NBA DEEP DIVE – 4/8/17

NBA DEEP DIVE- April 8, 2017

Note:  I have not yet seen news about what the Spurs are planning on doing tonight with regards to resting their players tonight.  For the purposes of this article, I am assuming that the key guys who sat last night will play, at least some minutes, tonight.  As always, when news comes out throughout the day, reach out to us in premium chat and/or tune in for the Final Countdown with Eddie Fear at 6:00 EST.


High-Priced ($8,500+)

John Wall is facing the Miami Heat in a must-win game if the Wizards want any hopes of locking up the third seed in the Eastern Conference.  Wall has taken his game to a new level late in the year as he has really looked to put the team on his back and lead them to success.  He has a 32.2 percent usage rate for the season but it has climbed to 34.5 percent over the last two weeks.  Over that span, he is averaging 1.48 DraftKings points per minute.  What we once thought of as a high-floor, low-ceiling play in the $10,000 range now has 60+ fantasy point upside on a nightly basis as he is averaging 10.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game over that stretch as well.  In addition to an increased role to close out the season, Wall will benefit from a matchup that he has done quite well in this season, scoring at least 30 real points in both of his meetings with Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has a friendly matchup with a Philadelphia team that plays at an extremely fast pace without Jahlil Okafor or Joel Embiid on the floor.  He is able to use his athleticism to his benefit in transition, along with the rest of the benefits that pace-up games bring.  Giannis has a lower floor than most players in his price range as he is more volatile than most stars, but he has 65+ fantasy point upside at a reasonable price tag for his ceiling.

Kevin Durant is returning to the Golden State lineup and, reportedly, will not be on any sort of minute restriction.  In addition, Steph Curry is doubtful for this game.  Durant has played 506 minutes without Curry on the floor this season and has a 34.9 percent usage rate and is averaging 1.44 DraftKings points per minute.  There is some risk in rostering Durant since he has not played a game in over a month, but there is certainly a ton of upside in the game with the highest Vegas total on the slate with no Steph Curry.

Secondary: Damian Lillard, Rudy Gobert, Kawhi Leonard


Mid-Range ($5,500-$8,400)

Jrue Holiday is playing in the game with the highest Vegas total on the slate and will be playing without either of Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins.  In 238.5 minutes without either of them on the floor this season, Holiday has a 29.8 percent usage rate.  He is also averaging 7.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 steals per 36 minutes.  He is definitely underpriced for his current situation and is a strong play in any format as he has a very nice combination of floor and ceiling in this spot.

Klay Thompson will be facing the Pelicans tonight with, most likely, no Steph Curry and with Durant back in the lineup.  In 401 minutes alongside Durant and without Curry this season, Thompson has a 25.9 percent usage rate.  In 441 minutes with neither on the floor, Thompson’s usage rate jumps to 36.4 percent.  It is likely that Steve Kerr will stagger Thompson and Durant’s minutes, which will lead to plenty of time that Thompson is on the floor without Durant.  E’Twaun Moore’s absence is also a benefit to Thompson as Moore is a capable perimeter defender.  Look for a big game at a reasonable price point out of Thompson this evening.

Gordon Hayward continues to play well with the other Jazz starters banged up.  Keep an eye on Utah throughout the day because, if George Hill does not play, Hayward will see an increase in production as his assist rate increases and, if Hood sits on the second half of a back-to-back, Hayward will see increased usage as well.  Portland has a couple of quality wing defenders in Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu, but Aminu is being forced into time at center due to Jusuf Nurkic’s injury.  That leaves Harkless as the primary defender to worry about for Hayward.  In two meetings with Harkless this season, Hayward has scored 22 and 30 real points and is averaging 1.21 DraftKings points per minute.

Richaun Holmes is a somewhat risky play, as his minutes fluctuate from the low-mid 20s to the 30 minute mark from game to game, but he is very productive when he is on the floor.  Holmes has averaged over 1 DraftKings point per minute this season.  In addition, he gets a very good matchup against a weak Milwaukee frontcourt.  Since the start of March, Milwaukee is allowing the second most rebounds per 36 minutes to starting centers.  Holmes should benefit from the matchup and provide very productive minutes tonight.  He is more valuable on FanDuel where he is listed as a power forward.

Hassan Whiteside is on the road tonight, where he has not been as good this season.  And that is where the negative things end.  In two previous games against the Wizards this season, Whiteside has 18 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocks and 17 points, 16 rebounds and 2 blocks.  Washington’s small lineups have also made them vulenerable to allowing offensive rebounds lately, as they rank 22nd in offensive rebounds allowed to centers per 36 minutes over the last two weeks.  The key to Whiteside posting a monster game is getting offensive rebounds and putbacks and blocks.  The Wizards, as stated, are allowing increasing numbers of offensive rebounds and John Wall’s love of driving to the rim gives Whiteside plenty of block upside as well.

Secondary: Goran Dragic, Bradley Beal, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Draymond Green



Value ($3,000-$5,400)

There will almost surely be more value that opens up throughout the day but, at the moment, my favorite value plays are Jason Smith, assuming Morris sits, and Jordan Crawford.

Jason Smith is averaging 0.9 DraftKings points per minute this season and he is capable of producing with the starting unit.  John Wall’s ability to attack the basket, and the defense being forced to respect the three-point shooting of Beal and Porter, leads to Jason Smith getting a lot of wide-open looks when he is on the floor with them.  He underwhelmed in his last start, and is not a must-play at an increased price point by any means, but he does still have upside for a low-$4,000 range price tag.

Jordan Crawford should see plenty of minutes tonight with E’Twaun Moore sidelined.  Moore left last night’s game after playing only 18 minutes and Crawford finshed with 30 minutes as a result, including playing the last 19 minutes of the game after the injury.  Crawford has only played 74 minutes without Davis or Cousins on the floor, but he has a 29.4 percent usage rate and is averaging 0.99 DraftKings points per minute in those minutes.

Secondary: Shelvin Mack, Joe Ingles, Mo Harkless, Thon Maker, Noah Vonleh, Al-Farouq Aminu, Shaun Livingston, Ian Clark, Donatas Motiejunas, Alexis Ajinca