Marcus Smart ($5,200) continues to come off the bench and produce for the Boston Celtics. He’s reached 6x value in three of his last four games. Smart is a solid, four category scorer who has been racking up the steals with 12 thefts in those four games. He’s a candidate for 28-32 minutes a night and this is an excellent matchup with the Magic. He’s flashed tremendous upside this season, cracking the 30 DK point mark in five of his last nine including a 51.75 point game against the Suns two weeks ago. It probably doesn’t mean much, but worth nothing that Smart is averaged eight DraftKings points more on the road this season.
I like Jimmy Butler ($8,900) as a contrarian GPP play tonight. I expect that the combination of a Questionable tag on DraftKings, with the “poor” OPRK in the lobby will drive many owners away from Butler. A tweaked ankle sounds like it won’t impact Butler’s workload today. Butler has been so good all season, but even more so lately. He’s broken the 50 DraftKings point mark in four of his last nine including a massive 81 point performance two weeks ago. In the 15 games this month, Butler is averaging 44.7 DraftKings points while sporting a massive 25/6/5 line. Butler is matchup proof and should benefit from an above average pace against the Clippers.
If you’re desperate or looking for a high risk/high reward play, Jordan McRae ($3,100) jumps to the top of the list. McRae signed a ten day contract with the Suns and they are going to give him enough run to see what he can do in the NBA. He played 25 minutes in his first game with the Suns, scoring 22 DraftKings points. Obviously that’s not blowing the roof off the stadium, but an outstanding 7x value. McRae dropped 61 points in a D-League game earlier this week, so needless to say he’s scorching right now. I like the benefit of him practicing with the Suns before this game to get used to the system and any player on a ten day contract has a lot to prove.
Chandler Parsons ($6,900) is absolutely scorching right now. He’s averaging 40.8 DraftKings points per game in the last six while shooting a scorching 56.8% from behind the arc in that span. He’s increased his role in the offense significantly in the last two weeks. After only taking 8.6 FGA per game in the first 35 games, he’s launched 15 FGA per game in the last six. You can’t ask for a better matchup than the Suns who are one of the fastest teams in the league while allowing the second most points per game. If you needed any more convincing, the Suns are brutal at running guys off the three point line, allowing them to shoot 38.1% from behind the arc, the second worst rate in the league.
It’s been a roller coaster season for Al-Farouq Aminu ($4,900) who has struggled to put together a stretch of good games. However, if there was ever a night for him to fill it up, tonight is the night. First of all, he’s played better recently, scoring 28+ in four of nine games including a 39.5 DraftKings point game on Friday night. He posted a 17-12 line which is actually what the Blazers thought they were getting when they signed him this offseason. Aminu is a solid defender who can wipe the glass, so if he can threaten double-digit real points, he’s going to provide tremendous value. He appears to matchup well with the Timberwolves averaging 29.8 DK points per game in their two meetings this season. I’d prefer him in GPPs, but there is significant risk here.
This extended absence of Nikola Mirotic is going to create more opportunity for someone in the Bulls front court. Through one game, it looks like that beneficiary might be Taj Gibson ($5,600). A stellar 9-11-2-2-1 line from Gibson on Thursday night produced 31.75 DraftKings points. Gibson has always played well with opportunity this season. In the 11 games he’s played 30+ minutes, he’s scored 26+ DraftKings points in nine of them. I think he makes for a solid play in all formats, providing a high floor but 6x upside as well.
What’s not to love about Karl-Anthony Towns ($7,400) tonight? He’s scorching hot, scoring 50.25, 49.25 and 52 DraftKings points in the last three games. The success goes back a little further, as he’s averaging 49.1 DK PPG in the last six. He’s a walking double-double at this point, with significant upside, scoring 23 real PPG in the last six. Towns hasn’t faced the Blazers since December 5th, when he dropped 49.5 DraftKings points on them. Finally, KAT is seven DK PPG better on the road this season. It’s simply a lot of big numbers in favor of Towns tonight!
If Kevin Garnett sits again tonight, it should allow Gorgui Dieng ($5,000) to slide into the starting lineup. In the three games that Garnett has missed this week, Dieng posted 26, 37.25 and 47.25 DraftKings points. The most recent game was a massive 20-15 line against the Jazz. That’s a really impressive line against the elite rim protector in Rudy Gobert. Dieng is an outstanding rebounder, and has taken 25 shots over the last two games. He’s only averaging 6.3 FGA per game this season, so if he’s going to start carving out a larger offensive role, he’s going to be an excellent fantasy option moving forward.
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.