Full Court Press Breakdown for NBA DFS 8/18:
Orlando Magic @ Milwaukee Bucks
Vegas Total: 225.0
Vegas Spread: Mil -12.5
We’ll kick today’s 4-gamer off with the Orlando Magic as they take on the one-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. The big news to watch for here is Aaron Gordon as he is questionable here, not that I really want to play him, but if he’s out it opens up more in this Orlando offense. Nikola Vucevic would be one of those guys who benefits with Gordon out, he’s averaging 43.9 DraftKings points per game in three games against the Bucks this season. The guys I want to target here are guys that can shoot the three because that’s what the Bucks are going to give up, they’ll make the other team beat them by hitting shots. This means guys like Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross are excellent options and really pretty cheap. Lastly, Markelle Fultz is pretty cheap as well and makes sense as a secondary option or if you’re looking for some value. From the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 61.1 DraftKings points per game in three games against the Magic this season, I don’t think I need to tell you that he’s an elite play here. Khris Middleton is priced right where he should be, he’s a solid cash option as well. Eric Bledsoe is priced down but I would expect he gets back to his full minutes here and is something we can take advantage of. Lastly, Brook Lopez was on a heater for a while in the bubble, I like him as a mid-to-low range center option if that’s the type of roster construction you’re going for.
5-star play: Nikola Vucevic, Giannis Antetkounmpo
4-star play: Evan Fournier, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe
Deeper Value: Markelle Fultz
GPP Sleeper: Terrence Ross, Brook Lopez
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Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers
Vegas Total: 216.0
Vegas Spread: Mia -4.5
Starting with the Heat, Jimmy Butler missed the final game of the seeding games but would fully expect him to be back here. Any time he matches up with TJ Warren I have interest, as he’s the type of guy to take that matchup seriously. He’s averaging 42 DraftKings points per game in three games against the Pacers on the season and is a very solid play here. Bam Adebayo feels too cheap here, he hasn’t had one of those games that he blows people out of the water with lately, but he does have the upside and the floor is there as well for cash games. Goran Dragic is far too cheap here, he’ll be getting the start as they move Kendrick Nunn to the bench as he struggled pretty bad in the seeding games. Dragic will have to fight for usage with Butler and Adebayo now, but ultimately should lead to more assist equity, at this price tag I can’t complain about that. Kendrick Nunn is $1.2k more expensive than Dragic on DraftKings which is crazy considering their production, but I do think he is better off the bench and should see more usage and opportunity, he’s a solid GPP option for deep tournaments. Lastly, Duncan Robinson is another guy that is too cheap, he’s averaging 26.3 DraftKings points per game in three games against the Pacers this season and if he gets hot from beyond the arch he could be dangerous here. From the Pacers, TJ Warren, Myles Turner, and Victor Oladipo are all questionable here, however, I’m expecting them all to play. Warren has struggled in the matchup this season, but we’ve seen him sort of rejuvenated in he bubble so it’ll be interesting how he plays. For now, he’s more of a GPP play than anything for me considering the elevated price tag. Turner hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire in this matchup either, he’s another guy that I’ll leave for GPPs. The guy I want here is Malcolm Brogdon, Brogdon always played well in playoff games for the Bucks and is one of the more consistent producers on the court. He’ll take leadership here and run this offense, I like him a good deal here and makes for an excellent cash game play. Lastly, Oladipo is more of a GPP guy and I’m not even sure if I’ll go that far, he just hasn’t shown the ceiling that makes me want to jam him in there.
