NBA DFS: DeMarcus Cousins, Ben Simmons Among Top Picks On DraftKings

NBA DFS: DeMarcus Cousins, Ben Simmons Among Top Picks On DraftKings

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DeMarcus Cousins NBA
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I will be bringing you my top plays, and my favorite Laker (if the Lakers are playing), for that day’s DraftKings slate.

I will focus on two high-priced players, two players in the mid-range, and two value plays to help build your lineups.

High Priced Plays

DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans ($11,600): Tonight’s matchup between the Pelicans and Magic comes in as one of the most desirable games to attack tonight and DeMarcus Cousins is the top option from this game.

Cousins has been an absolute monster to start the season, averaging 66.3 DraftKings points per game in 36.6 minutes and he has attempted at least 20 shots in all but one of those games this season.

Not only has Cousins been unstoppable when scoring, shooting over 50 percent from the floor and 34.1 percent from three-point range, he has been a beast on the boards as well, pulling down double-digit rebounds in every game this season.

The Orlando Magic are coming off a blowout win over the Spurs, and have also blown out the Cavaliers this season, but that shouldn’t scare anyone off tonight as they have still struggled on defense this season, allowing 107.2 points per game to opponents.

I am expecting Cousins to carry heavy ownership tonight, so he is best reserved for cash games, but he is not someone I want to fade tonight.

Ben Simmons, PG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers: ($9,200): If last week’s highlight reel filled contests between the Rockets and Sixers left you salivating for more, you are in luck, as the two teams face off again tonight. The Rockets narrowly escaped that matchup with a win, edging out the Sixers 105-104, but we saw an impressive outing from the rookie Ben Simmons.

Simmons scored 14 points with 9 assists and 7 rebounds in that game, despite shooting only 41 percent from the floor, but was able to put up a respectable 42.25 DraftKings points. Simmons is averaging nearly 1.3 DraftKings points per minute on the season, with a 24 percent usage rate, and is assisting on 45.4 percent of his teammate’s made baskets this season.

Simmons will get an easier matchup tonight, with Trevor Ariza returning, as he won’t have to spend his entire time on the floor facing off against Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and P.J. Tucker who are arguably better defenders at this point in their careers.

This game will be another fast-paced, high-scoring affair that I want to get exposure to, and Simmons is the guy I am targeting for GPPs, as he will likely go overlooked due to his increased price.

Mid-Range Plays

Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz ($7,500): It has been a disappointing start to the season for Rudy Gobert but I am hoping that changes tonight as the Jazz take on the Dallas Mavericks. Gobert has failed to eclipse 40 DraftKings points in all but one game this season, a 44.5-point affair against the Suns, despite some excellent matchups.

Gobert is still unstoppable on the boards and is averaging over two blocks per game, so I am going to ignore how disappointing he has been for one more night due to his matchup.

The Mavericks are allowing over 56 fantasy points per game to opposing centers, with the majority of that coming that on the boards, as they are allowing a whopping 47.9 rebounds per game to opponents. Gobert averaged 45.4 DraftKings points per game against the Mavericks last season, and I am expecting a big performance out of him tonight.

Clint Capela, C, Houston Rockets ($6,700): If it feels like you just read about Clint Capela against the Sixers, well, it is because you did. After Capela put up 54.5 DraftKings points in 32 minutes against the Sixers last week, I felt it was just too good of a spot to pass up again today.

It should be noted that Capela played increased minutes in last week’s game due to injuries, but he should still see around 26-28 minutes, and with Capela averaging a massive 1.41 DraftKings fantasy points, he should have no issues paying off his salary tonight.

The Sixers are allowing 62.17 DraftKings points per game to opposing centers this season, the third most in the NBA, and have allowed the ninth most points per game to opponents at 108.5.

As mentioned above with Simmons, getting exposure to this game will be important to success tonight, and Capela will be one of the best options from Houston to do that with. This is a great night to use two centers and Capela will be a staple in my cash games.

Value Plays

Austin Rivers, PG/SG, Los Angeles Clippers ($4,900): We have a double-dose of Clippers in today’s article as the Warriors come to town and present us with a tremendous matchup to target.

With Milos Teodosic sidelined by a foot injury, Rivers has been thrust into a starting role for LA and has played a heap of minutes each night, averaging a total of 34.6 minutes per game since being inserted into the starting lineup.

Rivers has always been a boom-or-bust option in daily fantasy, but he has been surprisingly consistent since becoming the starter, scoring at least 16 points in three straight contests on 12 field-goal attempts per game, while shooting 50 percent from the floor.

The Warriors rank 25th in the NBA in fantasy points allowed to opposing shooting guards, allowing 45.5 fantasy points per game, and are allowing 114.2 points per game. This should be a high-scoring affair, and Rivers is in a great spot to exceed value tonight.

T.J. McConnell, PG, Philadelphia 76ers ($4,400): If you couldn’t tell by the rest of this article, I really want to target the Sixers at Rockets game tonight, and McConnell is my top value play to do that with.

McConnell has seen increased playing time due to an injury to Markelle Fultz, and he has made the most of it, averaging 34.88 DraftKings points in the two games since Fultz was ruled out. McConnell has seen a usage increase of two percent in those games, up from 14.3 percent to 16.3 percent, but he has seen a huge increase in production as he is averaging 1.18 fantasy points per minute in those two contests.

McConnell is assisting on 51.5 percent of the team’s made baskets when he is on the floor. If McConnell is going to keep producing like he has over the last two, he is just too cheap to pass up at only $4,400.