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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/7)
- Today's main slate features 10 games. CHA, CHI, DAL, and LAL are on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is HOU v MIL at 232 points. The game with the lowest over/under is ORL v CHA at 215.5 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.
Ingram Out, Alexander-Walker Questionable, Adams Doubtful: Adams has been out, and if Walker comes back, he’ll definitely be on a minutes limit. Without Ingram, I really like Zion ($9,900 DK and $9,600 FD), who should be the go-to guy for the NOP and should see higher usage than normal. I like him even with a tough matchup against PHI.
Korkmaz Out, Embiid Questionable: If Embiid sits, I would like Dwight ($4,100 DK and $5,600 FD), especially on DK, because he would likely get the start and see far more minutes than normal. I would also like Tobias ($7,000 DK and $7,500 FD), who would be the go-to guy offensively for PHI if Joel rests.
Jaylen Out, Rob Williams Questionable, Langford, Thompson Probable: Assuming Thompson plays and Rob sits, I’m definitely going to Tristan ($5,200 DK and $5,800 FD), who would be locked in for the majority of the big-man minutes. I also like Tatum ($10,500 DK and $10,100 FD), who will be the go-to guy tonight and should have a huge game without Jaylen.
Porter, Wall, Sterling Brown, Wilson Out, Tate, Olynyk, Wood, Augustin Questionable, House Doubtful: There are 13 Rockets players on the injury report tonight (record?). I’ll like whoever plays for them, and I’ll LOVE whoever plays for them if some/all of these questionable guys sit. They will likely play 7-8 guys tonight, so those guys will all be solid value plays. Something tells me that these questionable guys will sit tonight because HOU has nothing to play for.
Butler, Herro Questionable: Herro has been out, but if Butler sits, I would definitely like Bam ($9,300 DK and $8,300 FD); he would see a large increase in both his minutes and usage, and his matchup against a terrible MIN defense makes me think he could smash his price tag (if Butler sits).
Beasley, Culver, McDaniels Out: McDaniels sitting will open up a value position in the MIN starting lineup - I’ll like whoever starts for him.
Bridges, Graham Out: Nothing new here - these guys have been out. So, there’s not much value to be found.
Ennis, Carter, MCW, Okeke, Ross, Porter Out: Nothing new here either, and even though there are a lot of injuries, there are still too many potential ORL leading scorers. I’m staying away from ORL tonight.
Nance, Prince, Garland Out: These guys have been out and the prices have adjusted adequately, so I’m staying away from CLE as well.
Kleber, Porzingis Out: I continue to like Powell ($3,700 DK and $5,000 FD), who’s too cheap given the minutes he’s been getting without Kristaps and Maxi in the lineup. Any big who plays tons of minutes with Luka and can catch lobs is in a potential smash spot.
Dozier, Barton, Murray, Morris Out: Dozier will sit for his second straight game, opening up minutes and scoring opportunities for Rivers ($3,700 DK and $5,200 FD), who is one of my favorite DK plays tonight. He put up 25-3-3 last game and should be aggressive again tonight after finally looking comfortable in DEN.
Haliburton, Fox Out, Barnes Doubtful, Metu Questionable: Nothing new here, but there is definitely value to be found on the Kings. The starters are all locked in for tons of minutes, and each of them is therefore a solid play; my favorite is Bagley ($5,900 DK and $7,000 FD), who put up 31 and 12 last game and should have tons of opportunity again tonight.
5/7 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.
Zion Williamson (9,900 DK and 9,600 FD)
No Ingram tonight, so go right ahead and fire up Zion in cash contests. He’s averaged just over 52 DK points over his past 4 games, and that’s all been WITH Ingram. No Ingram means he should see more of the ball and be more of a focal point for the Pelicans tonight with them now just 1.5 games out of the playoffs. The Pelicans have a legitimate shot at the play-in tournament if they win out, but that needs to start with a win, and a big performance from Zion, tonight.
Delon Wright (6,800 DK and 7,000 FD)
Delon’s price has skyrocketed after back to back 55 DK point performances, but I’m going to make him a cash lock for the third straight game because I still think he’s too cheap at 6.8K. He’s been an absolutely perfect fit for SAC, and has been a big part of their 4 game win streak. He contributes in so many ways and has played so many minutes that his floor just feels too high to pass up on, even in a tougher matchup against SA tonight.
The Rockets injury report currently has 13 names on it...It’s inevitable that some value will open up here as we approach tip-off. I wrote about Kelly Olynyk last time, (and he exploded for 63 DK points), and I think you go to him again if he plays. If he sits, Kenyon Martin Jr. becomes an obvious play. Keep an eye on this situation tonight, it could open up some serious value.
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.
Damian Lillard (9,700 DK and 9,200 FD)
Dame is back! He’s gone for over 53 DK points in each of his past 4 games, and shown that when the Trail Blazers need wins, he’s the guy who steps up. Portland is currently tied with the Lakers for the 6 seed in the West, and the two teams play each other tonight. This is an extremely important game for both teams, with the winner taking a huge step towards avoiding the play-in tournament this year. Dame comes to play in big games, and I think he goes for 50+ DK points again tonight.
Evan Fournier (5,400 DK and 6,000 FD)
Speaking of big games, the Hawks loss opens the door for the Celtics to continue to inch closer to the 5th seed in the east, which means avoiding the ‘big three’ of MIL, BKN or PHI in the first round. They get a great matchup tonight against Chicago, and Fournier has seemingly found his shooting touch over the last 2 games. 5.4K is a steal for a guy who’s coming off two straight 35+ DK point games, and with Jaylen out again tonight I see no reason Fournier can’t do the same again.
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.
Damian Lillard MORE than 26.5 Points
As I said earlier, Damian Lillard is BACK! The Blazers are in an absolute must-win tonight, and Lillard has been playing super well as of late. He’s scored 32, 26, 33, and 32 in his last 4 games, and tonight is probably the most important game (so far) of the season. I think he comes to play tonight and treats it like a playoff game, so I could easily see him scoring 30+ tonight. Even though the Lakers have the 2nd best defense in the NBA, they’ll be without Schroder and Lebron, so Lillard should be able to get some good shots off.
Jayson Tatum MORE than 28.5 Points
The Celtics are coming off an awesome win against the Magic in which Kemba scored 32 points. However, I think the rest that Kemba had leading up to the game was a large factor in his great performance, and I don’t think he comes out as aggressive and energetic tonight. Instead, I think we see a classic Tatum game in which he puts the team on his back, as this is a must-win for the Celtics as they try to avoid the play-in tournament.
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!