Back to twelve games on the slate for this evening. There’s not a ton of super deep value, but we can find it in the mid tiers. Commentary based on DraftKings strategy and scoring.
Elfrid Payton ($6,800) is one of my favorite plays dollar-for-dollar tonight. Payton has been really impressive, even going back to last year. He averaged 35.6 DraftKings points in the final 11 games last season and came hot out of the gates this year with a 38.5 point performance on Wednesday night. He’s never going to score you 30 real points, but he’s a sneaky triple-double candidate. His 11-10-8 line from Wednesday is exactly what you’re looking for from Payton and you know he’s going to sprinkle in a steal or two. He’s priced very reasonably and will get a boost from the big 208 O/U against OKC tonight.
It’s really hard to pass up on Emmanuel Mudiay ($5,700) tonight. He got killed for his 11 (!!) turnovers in the opener but cut the guy some slack. He was playing a breakneck pace facing off against one of the best defenders in the league (Patrick Beverly) in his first career game. I cetainly think the gaem is going to slow down for him and we are going to see some much better results from Mudiay. Despite all of that, he still posted a 17-9-5 line, good for 32.75 DraftKings points. He is getting a match better matchup with the soft Timberwolves defense and a big 210.5 O/U. It’s worth noting that Mudiay played more minutes than any Nugget in the opener, with 38.
There is some tremendous upside built in Lou Williams ($4,700) at a reasonable price. He launched 13 shots in 27 minutes in the opener and returned his owners 27.50 DraftKings points. He’s getting an excellent matchup with SAC who is going to have trouble with scoring guards all season long. Another high o/u and plenty of fantasy points to go around for the Lakers. Assuming Williams can see 25 minutes a night, he’s going to have some massive games for his $4,700 price.
James Harden ($10,300) produced a sub-par line in the opening shooting only 6-21 for 22 points. Despite a down night, he was able to get to the line nine times and produce 46 DraftKings points for him owners. Harden’s floor is so incredibly high and he’s playing the the highest O/U game of the night (by 5 full points). This game is going to be heavily targets but it’s a great player in a great situation this evening.
Demar DeRozan ($7,300) and Victor Oladipo ($7,100) are very similar in the fact that they are solid, but have insane upside. They can both stuff the stat sheet with rebounds and assists to go along with their offensive prowess. Oladipo launched 20 shots in 35 minutes in Game 1 while DeRozan too 17 shots of his own, also in 35 minutes. These are the type of “upper-middle” tier players that can win you a GPP.
An interesting value option at SG is Alec Burks ($4,800). Despite coming off the bench in the opener, he played near starters minutes with 26 and was aggressively offensively. He fired 14 shots, scoring 18 points and added six rebounds. His 27 DraftKings points were a great value for his price and he’s going to get another outstanding matchup against the Sixers tonight. Few teams are worse at defending guards than Philly.
There’s few guys in the league who are going to play as many minutes as Demarre Carroll ($5,500). Carroll played a massive 41 minutes in the opener. He tacked on 33.5 DraftKings points but has plenty of room for improvement. He only shot 5-14 from the field and 3-6 from the FT line. Considering Carroll shot nearly 49% from the field last year, he should be in store for some better games. It’s going to be difficult to find as many minutes from any player, let alone someone priced under $6K.
Another guy with more upside than he showed in the opener is Otto Porter ($4,800). Shooting only 3-10 from the field including 1-5 from beyond the arc, Porter was limited to 7 real points. That makes his 28.5 DraftKings performance even more impressive as he tacked on eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. It’s those secondary statistics that make Porter so valuable, and makes his upside even higher if you catch him on a night where he’s knocking down shots.
Derrick Favors ($7,200) is an interesting PF this evening. He led the team with 15 shots in the opener, scoring 26 real points and 38 DraftKings points. He’s getting an ideal matchup with PHI who is going to be hard pressed to stop him. If they try to use Nerlens Noel, Favors is going to have a solid 20 pound advantage on Noel. I don’t think using Jahlil Okafor is a valid option either as he is not noted as a good defender at this point in his career. Favors will create a mismatch on either player. Favors also has good history against the Sixers, averaging 44.5 DraftKings points in the two games he played against PHI last season.
A really good value in Nikola Mirotic ($6,600) who has scored 33.25 and 37.75 DraftKings points in his first two games. The front court is really crowded for the Bulls, but Mirotic’s performances are locking him into 25+ minutes. I love that he’s also hauled in 9 rebounds in each of the first two games. He’s definitely a 20-10 threat every night and the double-double bonus would push Mirotic’s value even higher.
A very impressive start to the season for Julius Randle ($5,200) who went for 15-11 and 32.75 DraftKings points. SAC was pathetic against PFs last season and again, this is a high O/U game. Randle saw 30 minutes in the opener and is a very good bet to hit 5x value of 25 DraftKings points.
Demarcus Cousins ($10,200) is the best Center on the slate and I don’t think it’s particularly close. He’s just absolutely dominant. He went for 32-13 in the opener and made it look easy. He actually started slow and only had 8 DraftKings points in the first half, before finishing with 54.2 DraftKings points. The Lakers have absolutely ZERO players who can stop Boogie tonight and Roy Hibbert can’t stand a chance against Cousins’ athletic skill-set.
Enes Kanter ($6,200) is really interesting for OKC. He’s not the starter, but played 24 minutes in the opener and was outstanding. He scored 15 while hauling in 16 rebounds. I wish he was playing more minutes, which he might earn with more games like this. He will be squaring off with Nikola Vucevic of the Magic tonight who is defensively challenged. Kanter has plenty of upside in this OKC offense.
The top value at center (and on the board) is going to be Festus Ezeli ($3,100). Andrew Bogut is currently going through the NBA concussion protocol and if he doesn’t play Friday night, it’s expected that Ezeli will start. After Bogut left the game on Tuesay, Ezeli scored 13 points in 17 minutes. He could be staring down 22+ minutes at nearly the min-price, in the highest O/U on the slate. That’s a great combination.