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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/15)
- Today's main slate features 5 games. Nobody is on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is CHI v BKN at 234.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is CHA v NYK at 212 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.
Bridges, Cody Martin Out: Not much injury news here, but CHA is in a must-win game tonight if they want to secure that 8 seed, so I expect them to play all their players regular minutes. I have a feeling Lamelo ($8,400 DK and $7,500 FD) plays well tonight; he’s made for the moment and will have an opportunity to showcase that tonight in a highly-watched game.
Rose Questionable: Just like the Hornets, there is nothing new here in terms of injury news, but it’s important to note the playoff implications of this game. The Knicks are fighting for that 5 spot, which would likely pit them against the Hawks (a team they would definitely rather play as opposed to the Bucks, who they would play if they got the 6 seed). So, I expect all of the normal guys to play big minutes, and I would definitely like Rose ($6,300 DK and $6,700 FD) if he plays; he’s one of the only guys on this team with playoff experience, and I could see him coming out ultra-aggressive tonight after a game of rest.
Turner, Sumner, Brogdon Out, Aaron Holiday, Sabonis, Levert Questionable: I expect these questionable guys to play, because IND needs to win if they want to jump up to the 8 seed. If somehow one or both of Sabonis/Levert sits, I would go to Tj McConnell or McDermott. If one of them plays and one sits, I would play the one that plays.
Schroder, McKinnie, Lebron, AD, Caruso Questionable, Gasol, Kuzma Probable: It doesn’t appear that the Lakers have any intention on trying to get the 7 seed (I have no idea why), so I wouldn’t be surprised if they rest both Bron and AD again. So, if all the Q guys sit, I would consider playing Kuzma ($5,800 DK and FD), who just seems too cheap given what his ceiling would be if Bron, AD, and Schroder sit.
Jaylen, Smart, Tristan, Rob Williams, Kemba Out, Fournier, Tatum Probable: I wouldn’t be surprised if Tatum and Fournier somehow get ruled out, because this game is completely meaningless for the Celtics. Either way, with both Thompson and Williams out, there are some major front court minutes opened up. I like both Kornet ($3,000 DK and $3,500 FD) and Tacko ($3,000 DK and $3,500 FD), who should see the majority of those minutes and are both the price minimum on DK and FD. I probably like Fall a little bit more (even though I bet he’ll get fewer minutes), because his productivity will likely be far greater in those minutes.
Ayton Questionable: If Ayton sits again, I would definitely go to Saric ($3,100 DK and $4,300 FD), who got the start last game and put up 12-1-5 in 31 minutes.
Derozan, Poeltl, Lyles, Semantic, White Out, Murray, Gay Questionable: The Spurs have locked up that 10 seed, so this game is meaningless for them. Assuming Murray and Gay sit, I would definitely like Keldon Johnson ($4,300 DK and $4,800 FD), who should step into that primary playmaker role and see far more opportunity than normal.
5/15 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.
Payton Pritchard ($3,800 DK & $3,900 FD)
The Celtics are missing Kemba, Jaylen & Smart tonight, which means Pritchard should see some serious minutes. In 26 minutes last game, he went for 15-7-3. The Celtics get a solid matchup tonight against the Timberwolves tonight, but honestly, this game is completely meaningless for them. I’m staying away from Celtics starters like Tatum/Fournier and looking towards guys like Pritchard and Kornet to step into bigger roles.
Dario Saric* (3,100 DK and 4,300 FD)
Ayton is questionable, but I’d imagine he sits again with the Suns locked into the 2 seed. With Ayton out last game, Saric got the start and played 31 minutes, putting up a 12-5-1 line on route to 21.25 DK points. He’s 3.1K on DraftKings tonight, which is just way too cheap for a guy who should play in the range of 30 minutes (assuming Ayton sits).
Caris Levert ($8,900 DK & $9,000 FD)
The Lakers Pacers game is the most meaningful on the night, so I’m absolutely looking to target the stars here. The issue is I can’t justify going to Bron or AD with Bron coming back but likely on a minutes limit, and I can’t see myself going to Sabonis in a matchup where he’ll probably see a ton of Anthony Davis. That leaves me with Levert, who I think is an excellent play here at 8.9K. This game should be highly competitive, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sabonis taken out of the game more than usual. All these guys are questionable, so keep an eye on the news, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t play.
Note: If Lebron does sit, I LOVE Anthony Davis as a cash play.
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.
Derrick Rose ($6,300 DK & $6,700 FD)
If Rose plays, he’s probably my favorite GPP look on the slate. The Knicks are currently tied for the 5 seed in the East, which is hugely different from the 6 seed in that it means you’ll likely play the Hawks in round 1 as opposed to the Bucks. Rose is playoff tested, and has been phenomenal in his past 2 games, going for 45 then 50 DK points. I like most of the Knicks starters tonight, but I’m especially high on Rose because if he does play, his ownership should be incredibly low due to that questionable tag.
Alec Burks* ($3,900 DK & $5,000 FD)
This is an incredibly strong play if Rose sits (Burk went for 30-10-2 in his absence last game). All the same reasons from above would apply to Burks if for whatever reason Rose wasn’t able to make it back for the Knicks game today.
Thad Young ($5,600 Dk & $5,000 FD)
Young has constantly been an under the radar play this year, and I think he fits the mold for a strong GPP play again tonight. He went for 31.25 DK points last game and was on a triple-double watch. He takes a solid number of shots (28 over in his last 3 games), and is heavily involved on the boards and assist wise. The ownership on this play should be less than 5%, which makes him a very strong play if he goes for 30+ 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.
Kyrie Irving LESS than 27.5 Points
This game is meaningless for the Nets, so I’m quite frankly surprised that these guys are even playing. Either way, I don’t expect any of the stars (KD, Harden, Kyrie) to play too many minutes, and I think they’ll use this game as more of a chemistry building game than anything. The 3 stars have barely played any games together, and with the playoffs looming, they’ll need to get on the same page soon or else they’ll have trouble in a potential first round matchup against the Celtics. Furthermore, I don’t think Kyrie scoring 28+ will be a byproduct of this trio figuring it out tonight - it’ll probably be very balanced scoring with a lot of ball and player movement.
Lamelo Ball MORE than 37.5 Fantasy Points
I know the Hornets have a tough matchup against the Knicks tonight, but Lamelo actually gets positive value from his player profile, meaning the Knicks aren’t particularly good at guarding players like himself. I like fantasy points over tonight because in a must-win game (CHA needs to win if they want to secure the 8 seed) that will be highly watched, I expect Lamelo to come to play. He’s made for the big moment, and this game will be one of those moments; It’s one of the most meaningful games in his young NBA career, and I expect him to fill up the stat sheet tonight.
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!