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
John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards: ($10,000)- Even though we haven’t seen the upside we are used to out of John Wall so far this season, tonight I am going back to the well as he faces off against the Golden State Warriors.
Wall’s shooting struggles are to blame for his slow start to the season, as he is only shooting 37.3 percent from the floor compared to 45.1 percent last season, and 14.3 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Wall’s career averages tell us that this is just a flash in the pan and should get things turned around fairly quickly, and tonight is a great spot for that to happen. It hasn’t been all bad for Wall, as he is attempting 9.8 free throws per game and has attempted double-digit free throws in two of his four games, so he is at least boosting his fantasy floor by racking up points at the line.
The Warriors currently rank 8th in the NBA in fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards, only 40.89, meaning they have been pretty good against them this season, but it is still early and those numbers can be easily skewed by one bad performance.
Tonight’s matchup between the Warriors and Wizards is currently projected at 230.5 points, so getting exposure to players in this game will be important and due to Wall’s struggles early this season, and the appeal of the mid-range options, I think Wall could go overlooked in GPPs and I would be looking to lock him in there.
If playing cash games, I think the move is to fade Wall and focus on building a balanced lineup and getting exposure to this game with other players tonight.
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs: ($8,200)- I am going to continue to put LaMarcus Aldridge in this article as long as DraftKings continues to ignore Aldridge’s production. Aldridge has proven that he is an excellent cash game play, after his third 45+ point performance in four games.
Tonight, he faces off against an Orlando Magic team that has struggled on defense this season, allowing 112.3 points per game.
Aldridge continues to shoulder the load offensively for the Spurs in the absence of Kawhi Leonard, posting a 30 percent usage rate and 26 points per game. Aldridge is also pulling down 8.8 rebounds per game and has notched two double-doubles in four games.
The Magic are allowing the third most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards this season at 58.05 putting Aldridge in a great spot to not only meet value for cash games but score over 50 fantasy points and meet value for GPPs.
Kemba Walker, PG, Charlotte Hornets: ($7,800)- After a poor performance against the Denver Nuggets two nights ago, Kemba Walker finds himself in a bounce-back spot against the Houston Rockets. We like to target Walker at home, and in fast-paced matchups, which is exactly what we have tonight.
Walker has posted a usage rate of 24.8 percent so far, this season and has attempted at least 13 shots in three of four games this season. In addition to his 13 field goal attempts per game, Walker has boosted his scoring opportunities by getting to the line at least 9 times in three of those games, hitting 89 percent of those free throws this season.
While the Rockets only rank 15th in NBA in fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards, allowing 46.29, there are a few things that stand out to me when breaking down this matchup for Walker. The Houston Rockets are allowing opponents to shoot over 47 percent on mid-range two-point shots, where Walker is attempting 24 percent of his shots this season, and 39.3 percent on above the break three pointers where Walker is attempting 39 percent of his three-point shots.
These are clearly the best spots to attack the Rockets so far, this season, and these two areas are where Walker has excelled in his career.
There is some risk with Walker tonight, as the Rockets have the ability to throw two excellent defenders, Mbah a Moute or Tucker, on him when they are on the court but with Walker’s overall involvement in the offense he can still rack up fantasy points off assists if that happens.
I will be using Walker in both cash games and GPPs tonight, and I love his price tag of $7,800.
Draymond Green, PF/C, Golden State Warriors: ($7,400)- I mentioned above that getting exposure to the Washington at Golden State game will be important tonight, and I will definitely be doing that by locking Draymond Green in my lineups. Golden State’s swiss army knife is in the perfect spot tonight, as the Wizards have struggled against athletic and mobile forwards this season.
Lakers fans don’t need to be convinced of that as they just saw the Wizards give up a combined 19 rebounds and 29 points to the duo of Larry Nance and Julius Randle just a few nights ago. The Wizards are allowing a combined 102.2 fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards and centers, which is important to note considering Green spends a significant amount of time playing the small-ball center in Golden State’s lineups.
Green hasn’t had a huge game yet this season, capping out at 43.25 DraftKings points, which has helped keep his price in the mid-7k price range through the first five games. If we look at how Green performed against this same Wizards team last season we will see that he has massive upside as he averaged 51.9 DraftKings points in two matchups, notching a triple-double in one of those contests.
At only $7,400 Green makes for one of the safest cash game plays on the board tonight and a player that could go overlooked in GPPs.
Spencer Dinwiddie, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets: ($5,200)- After posting 40.25 DraftKings points against the Cavaliers on Wednesday, Dinwiddie enters tonight as a guy that I am again targeting as the Nets face the Knicks tonight. D’Angelo Russell may not play, meaning Dinwiddie will get the start again and should play close to 30 minutes against a Knicks team that has allowed 55.74 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards in three games this season.
Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Cavaliers, Dinwiddie was coming off the bench for the Nets, producing .98 DraftKings points per minute in that role over his first four games. As a starter last season, Dinwiddie posted modest numbers averaging 8.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 25.4 minutes.
Dinwiddie averaged just shy of 20 DraftKings points per game as a starter last season, although it should be noted that the Nets had Brook Lopez last season who dominated the ball during the time that Dinwiddie started.
Dinwiddie doesn’t command a lot of usage in this offense, and I certainly don’t expect him to put up over 40 DraftKings points again tonight, but he makes for a safe cash game option against the Knicks.
I recommend finding a comparable pivot off Dinwiddie if you are building tournament lineups tonight as Dinwiddie will garner a lot of ownership in this spot.
*Russell was upgraded to questionable for tonight’s game. If he plays, I would recommend taking Dinwiddie out of your lineups and replacing him with a similarly priced option like Dejounte Murray, Danny Green, or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.*
Ryan Anderson, PF/C, Houston Rockets: ($4,200)- I want to preface this pick by saying that for most DFS players plugging Ryan Anderson into your lineups feels gross, and I completely understand that, but this is a tough spot to ignore tonight with Ariza and Nene already ruled out and with Tarik Black listed as questionable for this game.
We saw Anderson play 37 minutes against the Sixers on Wednesday night and he will be in line for around the same number of minutes tonight. Anderson took 11 shots in that game, including nine of those from beyond-the-arc, and scored 14 points to go along with one rebound, one block, and one steal.
Not exactly an inspiring line of peripherals, but I would expect him to find himself on the receiving end of a few more rebounds tonight. Anderson has limited upside as he is basically a guy that stands in the corner and shoots on the offensive end, but we rarely come across a player for his price that will play almost 40 minutes that we can lock into our cash games.
Laker of the Day
Kyle Kuzma, SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers: ($4,700)– Most people will find it strange that I am looking at a bench player here but it should be noted that we have seen Luke Walton give his bench units more minutes at times both this season and last, meaning we shouldn’t limit our options to just the starters when looking at this young Lakers squad.
As Lakers Nation writer Serena Winters alluded to, Walton is not only looking to develop his young players but he is also looking to reward guys who are playing hard when on the floor.
Kuzma has been the beneficiary of Walton’s philosophy so far, this season, as he has seen his minutes climb in three straight games, including being on the floor in overtime against the Wizards. Kuzma has made the most of those minutes, averaging 16.6 points on 11.6 field goal attempts per game over his last three contests.
In addition to his scoring, Kuzma has been active on the glass as well, pulling down at least three rebounds in each game this season. The Raptors have struggled to defend opposing wings this season, allowing the 8th most fantasy points per game to both small forwards and power forwards this season.
If Kuzma is going to continue his level of play, he deserves to be considered in daily fantasy each night. I like Kuzma more in GPPs tonight, but at only $4,700 he can be used in cash games as well.