• Tonight’s three game slate is not full of value. I am targeting Rockets-Thunder very heavily and I will probably play a few Celtics to try and capitalize on the soft Celtics pricing. The biggest decision tonight is whether or not to play Russ. The decision is not difficult for me because I think Russ will explode tonight, and I like a few cheap options. If you choose to fade Westbrook, do so with caution. Let’s look at tonight’s plays.

     

    Point Guard

    Russell Westbrook ($13,900)

    The price tag is steep, but fading Russ tonight is a dangerous proposition. In the first two games of the series, Westbrook has had usage rates of 47.2% and 54.8%. He scored 96.5 DraftKings points last game on 17/43 shooting. Imagine what his total could have been if he’d shot well. The Thunder face a must-win situation tonight, and Westbrook should play close to 40 minutes.  He should be a lock for a triple-double with at least 30 real points.

    Considering the pace of this game, Russ could reasonably replicate last game and go for close to 100 DraftKings points. The price tag is intimidating, but Russell is the best point guard option on the slate.

     

    Shooting Guard

    Victor Oladipo ($5,300)

    Game 2 indicated that Billy Donovan is going to run smaller against the Rockets which is great for Oladipo. His minutes are not affected much by this decision, but Kanter’s minutes are. Since Kanter is such a high usage player, a decrease in his minutes will benefit Oladipo. In the first two games, Oladipo has scored 19.75 DK points and 28.25 DK points. He shot 1/12 in Game 1 and 4/14 in Game 2. He is also a combined 1/13 from behind the arc in those games.

    Oladipo is a good shooter. He will revert toward his average tonight, and he isn’t performing terribly with poor shooting. The minutes are locked in, and his production is needed badly. I think Oladipo is one of the best plays on the slate at any position. Roster him in every format.

     

    Small Forward

    Jerami Grant ($3,400)

    I know, I know. Three Thunder players to start off the article. Play all three though. The Thunder are currently favored in a game slated to be high scoring (224 projected points). As mentioned above, Donovan is committed to running a smaller lineup that can defend the Houston pick and roll more effectively than Kanter and Adams can (mainly Kanter). Grant has looked decent through two games and has played 26 and 27 minutes in each game.

    Even the most unproductive players in the NBA could be valuable with that minute total in such a fast game. Grant is too cheap to pass up, especially if we are trying to fit Westbrook in. Nothing has been flashy about either of Grant’s first two games, but he has hit 5x in each. More of the same is in store for tonight.

     

    Power Forward

    Blake Griffin ($7,900)

    The Clippers looked aggressive last game, and they’re looking like a team that’s positioned to advance. For the Clippers to win tonight, Griffin is going to need to rebound more effectively than he has so far this series. Blake has scored 35.75 DK points and 39.25 DK points in each of the first two games. In each game, his scoring has been solid (24 and 26 respectively) but his rebounding has lacked (5 and 7 respectively).

    Blake’s rebounding rate is down for the series which is not shocking given Utah’s strong frontcourt. But with Gobert out, I am surprised Blake hasn’t rebounded more effectively. I expect that to change tonight and for Blake to continue scoring. Chris Paul is putting teammates in positions to score, and Blake will continue to have open looks. I do not love Griffin for tournaments, but he is a solid cash game option.

     

    Center

    Al Horford ($6,700)

    Center is tough tonight, and it’s not often that this happens. I believe Al Horford could have a monster tonight. Boston is down 2-0 in large part because they cannot rebound. Al Horford is not a great rebounder, but who are the alternatives? Of the first two games in the series, one game was close and one was a blowout. In the blowout, Horford played 32 minutes. In the closely contested game, he played 40.

    He is going to get minutes, but the question is whether or not he is going to get rebounds. Al has scored 31.75 DK points and 39.25 DK points so far this series. He is essentially scoring a DraftKings point per minute. Tonight will be a full workload for Horford, so 35+ DraftKings points should be expected. If he rebounds aggressively and gets a couple threes to drop, the monster game is in play.

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