Keep a close eye on the Charlotte Hornets injury report. Thanks to a rash of injuries, Kemba Walker ($7,800) has been the entire offense for the Hornets over the last three games. He’s returned owners 46, 63.5 and 47.75 DraftKings points over that span. He’s filling the stat sheet in a big way, scoring 89 real points and tacking on 20 assists in the same span. Depending on his teammates availability, Kemba could be in-line for another huge day.
The price on Ish Smith ($6,500) is skyrocketing, but he’s not quite out of play yet, especially in this matchup. Not a bad return for Smith to the Sixers as he’s posted games of 27, 45.25 and 42.75 DraftKings points. He is just what the doctor ordered for this team, with his ability to penetrate the paint and dish the ball to his bigs. A constant double-double threat with some serious upside. There’s no better matchup than the Lakers, so expect another solid performance from Ish tonight.
I don’t love the shooting guard position, but Jeremy Lamb ($4,000) would be interesting if Jeremy Lin sits out another game. Lamb stepped in and commanded the Hornets second unit in Lin’s absence, shooting the ball 13 teams and racking up 28.75 DraftKings points. We probably won’t know Lin’s status until closer to tip-off, so be prepared to pivot to Lamb.
Otto Porter ($5,700) has been one of the walking wounded for the Wizards, but he appears to be healthy and now logging big minutes for Washington. Two games back in his return that he’s received a full workload and he’s posted two spectacular games. Lines of 21-8 and 20-9 have earned his owners 39 and 34.75 DraftKings points. It will take 34 DraftKings points to reach full 6x value again tonight which Porter is certainly capable of doing against the Magic. I expect him to fly under the radar a bit since he’s been banged up and many owners will forget to check his status or how he’s played recently.
The biggest beneficiary of the Ish Smith acquisition is clearly Nerlens Noel ($6,300). These two have hooked up on countless alley-oops which are the easiest of points for Noel, who’s now scored 37.25, 39 and 41.25 DraftKings points in his L3. Nerlens is the type of player who can fill it up in all categories as he’ an elite blocker and can swipe the ball with that best of them. That’s a rare combination of skills and both earn a full two points on DraftKings. This game has the highest O/U on the slate, so expect some fireworks in LA tonight.
Bobby Portis ($3,900) is playing so well that he’s almost impossible to take out of the rotation right now. Portis is earning those minutes vacated by the injury to Joakim Noah, earning 27 and 26 minutes in his last two. Portis has posted near double-doubles in back to back games, earning 25.25 and 27.25 DraftKings points in those outings. Go back and watch the tape from the IND game. There was a significant stretch of this game where Portis was the best player on the court. The skills are there and the minutes are volatile, but he’s making it hard for Coach Hoiberg to keep him on the bench.
The center position is a little thin for my taste. The safest option appears to be Marcin Gortat ($6,900). He’s been heavily involved in the Wizards offense while they have been decimated by injuries over the past few weeks. He’s been a constant in this lineups, scoring at least 30 DraftKings points in seven straight games. If you look at his last five, he’s been even better, averaging 39.8 DraftKings points in that run. This is a middle of the road matchup, but that’s still better than many of his peers who will face much tougher assignments tonight.
The interesting GPP play is Robin Lopez ($4,200). Lopez is coming off a 35.25 DraftKings point performance that included six blocks. Now, you can’t expect him to rack up six blocks on a nightly basis, but he has earned multiple rejections in three of his last five. It was also encouraging to see him earn points in all categories with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in his latest contest. Increasing minutes have been beneficial to Lopez owners as he has cracked 30 minutes in the last two games. You can’t ask for a better matchup with the Bulls who are dead last in points allowed to opposing centers.
That’s all folks! Be sure to follow me on Twitter for more player analysis as news and injuries break closer to tip-off! Commentary based on DraftKings strategy and scoring.