NBA Early Slate 3/26/17

Early Slate NBA

Happy Sunday! I’m going to take a look at some of the best plays at each position for the five games on the early slate. I am going to take one high salaried guy and one value play at each position on DraftKings and get us ready to take down some early slate action! LET’S GO!

As always, maintain vigilance on checking news, even as the early slate approaches, as playoff ready rest and other variance associated with the end of the NBA season can make things changes in a hurry.



Russell Westbrook – OKC at HOU – $13,000 – OKC, not surprisingly considering their high speed opponent, has the best combination of pace adjusted offensive/defensive rating (PAOR, PADR) matchup on the early slate. The Rockets, while being amazingly efficient (2nd best over last seven games) on offense, have been especially good for opposing offenses, too, ranking sixth worst in DAOR over that same span. Westbrook went off for 50% raw usage on his way to a ho-hum 70+ DK point effort.

Jeremy Lin – BKN at ATL – $5,400 – Atlanta has been very bad defensively will Paul Millsap out, as he will be Sunday, and Lin torched the Hawks for 33+ DK points in 24 minutes his last time out, which would be solid value for his salary with some ceiling room left with a 215 total.


James Harden – HOU vs. OKC – $12,500 – Going for the MVP, he is matched up with Westbrook in a mano-a-mano, winner take all pointfest for the crown. Well, it will not be official, but that is what this is shaping up to be. I expect both guys to go for triple doubles and out-do each other, trying to gain some final style points for the MVP voting.

Buddy Hield – SAC at LAC – $5,700 – There is only one edict in Sacramento: Get the future their minutes and shots. At the top of the list is Mr. Trade Centerpiece, Buddy Hield. He will play 32-35 minutes, no matter what, and he will shoot, with 12, 14, 16 and 14 shot attempts in his last four games. His last three game totals, against the Spurs, Bucks and Warriors, none of which are even in the bottom half of the league in PADR, has been 34.75, 31.50 and 47 DK points.


Giannis Antetokounmpo – MIL vs. CHI – $9,900 – Giannis has returned to the ways of the usage heavy lately, as Milwaukee plays down the stretch to secure a playoff spot. Last two games: 31.9 and 35.9% raw usage and 65.25 and 69.25 DK points. This season, he has averaged 64.17 DK points against the Bulls, taking any notion of the Bulls slowing him down as a longshot. He could be the play of the GPP slate with folks taking shots at the top, Giannis could slide in close despite being 2-3K less.

K.J. McDaniels – BKN at ATL – $3,200 – In a world….where Brooklyn really doesn’t care to play anyone significant minutes, McDaniels is the man you want to punt with on this team. KJMC only scored 17.50 DK points last time out, but he did it in one shift, underlining the tourney value in him. With the Hawks defense being shaky without Millsap, McDaniels can easily hit value in his mid-20s minutes role.


Blake Griffin – LAC vs. SAC – $7,900 – Surprisingly thin on the high end PF front, Blake is by far the best of the bunch. The Clippers have the second best matchup on the slate and Griffin has had 27.7, 34.7, 28 and 34.2 raw usage over the last four games. It is a similar matchup to the Knicks game, where he went off for 45.50 DK points in 30 minutes.

Skal Labissiere – SAC at LAC – $4,900 – As stated with Buddy Hield, these guys are going to get minutes and are blowout proof. Skal has been managing with about half the game minutes but still posting excellent numbers due to a mid-20s raw usage rate. He should avoid Blake Griffin initially, placing him in front of Mo Speights defense, which is a plus.


Cody Zeller – CHA vs. PHX – $5,100 – Charlotte has to win to make the playoffs, so you could see Zeller’s minutes increase to ensure victory against the Suns, who are the second worst PADR over the last seven games. Zeller has 30.50 and 38.75 and should be in prime position to hit another double-double against the Suns.

Enes Kanter – OKC at HOU – $5,500 – OKC is going to have to score to keep up with the Rockets and Kanter, who scored 35.75 DK points in 22 minutes last time against the Rockets, has to get the call to help out.

Good luck, players! – JW

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jaywalker72) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.