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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/10)
- Today's main slate features 6 games. CLE and NOP are on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is HOU v POR at 238.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is UTA v GSW at 225.5 points.
NEED TO KNOW
I'm going to start off this 'Need to Know' section with what I think is extremely important info to consider for tonight's slate. We are approaching the NBA playoffs, and because of the new playoff format, games are becoming especially critical for NBA teams. I think this opens up some amazing opportunities to win serious $$ both on Monkey Knife Fight (which I'll get to in a second) and in DFS. When building your DFS lineups tonight, take into account which teams (and players) desperately need to win, and which teams are playing in games that have less on the line. I'll touch on this in my writing tonight, but I'm going to be targeting a number of guys playing in games with significant playoff implications.
Brogdon, Lamb Questionable, Sampson, Turner Out: When Brogdon sits, Levert ($9,000 DK and $8,800 FD) becomes the primary ball-handler and playmaker for IND, so I definitely would like him tonight (assuming Brogdon sits again). If Brogdon somehow plays, there won’t be too much value to be found against a slow-paced, solid defensive CLE team.
Hunter, Snell Questionable: Both of these guys aren’t really DFS relevant at the moment, so their absence wouldn’t have too much of an impact. A starting spot would be opened if Snell sits, so whoever gets that spot will perhaps get a slight value boost.
Beal Out: Beal’s out, so that means Russ ($11,000 DK and $12,400 FD) is essentially a must-play, even at his ridiculous price tag on both sites. WAS is in the playoff hunt, so Russ will have to be classic Russ tonight without Beal, which we know he’ll have no problem doing. I could see a 30-15-15 night… or something even crazier.
Ingram, Zion Out, Adams Doubtful: Without these guys in the lineup, there are a lot of shots, minutes, and usage to be had amongst the rest of the Pels roster. I really like James Johnson ($4,600 DK and $4,400 FD), who put up 17 and 8 last night and should be one of the go-to guys again, which makes it too hard to pass up on him in the mid 4k range.
Bradley, Wilson, Porter, Wall Out, Olynyk, Wood Questionable: If either Wood or Olynyk plays, I would definitely get him into your lineup, because either of them would be the main offensive threat for HOU tonight. If neither of them play, there is a lot of value to be found; my favorite would be Kenyon Martin Jr ($6,200 DK and $7,100 FD), who put up 27-2-10 last time out!
CLE not yet submitted: CLE played last night, so I could see a myriad of guys missing tonight - keep an eye out for the injury report.
5/10 CORE PLAYS
This section aims to identify players we think are especially good plays in either CASH or GPP lineups
In CASH lineups, we’re looking for players who have a high floor (players who have a low chance at flopping). We’re also not very concerned about ownership in cash lineups. In fact, if a guy has super high ownership, it makes sense to have him in your lineup so that other users don’t gain a massive advantage over you if he plays well. Conversely, if the player plays poorly, it doesn’t hurt you too much because so many users have him in their lineups.
Russell Westbrook ($11,000 DK & $12,400 FD)
This is as close as you’ll ever get to a ‘free square’ in NBA DFS. Westbrook’s DraftKings price actually decreased after his 87.75 DK point performance last game, AND Bradley Beal is out tonight. A Wizards win also has the potential to move them up to the 8 seed, meaning they would have to lose 2 games in the play-in instead of one. We have Westbrook projected at 66% ownership in GPP contests tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 95%+ cash game ownership, like I said, he’s a free square.
Kelly Olynyk ($8,100 DK & FD) or Kenyon Martin Jr. ($6,200 & $7,100)
Knowing that Westbrook will be in everyone’s lineups makes the rest of my cash core interesting. Your other high tier selection is pivotal, and I think tonight you need to look at either Olynyk or Martin Jr. If Olynyk plays, he has simply been too good to overlook. He would be the primary offensive option for the Rockets with no Wood, Wall or Porter, and is a high floor guy in those situations. If he sits, Kenyon Martin Jr. has been fantastic lately, going for 50, 47.75, and 50 DK points in his last three games. 6.2K is too cheap a price tag for him, especially in Olynyk were to sit this one out. Keep an eye on the news here and lock one if not both of these guys into your cash lineups.
