Trust me, I try to find any way I can to fade Russell Westbrook ($12,200) on a nightly basis. I think his price is insane and I always go back to the mammoth amount of points he needs to hit value (73.2 tonight). Tonight, there is no logical reason to stay away. He can clearly go off at any moment. He was being held in check for 2.5 quarters against MEM on Monday night, before snapping off for 40 points, 14 rebounds and 72 DraftKings points. He’s a machine and has no ceiling when Durant is out. This is literally the best possible matchup as the Pellies have surrendered the most DraftKings points to opposing PGs in the league. I suppose the only logical reason to fade would be the blowout factor, but Westbrook has shown that he’s essentially blowout proof.
A nice pivot, or cash game option is going to be Damian Lillard ($8,800). The Rockets are completely in flux right now and fired their HC Kevin McHale this morning. They are the second worst team at defending PGs this season and Lillard has been incredibly consistent. Lillard is averaging 43.92 DraftKings points per game, but only with a 7.03 Standard Deviation. That’s the lowest of any player who averaged 40+ points. That means he is very consistent in scoring close to that average number. He doesn’t usually go nuts, but he won’t flop either.
Don’t forget about Ish Smith ($5,500) tonight. With Jrue Holiday sitting this one out, Smith should get all the minutes he can handle logging 38 and 39 in the L2 that Holiday missed. The Pelicans will get a nice boost from this 211 O/U set by Vegas, which is the highest on the slate. Also, Anthony Davis could be sitting this game out so the shorthanded Pelicans will look to others to shoulder the offense, and Smith could be a sneaky double-double option.
Speaking of beneficiaries, Eric Gordon ($6,400) clearly earns the biggest boost when AD misses time. Gordon’s 23.5 usage% jumps to 33.5% when Davis is out of the lineup. A full season of 33.5 U% would rank him 4th in the league, just ahead of Steph Curry. Gordon has buried 30 and 26 points in the games that AD has missed, which should be no surprise that those are his two best games of the season. Keep an eye on the Pelicans injury report, but be prepared to fire up Gordon.
I’ve been seeing conflicting analysis around the industry today in regards to Andrew Wiggins ($6,600). Many seem to think that he will see a boost if Ricky Rubio sits tonight (currently questionable) since there would be additional usage up for grabs. I don’t necessarily agree with that. In fact, Wiggins best three games this season (41.25, 47.25 and 36.75) have all come with Rubio in the lineup. Wiggins has been volatile this season, but there’s plenty of upside in a great matchup with Orlando, whether Rubio plays or not.
A very think SF position has me leaning towards rostering Kawhi Leonard ($8,200) and moving on. One of the safest players in the league, Kawhi averages 40.3 DraftKings points per game, while never deviating too far from the mean. Leonard and the Spurs are in a slightly above average matchup with the Nuggets tonight and should see a small boost from a team that plays slightly faster than them.
Assuming Anthony Davis does not play, Demarcus Cousins ($10,300) should be by far the top PF on the slate. He’s in full takeover mode, taking 90 shots over the course of the last four games and posting a ton of DraftKings points along the way. The Hawks have had a lot of trouble defending the paint this season and that should continue again tonight against one of the top Forwards. Brook Lopez dropped a massive 24-10 line on the Hawks last night, so imagine that Cousins would see a similar, if not better line of success.
The success of Thad Young ($6,100) continues to roll on. He’s now posted 31.75, 50 and 40.25 DraftKings points in his last three games. Needing 36 points to reach full value tonight, which is certainly in his range of outcomes for tonight against the Hornets. Charlotte has allowed the most DraftKings points to opposing PFs this season.
Take a look at Rudy Gobert ($6,700) in cash games tonight. He’s the most consistent player in the league of anyone who’s scores at least 25 DK PPG. He’s never scored less than 28 in any game and should get a small boost in a plus pace and matchup with the Raptors tonight
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