February 28, 2017, 9:26 pm
We have 11 games to tackle tonight with some intriguing matchups. The pricing on DraftKings right now is tough in terms of value, but I have highlighted a few players below for you to build teams around. My favorite play tonight is Isaiah Thomas, but there are many directions you can go in constructing a lineup. Let’s dig in.
Isaiah Thomas ($8,500)
Enjoy IT’s price tag while you can. We are getting Isaiah way too cheap tonight, and this is a price tag to exploit. The Celtics take on the Cavaliers in Boston, and Thomas will need to have a huge performance for the Celtics to come out on top. Don’t worry: he will. Isaiah’s usage rate has been above 30% in 22 straight games. In his game 23 games ago, he had a usage rate of 29.2%.
Put simply, he is the Celtics offense. Al Horford is playing terribly right now, and as Avery Bradley eases back into the rotation, there are not many options outside of Thomas. Vegas set the over/under for tonight at 222 with the Cavs as a one point favorite meaning the Celtics should score about 110. Even at a somewhat conservative minutes projection for IT, I project him scoring 30 points with a handful of assists and a rebound or two.
Kyrie can try to contain him, but Kyrie’s defensive skillset is not equipped to handle Thomas. Your cash lineup should start with Isaiah, and he should be in many of your tournament lineups.
Jrue Holiday ($6,900)
Leading up to All Star Weekend, Jrue Holiday was priced over $8k. He is now $6,900. Obviously, the Pelicans’ addition of DeMarcus Cousins explains the price drop since Holiday’s production has suffered from the addition; however, the Pelicans are without Boogie tonight as he serves a one game suspension. Holiday’s usage may not surge back up to 28%-30% where it was a couple weeks ago, but it should be close to 25%.
He is orchestrating much of the Pelicans offense, averaging 7.9 assists per game over his last 20 games. Tonight the Pelicans are playing the Pistons who played an overtime game last night and may be sluggish. New Orleans is a small favorite right now and the Vegas total for the game is currently 209. Unless Anthony Davis has an incredible offensive game, the Pelicans will need 20+ points from Holiday to win this game.
As they pursue a playoff spot, there is every reason for them to run Holiday out there for most of the game (hopefully 37+ minutes). I view Holiday as a very high floor play, making him a strong cash game play at the shooting guard position.
Tyreke Evans ($5,700)
The Evans’ homecoming to Sacramento has produced three straight games of 25+ DraftKings points. Tonight, the Kings play Brooklyn. Are you sold yet? While Evans’ ceiling is somewhat low due to his minutes restriction, his floor is high given his 26% usage rate since joining the Kings combined with his ability to pass and rebound. Tyreke’s shooting this season has been erratic, but last game he shot 3/3 from behind the three-point line.
That is a tiny sample size, but maybe last game can prod him in the right direction of better shooting for the remainder of the season. Fortunately, tonight we just need a decent game from Tyreke for him to hit value. This should be the fastest paced game since Evans joined the Kings, and he has scored 15, 11, and 13 points in each of his games with rebound totals of 4, 5, and 5.
Factoring in an uptick in pace since Brooklyn is the league’s fastest team, Evans should have about 20 fantasy points tonight between points and rebounds. To get to 5x his price, we will need just a couple assists, blocks, and steals. I am not going to be rostering Tyreke heavily for the remainder of the year, but tonight is a case of the right matchup and right price.
Paul Millsap ($7,000)
Power forward is a bit of a wasteland tonight, so I am going to ride with a high floor guy. Millsap is a proficient scorer and rebounder within the Atlanta Hawks rotation, and he is sneaky with his ability to block shots and get steals. Dallas is not the best matchup in terms of pace, but the Mavericks’ lack of rebounding is a plus for Millsap tonight. He is averaging 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game for the season.
I am confident that even in a game with a slow pace and a low Vegas total, Millsap will come close to his season averages. If the Mavericks keep the game close, Millsap could play 35+ minutes in which case he should exceed 35 DraftKings points. I am eager to roster Millsap in tournaments since he may be an underowned player tonight.
Given the lackluster options at power forward tonight, Millsap may present an opportunity to differentiate your lineups from the public, and he could be a key ingredient in successful tournament lineups.
Nikola Vucevic ($7,400)
The Orlando Magic big man has been a steady producer lately, and this is not fluky. Nikola is a major part of the Orlando offense while grabbing rebounds at a high rate. Over his last four contests, Vucevic has exceeded 40 DraftKings points in three of those games. During that period, his field goal percentage is .385. Tonight the Magic take on the Knicks in a prime opportunity for Vucevic to correct his poor shooting and produce a monstrous game.
His usage rate for the season is 24.7% with a 19.3% rebound rate. The Magic’s acquisition of Terrence Ross may scare you since Ross could potentially take away from Vucevic’s production, but so far the results are the opposite. In each of Ross’s two appearances, Vucevic has had usage rates of 34.5% and 29.9%. Even with Ross taking shots, the Magic’s lineup needs the scoring from Vucevic since Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon are not scoring efficiently.
This is an elite matchup for Vucevic who is almost a lock for a double-double. When you factor in a few assists, blocks, and perhaps a steal, Vucevic appears positioned to score close to 40 DraftKings points. I am rostering him in cash games and tourneys.