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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/8)
- Today's main slate features 7 games. DEN, HOU, PHI, POR, SAS, and UTA are on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is WAS v IND at 249 points. The game with the lowest over/under is DET v PHI at 218.5 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.
Smith Jr, McGruder, Josh Jackson, Diallo Out, Ellington, Grant, Joseph Questionable: The Pistons could have a bunch of guys back tonight, but they’ve been out for awhile, so I don’t know what kind of minutes restrictions they might be on. Against a tough PHI team, I’m probably fading the Pistons tonight unless all of these guys somehow sit.
Curry, Embiid, Simmons Questionable, Korkmaz Out: If Embiid/Simmons don’t play, Tobias ($7,100 DK and $7,200 FD) is definitely a great option, as he becomes the clear go-to guy and should see an increase in his minutes and shots. I would even like Tobias if just Embiid sits.
Brogdon, Lamb, Sumner Questionable, Sampson, Turner Out: As always, I’m a fan of Levert ($9,100 DK and $8,600 FD) if Brogdon sits (even though his price has steadily increased as he’s gotten comfortable in IND). Against a terrible WAS defense, I also don’t hate Sabonis ($10,500 DK and $10,600 FD), who should be able to stuff the stat sheet.
OG, Boucher, Lowry, VanVleet Out, Baynes, Watanabe Questionable: Without the starting backcourt, I definitely like Trent ($5,500 DK and $5,000 FD), who’s way too underpriced given the minutes/usage he’ll see. I also really like Siakam ($9,000 DK and $8,900 FD), who will see minutes/usage boosts as well.
HOU: Only a few pieces of info have been released for HOU, but it’s looking like it’ll be the same injury report as the last game, in which case there will be lots of value to be found. If Olynyk ($8,600 DK and $8,100 FD) plays, I definitely like him a lot.
DEN, UTA, POR, SAS not yet submitted: Wow, not sure I’ve ever seen such a high percentage of teams not submit their 1:30 injury report. Keep an eye on these teams today, but most of them have pretty predictable reports I would say.
5/8 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 (11,100 DK and 12,000 FD)
Yes, I know Westbrook is 12,000 on FD tonight. Yes, I’m still playing him. He gets the best matchup he could ask for against a Pacers team that is playing at the 4th fastest pace in the NBA over the past 5 games. Westbrook also went absolutely off against the Pacers 5 days ago, scoring over 80 DK points and dishing out an incredible 24 assists. As a top tier cash option, you either look at him or Sabonis tonight (or both) but I prefer Westbrook, who has what feels like a legitimate 50 point floor and an 80+ point ceiling, especially in such a good matchup.
Malachi Flynn (4,700 DK and 5,300 FD)
It was only a few weeks ago that we were writing about Flynn as a nightly lock for 30+ Dk points. But since VanVleet’s return, Flynn’s minutes and usage has taken a significant hit. With both VanVleet and Lowry out for the Raptors tonight (along with OG and Boucher) I see no reason Flynn doesn’t step back into that 30+ minute role that he routinely scored 30-40 DK points with before. He’s a great FPPM player, and at 4.7K tonight he could easily end up as one of the best value plays on the slate.
Pascal Siakam ($9,000 DK & $8,900 FD)
I didn’t really want to write about Siakam tonight, because I don’t think he comes anywhere near replicating what he did last time out (when he went for a ridiculous 70.75 DK points), but I think he’s in too good of a spot to pass up for cash lineups. With OG, Boucher, Lowry & VanVleet all out, it’s hard to see a world where Pascal doesn’t take 20+ shots tonight. Because of that, and his projected high ownership, he probably needs to be in cash lineups tonight. All that being said, I love the idea of fading Pascal in GPP lineups, Memphis is a really tough defense and I think they key in on Pascal tonight, with him coming off such a crazy game (and so many guys out) his ownership should be through the roof, and he makes for an interesting GPP fade.
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 (8,000 DK and 7,500 FD)
I was spot on with my Dame call last night, but I’m going to pivot off him to CJ tonight because I think Pop and the Spurs focus on doing everything they can to take Dame away. CJ hasn’t been playing great and doesn’t project well, but he took 19 shots and played 39 minutes last night against the Lakers. The usage and shot attempts are there for a big game, and with Dame likely to be heavily doubled, I wouldn’t be surprised to see CJ take over and have a huge night. At just 8K, and with his ownership projected at ~7%, I think he makes for an extremely strong GPP look tonight.
Kelly Olynyk (8,600 DK and 8,100 FD)
I mentioned Kelly last night as a strong play if he started, and that’s because this man is legitimately playing at an All-Star level right now...Okay, maybe I got a bit excited, but the things Olynyk is doing for the Rockets on a nightly basis are really impressive. He fills up the stat sheet like a mini Jokic, and with Wood out again tonight I see no reason not to go back to him. The matchup with Gobert doesn’t scare me, as Kelly can shoot the three effectively, and the ownership should continue to be extremely low as users get scared off by the 8.6K price tag for a guy who averaged ~10 points a game off the bench a few months ago. Look at him in a GPP lineup or two tonight if he fits your build… I mean, He’s gone over 47 DK points in 7 of his last 8 games.
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.
Desmond Bane (+1.5 Threes) MORE Threes Made than Gary Trent Jr.
Trent Jr made 5 threes last game, and I think MKF is overreacting a little bit to both that and the fact that Lowry/VanVleet are out tonight. However, Grayson Allen is also out, which means Desmond Bane is locked in for probably 25+ minutes. I could see Trent getting hot from three, but I can more likely envision him drawing the Grizzlies best perimeter defender tonight, which doesn’t bode well for the types of shot attempts he’ll see. On the other side, Bane can absolutely stroke it and has made 4+ threes in 2 of his last 3 games. The +1.5 boost is just too much to overlook.
Bradley Beal MORE than 31.5 Points
This game has a projected over/under of 249 points, and I think that might even be a little low! When two teams both want to play at a fast pace, you know that the game is going to be an absolute track meet. If 249 points are scored, I would be absolutely shocked if Beal doesn’t score 32+. Furthermore, every game moving forward for the Wizards is a must win, so I expect the stars for WAS (Beal and Westbrook) to bring 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!
Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!