5-star play: Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Malcolm Brogdon
4-star play: Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson
Deeper Value: Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson
GPP Sleeper: Kendrick Nunn, Myles Turner, TJ Warren, Victor Oladipo
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Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets
Vegas Total: 225.0
Vegas Spread: Okc -2.0
Starting with the Thunder, this game has the same implied total as the Bucks game but this one should remain closer for longer. The Rockets are going to force the Thunder to run and gun here so Steven Adams needs to put on his big boy shoes if he’s going to be able to keep up. Adams has struggled in this matchup this season and only playing 17 minutes per game in those contests, he’s a big fade for me. I almost think they could get away with running Nerlens Noel and Darius Bazley out there given how good Bazley looked in the seeding games, but they’re more of deep GPP flyers at best. The backcourt is where you’ll want to get your exposure on this team. Chris Paul’s price has come down to a playable level and makes a lot of sense for cash games. The same can be said for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and I love this game environment for him, he’s a guy I’ll have a lot of interest in. Lastly, Danilo Gallinari and Dennis Schroeder should be back up to full minutes here and make for good secondary options as they’ll need all the scoring they can get from them. From the Rockets, it’s going to be the James Harden show with Russell Westbrook out. This isn’t a time where you get cute and fade him, he’s got a 43,6% usage rate and 1.81 fantasy points per minute with Westbrook off the court and should play minutes in the mid-30’s, love Harden here and will be in almost all of my lineups. With Westbrook out, Eric Gordon should be around 25 minutes while he continues to get his legs under him and guys like Austin Rivers and Ben McLemore will see extended run as well if you’re looking for a GPP value option. Both Robert Covington and Danuel House should see a few extra shots and are good cash game options to round this team out.
5-star play: James Harden, Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
4-star play: Robert Covington, Danuel House, Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroeder
Deeper Value: Ben McLemore, Austin Rivers
GPP Sleeper: Eric Gordon, Dennis Schroeder
Portland Trailblazers @ Los Angeles Lakers
Vegas Total: 230.5
Vegas Spread: Lal -6.0
That brings us to the primetime game that everyone is looking forward to as the scorching hot Blazers led by Damian Lillard try and dethrone the one seed. This game has the highest total on the slate and the thing I love about the Blazers is you know where the minutes are going to come from. Terry Stotts has a tight rotation and runs his guys out there for 30-40 minutes every night, making the fringe guys much more playable. We’ll start with the bubble MVP, Damian Lillard. He’s averaging 61 DraftKings points per game against the Lakers in three games this season, however, he is priced WAY up. You can make a case for him in GPPs but in the same price range, I’m just going to play James Harden. Jusuf Nurkic continues to play great ball and his size will be needed here, he’s one of the better center options on the slate. CJ McCollum’s back injury doesn’t seem to be impacting his play all that much, so I don’t have an issue going back to him here although his price is pretty high. Lastly, Gary Trent Jr. and Carmelo Anthony make for solid secondary options as well if you fall in this range. From the Lakers, you know where the production is coming from and it’s LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Both are solid plays here, if I needed to pick one it would be LeBron just because Davis may have his hands full with Nurkic whereas LeBron has nobody that can guard him on Portland. The only other guy I would really have interest in is Kyle Kuzma, he’s priced about where he should be but averaging 30 DraftKings points per game against the Blazers this season.
5-star play: Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, LeBron James, Anthony Davis
4-star play: CJ McCollum, Gary Trent Jr., Carmelo Anthony, Kyle Kuzma
Deeper Value: Dion Waiters
GPP Sleeper: Kyle Kuzma, Damian Lillard
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NBA Lock of the Day: James Harden (DK – $11.7k; FD – $11.5k)
Jordan Clarkson came in pretty chalky as yesterday’s lock of the day, but he came through nicely with 27.5 DraftKings points which amounts to 7.2x value. I’m not messing around today, James Harden is going to be the guy that I have in a lot of my lineups. As I mentioned earlier, he has a 43.6% usage rate with Russell Westbrook off the floor which is just banana’s and if that wasn’t enough, he’s turning that into 1.81 fantasy points per minute. I’m not going to get cute here, Harden is my guy on this slate. Tweet me (@MadnessDFS) your lock predictions and if your player gets over 6.5x I’ll give you a shoutout on Twitter, let’s have some fun with this!
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