Editor’s Note: Andrew Wiggins (personal) will not play tonight vs. the Wizards, per Chris Hine of the Star Tribune.
I’ve been waiting my whole life for a nice, juicy, meaty slate in which we don’t have to worry a ton about NBA injuries. Pending some unexpected news this evening, we’ve got a relatively clean slate of health for Friday’s eight-gamer. Really Anthony Davis (ribs, shoulder) is the only big name to track, but unless he’s ruled out, we can identify the plays and values for GPPs with plenty of time to spare before lock. With no injuries to go over, let’s dive into some strategy for GPPs and cash games.
How Do We Approach Tournaments on DraftKings?
For tonight, I like employing a strategy I’ve used a lot in lineups on DraftKings, which is basically a straight split between values and studs. I think there are a handful of great value options in the $3-4K range that we can capitalize on. Most notable a few guys on the Rockets with all their injuries. Tyson Chandler ($4,000) and P.J. Tucker ($4,500) are both cheap and should see 30+ minutes vs. the Pacers. Plus Ben McLemore ($3,800), Austin Rivers ($3,700) and Chris Clemons ($3,000) all have a chance to return value. The matchup isn’t ideal, but Houston is implied for a hefty amount of points (though most of those will go the way of James Harden ($12,300).
If we plug in a few of those values, we’re able to slot in 3-5 players in the $7.5-9K range, which I think is where there are tons of players with upside. I’ll touch on a handful of those players in a little bit, but other than a few game stacks, I think this is your best bet to take down a big GPP. I don’t think you can fade Harden because he’s been on a tear lately, but I also think he’s less appealing than some of the players priced under him.
How Do We Approach Cash Games on DraftKings?
I went over some cash-game plays for tonight’s slate already, so I think you should start most of your lineups with those players. At the top, Andre Drummond ($8,600) seems too cheap to pass up. Even with Blake Griffin back in the fold, Drummond’s value should take too much of a hit and his floor is right around where he’d hit 5-6x his salary. Sure, some of the high-priced studs have higher floors, but not for this price. On a strict points per salary basis, Drummond is the way to go.
Behind him I think Draymond Green ($5,300) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($5,900) are good values and plugging those three into your lineup leaves you with around $6K on average to fill things up. Because Domantas Sabonis ($8,700) is PF eligible, we’re able to pay down at center and Tyson Chandler ($4,000) is the logical option there. Plug in a few more value plays and then decide which players in the $8K range you want to go with. You could also opt to fit in Harden and turn to another value, or keep things a bit balanced. I think balance is the way to go, though Harden’s ceiling lately is in the 70-point range, which is scary to ignore. It’s not hard to get three chalky guys in the $8K range such as Drummond, Sabonis and D’Angelo Russell ($8,000).
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN vs. WAS, $10,000
I’ve talked a bit about Harden, and he’s likely the top GPP play on the slate, but his ownership and price will weigh you down. I think of the three options above $10K, KAT is the way to go. He was suspended for the Timberwolves matchup vs. the Wizards a few weeks back and Minnesota dropped 131 points in that game without him. I can’t imagine what the T-Wolves will do with him.
The Timberwolves’ rotation has gotten deeper, but I think this game will be very high scoring and this seems like a matchup KAT can smash in. I really like this game overall, so will touch on some more plays from WAS-MIN later in the article.
Joel Embiid, PHI at OKC, $9,200
This is still an amazing price on Embiid, especially considering he’s going to enter this matchup vs. the Thunder well-rested. He sat the other night vs. the Magic and the Sixers got run out of Florida. Philadelphia isn’t playing great basketball right now and needs a response from its best player.
I think what will scare people off Embiid is the road game vs. OKC. Steven Adams is back and Nerlens Noel is a 7-footer who can defend. It won’t be easy for Embiid, but he’s Joel Embiid, he’s matchup proof to an extent in my eyes and we’re going to get him at lower ownership for a lower-than-usual price.
Malcolm Brogdon, IND at HOU, $7,600
I really like Sabonis overall, but Brogdon will probably go overlooked and this is a great game environment for a point guard with his skill set. Brogdon hasn’t been knocking down three-pointers at a high percentage, but he’s still chucking. That mindset should help him tonight vs. Houston, which is allowing opponents to shoot 36.3% from distance, towards the bottom third of the League.
Earlier in the month, Brogdon was priced at $8,800 and now is down $1,200 since then, so you’re getting a player with a higher ceiling relative to his price. I think this is a spot where Brogdon can find Sabonis for easy buckets and get to double-digit assists, which would make it easy to return value at around 40-45 fantasy points.
Ben Simmons, PHI at OKC, $7,200
Again, this is all about pricing relative to ceiling. Unless Simmons is suddenly ruled out to rest — which shouldn’t be the case, don’t worry — his price is just wayyyyy too low. I mean, he’s played at least 34 minutes in back-to-back games since returning and his price is still nothing close to what it was to start the season. This isn’t a great game script for Simmons to get his first triple-double of the season, but that’s his ceiling. You can’t find many players with that potential outcome at this price.
Top Game Stack: WAS-MIN (O/U 242)
I feel like I don’t need to say anything here, just look at that OVER/UNDER for crying out load! Like I said above, I love KAT in this spot and I’ve written up Robert Covington ($4,800), plus the last time these teams played we saw 240 points in a 131-109 T-Wolves win. The Wizards rank 29th in defensive efficiency at 112.4 and both Washington and Minnesota are top 10 in terms of pace.
What I love most is KAT vs. Bradley Beal ($8,500) and how we can pair the two together in a lineup. Both are capable of scoring in the 60-70 range in terms of fantasy points and both save you a bit of salary relative to their prices. Andrew Wiggins ($8,300) is priced up but he’s been on a tear lately. At least 30 points in four of five games and 52.5 DKFP in each of the past three. It’d be a bit hard to fit KAT, Beal and Wiggins in the same lineup stack, but not a crazy proposition. Jeff Teague ($5,300) is extremely cheap and shouldn’t be limited much by his illness. A few values on both sides: Jarrett Culver ($4,500) and Treveon Graham ($3,700) for Minny and Davis Bertans ($4,300) and Troy Brown ($4,100) for Washington.