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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/3)
- Today's main slate features 8 games. LAL, NYK, PHI, POR, SAS are on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is IND v WAS at 246 points. The game with the lowest over/under is ORL v DET at 211 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.
Turner, Sampson Out, Bitadze, Brogdon, Lamb Questionable: If Brogdon sits, I would definitely play Caris Levert ($8,600 DK and $8,400 FD), who becomes the primary ball handler and decision maker for IND. I also don’t dislike Sabonis ($9,800 DK and $9,500 FD), who played fantastic in his first game back (26-19-14) and should come out firing again tonight in a must-win game.
Smith jr., Okafor, Grant, Joseph, Plumlee, McGruder, Ellington Out, Diallo Questionable: With Plumlee out again, I continue to like Stewart ($6,300 DK and FD), who gets the bulk of the big-man minutes when Plumlee sits and has played well in his increased opportunity. There’s some other value to be found on DET tonight, but most of the prices have risen a bit as a result of the Pistons core sitting these last couple games.
Ross, Porter, Okeke, MCW, Ennis, Cannady Out, Harris Probable: Even though there is lots of injury news here, I’m still hesitant about most of the ORL players, just because I think they could have 7 different leading scorers tonight. My favorite player is Wagner ($4,600 DK and $4,900 FD), who played very well last game and should continue to see solid minutes.
Lee, Oubre, Paschall, Wiseman Out, Wiggins Questionable: If Wiggins sits, I think whoever starts in his place would get a decent value boost, but not enough to make him an excellent play. Wiggins sitting will most likely just open up more shots for Steph ($10,800 DK and $9,700 FD) and Draymond ($7,000 DK and $7,400 FD)
Norman Powell Questionable: I bet Powell plays just because every game moving forward is a must-win for the Blazers, but if he somehow doesn’t, I think Dame and CJ get a slight boost, as well as whoever starts in Powell’s place.
Mitchell Robinson Out, Noel Questionable: If Noel sits, I think you have to look hard at Taj Gibson ($3,100 DK and $3,900 FD), who would likely get the start and see 25-30 minutes as a result of the depleted NYK front court.
Lavine Doubtful, Vucevic Questionable: Without Vucevic last time out, Young ($6,100 DK and $5,900 FD) got the start and put up 20-9-7. If Vuc sits again, I’m going right back to Young. If Vuc plays, I don’t see too much value on this CHI Bulls team tonight.
Conley, Mitchell Out: This has been the case for the past couple games, so the prices have adjusted adequately by this point. I don’t see much value on UTA tonight.
Schroder, Lebron Out: Surprising that Lebron will sit tonight (given it’s a must-win), but it makes me love AD ($9,700 DK and $9,600 FD), who should take tons of shots and should carry the Lakers.
SAS not yet submitted: Basically no one played yesterday for the Spurs, so I’m not sure what their injury report will look like tonight. Those guys could have been taking the 1st leg off and will play the 2nd leg of the back-to-back, or they could be resting those guys for the entire B2B. We will have to wait and see.
5/3 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 and 11,200 FD)
Don’t try and get cute tonight with Westbrook, especially in cash. He gets as good a matchup as you could ask for right now against a Pacers team that has been playing at an electrifying pace these past few weeks. The Wizards backs are against the wall, and Westbrook just went for 42-10-9 last time out. Get him in your cash lineups tonight.
Steph Curry (10,800 DK and 9,700 FD)
I went with the Luka & Steph call a few nights ago for my cash core, and I'm doing something similar again tonight by locking Curry in as my second play. The Warriors are battling for playoff positioning, and Curry should come out aggressive tonight. With both him and Russ projected to be highly owned, I think you can feel good about having them both in your cash lineup.
Sekou Doumbouya ($3,400 DK & $3,700 FD)
Since I just gave you two of the most expensive players on the slate, I feel obligated for my final cash lock to be a strong value play. At just 3.4K, I think Doumbouya is that guy tonight with both Plumlee and Grant still out for Detroit. Sekou has started both of the last 2 for the Pistons and played over 26 minutes in each of them. Even better, he took 10 shots in both games and scored 25 total points. With those kind of minutes and so many shot attempts, 3.4K feels like a great price on a slate where there are so many good high priced options.
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.
Dejounte Murray (7,400 DK and 8,800 FD)
The price difference is so huge here that I'm mostly looking at Murray on DK, but I LOVE him tonight at just 7.4K. San Antonio has lost three straight, and is suddenly only 2.5 games ahead of the Pelicans for the 10 seed in the West. The Spurs rested their stars last night (in anticipation of losing anyways?) to be fully ready to go for tonight’s game. Murray matches up well with the Jazz, who just got burned by Fred Vanvleet, and has been simply exceptional in his past three games (averaging 23 points and 12 assists in that span). I think he goes under owned tonight, and getting him at anything under 20% on DraftKings would feel like a steal to me. Lock him into a few GPP lineups for the 50+ point upside he has.
Zion Williamson (10,000 DK and 9,000 FD)
This is a big game tonight for the Pelicans, who probably can’t afford to lose again this year if they want to make the playoffs. Everything we’ve seen from Zion so far leads me to believe he’ll come to play when it matters, and I think the matchup against Golden State is as good as you could ask for. Simply put, Golden State struggles to defend at the rim, and that’s where Zion does most of his damage. I like him to go for 50+ DK points tonight in a high scoring competitive game.
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.
Caris Levert MORE than 22.5 Points
Brogdon is questionable today, but he didn’t play the last game which makes me think he might sit again. Every game moving forward is a must-win for IND, so Brogdon sitting last game is quite telling, and it makes me think that even if he plays today, he might not be 100% and will therefore defer to Levert as the primary ball handler. Furthermore, Levert gets to go up against the Wizards, who play at the fastest pace in the NBA and give up the 2nd most points to opposing teams. The Wizards are also terrible at keeping players out of the paint in both the half court and in transition, something Levert excels in.
Russell Westbrook MORE than 12.5 Rebounds
The Wizards are coming off a disappointing loss to the Mavs, but I think they respond with vengeance tonight against the struggling Pacers, and I think Westbrook leads that charge. Russ is the heart and soul of this WAS team, and I expect him to come out with tons of energy and aggression, most notably on the glass. The other reason I like this over is that WAS plays at the fastest pace in the NBA while IND plays at the 4th fastest pace. This game should have TONS of possessions, which means lots of opportunities for rebounds.
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!