With just three days of action remaining before the All-Star Break, we find ourselves staring down the barrel of an augmented six-game NBA slate on DraftKings. However, while we won’t have either the Raptors or the Pistons taking the court due to COVID protocols, this still projects to be an interesting set of contests loaded with stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000), Nikola Jokic ($10,800) and LeBron James ($10,700).
Let’s break it all down position-by-position.
Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $10,100 - Westbrook’s price tag has finally been up over $10K these past two weeks, the result of a 10-game run where the veteran has exceeded 50.0 DKFP eight times and has registered at least a double-double every night. So, while the Grizzlies have been stout against opposing point guards this season, Westbrook is at least in incredible form. Also working in the former MVP’s favor is the massive implied total for this matchup, as both these squads ranked top 10 in pace during the month of February.
Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks, $5,500 - Nunn should be a popular play tonight. The undrafted sophomore is just two days removed from dropping 44.25 DKFP against this same Hawks defense — a unit that’s surrendered the most DKFP to opposing point guards so far in 2020-21. That was actually the first game since Feb. 2 where the Heat had all three of Nunn, Tyler Herro ($6,000) and Goran Dragic ($5,600) active, yet it was Nunn who easily led the trio in minutes (32.8), points (24) and field goal attempts (15). Obviously that could change in an instant on a roster this deep, but I’ll keep riding the hot hand with the lowest salary.
Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers at Boston Celtics, $8,400 - While George is very much in the midst of a shooting slump — he’s 4-for-19 (21.1%) from three-point range in his last three games — that really doesn’t excuse his odd pricing on this slate. In fact, this is the lowest salary George has possessed since all the way back to an opening night clash with the Lakers. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the guy gunning for a 50/45/90 season will see a little positive regression on Tuesday evening, especially considering the Celtics have allowed 116.0 points per 100 possessions over their last five matchups. Kawhi Leonard ($8,800) is viable for very similar reasons.
PJ Dozier, Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks, $3,200 - I think there’s a couple reasons to like Dozier this evening. First and foremost, with both Gary Harris (thigh) and Facundo Campazzo (health protocols) out for tonight’s tilt, Dozier should get a large role off the bench — especially with the Nuggets on the second game of a back-to-back. This matchup also has the highest implied total on the slate, and there’s even a little blowout potential, which would only increase the 24-year-old’s workload. I’d be shocked if Dozier didn’t bring back at least 6x value on Tuesday.
DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs vs. New York Knicks, $8,100 - Generally speaking, Knicks games are not where you should be looking to stack assets, as New York is truly taking it back to the 90’s with a great defensive rating and a snail-slow pace. Still, with the Spurs shorthanded, DeRozan is worth a look at his modest price. Since returning from a personal absence from the team, the former All-Star is averaging 40.2 minutes, 27.0 points, 11.0 assists and 50.4 DKFP across a pair of starts. It’s unclear if he’ll be able to shoulder quite the same load on the second night of a back-to-back, but he might not have a choice.
Justise Winslow, Memphis Grizzlies at Washington Wizards, $3,900 - Winslow is coming off easily his most efficient performance as a member of Memphis, scoring 20 points and 29.75 DKFP on 12 shots in a blowout victory over Houston this past Sunday. Through four games, Winslow is now averaging a respectable 0.87 DKFP per minute, with an eye-popping 26.8% usage rate. Though he seems locked into a role of just 20-25 minutes per contest, I’ll continue to go back to the former lottery pick as long as his price tag sits below $4K. Obviously, it helps when the Wizards are involved, too.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Denver Nuggets, $11,000 - It’s simply very difficult to fade Antetokounmpo right now. The Greek Freak has scored at least 70.0 DKFP in five of his last 10 starts, including Sunday’s victory over the Clippers, which saw Jrue Holiday ($7,200) return to the court. His presence could have some bearing on Antetokounmpo’s ceiling down the line; however, as it pertains to this evening, I’d still expect Holiday on a significant minutes restriction. With that being the case, a possible blowout is the only thing that scares me, but that’s almost always a risk with the Bucks.
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks, $6,700 - Porter is a little too expensive to be a traditional “value” play, yet he certainly offers some savings as an alternative to paying up for Giannis. Also, in a vacuum, he’s just been playing some great basketball as of late. With so many Denver injuries in the frontcourt and on the wing, Porter has been asked to play some major minutes the past four games (35.8), and he’s responded with four-straight double-doubles. The most recent, during Monday’s contest against the Bulls, was highlighted by the former lottery pick trying a career-high with 15 boards. This is the matchup to stack on tonight’s slate and Porter could be a key piece of the winning build.
Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat, $8,200 - This projects as a nice spot for the big man. Capela’s minutes have been known to fluctuate from game-to-game — and that uncertainty isn’t helped by the recent firing of Lloyd Pierce — but the Hawks will need the 26-year-old’s size to combat Bam Adebayo ($8,700) this evening. Heck, we just saw Capela log 35.6 minutes in this exact matchup on Sunday. This is all great news, as Capela is averaging 18.1 points, 17.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per 36 so far this season. That equates out to 1.32 DKFP per minute.
Nerlens Noel, New York Knicks at San Antonio Spurs, $5,200 - Noel isn’t the most efficient DFS asset in the world (he averages 0.86 DKFP per minute) and he isn’t going to blow anyone away with his microscopic usage rate (10.2%). Still, when Tom Thibodeau likes you, he likes you, and Coach Thibs clearly likes Noel, as the big man has played a combined 80 minutes across the Knicks’ past two games. That’s a level of volume that just can’t be overlooked.
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