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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/12)
- Today's main slate features 6 games. BOS, BKN, DAL, LAL are on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is WAS v ATL at 238.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is BOS v CLE at 219 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.
Beal Out: Beal is out for the 2nd straight game, which means Russ ($12,400 DK and $12,600 FD) is still a great play (even as his price continues to rise). He’s involved in virtually every possession and is a walking triple double with a chance to go for 30-20-15 every night. It’s quite frankly bizarre how consistent this man is.
Brown, Smart, Walker, Williams Out: Tatum ($9,400 DK and $9,500 FD) will have to step up big-time for the Celtics tonight, as they’ll be without many other offensive weapons. Although he’s struggled the past couple games, I could see him having a massive night tonight. I could also see Fournier ($5,500 DK and $7,200 FD) returning value, especially on DK, as he’ll probably be the secondary offensive option tonight.
Delly, Garland, Hartenstein, Nance, Prince, Stevens, Windler Out, Osman Questionable: I’m staying far away from CLE tonight, even though they have lots of injuries. These guys have been out for a few games already, so the prices have adequately adjusted.
Harden Probable, Kyrie Questionable, Harris Out: If Kyrie sits, and assuming Harden will be on some minutes restriction, I would love KD ($9,800 DK and $10,700 FD), who would be the clear go-to guy. If Kyrie plays, there’s not any great value here, as Harden coming back would only take away some shots/usage from Harden/KD.
Kristaps Questionable: Nothing here. He’s missed the previous few games, so him coming back would only take away some front-court value.
Lonzo, Adams, Zion, Ingram Out: Without all these guys tonight (including Lonzo, who played the last game), there is some solid value to be found on NOP. I definitely like James Johnson ($5,000 DK and $4,700 FD), who should be one of the go-to guys offensively and is a professional scorer. I also don’t hate NAW ($6,200 DK and $6,500 FD), who could definitely find himself starting tonight.
Wood, House, Jeffries Questionable, Bradley, Wall, Porter, Wilson Out: Not much new here, but if Wood sits, I’m definitely going to Olynyk ($7,800 DK and $8,300 FD), who would become the CLEAR number one option offensively.
Lebron, AD, Caruso Questionable, Kuzma, THT, Gasol, KCP Probable: I’m staying away from AD simply because he doesn’t look healthy. I don’t hate Lebron ($10,200 DK and $8,900 FD), but I am a little scared of him just because I’m not sure what kind of minutes restriction he’ll be on. Keep an eye on these updates tonight.
5/12 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 ($12,400 DK & $12,600 FD)
12.4K is a very fair price for Westbrook, and it actually makes me think about whether or not I would go to him in GPP lineups tonight, but in cash games he is still the obvious play simply because of his projected ownership. We have him at exactly 50% in GPP’s, meaning he’ll be much higher in cash, and at that ownership he simply becomes a must play, especially with the 80+ point ceiling he has.
Aaron Nesmith (3,200 DK and 4,200 FD)
The Celtics will be without Kemba, Brown, Smart, and Robert Williams tonight, meaning there will be lots of extra minutes to go around for the periphery guys. The Celtics have essentially locked in their playoff position at that 7 spot, so none of these remaining games are too important to them. Don’t tell that to Nesmith, though, who’s just coming out of his shell and plays his butt off every night. He should get some good opportunity tonight (maybe even his first career NBA start), and he could smash his spot just by virtue of how hard he plays. Nesmith is fighting for minutes (playoff minutes as well as minutes next season), so he’ll be treating this game like a tryout - as he should.
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.
Jarrett Allen ($6,900 DK & $6,500 FD)
Trust me, I hate Jarrett Allen as much as the next DFS player at this point, but I was also really high on Bam last night because of the Celtics big situation, and after watching that game I am going to heavily target any big playing the C’s in these next few games. Tristan Thompson simply can’t compete with high level bigs in this league, and although I’m not a huge fan of Allen’s offensive game, he is undeniably a high level rebounder and shot blocker. The best part about this play is the ownership, which we have projected at 1%. He’s seriously been that bad that our model thinks 99% of the field overlooks him tonight. The minutes are still there (32 last game) and I think the ceiling is as well, which makes him worth taking a stab at in GPP contests.
Rudy Gobert ($8,400 DK and $7,600 FD)
I’m a huge fan of targeting the Jazz in this matchup tonight. A win basically locks up the #1 seed in the west and it’s probably the last competitive game the Jazz play before the playoffs with the Thunder and the Kings coming up. I definitely like Clarkson tonight, who took a ridiculous 33 shots last game against the Warriors, but I’m an even bigger fan of Gobert. He’s way too cheap on both sites and the Portland frontcourt is really bad on the glass. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gobert in the 20-20 range tonight.
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 14.5 Assists
Obviously the Wizards will be without Beal tonight, meaning Westbrook will once again be the focal point of virtually every offensive possession tonight. But, why do I like his assists over as opposed to his points or rebounds over? Well, Capela is one of the most feared shot blockers/rim protectors in the NBA, and as athletic as Westbrook is, I think that has an impact on him. Westbrook will get into the paint with ease (as he always does), but I anticipate him kicking out to shooters tonight as a result of Capela’s rim presence. I could see this being a 20+ assist night for Westbrook, which has somehow become normal for him.
Jayson Tatum LESS than 31.5 Points
MKF is clearly anticipating the missing shots and usage of Rob Williams, Smart, Jaylen, and Kemba tonight. However, I think the site is overlooking the meaninglessness of this game; the Celtics have already secured their spot in the play in tournament (#7 seed), so each of their remaining games is fairly meaningless. I think Tatum has a big night, but I think he might play slightly fewer minutes than normal and will likely defer to some of the younger guys who will see more opportunity tonight (Pritchard, Nesmith, etc).
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!