With the NBA postponing tonight’s contest between the Bulls and the Pistons due to the former’s COVID-19 outbreak, we’re left with a super tiny three-game featured slate on DraftKings. However, that doesn’t mean for a second that we’re suddenly short on star power.
Let’s go position-by-position and break down tonight’s action from a DFS perspective.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks, $11,500 - You sort of get the impression that tonight’s going to be a huge night for Curry. Not only is the All-Star sure to set the all-time record for made three-pointers at some point during the proceedings, but he’ll be on national television, playing at MSG. The last time Curry was in New York? He hit seven threes and dropped a cool 37 points. It certainly helps that the Knicks’ defense has been in shambles as of late. In fact, in its past 10 games, New York is allowing 114.5 points pre 100 possessions. Curry and the Warriors should easily take advantage.
Malachi Flynn, Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets, $3,000 - If this slate we’re slightly bigger, we might not need to go quite this deep, but there are a couple reasons to like Flynn. First and foremost, with Dalano Banton (illness) not traveling with the team to Brooklyn, the Raptors will dress just 10 players this evening, with Flynn the only natural point guard not named Fred VanVleet ($8,600). That should mean a 12-15 minute floor for an asset that set a season-high with 14 points in Monday’s win over the Kings. Not terrible for someone priced at the absolute minimum.
Anfrenee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns, $5,600 - Simons returned from a three-game absence on Sunday, logging 32.6 minutes and 34.25 DKFP in Portland’s loss to Minnesota. The guard was a welcomed sight for Blazers’ fans, as the team remains without the services of C.J. McCollum (chest). So far in 2021-22, Simons is averaging a respectable 0.93 DKFP per minute with McCollum off the floor, so if he ends up seeing a similar workload on Tuesday, it’s hard to imagine he won’t bring back some value at this price.
Derrick Rose, New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors, $5,000 - We’ve basically reached the point where the Knicks can’t score unless Rose is on the court. Heck, for the season as a whole, New York is outscoring opponents by 8.5 points per 100 possessions with Rose playing, as opposed to getting outscored by 9.5 points per 100 possessions when Rose is on the bench. Toss in the fact that RJ Barrett (health protocols) is unavailable, and you get a performance like Sunday, where Rose logged 36.5 minutes and collected 37.0 DKFP. He’s too cheap at $5K.
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Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors, $11,600 - I think you’ve got two options when paying up at small forward: Durant or Scottie Barnes ($7,400). Barnes is the safe play, as the rookie is basically locked into 35 minutes and 30-40 DKFP per start. However, the sheer volume of Durant is so enticing. Not only is the All-Star coming off a 51-point outburst against the Pistons, but Durant is averaging a league-high 39.8 minutes over his last nine starts. You don’t have to produce 1.36 DKFP per minute to be viable with that type of role, but when you do both? Goodness.
Yuta Watanabe, Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets, $3,600 - It’s difficult to imagine Watanabe scoring 32.0 DKFP for a second consecutive night, but the forward’s role is worth noting at this price tag. Watanabe has been the first reserve in the game for Toronto the past week, as the team is essentially playing without a center. Also, as mentioned above, the Raptors will only dress 10 men for tonight’s contest, which in theory, should slightly increase the minutes of everyone in the rotation. Given Watanabe’s above-averaging rebounding skills for his position, 5x or 6x value is well within the range of outcomes.
Julius Randle, New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors, $9,200 - I’ll be honest, I’ll probably be paying down at power forward on this slate, unless I’m slotting Durant in at the four. Still, there’s always a case to be made for Randle, especially with his price tag now sitting around $9K. Randle’s taken just 18 field goal attempts the past two games, but the big man owns a team-high 27.1% usage rate with Barrett off the court in 2021-22. We also know Randle can produce in a matchup with Draymond Green ($6,900), as the former lottery pick exceeded 50.0 DKFP in both his matchups with the Warriors last season.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers, $4,400 - Johnson has been logging heavy minutes with Devin Booker (hamstring) unavailable. In fact, over his last six games, Johnson’s seeing 30.5 minutes a night, while his 15.2 points per contest trails only Deandre Ayton ($7,500; illness) on the Suns’ roster. Despite all their injuries, Phoenix also possesses this slate’s second-highest implied team total. Combine all these factors, and Johnson’s in store for a lot of volume on Tuesday.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets, $8,300 - Much like with Randle, there are probably places I’d rather spend up than Siakam on Tuesday. However, if you have the means, the former All-Star is playing pretty well as of late. Across his last 11 games, Siakam is averaging 20.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game with a team-high 27.3% usage rate. He’s also logged over 35 minutes of playing time in six of his last eight starts. Again, he’s perfectly viable, it’s just a matter of salary allocation.
JaVale McGee, Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers, $4,200 - McGee is sure to be the chalk if Ayton is ruled out once again, but I don’t care about ownership — at least when an asset is averaging 1.49 DKFP per minute over his last two starts. Chris Boucher ($4,800) offers a decent pivot if Ayton does end up active, yet I have my doubts that we’ll see the former first-overall pick this evening.
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