We have to discuss Russell Westbrook ($11,600) right off the bat. His price is high enough where we need to have this discussion on whether it’s “too high”. It’s clear that Westbrook has the best chance of being the highest scoring player of the night, but how high does he have to go to be worth it? For full 6x value, he needs a massive 69.6 DraftKings points. Think about that. If he has his same game as last time out which included a 22-11-11 triple double, he doesn’t even come close to hitting value at 57 points. He’s in an excellent matchup with Philadelphia and without Kevin Durant in the lineup, he’s going to carry the entire workload for the Thunder. There is certainly a concern for the blowout, as OKC is listed as a 14 point home favorite. Westbrook is a must-play in cash games, but can be avoided in GPPs.
There’s still not a lot of love for Kyle Lowry ($8,100). He’s having a breakout season and remain habitually under-owned. He is stuffing the stat-sheet for the Raptors, averaging 41.1 DraftKings points per game this season. He’s tacked on 23 real points in each of his last two games and will now get the league’s best matchup with the Pelicans. No team has surrendered more DraftKings points to opposing PGs than NO.
It’s been a roller coaster season for rookie Emmanuel Mudiay ($6,000), but he’s been stellar in the last three games. He’s scored 33.5, 36.5 and 39.75 DraftKings points. Any one of those games would be well worth his price tag tonight. He’s going to benefit from a 28.3% usage rate in the highest O/U on the slate. Expect a breakneck speed from the Nuggets and Rockets tonight.
The shooting guard position is actually pretty fairly priced this evening. With Anthony Davis considered doubtful, Eric Gordon ($6,200) should see a nice boost in usage again. Gordon fired 20 shots in AD’s absence on Wednesday. Not surpsingly it was Gordon’s highest scoring game of the year with 26 real points and 39.25 DraftKings points. Gordon has now scored 30+ in four straight games, which is a streak that should continue tonight.
An injury to Rodney Stuckey, should solidify playing time and workload for CJ Miles ($4,100). Miles already plays 28 MPG but should earn a few more tickets without Stuckey coming off the bench to spell him. The downside of Miles is that is his fantasy output is closely tied to his real scoring, but he has shown the ability to heat up very quickly. The upside is that his price is so low, he should have a problem reaching value.
Dion Waiters ($4,000) will be a popular player this evening. He should see a large boost from the absence of Kevin Durant. Waiters scored 16 in the second half on Tuesday night, after KD left the game. He’s another player that needs real points to provide value, but he’s heating up scoring 25 and 19 in the last two games. He could be a valuable player with 10+ FGAs, which is certainly in his range tonight.
LeBron James ($9,900) feels underpriced here. There’s no way he’s worth nearly $2,000 less than Westbrook tonight. James is a walking triple-double and coming off a massive 31-8-7 game against the league’s best defense in Utah. He’s been hobbled by minor injuries, but a few days off should have James ready for the big stage tonight. James has talked plenty about his love for Madison Square Garden so expect him to be ready to go to battle tonight. He needs 59.6 DraftKings points to reach full value tonight, which is certainly a possible outcome.
This is a great situation for the volatile Danilo Gallinari ($6,100). Always a high risk option, but Gallinari is coming off a big 25-7 game, earning 37.75 DraftKings points. Gallinari is certainly not afraid to shoot the ball and this game should have plenty of scoring. It’s earned the highest O/U on the slate and the Rockets have given up more points to opposing SFs than any team in the league.
Have you noticed how good Paul Millsap ($8,000) has been? It’s easy to overlook the Hawks, but Millsap has returned 44, 46, 45.25 and 48.5 DraftKings points in the last four games. He’s doing it all for Atlanta right now, and stuffing the stat sheet in the process. He’s going to get a favorable matchup with Boston who doesn’t have a fierce inside presence. Millsap is a double-double threat with elite upside at the position.
It’s going to be hard to pass on Serge Ibaka ($6,500). The loss of Kevin Durant is going to open up so much opportunity for the secondary players on this Thunder team. Ibaka has taken at least 12 shots in 6 of his last 7 games and that number has the chance to go up tonight. He’s one of the more volatile at the PF position scoring between 19.75 and 43.5 points this season, but this is a great matchup with the Sixers who are dead last at defending PFs.
With Victor Oladipo sitting it out tonight, it’s actually a PF who I believe will be the biggest benficiary. The Magic looks like they will move Fournier to SG, Harris to SF and insert Channing Frye ($3,200) into the starting lineup. Frye has always been a solid option, when he gets enough minutes. He averaged nearly 25 DraftKings points per game last season in games he played at least 25 minutes. He’s had his two best games of the season recently, earning 25.25 and 25 DraftKings points in 16 and 23 minutes. It’s not a great matchup, but Frye should be able to return plenty of value at a near minimum price.
Demarcus Cousins ($9,900) has been incredible, averaging 43.9 DraftKings points per game this season, but a much better number on a per minutes basis. Cousins is averaging 1.5 DraftKings points per minute this season which is third best in the league, behind only Curry and Westbrook. The matchup on DraftKings looks bad, but I promise you it’s not. DraftKings has Brooklyn ranked as the best team against opposing centers. And while that’s not wrong, it’s not a true indication of what is actually happening. The Nets have been beneficiaries of other teams not playing centers against them this season, resulting in games of 4.5 and 0.75 DraftKings points to that position. That has driven their average down and made them look like a solid defense. It’s actually quite the opposite. The Nets have been miserable and Brook Lopez is one of the worst defensive big men in the league. Cousins should have his way with low ownership tonight.
The price of Dwight Howard ($7,400) is just ridiculous. He’s averaging 1.4 DraftKings points per game this season (7th in the league) and has gone nuts for 43.5, 50.5 and 53.75 DraftKings points in his last three games. You should note that he will only play one game either tonight or tomorrow. There’s no official word, but I am hoping it’s tonight in this high total game with DEN. Keep an eye on his status, but if he plays, he’s going to be in-line for another massive night.
Speaking of points per minute, Enes Kanter ($5,300) is a very intriguing option tonight. Kanter is scoring a very good 1.2 DraftKings points per minute this season, but hasn’t seen a ton of time. That could change tonight. There have been rumblings that Kanter could earn more playing time with the loss of Kevin Durant. There’s certainly nothing official, but if he were to see close to 30 minutes tonight, he could be in position for a massive game.
That’s all folks! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter to discuss more players as news and injuries break closer to tip-off. Back to a nice slate of games tonight with lots of studs on board. Commentary based on DraftKings strategy and scoring.