All signs point to Kemba Walker ($8.600) as the chalkiest Point Guard today, but that doesn’t make it wrong. He’s going to be heavily owned and for good reason. Where do we even start with Kemba? The month of January has been spectacular for the Hornets star. Averaging 24.5 PPG and 42.2 DraftKings points per game in 13 games this month. He’s exploded for massive games this week, dropping 80.8 on the Jazz and 72.3 on the Magic in a four day span. Even Saturday night against the Knicks, he started very slowly (scoring only 4 real points in the first half), shot only 7-25 from the field but still ended with 45 DraftKings points. Tonight he gets the porous Sacamrento defense that allows the most points in the league. Kemba has faced the Kings once this season, burying them for 65 DraftKings points in an overtime thriller.
The guard situation in New Orleans is very fluid. Despite the inconsistencies, Jrue Holiday ($6,400) has found a way to remain fantasy relevant. He has averaged 33.7 DraftKings points per game over the last eleven contests. He has started exactly ZERO of those games. Despite coming off the bench, he’s earning 25+ minutes on a nightly basis. The argument could be made that he’s actually more valuable coming off the bench and not having to share the court as often with Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis. He immediately becomes the top scoring option on that second unit. Holiday has scored 36.5 or more DraftKings points in four of his last five games and gets an excellent matchup with the Rockets tonight.
Speaking of hot, few guys are hotter than Victor Oladipo ($7,200). Since being moved back into the starting lineup, Oladipo has averaged 39,4 DraftKings points per game in those six contests. It’s even more impressive HOW he is able to score, being a true five category player. During that six game stretch, Oladipo is posting this line: 21.8/5.7/4.0/1.7/0.5 Those are a lot of crooked numbers that can turn an average day into a big day.
I am oddly fascinated by Manu Ginobili ($4,700) tonight. Let’s get something clear, he’s not going to play big minutes. In fact, he’s only averaging 19.8 MPG this season, a career low. However, in those limited minutes, he’s been incredibly productive. Over the course of the last nine games, Ginobili is averaging 1.16 DK points per minute. That’s a similar rate as guys like Isaiah Thomas and Carmelo Anthony this season. Ginobili filled it up on Friday night against the lakers for a 20-4-4-5-2 line and 45 DraftKings points. I am hoping that a fast pace from the Warriors will allow for a handful more possessions packed into Ginobili’s predictable minutes. He’s a GPP play at best, but certainly not someone you should simply gloss over.
In late December, Danilo Gallinari ($7,000) missed six games due to injury. He was averaging 31.5 DraftKings points per game in 27 games before the injury, but has been even better post injury, logging 36 DraftKings points per game in the 11 games since. The most recent stretch includes six games of 39+ DraftKings points which shows his upside for tonight. I like Gallinari because he can do so many different things. He’s a pure shooter who can get hot from beyond the arc or he can get to the free throw like 10+ times. He’s an often overlooked fantasy player who will earn a plus matchup with Atlanta tonight.
Saving a little money, you could roster Matt Barnes ($5,200) who continues to pester his opponents to solid fantasy games. Barnes is a nuisance to play against because his motor never stops. He can get in the jersey of whoever he is defending and force turnovers. He’s also willing to battle on the glass which has lead to a handful of rebound per game this season. Barnes has averaged 27 DraftKings points per game over the course of the last seven outings. He’s earned big minutes (31 MPG) in that span, despite not always starting. He’s a cheap five category player at a thin position.
Okay, the price on DeMarcus Cousins ($11,000) is absurd, but he’s been THAT GOOD. Let me try to illustrate how good his has been, courtesy of our friends at StatMuse:
That chart shows the most DraftKings points per game this month. Cousins is averaging 58.1 DraftKings points per game in January and he is lapping the rest of the league. He’s a full seven (!!!) points better than the next best player (Steph Curry). Seven points is the difference between #2 and #15 on that list! He’s matchup proof, but a date with Charlotte is just what the doctor ordered. The Hornets are a little thin in the front court and don’t have anyone who can stop Boogie.
Keep an eye on the status of Kenneth Faried for tonight. If he sits out again, it would thrust Darrell Arthur ($4,500) into the starting lineup. Arthur is a dynamic, explosive player who has thrived when he has earned the minutes this season. It’s no surprise that his ten most productive DraftKings games this season have all come when he’s played at least 25 minutes. He’s played 25+ minutes on 14 occasions this season, returning 28+ DraftKings points in 8 of those games. He’s a sneaky double-double threat in points and rebounds and should benefit from the struggling Atlanta front-court.
Center is a fairly deep position tonight, but I’ve been excited about the play of Marc Gasol ($7,500) lately. If you throw out his down game on Saturday night (which he still scored 17 real points), he’s been excellent for the Grizzlies and fantasy owners. In the previous five games, he’s averaged 45.4 DraftKings points and doing it all five categories. He’s actually one of the few big men that doesn’t rebound at a great rate, but he makes up for it with his ability to dish out assists and swat shots. He’s going to be a tough cover for Nikola Vucevic tonight.
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.