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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets

 5/5 Excel Optimizer/Datasheet

(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)

QUICK HITTERS (5/5)

- Today's main slate features 9 games. CLE, MIL, PHO, and SAC are on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is WAS v MIL at 243 points. The game with the lowest over/under is NYK v DEN at 216 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. 

Jaylen, Tristan Out: Without these two starters, there are two guys I’m really liking tonight: Tatum ($10,100 DK and FD) and Robert Williams ($5,400 DK and FD). Robert should get the start and should see tons of minutes at the C position, and Tatum should take over the scoring load for an injured Brown, especially in a must-win for the Celtics.

Ross, Porter, Ennis, Okeke, MCW Out, Carter Questionable: If Carter sits, there might be some value opened up in the ORL front court, but definitely not much. Bamba ($5,300 DK and $6,200 FD) would probably see the biggest value boost if Carter sits.

Delly, Nance, Prince, Windler, Stevens, Garland Out: Without Garland in the lineup, I’m liking Sexton ($8,100 DK and $8,500 FD), who will be the go-to guy and will see crazy high usage. Not much other value here.

Lillard Probable, Powell Questionable: Powell was Q last game and played, so I expect him to suit up again tonight - he’s tough as nails. If he sits, though, I would give a value boost to Dame, CJ, and whoever starts in Powell’s place.

Tate, Wilson, Wall, Brown Out, Wood, House Doubtful, Augustin Questionable: With Wood presumably sitting, HOU will have a solid amount of usage missing. That’s why I like Olynyk ($7,500 DK and $7,800 FD), who will become one of the go-to guys in the HOU front court tonight. Kelly has been quietly having an excellent season with the Rockets.

Turner, Sampson Out, Sumner, Lamb, Brogdon, Bitadze Questionable: The only meaningful piece of news here is Brogdon. If Brogdon sits, I like both Levert ($8,800 DK and $8,400 FD) and Sabonis ($10,600 DK and $10,300 FD), who would both see major spikes in their usage and shots.

Fox, Haliburton Out, Metu Questionable, Barnes Doubtful: This has been the case for a couple games, and it’s resulted in some very balanced scoring for SAC. However, the prices haven’t adjusted adequately, so there is still some value to be found, especially with a guy like Wright ($5,600 DK and $5,200 FD), who’s just too cheap given the minutes and usage he’ll see tonight.

Barton, Murray, Morris, Dozier Out, Jokic Probable: Without Dozier, there is a starting spot opened in DEN’s lineup; I like whoever gets that starting spot for DEN (my guess would be either Rivers or Shaq Harrison).

Hachimura Out: This is a late scratch from WAS, so I like whoever starts in Hachimura’s place tonight (probably Bertans).

MIL not yet submitted: Keep an eye out for this injury report, because MIL played last night and could rest some guys.

5/5 CORE PLAYS

This section aims to identify players we think are especially good plays in either CASH or GPP lineups

CASH CORE: 

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)

You can’t go wrong with either Westbrook or Giannis tonight (or both), but I think Westbrook is the safer play of the two for cash lineups with Washington still playing meaningful games. I could see the Bucks playing it safer with Giannis if the game gets one-sided, whereas Westbrook should play heavy minutes regardless. He’s coming off an absolutely ridiculous 14-21-24 game and I expect another triple double tonight. 

Delon Wright ($5,600 DK and $5,200 FD)

After what Delon did last night it’s basically impossible to leave him out of cash lineups for me tonight. The Kings are again without Fox and Haliburton, which means Delon should see 30+ minutes. They also get a great matchup against the Pacers, who just gave up 154 points to the Wizards in a non-OT game. 

Robert Williams ($5,400 DK & FD)

No Tristan Thompson means Rob should get the start tonight, and we all know what he can do when he sees significant minutes. The matchup against Mo Bamba and the Magic doesn’t scare me one bit, and with the Celtics needing a win I expect a big game from Williams tonight. At just 5.4K, he is an extremely strong cash play and should see relatively high ownership as well.

GPP CORE:

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.

Kelly Olynyk  ($7,500 DK and $7,800 FD)

With Wood doubtful tonight, Olynyk would normally be a chalky play, but I think the number of really good high tier options leads to his ownership being lower than it should be. Kelly has been extremely impressive in his short stint with Houston so far, and he should be heavily involved again tonight. The upside is there, and with guys like Giannis, Westbrook, Tatum, Sabonis & Sexton all expected to command high ownership, middle tiered guys like Olynyk could be passed over more often than not. 

De’Angelo Russell ($7,000 DK and $7,100 FD)

Russell is another guy in that middle tier who’s ownership will probably end up lower than it should be given how he’s projecting. He went for 17-2-11 last time out against the Pelicans, and most importantly took 22 shots. That kind of volume excites me for his matchup tonight against a Grizzlies team that has given up more than 110 points in 11 of their last 12 games. 7K is too cheap for Russell tonight, and with him projected at ~5% ownership I think he’s well worth throwing in a few GPP lineups for the upside.

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.

Nikola Jokic MORE Assists than Julius Randle (+1.5 Assists)

Even though Julius gets a +1.5 assists boost, I’m loving Jokic’s chances at getting tons of assists tonight. The Knicks are an excellent defensive team - the best in the NBA - and they are coached by a very defensive-minded coach (Tom Thibodeau). I think the game plan from the Knicks will likely be to force other players to beat them BESIDES Jokic, because they never seem to be content with one guy absolutely killing them on the offensive end. They’ll probably double Jokic in the post and on the elbows while will likely result in lots of backdoor cuts and movement from the DEN offense.

Robert Williams MORE than 9.5 Rebounds 

Without Tristan Thompson tonight, Rob should start and get tons of minutes at the C position. And when Rob plays a lot of minutes, he tends to do very well in Fantasy in almost every category, rebounds included. Furthermore, ORL allows the 2nd most DREB in the league and will potentially be missing Wendell Carter, the most logical matchup for the vertical spacing of Rob Williams. Even if Carter plays, I still like the Over here, but Carter sitting would make me LOVE it.

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!

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