We have a five-game NBA slate today. On DraftKings Sportsbook, there are two games with a total of at least 229 — DET/CHA (229) and LAC/HOU (229.5). The Hornets are the biggest favorites at 10 points over the Pistons while the Lakers and Pelicans have the tightest spread at one point in favor of the Pelicans.
Things are going to change throughout the day, so make sure to keep abreast of the news by following @dklive on Twitter.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings NBA lineups.
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets vs. Detroit Pistons ($9,600) – I’m inclined to fade both Luka Doncic ($11,700) and Stephen Curry ($10,600) today. What could go wrong? Both are going to score points but will their price tags justify their output? I have doubts because the chances of a ceiling game are lessened. Now, could both get there and explode? For sure, as they are two of the best players in the league. That said, the Warriors are first in defensive efficiency and have held Doncic to fewer than 50 DKFP in both meetings this season. For Curry, Dallas is fifth in defensive efficiency and play at the slowest pace in the league. In two meetings against the Mavericks this season, he’s gone for 40.75 and 32.75 DKFP. Ok, enough about those two. Let’s get to why I like Ball.
The Hornets play at the second-fastest pace while Detroit is 12th. The Pistons are 25th in defensive efficiency while boosting the FPPM to point guards by 12.29%. In two meetings against Detroit this season, the Hornets have put up 140 and 141 points with Ball going for 67.25 and 45 DKFP.
Other Options – CJ McCollum ($8,900), Terry Rozier ($8,100)
Luke Kennard, Los Angeles Clippers @ Houston Rockets ($4,600) – Over the last three games, Kennard has played 25, 23 and 34 minutes, producing 24.5, 36.5 and 32 DKFP. He’s scored double figures in each contest while racking up at least one steal as well. With Norman Powell out, Kennard has become THE guy off the bench. He plays a Houston team that is the creme de la creme of fantasy, as they are first in offensive pace and dead-last in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Jordan Poole ($5,000), Dennis Schroder ($5,100) if KPJ is out
CJ McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans @ Los Angeles Lakers ($8,900) – In six games since being acquired by the Pelicans, McCollum has averaged 36.3 minutes, 21.2 field goal attempts, 29 points, six rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.3 steals. He’s gone over 40 DKFP in five of six games with three above 50. The usage rate has been above 28% in all but one contest. Now he faces a Lakers team that is sixth in offensive pace and boosts the FPPM to point guards by 8.64%.
Other Options – Brandon Ingram ($7,800), Terry Rozier ($8,100)
Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets vs. Detroit Pistons ($5,500) – Oubre Jr. is one of the most volatile fantasy players. He can light up the scoreboard for 50 DKFP on any given night or score in single digits, which usually happens when he’s highly rostered, so play him when the projected ownership is low and fade when it’s high. Easy peasy. Over the last two games, he’s played 32 and 38 minutes coming off the bench. He’s jacked up 15 and 14 shots with 12 and 10 of those coming from downtown, translating to 37 and 25.5 DKFP. The matchup is a good one. It’s just a matter of if he hits his shots or not and how high the projected ownership is.
Other Options – Luke Kennard ($4,600), Dennis Schroder ($5,100) if KPJ is out, Jordan Poole
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($10,900) – James is questionable, so make sure he’s active before utilizing him. Shocker. With Anthony Davis out, James will more than likely suit up with the Lakers sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference and having just lost to the eighth-place Clippers on Friday. He garners a 33.2% usage rate with Davis off the court this season, and he’s gone for at least 50 DKFP in four of the last six games with a high of 66.25. On the season, he’s averaging 1.48 FPPM.
Other Options – Brandon Ingram ($7,800), Miles Bridges ($7,900)
Talen Horton-Tucker, Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($4,600) – It hasn’t been the prettiest of seasons for THT, as he’s shooting 41% from the field and 28% from downtown. Over the last five games, though, he’s been on a bit of a heater, shooting 51% from the field and 50% from downtown. Those numbers are going to regress, but he’s been playing 28.1 minutes per game and contributing across the board with 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks. The sample size has been small, but it looks like he’s more comfortable out there and the team trusts him. On Friday night against the Clippers, down the stretch in the fourth quarter, the Lakers were putting the ball into THT’s hands and posting him up when he had the advantage. He’s still young and inconsistent, so understand that if utilizing him.
Other Options – Kelly Oubre Jr. ($5,500), Aaron Gordon ($5,900)
Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets vs. Detroit Pistons ($7,900) – Power forward isn’t great up at the top, so Bridges it is. As you may have surmised, I kind of like the Hornets in this matchup against the Pistons, so prepare yourselves for the reincarnation of the 80’s Bad Boys. Bridges has double-doubled in three straight games, dished out seven assists and blocked two shots in two of those contests. He attempted 21 field goals in two of those games as well. The usage rate has been 20.9%, 26.3% and 26.7%.
Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans Pelicans @ Los Angeles Lakers ($4,900) – Hayes has been in and out of the starting lineup over the last month, but he’s shown glimpses of brilliance at times. There have also been duds as well, some as a result of foul trouble and others due to poor play. That said, there is upside, as his season high is 42.25 DKFP, and he has gone over 30 three times. The Lakers play fast and boost the FPPM to power forwards by 22.36%, so the matchup is a good one.
Other Options – PJ Washington ($5,600), Carmelo Anthony ($5,000), Marvin Bagley III ($3,800), Maxi Kleber ($4,700)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trail Blazers ($12,600) – Jokic averages a ridiculous 1.82 FPPM, and he has the highest floor/ceiling combo in the game. He’s scored fewer than 50 DKFP only nine times all season while going over 70 DKFP 11 times with a high of 93! He’s a threat to triple-double on any given night and has accomplished the feat 16 times this season. He should feast on a Portland team without Jusuf Nurkic in the lineup. The only concerns are blowout, foul trouble or injury.
Other Options – Montrezl Harrell ($6,100)
Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($3,000) – Howard received the start last game with Anthony Davis out and played 26 minutes, producing 14 points, 16 rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocks. That translated to 44.5 DKFP. Can that same production be expected? No, but Howard does average 1.07 FPPM and is the stone minimum.
Other Options – Drew Eubanks ($3,900), Jaxson Hayes ($4,900), Marvin Bagley III ($3,800), Maxi Kleber ($4,700)
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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.
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