AC+ NBA 5/16


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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets

 5/16 Excel Optimizer/Datasheet

(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)


- Today's main slate features 10 games. CHI, BKN, MIL, MIA, LAL,  is on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is HOU v ATL at 232.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is MIA v DET at 214 points.


I’m going to start off this ‘Need To Know’ section with a quick overview of who’s playing in meaningful vs. meaningless games today. Here are the teams who are playing in meaningful games today (meaning they are fighting for playoff seeding): LAL and POR. Every single other team is playing for essentially nothing. So, in those games (meaningless games), try to find players who are fighting for contracts.

Harris Out: All the stars are playing for BKN in an attempt to build chemistry before the playoffs. I don’t see them playing that hard and I certainly don’t see them playing tons of minutes due to the fact that this game is meaningless for them, so I’ll be staying away from them tonight.

Prince, Nance, Love, Hartenstein, Stevens, Garland Out: Lots of guys out, but nothing new here. We know Sexton ($8,200 DK and $6,900 FD) will always come to play, even though this game means nothing for them.

Dunn, Goodwin Out, Capela, Gallinari, Bogdan, Huerter Questionable, Young, Snell Probable: The Hawks have already clinched their playoff position, so I wouldn’t be surprised if all these guys (even the Probable guys) sit tonight. If these guys do play, it’ll just be to stay fresh - don’t expect big numbers from the ATL stars.

Wall, Wood, Thomas, Porter, House, Bradley Out: Thomas has been added to the report, so that’s something new. But, basically half the guys playing for HOU tonight will be in the G-League or at the end of the bench next year, so I don’t feel confident playing any of them tonight. I’m always OK with Olynyk ($8,500 DK and FD), even though his price has risen a bit; he FILLS up the stat sheet

Embiid, Korkmaz, Milton Probable, Curry, Green, Harris, Simmons, Thybulle Questionable: I’ll be surprised if the Q guys play, and I WOULDN’T be surprised if the Probable guys sit; this game is completely meaningless for PHI, so there’s no need for them to risk injury. I would like Maxey ($3,900 DK and $5,600 FD) if some of these Q guys sit, because I think he always brings it and will try to earn some playoff minutes tonight. Kid just plays hard - like all Kentucky guys do.

Stewart, Smith, McGruder, Grant, Ellington, Sekou Out, Frank Jackson, Sirvydis Doubtful, Joseph Questionable: Lots of news here, but the Pistons are super balanced offensively so they’re tough to predict. However, I think Diallo ($4,700 DK and $7,200 FD) is AN ABSOLUTE MUST-PLAY on DK tonight with what his ceiling could be. Borderline laughable price on there.

Butler Out, Dragic Questionable: I would normally say to go to Bam (without Jimmy playing), but I’m definitely hesitant about him tonight because the Heat are playing in a meaningless game. I just think there’s too much value elsewhere to reach on Bam.

Lebron, AD Questionable, Caruso, Kuzma, Gasol Probable: I expect all these guys to play, because LAL is fighting to get out of that play-in game. I definitely don’t hate AD ($10,200 DK and $10,600 FD), who’s playing in a must-win game against his old team. He should go off tonight.

Zion, Ingram, Ball, Adams Out, Iwundu, Johnson Questionable: The Pelicans aren’t playing for anything tonight, so I don’t expect these Q guys to play, which opens up some value for NOP. I definitely like NAW ($6,800 DK and FD), who put up 30-4-5 in his last game and should come out firing again.

Theis, Vucevic, Satoransky, Theis Out: Well, the Bulls are giving up, which means there is some value to be found! My favorite beneficiary is definitely Coby White ($6,500 DK and $6,100 FD), who is lethal when given the right opportunity. With the ball in his hands tonight, I could envision a huge game from White. 

Middleton Out: I’m not sure exactly why Giannis and Jrue (or for that matter any starter) would play tonight (because the game is meaningless), but it appears Middleton will be the only star sitting. I definitely don’t hate Donte ($5,300 DK and $5,700 FD), who might take on more of an on-ball role today as Giannis and Jrue will likely play fewer minutes. 

Fox, Haliburton, Holmes, Justin James Out, Barnes, Bagley Doubtful, Whiteside Questionable: The Kings are clearly giving up (and for good reason, because they have no shot at the playoffs). My favorite player on this team is definitely King ($3,300 DK and $5,200 FD), who put up 27-3-9 in his last game and will continue playing hard because he’s playing for a contract!


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. 

Damian Lillard ($9,400 DK & $9,900 FD)

Lillard is basically the only start tonight that’s playing in a meaningful game, and we know what happens when Damian plays in important games. He might be the most clutch player in the NBA, and he’s shown that as he’s ABSOLUTELY balled out as of late (as these games have gotten more important for playoff seeding). I expect him to continue his stellar play tonight - he’ll be treating this one like a playoff game.

Thaddeus Young (5,600 DK and 5,000 FD)

The Bulls will be without Vucevic, Lavine, Theis, and Satoransky tonight, meaning there are tons of shots and usage available. Thad is my favorite player to get those touches and usage; he’s a jack of all trades with the ball in his hands and I could see him getting a near triple double tonight. He put up 19-4-13 last game, and that was with Vucevic playing. Quite frankly, Thad Young is just a really good (and underrated) basketball player, and he’s far too underpriced tonight in a game where there will be lots of minutes to go around.

Louis King ($3,300 DK & $5,200 FD)

Louis King (who you’ve probably never heard of) went for 27-3-9 last game for the Kings. I know they’re playing in a meaningless game tonight, but this game is the farthest thing from meaningless for King. He’s playing for a roster spot, a contract, and to keep himself out of the G-League and in the NBA. He’ll be playing his heart out tonight, and he’s CRIMINALLY underpriced on DK, where he should be a lock in every one of your lineups.


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.

CJ Mccollum ($7,600 DK & $7,900 FD)

Cj is playing in an extremely important game tonight as the Blazers try to secure their spot in the playoffs (and not the play-in). I love Dame, but I also really like Cj, who should come to play as well. He’s scored 25+ points in his last 4 games, and I expect him to have a big game tonight as well. Him and Dame have been in these moments before, and we’ve seen what they can do. I expect Cj, who’s underpriced on both sites, to treat this like a playoff game, which it essentially is.

Jae’Sean Tate ($6,200 DK & $5,300 FD)

Tate is relatively cheap and should see TONS of minutes tonight without all the players playing for HOU. Just like Thad Young, I think he’s a super good player who could on any given night FILL UP the stat sheet. I know he’s playing in a meaningless game, but he plays extremely hard every night and is a Rookie, so he’s definitely not at the point in his career when he can take games off. He’s still fighting for his life in the NBA whether you believe it or not - there have been Rookies who have played better than him who have been out of the league in 3 years.

Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!