Jaxson Hayes* ($4,500 DK & $5,600 FD)
Exactly the same deal as last night here, If Adams sits tonight, Jaxson is a must play at 4.5K. He’s now had back to back games over 41 DK points, and would be in a similar role again tonight with Adams out. He's just way too cheap given how much upside he possesses and would open up some options for the rest of your lineup.
Contrary to CASH, we are looking for “diamond in the rough” plays in a GPP lineup. We want guys who have low ownership, and/or guys who have a high upside (a chance to pop off). Since you only make money if you place in the top ~20%, you need to have some guys in your lineup that return high value but that are not highly owned.
Collin Sexton ($8,300 DK & $7,500 FD)
We have Collin projected at 10% ownership right now, obviously that goes up a bit if Garland sits, but I think it ends up pretty low with most people having Westbrook in their GPP lines tonight. What really excites me about Sexton (or Garland if he plays tonight) is this matchup against IND. Sexton thrives in fast paced environments, and IND has been playing at a top 5 pace in the NBA over the past 5 games. Not only that, the Pacers have given up over 125 points in 5 of their last 7 games. Simply put, playing against the Pacers is a fantasy goldmine right now, and with Sexton locked in to play ~35 minutes in a high usage role, I think he makes for an extremely strong GPP look tonight.
Lonzo Ball ($8,000 DK and $7,900 FD)
One of my favorite (and in my opinion the smartest) things to do in NBA DFS is chase a terrible game from a player in a great spot. Lonzo was highly owned last night, and absolutely flopped. He is in essentially the exact same position tonight, but his ownership should be 20% lower. What made him a strong play last night still makes him a strong play tonight, but him shooting 4-14 and only playing 30 minutes in a poor performance will steer people away. Getting Lonzo at 8% (what we currently project him at) would feel like a steal in another game that should be highly competitive with playoff implications for both teams. The Pelicans are still only 1.5 games out of the playoffs and Lonzo is their main offensive threat.
MKF PLAYS OF THE DAY
As I mentioned earlier, I think the playoff implications of some of tonight's games make MKF really interesting. Stars come to play in big games, and I'll be walking you through a few of my favorite NBA Prop plays across some of the many daily MKF contests. If you haven’t seen the types of contests MKF offers, you should really check it out - super fun and easy contests that don’t require much time or research! I have absolutely loved playing MKF so far, and I can’t wait to hopefully share some value with you guys!
Disclaimer: The lines that we are using are the lines at the time of this writing, so those are subject to change (the lines are updated in real time on the MKF website); this is one of the many differences between DK/FD and MKF.
Russell Westbrook MORE than 27.5 Points
I like this line a lot, and you should too. Without Beal, and in a game where the Wizards will try to improve their playoff seeding, I think Westbrook absolutely goes off in every capacity tonight. Points, Rebounds, Assists, and overall energy will be on display from Russ tonight, and I think we might get one of his crazier stat lines of the year. I’m picking his over for points specifically, though, because I think Russ will be a little bit more aggressive going to the hoop FOR HIMSELF tonight, because he knows he won’t have the elite scoring of Beal to bail him out in certain moments.
Jonas Valanciunes MORE than 12.5 Rebounds
I’m generally very high on JoVal (in both DFS and MKF), because I think he’s extremely underrated and isn’t even really thought of as an offensive threat (even though he clearly is one). I like his rebounds line tonight, because he’ll be going up against a NOP front court without 2 of their best rebounders and most intimidating forces in the paint (Adams and Zion). JoVal should look to exploit their lack of size and should have his way in the paint with the weaker Hernangomez and Hayes, two guys who he should quite frankly bully.
Thanks for reading our MKF Plays of the day! And remember, if you sign-up here and use the promo code AC, your first deposit will be 100% matched (up to $50). That means if you deposited an initial $25 and used our link/code, you'd be credited with an additional FREE $25 to use on the site!
Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!