NBA DFS: James Harden, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brook Lopez Among Top Picks On...

NBA DFS: James Harden, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brook Lopez Among Top Picks On DraftKings

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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

James Harden, PG/SG, Houston Rockets: ($11,600) – James Harden has disappointed daily fantasy players so far, this season, failing to eclipse 55 DraftKings points in all four of his contests, but that is going to change tonight as the Rockets head to Philly to take on the Sixers. Harden’s scoring numbers have taken a slight dip, averaging 26.3 compared to 29.1 in 2016-17, but that hasn’t been the full reason Harden’s fantasy production has taken a hit.

Harden averaged 11.5 assists per game last season, compared to 8.5 this year, accounting for another chunk of fantasy points. Harden’s fantasy production has been a casualty of the Rockets’ poor shooting; however, I expect that to change tonight as the Sixers defense has been subpar to start the season. The Sixers are allowing 109 points per game to opponents while allowing opposing guards to score 68.9 points per game against them. This is a dream matchup for Harden to right the ship and put up one of his “Harden-esque” games.

Kevin Durant, SF/PF, Golden State Warriors: ($9,500) – The Golden State Warriors have had their struggles on defense to start the season, allowing 114 points per game to opponents, but more impressively, the Warriors are averaging 115.9 points per game on offense. Both of those numbers are important, as it is safe to assume that when the Warriors are allowing a lot of points the starters will be on the court for big minutes.

Durant has averaged 37.1 minutes per game to start the season, and he has averaged 24 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and an impressive 3.8 blocks per game. Durant has been shooting the lights out so far, this season, hitting 50 percent of his shots from beyond-the-arc, and 50 percent from the floor. Durant has produced over 50 fantasy points twice in four games and has only failed to reach 5x his current salary once this season, making him a safe cash game play, and I think he has enough upside to consider in GPPs at only $9,500.

Mid-Range Plays

Paul George, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder: ($8,000) – The shorthanded Indiana Pacers head to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder and we are presented with one of my favorite spots to attack tonight. Not only will Paul George be facing off against his old team, which presents us with a revenge narrative, but he will also be facing off against a team that has been a punching bag for opposing wings so far, this season.

The Pacers are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to small forwards, 45.39, and the seventh most points to opposing power forwards, 51.23, on the year which are impressive numbers considering the teams they have faced, with exception to Minnesota, don’t have dominant wing players that can score like George. PG has the third-highest usage on the Thunder at 27.9 percent and is attempting 20.7 shots per game.

George hasn’t shot the ball very well this season, as he is only hitting 37.1 percent of his shots, but considering the Pacers are allowing opponents to shoot 49.3 percent from the floor, I think those shots will fall tonight. George has bolstered his fantasy production by pulling in 5.7 boards per game to go along with 3.7 assists and four or more steals in two of the first three games. George has stated how motivated he is to win this game against his former team, meaning I am motivated to get him into my lineups.

Clint Capela, C, Houston Rockets: ($6,200) – Using two centers on DraftKings is one of my favorite strategies, for cash games and GPPs, and I will be doing that tonight with Capela as one and Brook Lopez (featured below) as the other. The Rockets are in a fast-paced matchup against the Sixers and this is the perfect matchup for Capela to have a great game at a cheap price.

After a modest effort in a game against the Grizzlies, Capela finds himself in a bounce-back spot against the Sixers who have struggled against opposing centers this season, contrary to what Joel Embiid might say.

The Sixers are allowing 58.55 fantasy points to centers on the season, and the majority of those fantasy points are coming from rebounds as they are allowing 17.5 per game to centers. Capela averaged 32 DraftKings points in 23 minutes last season and with Ariza already ruled out and Nene doubtful for this game, we should see Capela’s minutes increase over the 25-28 we usually see him play.

There is a little bit of risk associated with Capela, as Embiid has been known to get opposing big men in foul trouble from time to time, but Capela is worth that risk tonight. This is a game you will want to get exposure to and Capela is one of the best ways to do that.

Value Plays

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Los Angeles Lakers: ($4,700) – I wanted to make KCP my “Laker of the Day” but I felt the spot for Lopez was just too great to pass up so I am going to stick KCP here in the value plays section for tonight’s slate. After an outstanding season debut where Caldwell-Pope notched 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go along with two boards, two steals, an assist, and a block in 31 minutes, DraftKings decided to raise his price only $300 in an excellent matchup against Washington.

The Wizards have struggled on defense this season, allowing opponents to score 110 points per game while allowing them to shoot 47.9 percent from the floor and 40.7 percent from beyond-the-arc. This an excellent spot for KCP to pay off his salary and he makes for a great value play tonight.

C.J. Miles, SG/SF. Toronto Raptors: ($3,900) – A very important part of playing in GPPs is finding viable pivots off of chalk plays on a slate, and tonight Miles is my pivot off of Jakob Poeltl who should be a chalky option against the Warriors. Miles was acquired in the offseason by the Raptors to provide a three-point option off the bench, and he has done just that so far this season.

Miles has attempted six or more three-pointers in the first three games, to go along with at least seven shots in those games, and he has shot a scorching 45.5 percent from beyond-the-arc. Miles is likely going to see around 24 minutes against the Warriors tonight, which is important to note because the Warriors have allowed opponents to shoot 38 percent from three on the season and 45 percent from the floor.

Miles has the ability to come into the game and rack up fantasy points in a hurry, and I love his chances of putting up a big game at only $3,900.

Laker of the Day

Brook Lopez, C, Los Angeles Lakers: ($6,000) – I mentioned above that this was an excellent spot for Lopez, and while I love the matchup for him, I am more in love with his price on DraftKings tonight. Lopez has been a force for the Lakers so far, this season, averaging 15.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in 26.1 minutes in their first three games.

The Wizards have allowed 64.95 fantasy points to opposing centers on the season, and while it is a small sample size, they were also a soft match last season as evidenced by Lopez’s 31.15 DraftKings points per game average against them and the 44.5-point outburst against them last December. The Wizards have struggled to defend all over the court, especially the three-point line where Lopez can really punish them tonight.