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After an absolutely dreadful NBA weekend that was ruined by injuries and late scratches both days, we are treated to a six-game slate to kick off the week. The Trail Blazers and Warriors game will be the highlight of the night, despite the absence of Stephen Curry, however, we have what should be an appealing fantasy game to target that will take place between the Rockets and Pelicans as well. As of right now, the Rockets and Pelicans game is the only one projected over 220 points, with the Warriors and Trail Blazers being off the board. Injuries could play a factor in today's slate, with Paul George, Al Horford, Nicolas Batum, and Maurice Harkless being a couple of names to keep an eye on.
Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers
DK Salary: $9,200 / FD Salary: $9,300
With tonight's matchup between the Trail Blazers and Warriors looking like a good one to target, the best place to start will be Damian Lillard. Lillard is coming into tonight's contest averaging a massive 40.1 minutes per game over the last four, while averaging 48.1 DraftKings points during that span. He is fresh off a 53 point outing against the Rockets, where he squared off against Chris Paul, and will get the benefit of facing off against the duo of Patrick McCaw and Shaun Livingston for the majority of the night.
The Trail Blazers have already ruled Jusuf Nurkic out for this game, which is a huge boost to Dame, as he posts a 41.1 percent usage rate and 1.32 fantasy points per minute with Nurkic off the floor. In addition to Nurkic, forward Maurice Harkless is questionable as well, and his absence could further boost Lillard's upside in this matchup. Lillard's usage increases even further without the duo of Harkless and Nurkic, up to 43.7 percent and he averages 1.44 fantasy points per minute. Lillard has at least 20 field-goal attempts in five of the last 10 games and he will be relied upon heavily against a Golden State sqad loaded with weapons even without Curry. This should be a fast-paced game, which gives Lillard even more chances to rack up points against a Warriors team that has ranked 19th in defensive efficiency against point guards over their last five games. Opposing point guards are shooting 44.2 percent from two, 55.2 percent from beyond-the-arc, and have racked up 23.4 points, 6.4 boards, and 9 assists during that span of games.
Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors
DK Salary: $8,300 / FD Salary: $8,300
Lowry has enjoyed quite the bounce back after a horrid start to the season, and has scored over 50 fantasy points in five of the last 10 games, but apparently sites aren't paying attention as they refuse to raise his price. He comes in at $8,300 on both sites tonight, a price that is down right disrespectful. Lowry has posted only a 22 percent usage rate over the last 10 games, but has accounted for 26.4 percent of the team's rebounds, 41.5 percent of their assists, and 23.5 percent of their points during that span.
Because of the massive amount of injuries the Clippers have sustained, their defense has been atrocious, allowing 109.3 points per game to opponents over their last 10 games. They have surrendered 21 rebounds and 52 points per game to opposing guards during that span, as well. The Clippers rank 17th in defensive efficiency against point guards on the season, with some of that sample size being with Patrick Beverley, but have ranked 26th in defensive efficiency against point guards over the last 10 games, and that number won't get better with Teodosic returning to the lineup. They struggle to defend spot-up shooters, allowing 1.12 points per possession and a 60 percent effective field-goal rate, and Lowry ranks in the 92nd percentile among all players on spot-up possessions this season. This stands out as an excellent spot for Lowry to have a huge outing, and with several other oustanding point guard options on the slate, he will likely go overlooked.
Clint Capela, C, Houston Rockets
DK Salary: $6,500 / FD Salary: $7,200
The Houston Rockets will be forced to stay big for the majority of tonight's game, facing off against the Pelicans' twin towers, so Capela should see a heap of minutes in a solid matchup. While a cursory glance at the DvP numbers will tell us to avoid taking centers against the Pelicans, it is most definitely a spot we can attack. The Pelicans are allowing 43.8 rebounds, 110.5 points, and 44.5 points in the paint to opponents this season and they rank 17th in the NBA in efficiency against centers. Centers have averaged 21.5 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.7 combined blocks and steals against them, as well.
Capela has been outstanding this season, albeit in limited minutes most nights, and is averaging over 31 fantasy points per game in 22 minutes over his last four games. He has double-digit rebounds in seven of the last 10 games, with double-digit points in all but one of those games. Capela operates as the roll man in the pick-and-roll 35.3 percent of the time this season, averaging 1.3 points per possession, and ranks in the 81st percentile among all players in the NBA in efficiency. He is also excellent in transition this season, averaging 1.32 points per possession. The Pelicans roll man defense has been terrible this season, and they have allowed 1.11 points per possession on the play, as is their transition defense. Because Capela should be in line for extended minutes, and because his price is incredibly cheap for his upside, Capela is an outstanding GPP play.
Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, Boston Celtics
DK Salary: $6,000 / FD Salary: $6,300
I have been picking on the Bulls with power forwards for the majority of the season, with a decent amount of success, and that is going to continue tonight as Tatum is one of my favorite cheap GPP options. Tatum has been impressive as a rookie this season, averaging 27 fantasy points per game, and is playing heavy minutes for the Celtics as Marcus Morris continues to battle with knee soreness. Tatum has scored over 30 fantasy points in three of his last four games, and five of the last 10 games. Tonight, Tatum could see a further boost as not only Morris out, but Al Horford could miss time as well after getting injured in yesterday's contest. With just Morris off the floor this season, Tatum is averaging .90 fantasy points per minute with a 19.6 percent usage rate, but those numbers climb to 25.2 percent and 1.10 fantasy points per minute with the duo of Morris and Horford off the floor.
The usage and production boost is intriguing for Tatum, but the best part about him tonight is how he can attack the weaknesses in Chicago's defense. The Bulls have allowed 106.8 points per game this season, while giving up 46 boards and 43 points in the paint to opponents this season. They have struggled to defend in transition, allowing 1.12 points per possession, and have also struggled to defend spot up shooters. They have allowed 1.01 points per possession and an effective field-goal percentage of 52.6 percent on spot-up possessions as well. Tatum ranks in the 85th percentile of players in transition efficiency this season, averaging 1.34 points per possession, and also ranks in the 84th percentile in spot-up efficiency. Tatum is an outstanding play regardless of Horford's status tonight, but if Horford sits, lock Tatum in and enjoy the ride.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF/PF, Portland Trail Blazers
DK Salary: $4,600 / FD Salary: $5,300
Aminu is going to be incredibly popular tonight, which normally isn't something we want for our GPP plays, but his point-per-dollar upside is just too high to ignore in this spot. Aminu has been off his minutes restriction for two games now and has notched over 27 fantasy points in both of those games. Aminu is averaging .97 fantasy points per minute without Nurkic on the floor this season, and he averages .93 fantasy points per game with both Nurkic and Harkless off the floor.
This will be a fast-paced game, which benefits Aminu's play style, and he will be facing off against a Warriors team that has surrendered 48.29 fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards this season. The Warriors are giving up 42.1 rebounds per game to opponents, while allowing 45.9 points in the paint this season. They have allowed opponents to shoot 36 percent from beyond-the-arc and 36.2 percent on corner threes. As far as Aminu's shot selection goes, he is attempting 21 percent of his shots at the rim, where the Warriors are allowing opponents to shoot 62.1 percent, and the majority of his other field-goal attempts are corner threes or above-the-break threes. Aminu is an excellent spot-up shooter, ranking in the 78th percentile this season, and is also outstanding operating as the roll man in the pick-and-roll. The Warriors, surprisingly, struggle to defend roll men, allowing 1.2 points per possession and have also struggled to contain spot-up shooters. Aminu should continue to smash value at his price, and should be locked into lineups tonight.