Malcolm Brogdon has one of the better matchups on the slate as he takes on the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis has played at the sixth-fastest pace this season while allowing the eighth-most points per 100 possessions. Brogdon has averaged about 34 minutes per game since returning from injury four games ago and for the season, he has a 26.3 usage percentage and 39.0 assist percentage while averaging 1.25 DraftKings points per minute.
Buddy Hield gets a pace-up spot against the Chicago Bulls. Chicago has played at the 11th-fastest pace this season compared to the Kings who have played at the second-slowest pace. Chicago ranks in the middle of the pack in defensive efficiency. Hield has averaged 36.6 minutes per game since De’Aaron Fox’s injury with a 27.5 usage percentage. He has averaged about one DraftKings point per minute over those nine games as well. His salary is affordable for his median projection and we know that he has a high ceiling because of the huge minutes that he plays and his role in the offense.
Bogdan Bogdanovic has averaged 31.2 minutes per game in the nine games since Fox’s injury. Recently, he has been playing about 28 minutes a game, but there is still plenty of upside at his price. He has a 27.0 usage percentage and 34.4 assist percentage over the eight games that he has played without Fox.
Alec Burks should be in line for 34-plus minutes tonight against the Atlanta Hawks in a very appealing game for NBA DFS purposes. Burks has averaged 33.1 minutes per game in eight games since D’Angelo Russell’s most recent injury and Draymond Green is also out of tonight’s game so there will be more backcourt minutes available. Burks has averaged 0.90 DraftKings points per minute without any of Russell, Green or Steph Curry on the floor this season with a 22.7 usage percentage. He should benefit from a favorable matchup as well as Atlanta ranks 12th in pace and 29th in defensive rating this season.
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Ky Bowman should also benefit from Draymond Green’s absence. Green has been the starting point guard for the Warriors and when he doesn’t play, Bowman is the primary beneficiary as far as playing time. Without any of Russell, Green or Curry on the floor this season, Bowman has averaged a respectable 0.83 DraftKings points per minute. He should play about 36 minutes tonight at a cheap price point and in a great matchup.
Dennis Smith, Jr. is one of the clear top values on this slate if Frank Ntilikina misses tonight’s game. Ntilikina is currently listed as questionable with a back injury after leaving yesterday’s game early. Smith played 38 minutes yesterday and I would expect that he plays at least 30 tonight at a near minimum salary if Ntilikina is out. Smith has averaged 0.78 DraftKings points per minute this season which is plenty for his salary. He also would get a huge pace-up spot against the Bucks. Keep in mind that Kadeem Allen is probable for tonight’s game so there is another point guard that David Fizdale could use just to screw with us, but all signs point to it being the Dennis Smith show if Ntilikina misses.
Honorable Mention: Trae Young, Devin Booker, Devonte’ Graham, Ricky Rubio, Eric Bledsoe, Jeremy Lamb
Other Value: Dillon Brooks, Tyus Jones (core play on FanDuel at $4,000), Kris Dunn, De’Anthony Melton, DeAndre’ Bembry (if Cam Reddish sits)
Giannis Antetokounmpo faces the New York Knicks tonight as a 16-point favorite at home. There is obviously tons of blowout risk in this game, but Giannis projects to be the highest-scoring player on this six-game slate. He has averaged 32.4 minutes per game and 1.94 DraftKings points per minute so far this season. It is easier to roster Giannis on FanDuel than on DraftKings since we need two small forwards and there are more mispriced value options.
Domantas Sabonis continues to play big minutes for the Pacers even with the starting lineup fully healthy. He has averaged 35.0 minutes per game in the four games since Brogdon returned to the lineup. Sabonis has averaged 1.22 DraftKings points per minute in 379 minutes alongside Brogdon this season. Over those 379 minutes, he has a 23.6 usage percentage, 20.7 rebounding percentage and 15.9 assist percentage. We could also see Sabonis start getting more minutes as the back-up center because Goga Bitadze was not in the second half rotation of Indiana’s most recent game. If that is the case tonight, Sabonis should be even more productive.
Eric Paschall has been a pleasant surprise for Golden State this season. He should play 34-plus minutes tonight against the Hawks and he is affordable. Paschall has averaged 0.94 DraftKings points per minute without Green, Curry or Russell on the floor this season. He has a healthy 23.9 usage percentage over 314 minutes without any of them on the floor, which leads the team.
Honorable Mention: Jabari Parker, Nemanja Bjelica, Glenn Robinson
Value: Bruno Caboclo (boost if Valanciunas sits)
Joel Embiid has a tough matchup against the Utah Jazz. Utah ranks 18th in pace and 11th in defensive rating this season. The Jazz have actually allowed the 11th-most post-up points per game this season, however, and they rank toward the middle of the pack in efficiency defending post-ups. Embiid is the league leader in post-up possessions per game. He has also had some success in limited meetings with Rudy Gobert in the past as he averaged 1.71 DraftKings points per minute in three games against Gobert last season.
Jonas Valanciunas is questionable after missing yesterday’s game with an illness. If he is able to play, he is my top center option. His minutes have been increasing recently as he has played 32 and 34 minutes in his last two games. His back-up, Brandon Clarke, has also been ruled out of tonight’s game so there is reason to think that Valanciunas would play toward the top of his minutes range. The matchup against the Pacers isn’t ideal, but Valenciunas has averaged 1.37 DraftKings points per minute in 126 minutes without Ja Morant on the floor this season.
Honorable Mention: Myles Turner (could see more minutes if Bitadze is no longer in the rotation), Aron Baynes (questionable), Richaun Holmes
Value: Robin Lopez