There are five games today, but only four on tonight’s slate, as one is being played in Paris. Time to hop on the Ferris wheel, observing the sights of the landscape, hoping we stop at the top. Whether it’s due to our merits or not is irrelevant. All that matters is we reach the heights where we hob nob with the likes of Anna Faris and travel to far off places like Venice. Stay focused. Do not get played like Hannibal did to Clarice. If so, then you shall experience joy like those who entered this country via the island of Ellis.
BKN and GSW are playing the first leg of a back-to-back set. MIN is the only team that played last night.
Jaylen Brown ($9,000; groin) is the only notable player who is questionable. Keep abreast of all the injury news @dklive.
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, four of the five games have a total over 230. The BKN/PHO game is the only one below at 221. The Bulls are the biggest favorite on the slate at seven points over the Pistons. The tightest spreads are BKN -1.5 over PHO and PHI -2 over POR. DET, MIN, PHO and POR are all home dogs.
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers at Portland Trail Blazers ($9,800) – Harden is coming off a game in which he went 1-of-6 from the field, put up 25.75 DKFP and had a usage rate of 16.1%. There has been only one other game this season that he’s had a usage rate under 20%, and he triple-doubled in that one for 61.5 DKFP. It was the second game on the Los Angeles road trip, and the L.A. nightlife is undefeated. The 76ers are in Portland so he should be recuperated by now. To be fair, he has balled out in previous L.A. road trips, but it’s funny to me nonetheless. Prior to Tuesday’s debacle, Harden had put up over 55 DKFP in five straight.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Philadelpha 76ers ($10,000) – Lillard has been on one this season, exceeding points expectations 70% of the time. Over the last four games, he’s gone for 61.75, 56.25, 60.25 and 61 DKFP. He’s scored at least 30 points in six straight with three games over 40 points and a high of 50. This game has a healthy total of 233 points and a mano-a-mano mini battle with Harden wouldn’t surprise me.
Other Options - Stephen Curry ($10,100), Fred VanVleet ($8,100)
Derrick White, Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors ($5,100) – The Warriors play at the fastest pace in the league, so the environment should be a good one, and the 240 total is indicative of that. White has exceeded points expectations 70% of the time this season and has played at least 30 minutes in five of the last six games. The one game in which he didn’t, he suffered a neck injury after four minutes of action. Outside of that one game, White has put up at least 20 DKFP in each of the five games with three of them over 30.
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors ($10,800) – Tatum is the alpha for the Celtics. When Jaylen Brown is out, Tatum is THE ALPHA. Brown is questionable, so Tatum may have to don the cape once again. Over the last three games with Brown out, Tatum’s usage rate has been 31.4%, 35.6% and 36.4%, respectively. He put up 44.25, 56.75 and 71.25 DKFP. Still, the Warriors have defended opposing power forwards well, and they are intimately familiar with Tatum’s game and can throw both Draymond Green ($6,000) and Andrew Wiggins ($5,800) onto him. So, this is not a slam dunk play by any means.
Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors at Minnesota Timberwolves ($7,600) – Barnes got off to a slow start this season, as he dealt with injuries and adjusted to a new role. He looks comfortable now, having scored at least 45 DKFP in each of the last four games. He’s playing a ton of minutes and stuffing the stat sheet with fantasy goodies in every statistical category. Minnesota plays at the eighth-fastest pace and are 14th in defensive rating, so the environment should be decent. The Timberwolves have also boosted the FPPM to power forwards by 7.6% above league average and Barnes will likely be matched up often against Slow Mo.
Other Options - Gary Trent Jr. ($6,600), Mikal Bridges ($6,800)
Kyle Anderson, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Toronto Raptors ($5,600) – Slow Mo has put up 49.75 DKFP and 50.75 DKFP in the last two games, missing consecutive triple-doubles by only two assists. I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance, as he will likely finish in the 20-to-30 DKFP range. That said, he has done it, and the fact that he’s contributing in multiple categories provides a relatively high floor with access to ceiling.
Other Options - Grant Williams ($4,400), Jaden McDaniels ($4,800)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers at Portland Trail Blazers ($11,000) – Embiid is one of the best and most consistent fantasy players in the game. He literally does it all and often garners a usage rate in the high 30% range. He has scored fewer than 40 DKFP only twice this season while going over 50 DKFP 23 times. Embiid has gone over 70 DKFP four times and has a ridiculous high of 100.25 DKFP. Joel “Floor/Ceiling” Embiid is what we should call him.
Al Horford, Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors ($5,300) – Horford hasn’t played since Monday so he should be well-rested. He has played over 30 minutes in each of the last five games and gone for over 29 DKFP in three of those contests. There should be plenty of possessions in this game and Horford could get a bunch of clean looks from downtown, as the Celtics have the best offensive rating in the league.
Other Options - Precious Achiuwa ($3,700), Drew Eubanks ($3,200)
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