Our fuzzy old DFS crystal ball stayed reasonably accurate last night. We warned of a Cavaliers letdown, called Minnesota’s win and loved the young Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo was freakish (27 PTS, 12 REB, 10 AST, 4 BLK, 3 STL) and Kyle Lowry also triple-doubled; congratulations if you combined them with Al Horford to win $100,000 or a nice consolation prize.
In four of five NBA games tonight, defense could be an afterthought. James Harden $10400 is always difficult to stop and Dwight Howard $7200 vs. Rudy Gobert $6800 is a great matchup, but otherwise the Jazz are better plays than the Rockets. While Derrick Favors $7300 and Gordon Hayward $7000 are obvious picks, Shelvin Mack $3600 could be the best value. Acquired in an under-the-radar trade, the third-stringer in Atlanta may have taken over already from underachievers Raul Neto $3800 and Trey Burke $3800.
Houston did very little at the deadline and even lost the draft pick they “gained” from Detroit, as Donatas Motiejunas (back) failed his physical to void the trade. Marcus Thornton is not in the DraftKings player pool tonight, but Terrence Jones $4000 (concussion) is expected to return. If Trevor Ariza $6200 is used at PF, Jones may remain in the doghouse.
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Every game is do-or-die for New Orleans, so Anthony Davis $10200 took over on Sunday with 59 points and 20 rebounds. Jrue Holiday $7400 was the only other Pelican to score more than five points and Omer Asik $3400 (ankle) is doubtful. The Wizards are equally desperate, 3.5 games out of the final playoff spot. Their loss in Miami on Saturday was entirely due to scheduling; it was their third game in three nights after two impressive wins at home. John Wall $9300 will give Norris Cole $5200 fits. Bradley Beal $6400 and Marcin Gortat $6600 also have good matchups. I’m not keen on Markieff Morris $5900 if Davis is covering him; Otto Porter $5400 is a possible bargain.
On Friday in Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins $11200 was simply too much for the Nuggets, with 37 points, 20 rebounds and four blocked shots. Boogie is listed as questionable with a sore tailbone after being limited at practice on Saturday, but we expect him to be nearly as good in this mile-high rematch. Rajon Rondo $8600 (toe), Rudy Gay $6700 and Darren Collison $4900 are also playable. If you like Denver at home, the price is right on Danilo Gallinari $7100, Will Barton $5800, Gary Harris $4700 and new arrival D.J. Augustin $3100. Harder to figure is Nikola Jokic $5600, who picked up four fouls in four minutes and got benched in the previous meeting, then went off for a double-double (23 & 13) on Sunday.
Without much fanfare, the Trail Blazers have won nine of ten. Damian Lillard $9600 and C.J. McCollum $7200 match up extremely well against Brooklyn’s mediocre guards. Seemingly out of nowhere, Maurice Harkless $4400 has been a key contributor in five straight victories. The best hope for the Nets is up front, where Brook Lopez $7500 and Thaddeus Young $6800 have a substantial edge over Mason Plumlee $4500 and a revolving door of PF. Ed Davis $4000 was better than Meyers Leonard $3600 or starter Noah Vonleh $3300 on Sunday and may have earned more trust.
There’s another potential mismatch in Philadelphia, where Victor Oladipo $6700, Nikola Vucevic $7400, Aaron Gordon $6300 and Evan Fournier $5800 are all affordable. Newcomer Brandon Jennings $4000 has already cut into the fantasy value of Elfrid Payton $5100. The Magic are mathematically alive for a playoff spot and the Sixers are going through the motions, allowing 364 points in their last three losses. Maybe Jahlil Okafor $6400 will pay his way or Jerami Grant $4400 will surprise, but there are better options.
|PG||Damian Lillard $9600||John Wall $9300||Shelvin Mack $3600|
|SG||James Harden $10400||Victor Oladipo $6700||Gary Harris $4700|
|SF||Danilo Gallinari $7100||Gordon Hayward $7000||Maurice Harkless $4400|
|PF||Anthony Davis $10200||Aaron Gordon $6300||Ed Davis $4000|
|C||Nikola Vucevic $7400||Marcin Gortat $6600||Mason Plumlee $4500|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.