I am going to make a prediction…
The large-field tournament winners for tonight’s slate are going to have scores in the 380s or higher.
Looking at the games on the slate, there’s an awful lot of up-pace, low defensive matchups. Brooklyn, Philly, Golden State, Houston, Phoenix and Atlanta all are in spots where scores could very well be inflated.
For the first time in awhile, this slate looks pretty fun on paper. I haven’t felt this way about a slate since at least February. Mostly everyone on the slate is healthy, and hopefully we don’t get any random rest scratches right before lock that could tilt the whole slate.
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Analysis: We do have a tad bit of injury news and that’s regarding Jahlil Okafor, but it doesn’t sound like the 76ers are worried about getting Okafor on the court very much the rest of the season. Even if Okafor plays tonight, Big Shot Bob catches my eye tonight. Covington and the Sixers are taking on the worst defensive team in all the land – the Brooklyn Nets. In two games this season, Covington is averaging around 35 fantasy points. Saric has taken the most usage since Embiid was shut down, but Covington is still very involved in this offense. He’s got a 22.7% usage rate with Okafor off the floor and is averaging 0.98 fantasy points per minute. The Nets, well if you don’t know they are terrible by now, then you should just wait to play NBA DFS next season. The Nets have allowed the most fantasy points per game this season to small forwards. Covington is coming off a couple of down games, so this is an even better spot to hop back on.
Analysis: No Millsap, No Bazemore, no Thabo, so it’s all the Ersan we can handle today, plus more. The Hawks are up against the dreadful Phoenix Suns, who have skyrocketed up the DvP rankings in fantasy points allowed of late. And power forwards are among those ranks. Phoenix is allowing 5 more fantasy points per game to PFs in its last 10 games. Ersan hasn’t flashed that huge upside getting more run with Millsap out, but he hasn’t had the perfect matchup. He does sport a 23.5% usage rate with the aforementioned guys off the floor and is averaging more than a fantasy point per game. Phoenix, you have a problem and it’s Ersanity!
Analysis: If you have been a season-long reader of the Index, you know Brook Lopez has been one of my favorite plays at the center position this season. While the Nets are a bad team and difficult to figure out where production Now he gets to face the Sixers who have churned out fantasy production to centers since Embiid was shut down and Noel was traded. Philly is allowing more than 60 fantasy points per game to centers in their past 10 games. In two games against Philly this season, BroLo is averaging 45 fantasy points. That stat, plus Philly’s defensive liability, is all the convincing I need.
Analysis: I am really glad we got a game since Booker’s 70 actual point eruption a few nights ago. That was an easy fade spot for me, and now we can hop back on tonight against the Atlanta Hawks. Booker has the usage rate edge over everyone on his team with an astounding 36.1% usage rate with Brandon Knight, Tyson Chandler and Eric Bledsoe off the floor. The Hawks are allowing 49.9 fantasy points per game to SGs the past five games and will now be without their best defender in Sefolosha. Tim Hardaway, Jr. on Booker? YES! YES! YES!
Analysis: This price for Dennis Schroder is really hard to swallow. But in Paul Millsap’s absence, Schroder has chucked shot attempt totals of 24 and 25, and his usage rate spikes to lead the team at 32.8%. Schroder also is averaging 1.19 fantasy points per minute this season with those three guys on the floor. Schroder has one game under his belt against the Suns and he put up 50 fantasy points. He has a 40+ fantasy point game and a 50 burger in his last two games, so the shots and potential upside are there, especially in this defensless, pace up matchup against the Suns.