There are five games on the slate. It’s time to be great on this particular date. Hopefully, that’s in our fate. The key will be to triangulate on a core, then differentiate in other slots in order to separate from the floor.
GS and SAC are playing the first leg of a back-to-back, while BOS played last night.
DraftKings Sportsbook has two games with a total of at least 230: NOP/UTA (232) and BOS/LAL (233). There are no double-digit favorites and the tightest spread is the Pelicans -2 over the Jazz. There are three home dogs: HOU +5.5, UTA +2 and LAL +3.5.
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Sacramento Kings ($9,700) – Since returning from a 14-game absence, Harden has gone for 39, 57.5 and 57.25 DKFP. He’s played 39, 48 and 38 minutes while garnering a usage rate of 37.5%, 25.1% and 20.3%. Joel Embiid ($11,700) is the alpha of the 76ers attack but Harden is still heavily involved. Now he gets a matchup against a Kings team that plays at the 6th-fastest pace and is 16th in defensive rating. Harden is averaging 1.31 DKFP per minute, so another 50-burger should be in play.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks ($10,800) – I have some doubts about Curry in this one because the Bucks have gotten so much better at defending three-pointers. Against point guards, in particular, they have neutralized three-pointers by 22.93% below league average. Then I remembered that Curry is not a normal point guard. He is not a normal basketball player. He is one of the greatest we have ever seen. With the way the Warriors space out defenses and the plethora of offensive weapons on the court, Curry is going to get his. It’s just a matter of how much. Can he score fewer than 30 DKFP? Sure, it’s within the range of outcomes, especially if the shots don’t fall. That said, he’s gone for at least 50 DKFP 13 times this season with three games over 70.
Other Options - Jaylen Brown ($9,200)
Damion Lee, Phoenix Suns at Houston Rockets ($3,500) – Devin Booker is out for this one so Lee should get plenty of run and opportunities to produce those fantasy goodies. On Sunday, he played a whopping 34 minutes and hoisted 11 shots. The Rockets are 28th in defensive rating and boost the FPPM to shooting guards by 22.98% above league average, with a 15.33% boost for three-pointers.
Other Options - Jevon Carter ($3,300), Jose Alvarado ($4,200)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics ($9,800) – Since returning from a five-game absence, James has gone for at least 50 DKFP five times in nine games. He’s shooting 40% from downtown and averaging 27.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.3 steals over that span. James garners a 31.6% usage rate on the season and he will be heavily involved since the Celtics boast the league’s best offense and are 8th in defensive rating.
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz ($9,500) – Over the last seven games, Zion has averaged 30 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks. He’s gone for at least 50 DKFP in all but one of those contests with two over 60. He’s one of the most unstoppable forces in the paint and guess who allows the most points in the paint per game? Yup, the Utah Jazz.
Other Options - Jayson Tatum ($11,000), Jaylen Brown ($9,200), Mikal Bridges ($6,100)
Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz ($4,400) – Over the last three games, Nance has played 29, 24 and 34 minutes. He put up 21.75, 45.25 and 42.25 DKFP. He’s received extra playing time due to injuries, but Willie Green has been using him more in a small-ball center capacity at times. The contributions in the defensive categories have been the most eye-opening, as he would lack in those areas before. He’s had four steals in each of the last two games with three total blocks as well.
Other Options - Damion Lee ($3,500), Naji Marshall ($3,700)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Sacramento Kings ($11,700) – When on the court, Embiid has been simply amazing this season. He’s gone for at least 60 DKFP seven times with a high of 100.25! The usage rate is 37.7% on the season and he literally stuffs the stat sheet from left to right, or right to left, depending on how you read things. The Kings have defended centers well this season, neutralizing the FPPM by 12.28% below league average. Embiid is not your typical center, though.
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics ($11,100) – Boston is 8th in defensive rating and has neutralized the FPPM to centers by 13.36% below league average. This game has a healthy 233 total with the Celtics favored by only 3.5 points. Points will likely be scored and the game should be somewhat competitive. If so, Davis will have been a big reason why because he’s involved at both ends of the court. He’s garnering a 28.4% usage rate and averaging 27.7 points while racking up 1.3 steals and 2.2 blocks per game. Over the last 12 games, he’s gone for at least 60 DKFP seven times with two over 80.
Other Options - Deandre Ayton ($7,200)
Blake Griffin, Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers ($3,800) – Robert Williams and Al Horford are out so Griffin will likely make his fourth straight start. In the prior three, he played 33, 22 and 20 minutes, putting up 27.5, 25.25 and 23.75 DKFP. The Lakers play at the fastest pace in the league so there should be plenty of possessions to rack up those fantasy goodies. Griffin is averaging 0.87 DKFP per minute.
Other Options - Walker Kessler ($4,400), Larry Nance Jr. ($4,400)
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