I’m not entirely sure that there is a recipe to slow down Russell Westbrook, but if there is, I think pace is the key. Playing a slower game and limiting opponent possessions can obviously be detrimental to fantasy production. Slow paces have accounted for two of Russell’s worst three games of the season. There are only three games that Westbook has finished outside the top ten in scoring for that day and those games came Utah, Miami and Portland. Portland is a middle of the road team, but Miami is the 7th slowest team and Utah is the absolute slowest. I don’t think that’ a coincidence for Westbrook’s worst games to come against these teams. Tonight, Westbrook will battle the Memphis Grizzlies who are the third slowest team in the league and allow the fewest DraftKings points to opposing PGs. This is a tough spot because Westbrook is essentially matchup proof, but he appears to have limited upside tonight.
Seth Curry continues to carve out a nice little role for himself on this Mavericks offense. He’s certainly not afraid to shoot the rock and his minutes can top out near 30. He’s scored at least 21 DK points in six of his last seven which would provide him a 5.1x value base tonight against the Lakers. The Lakers play fast (4th quickest pace) and own the second worst defensive rating in the league. A killer combination that should provide a boost to almost every Maverick.
I don’t think this is sneaky, but hard to argue with what Gordon Hayward is doing right now. He’s coming off a 50.25 DK point game against the Lakers which marks the 6th time in his last 10 that he’s scored at least 41 DraftKings points. There’s no reason why he cannot keep it rolling tonight against Philadelphia. The Sixers are another team that plays fast and allows a lot of points. Hayward tallied 36.75 DK points against them in their first meeting.
I’ve been playing a ton of James Johnson lately and he keeps paying off. A mid-tier salary for a guy who is averaging 32.3 DK PPG in his last four games, playing between 22 and 28 minutes in each contest. He’s making those minutes count, averaging 14.5 real PPG and cleaning up on the glass to the tune of 7.75 RPG. He’s flashed some upside with three games of 31+ DK points in his last ten (with two games of 40+). Charlotte has struggled against forwards this season and Johnson present a unique problem. He takes half his shots at the rim and the other half from beyond the arc. I’m not sure Charlotte has a player who is versatile enough to cover both.
You’re probably going to want to forgive Hassan Whiteside quickly. He laid a dud in 31 minutes against OKC on Tuesday night. His weak 12-8 game produced only 25.5 DK points and left a lot of jaded owners in his wake. Don’t forget that Hassan Whiteside has 14 games of 50+ DraftKings points this season, which is the 8th most in the league. I don’t need to tell you the other guys on the list ahead of him, they are literally the cream of the crop in the NBA (Westbrook, Harden, Davis, etc). Whiteside cooked Charlotte in their only meeting this season, scoring 42.25 DK points in only 26.5 minutes. He has played less minutes than that in only one game this season. If he can re-create that PPM production in 30+ minutes, we are in for a massive night with low ownership.