March 7, 2017, 9:50 pm
Another Wednesday, another full slate of games! The push to the playoffs is upon us, and many competitive games are in store for tonight. Like most nights with full slates, there are many directions you can go tonight. My strategy tonight is to get exposure to Hawks, Wizards, Nuggets, and trickling in value plays. My favorite play of the night is Steph Curry, and he will be in many of my lineups tonight. Let’s dive into potential options for your lineups.
Steph Curry ($10,100)
Steph is in the perfect position to explode tonight on national television. The Warriors take on the Boston Celtics at Oracle Arena. Isaiah Thomas, one of the league’s worst defenders, will be tasked with covering Curry who is chucking early and often in the absence of Kevin Durant.
In the four games Steph has played since KD got injured (I include the Washington game since KD barely played), Curry has a usage rate of 34.4% with a 31.7% assist rate. Both of those numbers are appealing, especially since much of Steph’s usage comes from deep. Yet, I am even more intrigued by the 9.8% rebound rate he has in those four games.
For the season, Steph has a 7.3% rebound rate, so a slight spike in rebounding without Durant is not shocking. However, it’s interesting to consider that without KD, Steph is rebounding at rates comparable to guys like Paul George and Jimmy Butler. Golden State is currently an eight point favorite with a Vegas over/under of 223. If the Warriors are going to score 115 points, Curry will need to have a significant contribution.
I have him projected for a stat line of about 32-6-6 and would not be shocked if the scoring surpassed my estimate.
Matthew Dellavedova ($3,900)
Dellavedova is not the chalkiest play in daily fantasy basketball, but he is a smart choice tonight. The Milwaukee Bucks are an injured team and take on the Knicks tonight. With a thin rotation, Dellavedova will continue to play 25+ minutes, and tonight’s matchup is juicy. Over his last ten games, Delly is playing almost 29 minutes per game.
He is not scoring at an elite rate, but his 16% usage rate is sufficient tonight given his low price tag. Although his shot has been terrible lately, enough of his shots come from three that even on a bad shooting night, he can be productive. When Giannis is not on the floor, Matthew’s ball handling responsibilities increase and he distributes efficiently.
In fact, he is averaging 5.2 assists per game which includes seven games in which he played under 20 minutes. Given the Bucks injury situation, Delly should play around 27 minutes. This will be ample time for him to score about ten points, rack up his usual five assists, and snag a couple steals and rebounds. The price is right!
Trevor Ariza ($4,300)
Ariza is a stellar cash game option tonight. His upside is severely limited by his matchup with the Jazz, but the Rockets play at such a quick pace that even against a slow team like Utah, the game should be reasonably fast. We are looking for about 20 DraftKings points from Trevor tonight, and he should have no problem delivering. Though Ariza’s usage rate is low (14.4%), 70% of his shots come from three.
Against the Spurs last game, he had a 14.6% usage rate, shot 5/11 (2/8 from three) and scored 13 real points in 35 minutes. I expect a very similar result tonight, and I am further encouraged since his rebound rate has been 10.4% since All-Star Break. If Ariza shoots well tonight, he could have 30 DraftKings points. That is likely as high as he can go, but his floor is high enough that he will be a cash game staple for me.
Aaron Gordon ($6,000)
Whether Nikola Vucevic suits up or not tonight, I am playing Aaron Gordon. Gordon has taken on a larger role in the Magic frontcourt now that it is far less clustered than it was at the beginning of the season. With Ibaka in Toronto, Gordon’s minutes are more secure and his role within the offense is more defined. In his last five games, he has a usage rate of 24.9%.
Particularly when Biyombo is starting, the Magic do not have many reliable weapons. Gordon is a dynamic athlete, and despite a poor three-point shooting percentage (27.6%), Aaron is creative and can score in many ways. He has three straight 30+ DraftKings performances, and I am looking to ride the momentum into tonight against the Bulls. Even in a slow paced game like tonight’s, Gordon is a safe option.
Rudy Gobert ($7,600)
Rudy Gobert is having an astounding season, averaging a double-double in addition to 2.5 blocks per game. He is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA, and he is extremely efficient inside the paint. Tonight he heads into the Toyota Center to face the potent Houston Rockets offense. As NBA fans know, the Rockets shoot at will. Thus, there are many rebounds to go around.
Rudy should have a field day on the glass, especially with Derrick Favors being injured and ruled out for tonight’s game. Utah is in a tight battle for seeding and needs every possible minute out of their top guys like Gobert who played a combined 77 minutes in his last two games (which were back-to-back). He should see 34+ minutes tonight in a game that Vegas projects 215 total points.
Another 60 point DraftKings game like he had two games ago is very far-fetched, but a 40 point DraftKings game is reasonable. He has had doube-doubles in both matchups with Houston this season. Let’s hope for more of the same tonight.