The number of games on this slate is nine. Time to pump the Ginuwine or the Ace of Base so that we can find the sign. Who am I kidding? Those are not tunes of mine. These thoughts should not be littering the mind, for the goal on this day is to find the right combination of players and climb the leaderboard vine and sit our behinds on the shrine. So straighten up the spine and sip that glass of wine because it is now time to design the master plan for everything to eventually align.
CHI, DET, MIA, MIN, NOP, PHI and UTA are playing the first leg of a back-to-back. TOR is the only team that played last night.
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, there are two games with a total of at least 235 - LAL/ATL (239.5) and UTA/SAC (241.5). CHI is the biggest favorite on the slate at 8.5 points over DET while the PHI/NOP game has the tightest spread at 1.5 points in favor of the 76ers. ORL, NOP and GS are all home dogs.
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Pelicans ($10,000) – The Pelicans are a tough matchup, as they are sixth in defensive rating and have neutralized the FPPM to point guards by 3.63% below the league average. That said, Harden averages 1.33 DKFP per minute and his ability to contribute in so many categories provides a relatively high floor. He’s also a triple-double threat on any given night. This game has a tight spread of 1.5 points so the game should be tough and competitive. Over the last three contests, Harden has gone for 62.25, 67 and 71.75 DKFP.
Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks ($7,500) – Speaking of triple-doubles, Westbrook is the career leader with 197. While his role has changed coming off the bench averaging 25 minutes per game, he’s played 32 and 30 minutes over the last two contests. This game has the second-highest total on the slate at 239.5 and the Hawks play at the seventh-fastest pace while the Lakers are third. In addition, Atlanta has boosted the FPPM to point guards by 11.25% above the league average. Westbrook has scored at least 30 DKFP in each of the last seven games with three over 50. Another 50-burger could be in the works tonight.
Other Options - Damian Lillard ($9,700), Trae Young ($9,900), Anthony Edwards ($9,300), Markelle Fultz ($6,000)
Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards ($3,100) – I usually hate recommending just huckers and chuckers because all of their fantasy value derives from putting the ball into the hoop. An off-shooting night and it’s sayonara. I’m making an exception today because of the extenuating circumstance in Orlando. Due to the suspensions from the altercation in Detroit, only eight Magic players are suitiing up. Ross should see elevated playing time and an expanded role. He also can get scorching hot, so the upside’s there. A 30-burger wouldn’t surprise me.
Other Options - Kevon Harris ($3,000), Austin Rivers ($3,700), Ty Jerome ($3,800), Kevin Huerter ($5,400)
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls vs. Detroit Pistons ($9,100) – I knew DeRozan has been good this season, but I didn’t realize how good until I dug a little deeper. He’s exceeded points expectations 80% of the time this season. He’s gone for at least 40 DKFP 20 times with seven of those over 50, four of those over 60 and a high of 71, which he produced in the most recent game. There is some blowout risk in this one, as the Bulls are favored by 8.5 points at home, but the Pistons boost the FPPM to small forwards by 12.68% above league average, so DeRozan will likely be a big reason if a blowout does manifest.
Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic ($8,300) – The range of outcomes is wide for Kuzma, as a 20-DKFP outing wouldn’t surprise me. That said, he does have 50-burger upside, something he’s done in three of the last six games. The Magic have boosted the FPPM to power forwards by a league-leading 12.99% above the league average. I’m not crazy about many of the top players at the position and think that Kuzma could match or exceed their production. At $2,000-plus cheaper, that would be pretty, pretty good.
Other Options - Pascal Siakam ($10,200), Lauri Markkanen ($8,400), Franz Wagner ($6,200)
Admiral Schofield, Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards ($3,000) – Schofield will likely enter the starting rotation for the depleted Magic today. He averages only 0.74 DKFP per minute but should play at least 30 minutes in this one. And minutes are half the battle. Yo, Joe!
Other Options - Caleb Houstan ($3,000), Rui Hachimura ($4,100), John Collins ($5,700)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Pelicans ($11,000) – Since November, Embiid has scored fewer than 50 DKFP just four times. He’s gone over 60 nine times with four of those over 70 and a ridiculous high of 100.25. So, yeah, the floor/ceiling combo is one of the best on the slate. This game has the tightest spread so it should be a competitive affair. Embiid has garnered a usage rate of over 40% in each of the last three contests and scored at least 40 points in two.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat ($11,800) - Oh, we talkin’ bout floor/ceiling combos? While Jokic hasn’t been “alien from another planet” good this season, he’s still “probably from another planet” good. He’s scored at least 50 DKFP in each of the last 10 games with four of those over 80 and a high of 95.75. He’s scored at least 40 points in four of those contests and triple-doubled in four, just missing in five others. So, for those doing the math, there’s been only one game over that stretch that he wasn’t on triple-double watch. Crazy. Usually, I delve into pace and matchup, but Jokic scoffs at those things.
Other Options - Domantas Sabonis ($10,300), Nikola Vucevic ($7,600)
Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($5,300) – Clint Capela is out again so Okongwu will make his third straight start. Okongwu has exceeded points expectations 70% of the time this season and has gone for over 40 DKFP in two of the last four games. The Lakers play at the third-fastest pace and boost the FPPM to centers by 8.11% above the league average.
Other Options - Jalen Duren ($5,400)
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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.