I hope everyone has had a good week and is ready for this fun nine game slate. I’m changing things up a bit today and going with five core plays that I will be building around. As always, these can change as we head up to lock and news becomes available. Feel free to tweet me with any questions you have throughout the day. Full disclosure though, I’ll be on an airplane at lock, so I won’t be able to answer during the last hour before. Here are my core plays for Friday.
PG: Damian Lilard – Portland Trailblazers
Lilard’s price has fallen to its lowest level in his last ten games after just 30 DK points in his last outing. This is the perfect situation to go right back to the well after the down outing. It was most definitely an outlier. He only played three-quarters against the Bulls and CJ McCollum went for 50 real points in those three-quarters. That’s the risk with Lilard, a couple of times out of ten games, McCollum will be hot and Lilard will yield to him. Wednesday night that was magnified because McCollum was en fuego. Before that game, Lilard had only went under 40 DK points once in his last ten games. On top of that, he topped 50 in four of those. He should bounce back here against the Raptors, who are playing on the second night of a back to back.
Speaking of under 40 DK points. Over the last five seasons, Lilard has only been under that mark once in his last eight games against the Raptors. It’s safe to say Kyle Lowry has not been able to slow him down. In his last two trips to Toronto, Lilard has scored 51.5 and 62.75 DK points. This is just the perfect spot of depressed price, very safe floor, and huge upside.
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Los Angeles Lakers
This is a total gut play. Caldwell-Pope has been very average since coming back from injury four games ago. The thing that I like is that his minutes have slowly risen back up to the mid-30’s and he has some upside at just $5,100 if he’s playing that many minutes. Against Brooklyn, in a fast paced game, against a bad defensive team, he should have plenty of chances to produce. I really don’t like shooting guard today, so KCP fits the mold of a guy I can plug in, hoping he doesn’t kill me, but also giving myself a little upside.
SF/PF: Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder
George is an $8,000 player priced in the low half of the $7,000’s. He really seems to be coming into his own on this Thunder team and his fantasy outputs are showing that. Over his last six games, he’s had no fewer than 33.5 DK points, has been in the 40’s four times, and been 49.75 or better twice (As I’m writing this Thursday evening, George is currently still playing against Denver). He only needs 44 Draftkings points to return 6X value, and that seems very likely in this matchup against the Pelicans. Earlier this season, George put up 50.25 fantasy points against the Pelicans. This should be a game with plenty of fantasy goodness and George is one of my favorite plays on the slate.
PF/C: Nikola Mirotic – New Orleans Pelicans
We have a first here since I’ve been writing this article. On Wednesday night I wrote up Mirotic for the Bulls and tonight I’m writing him up for a different team, the Pelicans. Mirotic couldn’t have been traded to a better situation to be immediately fantasy relevant. With Demarcus Cousins out, Mirotic should step in to 30 plus minutes right away, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him top 35. On the year, he’s averaged 1.24 Draftkings points per minute. Much like we saw with Blake Griffin on Thursday, I think we’ll see the Pelicans really let Mirotic garner a lot of usage to welcome him to town. I’m really hoping this doesn’t end up being a popular play, because I think it would be a huge edge if he’s low owned.
C: John Henson – Milwaukee Bucks
Henson is too cheap at $4,800. He’s always been a solid fantasy producer, but never had the consistent minutes. He’s now getting between 25-30 minutes every night out, which makes him a no brainer at this price. Over his last five games, he’s been 5X or better on this salary every game. I’m not sure why his price has dropped $400 despite that production, but I’m not going to complain. Not too many people play Henson typically, so I think he’s a solid 6-7X upside play that won’t be too popular.
That’s it for today. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @mrclutchdfs so you can stay up to date on any changes to my plays based on late information.
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