Inside The Box: DraftKings Advice for 3.31.14
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Tonight, Monday March 31, 2014
Games to Target:
· Philadelphia 76ers @ Atlanta Hawks (-13): O/U – 208
Vegas seems to think the Sixers will mail it in for the rest of the season after avoiding the longest losing streak in history, but there's a good chance they can build on that momentum and compete with the Hawks tonight. Atlanta has lost six straight of their own and has not been able to find its offense, so expect two struggling teams to duke it out in a fast-paced matchup. Paul Millsap has been at the center of the Hawks' struggles, but could definitely turn it around against the Sixers awful D. If DeMarre Carroll is back in action he's a great play against a TO-prone team, and Pero Antic should be a solid value play. Jeff Teague gets a plus matchup for PGs, and keep an eye on who may start for Kyle Korver (back) as Shelvin Mack or Mike Scott could get a boost.
The Sixers got their 6th man back on Saturday, and Tony Wroten is a somewhat underrated player. If he plays more minutes the values of James Anderson and MCW will take a hit, but there should be plenty of production to around against a Hawks team that is now in the bottom 10 in terms of PPG allowed. Thaddeus Young has had success against Atlanta and that should continue tonight, while young Henry Sims has been on a tear that won't likely end with a matchup against Pero Antic.
· Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans:
The line will likely depend on whether Anthony Davis (ankle) looks likely to play, but this should be a close game between two struggling teams regardless. If Davis and Eric Gordon are out, Tyreke Evans is a must play that will see heavy usage against his former team. Brian Roberts is also worth a look as a value play, while Al-Farouq Aminu and Alexis Ajinca would be relevant if Davis is out. The Kings are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, and would only struggle more if Isaiah Thomas is out again, so loading up on Pelicans isn't a bad idea.
If Thomas is out, Ray McCallum is a fantastic value play yet again as he's routinely produced 20-25 DK points in a starting role. DeMarcus Cousins may be my favorite play of the night regardless, and Rudy Gay should be able to launch a few extra shots of IT2 can't suit up. Reggie Evans came out of nowhere to snag 18 boards on Saturday, and he could be worth a look as a minimum value play. I'm not ready to trust Ben McLemore or Derrick Williams in any way, shape, or form.
Outside The Box:
· The Celtics will be without Rajon Rondo tonight, which likely means they will get blown out in Chicago. That's not a certainty however, and Jerryd Bayless will likely benefit more than potential starter Phil Pressey as the rookie isn't ready to run the first unit.
· Detroit seems to be quitting on interim coach John Loyer and may not even give their full effort against Milwaukee tonight. Yet they also may pull a Chris Kaman and bounce back in a huge way to throttle the defensively ineffecient Bucks. Maybe make two LUs, one for each scenario.
· The Clippers-Wolves game should be very appealing and the absence of Blake Griffin means big things for the rest of Doc Rivers' squad. Glen Davis may get a chance to start and the rest of their scorers will see added volume.
Chris Paul (LAC) vs. MIN: $10,500
You'd like to pay a few less pesos for Paul's services I'm sure, but with Blake Griffin (back) doubtful for tonight's contest it will be really hard to fade The Point God. He usually lets the game come to him, yet he won't have that luxury as he'll be the primary scoring threat in the starting unit. Expect Paul and Jamal Crawford to hoist a ton of shots if Griffin is out, and Paul has an even better matchup than his backcourt mate as the Wolves give up the 3rd most FPPG (43.94) to opposing PGs over the last two weeks.
Ramon Sessions (MIL) vs. DET: $6400
Brandon Knight may have a little more upside than Sessions, but he's taking a backseat in terms of overall usage as the veteran has started running the show for Milwaukee. Sessions played a whopping 41 minutes right down to the buzzer in a blowout loss to Miami on Saturday, so Larry Drew clearly doesn't mind running him into the ground, and that may be important the way the Pistons are playing. Detroit is officially quitting on their interim coach as they looked like a listless squad that couldn't even compete with a D-League caliber team like the Sixers. Either they bounce back tonight, or continue to mail it in which would allow the Bucks to pull away. Sessions should be solid against the poor defense of Brandon Jennings in any case, as the Pistons give up the 2nd most FPPG (47.76) to opposing PGs over the last two weeks, and aren't stopping anyone these days.
Values: Tony Wroten was eased back into action and played just 21 minutes on Saturday, but could return the SLU or play big minutes as the Sixers 6th man. He's worth a look at $4700.
Jerryd Bayless seems to be the primary beneficiary when Rajon Rondo sits, so with the PG out against the Bulls tonight, he's a decent punt play at $4100.
Tyreke Evans (NOP) vs. SAC: $8100
There’s definitely a trend developing with Evans here. He absolutely dominates weaker defenses as he gets to the rim with ease or dishes out to open shooters, but good teams are able to cut off his driving lanes and force him into tons of TOs. Sacramento is NOT a good defensive team. They give up the most FPPG (43.19) to opposing SGs over the last two weeks and have been torched by slashes like Tyreke. In fact, Evans has burned his former team with per game averages of 23 PTs, 6.3 REB, and 7.7 AST in three meetings this season, and some of those contests came before he was given the keys to the offense. His price continues to slowly increase, but hasn't increased enough to fade Evans in this particular matchup.
