NBA Thoughts 1/17/17

Welcome to Tuesday’s fun 5-game slate which features 3 totals over 220 and and what should be some fun NBA basketball. Let’s break it down.

Don’t get cute with the Raptors

The Raptors travel to Brooklyn to take on the helpless Nets in Brooklyn. This game features a 227 total with the Raptors favored by 11.5. While some will predict a blowout here and perhaps fade guys like Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Jonas Valanciunas, I would suggest not joining those people. The Raptors play their two studs (Lowry and DeRozan) deep into games, both guys are well rested recently, and both are going to have at least good, if not great games. Also very much in play tonight are DeMarre Carroll and Lucas Nogueira (if Patrick Patterson sits). The Raptors run a fairly tight rotation with predictable minutes and production. Don’t get cute here, load up on the Raptors.

Nuggets/Lakers

The Nuggets travel to Los Angeles after playing yesterday in Denver and we see one of the highest totals of the season at 230 with the Nuggets installed as one point favorites. This game should be off the hook, and you’re going to need exposure to it, especially in cash games. DeAngelo Russell and Julius Randle have ridiculous price points on FanDuel ($6,000 and $6,200, respectively) and need to be locked into lineups in all formats. Both players should thrive in this matchup. From the Denver side of the ball, look for Nikola Jokic to continue his run of dominance and Jameer Nelson to see extra run off the bench against the guard-heavy rotation of the Lakers and with Gary Harris out injured. Nelson is just $3,100 on DraftKings and makes for one of the top value plays of the day that may be a bit less owned than some other options given that he will still be coming off the bench.

Under the Radar Plays/Correlations

Ricky Rubio paired with either Gorgui Dieng or Karl-Anthony Towns — With so many fantastic options on this short slate in games with higher totals, expect most users to completely ignore the Wolves and Spurs game. The Wolves may well get blown out here, but if they don’t, it is easy to see who will perform well for the Wolves. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard will be locked up on Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins, leaving Ricky Rubio to run pick and roll with Dieng and KAT. Pick and roll ball handlers have found success against the Spurs this season, and if Rubio gets going it will probably be via assits to Dieng and Towns. None of these guys are recommended cash game plays, but make for a fun contrarian GPP option with solid correlation.

James Johnson — Expect Johnson to fly under the radar tonight as his price point ($5,900 on FD and $6,100 on DK) is just about at an all time high, and he is still coming off the bench. He certainly is not the flavor of the day, but he has big potential in a great matchup against the visiting Rockets. This is a pace up spot for the Heat, who should need Johnson for 30+ minutes tonight. Johnson has been playing remarkably well for the Heat this year and at a tough power forward position, he makes for an intriguing tournament option.

Hassan Whiteside — We’ve got to pick our spots carefully with Hassan Whiteside, as he may still be a bit banged up and struggles with energy at times. You don’t want to play him on either end of back to back games, and you want to get him at home, where he is averaging nearly 10 more DK fantasy points per game than he is at home. Whiteside is coming off of multiple days of rest right now, the Heat do not have a game tomorrow, and the matchup is good vs. an undersized Houston frontcourt that will also feature a player coming off serious injury (Clint Capela is expected to return tonight). Expect Whiteside to go overlooked as most people gravitate toward Nikola Jokic.

Good luck tonight! #LetsGetIt