I was surprised to see how overlooked Damian Lillard ($8,400) has been. Don’t forget that he is now backed from injury and he’s clearly 100% healthy as he’s logged 36 and 43 minutes over the last two for the Blazers. A matchup with the Warriors is expected to be high scoring as this is pinned with a 213.5 O/U, currently the highest on the slate. Lillard is a threat for 20 shots every night and can fill up the stat-sheet in most categories. Expect a heavy usage player in a big time matchup tonight.
We talked about how close we were to rostering Kyrie Irving ($6,900) and well, the time has officially come. Kyrie appears to be off his minutes restriction, earning 29 and 34 points in his last two games. He is a potent offensive threat who is simply under-priced as he returns from injury. Taking 38 shots in his last two have produced 45 and 47.25 DraftKings points for the star. He is the 9th highest priced PG and is a significant discount off the most expensive options, but provides just as much upside as anyone on the slate.
We need to forgive Tyreke Evans ($7,700). He laid a massive egg on the National stage on Christmas Day. He was one of the higher owned players on the slate which means he left many owners with a bad taste in their mouth (myself included). However, we need to remember how good Evans has been this season. If you throw out that Christmas Day game, Evans has averaged 42.4 DraftKings points over his last six. He’s stuffing the stat sheet and the upper end of his range is a serious triple-double threat. He’s facing off with the Pacers, who despite their name, don’t play with a ton of pace. On the plus side, they’ve been terrible against opposing backcourts so feel free to fire up Tyreke tonight.
Lou Williams ($5,900) is the Lakers best player. There I said it. It’s probably wrong, but the fact that you can’t immediately dismiss it shows how good Lou Williams has been this year. He may not be their best player, but he’s probably their purest scorer. Another 20 point scoring night for Lou last night, makes it three of four while being criminally under-priced. Am I worried about the blowout by OKC? Of course, but Williams can fill it up in a hurry and should benefit from an uptick in pace and possessions.
I don’t particularly love the pricing at the SF position tonight. Everything just feels “off”. You could pay up for a stud in a poor matchup or take on massive risk from one of the more volatile options. I am taking a slight lean toward LeBron as the overall best at the position, but like TJ Warren ($4,900) as the value option. Another guy you need to quickly forgive. Warren laid an egg of epic proportions with a 1.5 DraftKings point performance on Sunday night. He bounced back with 29.25, courtesy of 17 real points on Wednesday. That’s the type of outcome we’ve come to expect from Warren who has scored 29+ in four of six games (including that dreadful outing). The wing position has been troublesome for the heat to defend this season and Warren can be a matchup problem for them. I am willing to give Warren another chance tonight, especially at this rather woeful position.
After a hot start, Kristaps Porzingis ($6,400) has tailed off a bit, as expected with many rookies. This is clearly the most grueling schedule that Zinger has ever faced and it can take a toll on a young player. I do think he’s priced in an area to make him interesting tonight. He hasn’t been this low for quite some time and down over $1,000 from just two weeks ago. Zinger creates a tough matchup problem for the Spurs as I expect Kawhi to be locked into Carmelo all night. The Spurs don’t really have a great option for the 7-footer who can stroke it from behind the arc. In their one meeting this season, Porzingis rattled off a 13-14 line, ending with 43 DraftKings points in just 24 minutes against these Spurs. I certainly think he has 6x upside tonight.
I don’t know why I always end up writing about Brook Lopez ($7,900). He’s one of the better offensive centers in the league and while he’s dreadful under his own basket, we don’t really care about that for fantasy purposes. Lopez is averaging 47.9 DraftKings points over his last five games and has had his way with Orlando this season. Lopez posted a monster 24-15-2-5-3 line just one week ago against these very same Magic that earned his owners 62 DraftKings points. He’s gone for 46+ DraftKings points in six of his last nine games showing some ridiculous upside.
Jonas Valacuiunas ($5,500) is just what the doctor ordered for the Raptors. Coming back from a month of missed games due to a broken hand, JV has been eased back into action. Well, he broke the 30 minute mark on Wednesday night, so it looks like he’s back to a full workload. In the six games since his return, he has earned 1.13 DraftKings points per minute, which is the equivalent of Greg Monroe, Eric Bledsoe and Carmelo Anthony. That shows the type of production he’s capable of producing and he’s at a significantly cheaper price than any of those players have been. JV is coming off a massive 22-11 game for 41.75 DraftKings points and should be one of the better values at the position.
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.