We only have a few weeks of the NBA season left but there is still money to be won. There are some really great NBA contests this week on Draftkings, with their Championship Series kicking off on Monday. For today’s article I’m going to do things a little different. I think this slate screams stars and scrubs. There is a lot of value to sort through, so I’ll help you find the best plays. I stress it in every article, but make sure to pay attention to news up to lock, because chances are there will be new plays opening up. I’ll try to post updates on twitter as we get close to lock. Let’s start with the stars.
STAR: Lebron James – Cleveland Cavs
Just play Lebron. That’s really all that needs to be said and it should go without saying. He is completely dominating right now and if you haven’t already hitched your fantasy teams to his wagon, now is the time. He’s topped 70 Draftkings points in each of his last three and saw a usage rate of 37 and 40 in his last two. His price is still south of $12,000. I think he’s underpriced for what he’s doing, so you’re getting a discount on the performances he’s turning in nightly. If you only play on stud on this slate, I prefer him over the next guy.
STAR: Giannas Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
Antetokounmpo is the only other player on this slate over $10,000, so it should be no surprise that he’s my other recommendation. The reason I’m spending time mentioning both is because my goal is to find a way to play both of them. Playing against Lebron has brought out the best in the Greek Freak this year, as he’s averaged 60.2 DK points in three matchups. The Cavs defense is very generous, especially of late. They have allowed 107 or more points in 10 of their last 11 games. That leads to a lot of fantasy points. See Denzel Valentine’s 57.75 DK points on Saturday. Antetokounmpo might be a little better than Valentine.
SCRUB: Denzel Valentine – Chicago Bulls
Speaking of Valentine. I may be a little partial to him after he helped my team put up a massive 360+ score on Saturday night. In fact, a couple of the guys I’m going to mention below were also on that team. But they are just in really good spots as they are playing huge minutes. Valentine is a big beneficiary of a banged up Bulls roster. His price has shot up to $5,700, but I still think he’s playable there if he’s going to see nearly 40 minutes. He’s not a must play, but he’s a very safe play with massive upside, as we saw Saturday.
SCRUB: Cam Payne – Chicago Bulls
Payne is another Bulls player who is in play here. With Kris Dunn and Zach Lavine already ruled out, we can expect Payne to play 30ish minutes again in this one. At just $4,700, he’s kind of a no-brainer. On the season, he’s averaged one Draftkings point per minute. At that rate, we would see him cross the 6X plateau. Another safe play with plenty of upside.
SCRUB: Cristiano Da Silva Felicio – Chicago Bulls
I may have just wanted to use his full name. But in all seriousness, he could be in play here at a very cheap price. He also played 30 minutes last game and posted a double double. We would take that all day at just $3,500. The only concern for me is whether or not Noah Vonleh ends up playing. He was supposedly active Saturday but didn’t end up checking in after starting the two previous games. If Felicio is back in the starting lineup, he should be able to pay off his salary. For what it’s worth, if Vonleh starts, he is in play as well.
SCRUB: Ante Zizic – Cleveland Cavaliers
We love to target opposing bigs against the Bucks and Zizic could end up being one of the better value plays on the slate. When he gets minutes, he produces fantasy points. I will only have interest in him IF HE STARTS again. In the four games this season that he’s played 14 or more minutes, he’s scored no fewer than 18 Draftkings points. Over those four games (which are all in the Cavs last seven games), he has averaged roughly 1.25 DK points per minute. He has potential to post a big game for only $3,700.
SCRUB: Quinn Cook – Golden State Warriors
With nearly all of the Warriors firepower out right now, Cook has posted back to back 40+ DK point games and 40+ minute games. His price is up to $4,500, but for all those minutes, it is still not enough. I do worry a bit about a plummet back down to earth after seeing him fail to produce recently in other games that he started, but with all those minutes, he’s pretty safe. He should fall into 20-25 as a floor if he plays 40 minutes. The big difference for Cook has been when playing without Kevin Durant (and w/out Curry and Thompson), versus playing with Durant (and w/out Curry and Thompson). Durant soaks up so much usage and production that Cook was just there. Cook scores 70% more DK points per minute when Durant isn’t out there. I think Cook is the first value play on the slate that you lock in.
SCRUB: Nick Young – Golden State Warriors
Young is right there with Cook, playing 40+ minutes right now. While I didn’t mention it above, playing the Spurs does worry be just a bit. However, sometimes opportunity just outweighs the matchup. As far as Vegas is concerned, this game should remain close. The Spurs opened as 6.5 point favorites. Young is up to $5,000, so I do prefer Cook if just picking one, but you can absolutely play both of them. With the three aforementioned injured Warriors off the floor, Young averages 0.89 DK points per minute and a 28.1% usage rate. You can do the math on where that would put him with the massive minutes he should play.
SCRUB: Jeremy Lamb – Charlotte Hornets
Finally a value play that isn’t from the Bulls or Warriors. Nicolas Batum has been ruled out, which should allow Lamb to jump into the starting lineup. Lamb has averaged 29.6 Draftkings points in 14 starts this season for Batum. It really makes locking him in a no-brainer. He is a very strong candidate for 6X value on this slate and complements the stars and scrubs approach nicely.
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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