Jamal Crawford (LAC) vs. MIN: $6100
As mentioned above, Crawford is also in for heavier usage with Blake Griffin unlikely to play tonight. He's been very aggressive over his last few games with 50 FGA in his last three appearances and has delivered with 31.5 FPPG during that span. He has a good chance to keep rolling against a Wolves team that allows the 2nd most PPG (26.14) to opposing SGs over the last two weeks, and 6th most PPG overall this season, but his reasonable price tag and the absence of Griffin make him an even more appealing play.
Values: Brian Roberts was actually the only Pelican to play well against the Spurs on Saturday, and he gets a much easier matchup with the Kings tonight but is still a value play at $3900.
Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't ready to play against an elite team like the Heat, but could bounce back against a Pistons team that is in free fall right now. At $3400 he's a GPP value play.
DeMar DeRozan (TOR) vs. MIA: $7800
I'm reluctant to pay top dollar for Carmelo the way the Knicks have been spreading around their scoring and LeBron is now 10.6K, which may be too much for a player that is often passive on the offensive end of the floor. That leaves DeRozan as a pure scorer that is priced well below those two superstars, but is more than likely going to produce 30 real points to go along with some decent peripheral stats in Miami tonight. Kyle Lowry continues to play through an ankle injury as the Raptors try to clinch the Atlantic division, but he's clearly not 100% and turned in two subpar performances in a row. DeRozan, meanwhile, is averaging 29 PTs and 34.6 FPs over his last two appearances, and doesn't have any injuries to speak of other than general fatigue. He's a safe play with some upside in a competitive contest with the defending champs.
Thaddeus Young (PHI) vs. ATL: $7500
Young didn't single-handedly dismantle the Pistons on Saturday night, but produced 21 PTs and 38 DK points in the easy win and should be needed to produce a little more against a slightly more competitive team. Like Detroit, Atlanta is also in free fall, but the generally pathetic Eastern Conference has allowed them to cling to playoff hopes and they will look to take care of business against the Sixers at home tonight. A young team like Philadelphia may just need the confidence of a solid win like they had on Saturday, and I'm sure they'll come out motivated to play spoiler tonight. Young has played well against the Hawks sub par defense this year with per game averages of 23 PTs, 7.5 REB, and 3.5 STL in two meetings, and considering Atlanta's D has only gotten worse as the season has progressed, he should be productive again.
Values: The Clippers will use Glen Davis at PF you'd assume, but Matt Barnes should see extended minutes and rebound the ball more with Blake Griffin out. At $5300, he's a decently safe play.
Kyle Singler's minutes are trending up and he's taking on the defensively inefficient Bucks. At $3800 he's not a bad punt play.
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) vs. NOP: $9900
Boogie got into foul trouble and couldn't do much against two of the best in the Western Conference over his last two appearances, but a matchup with the potentially Brow-less Pelicans should be a different story. New Orleans gives up a below average 43.38 FPPG to opposing centers this season, and most of those games featured Anthony Davis lurking in the paint. Alexis Ajinca, Jeff Withey, and Greg Stiemsma don't have much chance of slowing down Cousins or of forcing him to commit fouls by attacking him on the other end. Isaiah Thomas (quad) may miss one more contest, which would boost Cousins' usage and force him to carry more of the scoring load, but he's primed to bounce back tonight in any case.
Andre Drummond (DET) vs. MIL: $7300
I've been trying to predict Drummond's monster game for a while now, and it just hasn't happened. The Pistons are absolutely folding right now and haven't provided the competitive circumstances for the Man Child to grab enough rebounds and finish enough easy hoops to approach a 20/20 line. That being said, he gets another plus matchup with a Bucks team that allows the 4th most FPPG (45.95) to opposing centers this season and his teammates should be motivated to avenge Saturday's embarrassing blowout loss at Philly. This is a "last chance" type of scenario for Drummond, because if he doesn't produce in yet another great matchup, he'll be on the ignore list.
Values: DeMarre Carroll missed Saturday's game with the flu, but should be ready to go in a great matchup with the Sixers tonight and he's now just $4700.
Amare Stoudemire continues to perform better than Tyson Chandler and is playing in B2B sets these days. At $4700 he's a safe mid-tier value.
Joakim Noah (CHI) vs. BOS: $8600
This is an occasion where DraftKings decides to lower a players' price tag BEFORE the results of the previous nights game go through, and that player proves that his price tag should not see a decrease. Noah was absolute incredible on Sunday night in Boston as he dished out 13 dimes and finished with 46 DK points. As mentioned yesterday, he dropped 49.25 DK points in his first meeting with Boston this season, and generally plays with even more energy at home. The greatest concern in this matchup is a blowout as Boston will be without their floor general in Rajon Rondo, but Noah should reach his 40 FP floor and the fact that he's $600 cheaper than yesterday makes it possible to build a solid 50/50 or H2H lineup around him.
Marc Gasol (MEM) vs. DEN: $7200
Gasol has been much more aggressive in terms of scoring the basketball over his last few games, and just produced 20 PTs and 33.25 DK points in last night's loss to the Blazers. He gets a fantastic matchup with the shorthanded Nuggets tonight as he will face off with the slow-footed Timofey Mozgov or the undersized Kenneth Faried to start the game. Denver is now giving up the 3rd most FPPG (45.98) to opposing centers and haven't been able to contain true centers like Gasol all season, so another 30-40 DK point performance is very likely from the Spaniard.
Values: Don't count on Brad Stevens staying consistent, but Kris Humphries is the Celtics best bet to contain Noah and Carlos Boozer in Chicago tonight. He played well last night and is just $4200.
If Anthony Davis can't return to action tonight Alexis Ajinca becomes a great play at $3900.
Will answer any lineup questions on twitter @nweitzer7
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