We’re now officially a full week into the NBA’s regular season, but between the injuries, the huge upsets and the COVID measures, you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s already been a month. Either way, there’s another 10-game featured slate on DraftKings this evening that tips off at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Let’s break it all down position-by-position.
Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls, $9,700 - With his salary having dipped back below $10K on this slate, Westbrook is going to be a difficult asset to ignore on Tuesday. Not only does the veteran come into tonight’s meeting with the Bulls having registered back-to-back triple-doubles, but he’s done so while averaging the fourth-most touches per game of any player in the league (97.5). Add in that Chicago and Washington rank second and third, respectively, in pace, and you just know Westbrook is going to thrive in an uptempo setting.
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New York Knicks, $5,900 - Garland saw a slight dip in production in Sunday’s win over the 76ers, but I’m not sure how many 24-point blowouts we have to prepare for when it comes to the 2020-21 Cavaliers. I’d expect a more neutral game script in Tuesday’s battle with the Knicks — a squad that’s surrendered 112.6 opponent points per 100 possessions so far this season. If that’s the case, Garland should have little issue reaching value, as he’s averaged 1.15 DKFP per minute through three contests.
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards, $8,400 - I won’t be alone in stacking this game, but that doesn’t make it the wrong move. LaVine comes into what should be an exceedingly high-scoring tilt on the heels of his best performance of the young season: 33 points and 52.75 DKFP in a back-and-forth 129-128 loss to Golden State on Sunday. Expect a similar script and a similar result this evening for the former lottery pick, who’s carrying a massive 33.7% usage rate through the Bulls’ first three matchups.
Editor’s Note: Thunder PG/SG George Hill (neck) has been ruled out of tonight’s game vs. the Magic.
George Hill, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Orlando Magic , $4,800 - While this game could turn out to be low-scoring — I think Orlando’s impressive pace is a result of having played Washington twice — there’s no denying that Hill is a different man in 2020-21. Unlike the past couple of seasons where the veteran’s role was nothing more than standing in the corner for Milwaukee, Hill is now a clear secondary creator behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($8,100) , sitting second on the Thunder is usage rate (22.8%) and third in touches per contest (50.5). I’ll keep going back to this well until he’s priced above $5K.
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat, $7,700 - Middleton has been known to be an inconsistent DFS contributor, the cost of playing next to a usage magnet like Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800). However, through three games, it’s the former that’s been the more efficient fantasy asset. Middleton is averaging an eye-popping 1.47 DKFP per minute played in 2020-21, the result of leading Milwaukee in points (26.7) and minutes (32.0) per contest. I doubt that will continue, yet in a matchup against the Heat that might require Middleton to log over 35 minutes, I’ll gladly utilize the All-Star at less that $8K.
Otto Porter, Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards, $5,400 - It’s unclear if the Bulls would turn to Porter in the starting lineup should Lauri Markkanen ($6,600; calf) not be available for tonight’s contest; yet, in such a scenario, Porter would surely see an increase in role regardless of whether or not his name was called in pre-game introductions. The oft-injured forward is having a nice start to his 2020-21 campaign, sitting second on Chicago in usage rate (22.9%) and averaging 1.10 DKFP per minute played.
Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons vs. Golden State Warriors, $6,900 - I’ve always been a sucker for Griffin’s DFS upside when he’s been healthy and, considering he took Monday off, the veteran should be set for a full workload on this evening’s slate. Griffin showcased his upside this past weekend against the Cavaliers, registering 26 points and 48.0 DKFP in a heartbreaking double-OT loss. Yes, it’s doubtful he plays 44 minutes in tonight’s tilt, but he might not need that level of volume versus the Warriors, who are surrendering 116.0 opponent points per 100 possessions and own the league’s worst team rebounding rate (43.9%). That’s a dream combination for a big man.
Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Clippers, $5,100 - We didn’t really get a chance to see what’s Reid total role in absence of Karl-Anthony Towns (wrist) could be on Sunday, as things with the Lakers got quickly out of hand; however, we do know that the young big man is averaging a respectable 1.05 DKFP per minute so far this season. Could he log over 30 minutes of action if tonight’s contest with the Clippers stays reasonably close? Definitely. Could he grab double-digit rebounds against a team with the eight-worst total rebounding rate (47.6%) in the NBA? Definitely.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors, $9,800 - In the past two seasons, you wanted absolutely no part of Embiid in this matchup. Heck, the All-Star somehow managed to go scoreless in a game against the Raptors on Nov. 25 of last year. However, most of those issues can be attributed to one person: Marc Gasol. Without the veteran defender — and Serge Ibaka — Toronto has struggled on defense and struggled to rebound through two contests, even sitting dead-last in the East in total rebounding rate (46.0%). Embiid should be able to wreck havoc on this suddenly soft interior.
Robert Williams, Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers, $3,900 - Can lightning strike twice in the same matchup for Williams? When these two teams met on Sunday, he logged 22 minutes off the bench, scoring 30.0 DKFP and playing crunch-time for Boston. There’s no guarantees that that is going to happen again, but the Pacers are an opponent that require you to stay big and Williams’ talent is undeniable. I’m willing to take the chance at a price tag below $4K.
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