March 23, 2017, 9:52 pm
Ten games are on the slate for tonight with many fast paced teams in action. As injury news breaks, I would expect there to be a few must plays since several of these match-ups should be high scoring. Point guard and center are fairly deep tonight, but finding value in the other three positions is not the easiest task. I have highlighted a few plays below for your consideration who should be valuable DraftKings performers. Let’s dig in.
Isaiah Thomas ($8,200)
This price tag is downright puzzling. IT has been an elite DraftKings option all season and takes on Phoenix tonight. Barring foul trouble or a terrible shooting performance, he should blow past 40 DraftKings points. Since he was injured recently, I could understand if he was priced down due to potentially limited minutes. However, he has played 33+ minutes in both games following the injury.
Against the Pacers last game, IT shot 9/21 (4/10 from three) en route to 37.5 DraftKings points in what was a very slow game. Phoenix is one of the league’s fastest teams, so if Isaiah has a similar game to last game, he’ll cruise to 40-45 DraftKings points. Almost half of his shots come from deep and he has a 32.7% usage rate over his last ten games. He’s taking a lot of shots and many of his shots turn into 3.5 DraftKings points.
Outside of scoring, Isaiah is not too much of a fantasy threat which restricts his production to some extent. In his last ten games, he is averaging 4.6 assists. Due to the pace uptick tonight, I’d expect six or seven assists. Something like a 25-7-2 line with a couple steals is reasonable tonight. At $8,200, that’ll work. Fire him up in cash games and own a few tournament shares.
Eric Gordon ($4,900)
Similar to Isaiah Thomas, Gordon is another high floor shooter. The addition of Lou Williams has not been helpful for Gordon’s production, but he has scored in double digits in all but two games since All-Star Break. A major factor in his consistency is that 2/3 of his shots come from behind the arc. Even on a poor shooting night, he tends to be reasonably valuable.
Gordon has been a key ingredient in the success of the Rockets this season, and his minutes are stable as a result. Following the break, he has still averaged 31.1 minutes per game despite the addition of fellow scorer Lou Williams. Houston plays the struggling New Orleans Pelicans tonight at home.
The Pelicans are decent defensively, but Gordon’s game is tough for anybody to match up against. He can drive and finish at the rim or hit a quick three off a James Harden pass. Gordon was a Pelican last season, so perhaps a little bit of extra motivation will propel Gordon to a big night.
Paul George ($8,900)
Man, it feels really good to watch Paul George play at a high level again. He torched Boston last time out for 37 points in 42 minutes. Yeah, 42 minutes. The Pacers need Paul George on the floor as much as possible as they try to find a rhythm before playoffs begin. To stimulate the offense, PG has been letting it fly lately, averaging 32.4% usage in his last ten games.
He is shooting about as often as Isaiah Thomas, assisting less, and rebounding significantly more. The problem with Paul George is that the Pacers have been playing at such a slow pace. However, tonight they face the Denver Nuggets, one of the league’s fastest teams. Additionally, the Nuggets are one of the league’s worst defenses.
George was taking Jae Crowder to school on Wednesday, and no Denver wing can defend like Crowder. Expect Paul to continue his hot streak as the Pacers get a rare quick-tempo game. I’m optimistic that a signature PG game could be in store.
Nikola Mirotic ($5,400)
So far, the theme of this post is three-point shooting. Mirotic likewise is a three-point shooter. The Bulls are a wildly inconsistent, terrible shooting team without much fluidity on the offensive end. Mirotic’s performance against Detroit was a refreshing departure from the bad brand of basketball we’ve seen from the Bulls throughout the year.
Mirotic shot 12/15 including 4/6 from three in 39 minutes to help bring down the Pistons. He also had a +22 rating. Although Lopez will be back from his suspension, the Bulls are still going to need Mirotic’s minutes as Chicago looks to beat the Sixers. Without Nikola, the Bulls’ three point shooting is almost nonexistent.
Shockingly, Jimmy Butler had an 11.1% usage rate last game. If Jimmy isn’t aggressively looking to score, the Bulls need somebody else to step up and hit shots. It was Mirotic last game and could be Mirotic again tonight against a lackluster 76ers defense.
Marcin Gortat ($4,300)
Marcin Gortat is a low risk cash game option in what should be a DFS-friendly matchup with the Brooklyn Nets. Jason Smith and Ian Mahinmi are taking on bigger roles in the Wizards rotation, and Gortat’s minutes have suffered as a result. Thus, the Wizards center’s price has steadily fallen over the past few weeks, but this is about as low as it should drop.
Gortat should play about 24 minutes tonight which is ample time to be valuable. Since All-Star Break, Marcin has a 20.3% rebounding rate and a 16.2% usage rate. At those rates and a pace like tonight’s, he does not need many minutes to hit value. I think tonight’s game should look similar to his game against Chicago four games ago. In that game, Marcin had a 17.1% usage rate and a 19% rebound rate in 21:45 minutes of game time. He shot 4/9 and scored 19.5 DraftKings points without a block or a steal.
Tonight, Gortat should rack up a couple blocks or steals given how many possessions there will be in this game and Brooklyn’s sloppy play. His ceiling is not high, but his floor is high (about 16 tonight in my projections). Getting to 5x will not be much of a challenge, so I am rolling with him in cash.