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I had 100% exposure to Chris Paul ($7,800) last night and I might turn around and do it again today. He’s simply under-priced. He needs only 39 DraftKings points to reach 5x value, a feat he has accomplished in four straight and five of six. In those last four, he’s averaging 45.4 DraftKings points and has now scored 20+ real points in each of his last two games. He gets a stellar matchup with the Rockets who are giving up the third most DraftKings points to opposing PGs. This game also has the highest total on the slate, so all the factors are favorable for Paul today.
Flying under the radar is Patrick Beverly ($5,000) who is providing a much larger offensive role than we usually expect from him. He’s scored double digit points in nine of ten. Beverley is a plus defender who can swipe the ball from just about anyone in the league. He’s been volatile in almost all categories, but he’s provided a solid overall return of 23.7 DraftKings points per game in his L6. If he can find a way to put points, steals and assists all together in one game, he would have a massive night. So Beverley is currently a solid value with some decent upside.
James Harden ($10,700) is one of the highest risk/highest reward players on the board today. Remember that since Doc Rivers took over the head coaching gig for the Clippers, they have been excellent as slowing down James Harden. In four matchups last season, LAC held Harden to just 20 PPG, the second lowest total of any opponent. It was the same story in the ’13-’14 season, as Harden scored only 19.3 PPG in a season that he averaged over 25 PPG. So there’s a long history of success for the Clippers defense, but that was not the story in the first matchup between these teams this season. Harden dropped 46 real points on the Clippers, single-handily carrying his team to victory. The range of outcomes for Harden today is massive, so avoid him in cash games but fire him up in GPPs.
Really, Arron Afflalo ($4,800)? This guy is playing out of his mind right now. He’s averaging 25 DraftKings points per game over his L5 and has notched two straight games of 35+. He is a highly efficient shooter right now, hitting 29 of his last 52 shot attempts. He’s been an integral part of the offense for the Knicks who now get to face a Bulls team that played 4 OT last night. The Bulls may opt to rest some of their starters, providing even less resistance to Afflalo continuing his hot streak.
If you’re playing GPPs, you should be drooling over Nic Batum ($7,500). After leaving Wednesday’s game early and sitting out on Thursday, his ownership level will bottom out. All reports indicate that Batum is healthy and ready to roll today against the Wizards. Batum can score in every category so it should be no surprise that he’s posted four 40+ point games in the last nine that he’s played (and finished). That includes a 47.25 DraftKings point performance against these very Wizards just two weeks ago. That game included a 16-11-7 line from Batum.
So we have a very interesting dilemma when it comes to the Bulls tonight. After playing 4 OTs and arriving in NY for todays game at 4am, it’s very reasonable to expect them to sit some of their starters today. The most logical candidate would be 35 year old Pau Gasol who logged 48 minutes last night. If he doesn’t go, I expect Nikola Mirotic ($4,800) and Joakim Noah ($5,100) to fill that void. Both are risky, but offer tremendous upside. Mirotic can catch fire from behind the arc and is a willing participant on the glass. That makes him a sneaky double-double option with an expanded workload. Noah would be the popular pivot and while he offers little in the form of points, he’s an excellent rebounder and elite passer for a big man. His last three games, in limited action, he has racked up 32 rebounds and 17 assists. Any points that he scores you are just a bonus, but he is a compelling option if we knew he was going to play 30+ minutes.
The low price of Deandre Jordan ($6,800) is certainly enticing. The rebounding numbers are always going to be there for DJ, who has ripped double digit rebounds in 23 of 27 games this season. He’s a defensive force who has swatted 2.4 shots per game and anything he gives you offensively is gravy. He only needs 34 DraftKings points for 5x value today in a game with the highest total on the slate. He can provide an additional bonus because the Rockets have been known to employ the “Hack-A-Deandre” strategy in the past. It’s still TBD whether they will continue with that strategy under head coach JB Bickerstaff, but it’s a bonus for Deandre owners that should be considered.
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.