The sports needle is about to kick into high gear.
We have the NBA playoffs, March Madness is about to get underway, MLB Opening Day is right around the corner and then there’s the Masters. I am getting giddy just thinking about all of the sports (yes, that’s incorrect grammar).
But before we get to enjoy any of those upcoming events, we must get through the remainder of the NBA regular season.
I must say, this time of the NBA feels a lot like baseball in September: Feels long, waiting for it to end, teams playing crazy lineups/rotations, playoff teams will start resting players, and minutes might start being reduced for the elite. There’s still a lot of postseason scenarios to finalize, but this is a time in DFS where we have to really be watching for lineup news all the way up to lock.
Tonight we have an 8-game slate to satiate our appetites, and for me, it’s kind of a weird one. My picks today feel all over the place, but I’ll trust the process!
Below are the five players for tonight that i believe will hit 5x value using DraftKings pricing and position eligibility.
Analysis: The Chicago point guard situation is a mess. It’s a revolving door and all are garbage defensively. Beverly burned a lot of people in his last outing (including me), but he’s flashed plenty of upside in recent games since the Lou Williams’ trade. Beverley has double-double upside due to his ability to snag rebounds and he can pad the stat sheet with assists and steals. He’s not a high usage guy, but does see a slight boost when Ryan Anderson is out of the lineup (possible for tonight). This is a road game where Dwayne Wade is expect back and at home for the Bulls, where I like them to at least try and be competitive.
Analysis: I think the leash is coming off of Mr. Bradley. He secured 29 minutes in his last outing against Golden State and now he gets a dream matchup against the Nuggets, who he torched for a 40 burger earlier in the season. The Nuggets allow 38.9 points per game this season to shooting guards. Bradley is very similar to Beverley, great defender, but he does see a bit more usage and shot attempts on his team. He can fill the stat sheets with every category (even blocks, see gif). This game looks to be the premier game of the slate and has all the makings for tons of fantasy points. Bradley’s price is down, but his minutes and usage are up. Time to hope on now before the $6K salary creeps in.
Analysis: Small forward is a tough one for me today. I like Batum and I like Paul George, but they don’t make me comfortable. So I went with an even less comfortable Andrew Wiggins. But there is some comfort in playing him today. 1. He has a 35.2% usage rate in this offense without Zach LaVine. 2. He is in a pace up game where he will not see Kevin Durant defense. 3. His recent dip in production came against Utah and San Antonio, two of the best defensive teams against small forwards and then the T’Wolves manhandled the Clippers last time out, another strong defensive team, and Wiggins didn’t shoot well. But now the stars have aligned again and Wiggins should be low-owned tonight. He’s not a guy I normally target because he relies on scoring for production, but the Wolves are fighting for the playoffs, and he hasn’t made a 3-pointer in two straight games, I like him a lot to bounce back.
Analysis: This is another awkward position for me tonight, and injury news will impact who I play. Should Gallo and Jokic sit, Juancho Hernangomez makes all of my lineups at PF. Booker makes the list tonight because Brook Lopez is out. Booker is second on the team in usage when Lopez is off the floor and he’s seeing secure minutes between 25-28 already, so without Lopez, I expect him to see a little more run on the floor to help defend Dirk and Nerlens Noel. But not that defense matters for the Nets, but Booker, assuming he still starts at the 4, should have no trouble with producing against Dirk defense. It could be a struggle for Booker if he starts at the 4 and the Mavs put Dirk at the five again, leaving Noel to come off the bench leaving Harrison Barnes to defend him. There’s a lot of scenarios here, so we will have to keep things in mind as lock approaches. Damn, that was a lot of talk for Trevor Freaking Booker.
Analysis: Well Charlotte is without any big men with Frank Kaminsky out due to injury. The need for Cody Zeller has been apparent as he has minutes of 34 and 42 in his past two outings. Tonight we hope Nikola Vucevic starts rather than Bismack because we all know Vuc is a poor defender. The Magic have surrendered an average of 50.5 fantasy points to opposing centers this season and while Zeller is not a high usage center, he does have potential to exceed 5x due to a soft matchup and the likelihood of seeing ridiculous minutes. Zeller has averaged around 24 minutes in two games against the Magic and has put up more than 20 fantasy points in each one. Just think of what he can do playing 30 or more minutes! He’s not a sexy option, but he’s value if you need it tonight.