January 4, 2019, 3:33 pm
For the second week in a row our “Beat the Expert” DraftKings contest is running on the same night I produce my value plays. So enjoy, feast on knowing who I am playing tonight. This week is a little extra special with our “Beat the Expert” Pro guest Vince Miracle! The contest lobby is filling fast so hurry up and get a lineup in, two or three if you’re feeling froggy.
You can join that contest by clicking right here! The top 10 will take home $30 apiece, with second place getting some goodies from Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee and the first-place finisher getting a Hoop Ball t-shirt! Don’t forget, you can enter multiple lineups as well.
We do not have a lot of high-priced players to choose from other than Giannis and Russell Westbrook. I will never talk you out of these guys and they always have the potential to break a slate, but as of now I am going with a more balanced approach. Game totals and pace of play will impact which games we will target heavily and there are a few injuries we are going to have to monitor throughout the day as well. A lot of these plays are eligible at multiple positions, making lineup construction easier.
Lonzo Ball/Josh Hart vs. Knicks $7,700/$6,100 – A lot of tonight’s slate is going to be determined by whether or not Kyle Kuzma suits up. The Lakers are already without LeBron and Kuzma is another player who absorbs a ton of minutes and usage. The matchup is solid and we could end up seeing the guards, who generally rely on their counting stats for value, take a few extra shots. This is a game I will surely have exposure to tonight.
D.J. Augustin vs. Timberwolves $4,300 – I mentioned not loving a lot of the point guard options on the slate, and Augustin could offer us a bailout at the position and save us some money as well. He has been playing very well as of late and has scored over 40 DK points in two of the last four games. He scored over 20 DK points in the other two games and both of those were blowouts in which he only played 25 minutes.
Brandon Ingram vs. Knicks $6,800- Ingram has seen his usage rise since the injury to LeBron, but now there is also the potential that Kyle Kuzma is forced to sit out a game after leaving their last matchup with a back injury. He is currently being listed questionable and while the injury is not being considered severe, he did get an MRI so they may be cautious. Although the sample size is small, Ingram is boasting a 31.1 usage rate with LeBron, Kuzma and Rondo out. That is a 7.7 percent increase from his season average.
Tomas Satoranksky vs. Heat $5,800- Sato has finally been bumped up to where he needs to be, but I think there is a little juice left in the orange. I am not a huge fan of spending up at point guard and Sato feels like a safe cash play, but will draw ownership in tournaments in a slower matchup. A couple of pivot plays that could be used to avoid both Satoransky and Jones could be Emmanuel Mudiay at $6,000 and Tim Hardaway Jr. at $6,200. The matchup is solid and I am expecting both to draw lower ownership than Satoransky and Tyus Jones at similar prices. Mudiay possesses more risk than Hardaway given the return of Trey Burke and Allonzo Trier, but that gives him all of the makings of a risky tournament play. I’d likely limit him to if I were playing multiple lineups.
Danillo Gallinari/Tobias Harris vs. Suns $7,000/$7,100 – This is going to be a fantastic fantasy matchup. As of now it is coming in with a 233 game total and expected to stay close with the Clippers being favored by four. Both of these guys are very much in play and to be honest, they are a toss-up. I never play them both in the same lineup because they eat into each other’s scoring and rebounding upside. I am very high on Montrezl Harrell in this matchup and he’s right in the same price range. I could see playing two of the three in some lineups.
Gordon Hayward vs. Mavericks $5,400 – The nuts game for Hayward was last game, but Kyrie Irving has already been ruled out again and now we are waiting on news to find out if Marcus Morris (neck) is going to suit up. Hayward is still working back to his normal self, but the upside is still there in this situation and while he will draw ownership I suspect some people will pay down for Marcus Smart or spend up a little to Terry Rozier. While both of those guys are in play, I am a little tuned off by Rozier’s price and the recent shoulder injury to Smart has me going elsewhere.
Kyle Anderson vs. Nets $5,200 – Mr. Anderson flies under the radar on most nights and while he isn’t in the $4,400 range anymore the matchup still leaves room for upside. In these two teams’ first meeting Anderson put up 25 DK points in only 25 minutes. Well, over his last four games he is averaging 35.5 minutes per game and that could transition nicely into some value.
Domantas Sabonis vs. Bulls $7,000- Myles Turner (nose) is currently being listed as questionable. He underwent surgery and while it was relatively minor there is still a good chance he sits this one out. If that is the case I am loading up on Sabonis. He is a point per minute producer and has crushed in worse spots playing 25 minutes. The possibility of him playing 30+ minutes in the starting lineups leaves some meat on the bone at his price.
Noah Vonleh vs. Lakers $6,500 – The Lakers may be without Kyle Kuzma and that would leave their frontcourt extremely thin. Enter Vonleh, who has steadily seen 30+ minutes playing power forward in games that haven’t blown out. Luke Kornet has been the shiny new toy recently and has seen a price increase to $5,400. While I do think he is still in play I feel more comfortable paying $1,000 more for Vonleh in a spot I believe he has 40 DK point upside. I also expect his ownership to be slightly lower.
Thomas Bryant vs. Heat $6,000 – Riding Thomas the train has led us to the promised land as of late and with Markieff Morris being ruled out for quite some time it looks like Wizards’ head coach Scott Brooks is willing to give Bryant extended run. I do not love the matchup whatsoever, but they will need some size going against the Heat frontcourt and if he manages to stay out of foul trouble he should be in for some rebounds. I am not loading up on ton of these Wizards players like we’ve been able to in the past week, but I will have some exposure to a few as one-offs.
Karl-Anthony Towns vs. Magic $9,900 – Towns being under $10,000 is criminal with all of the injuries in Minnesota. He is boasting a usage rate of 33.8 percent and is averaging 1.67 DK points per minute. I am expecting this game to stay close and while Nik Vucevic has shown us he is an absolute beast, it generally isn’t on the defensive end. *UPDATE: Teague is going to starting and Rose has been upgraded to questionable. I believe Towns is still in play, but his usage will drop slightly with these healthy bodies returning.
Rudy Gobert vs. Cavs $7,900 – Tristan Thompson has returned to the Cavs frontcourt, but I doubt he sees a full workload and even if he does is still no match for Big Rudy. The Stifle Tower should have his way in this game and I am expecting a lot of it to be done in the blocks department. If the Cavs could hang tight this could be a big one for Gobert.
As always you could find me on Twitter @mikeapotria with any of your questions or comments. I am always happy to lend a hand whether it’s regarding DFS or season long. Don’t forget to reserve or enter your spot in our weekly “Beat the Expert” contest. The community is growing week by week and it’s a great one to be a part of.