldn’t expect production, his price has dropped $800 and scoring in the teens could be palatable.
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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.