This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
We've got a substantial 11-game slate on tap as we near the All-Star break - let's dive in!
ORL (-7.5) vs. DET O/U: 206.5
ATL (-2) @ CLE O/U: 234
MIL (-1) @ IND O/U: 222.5
TOR (-3.5) @ BKN O/U: 222.5
NY (-2.5) vs. WAS O/U: 229.5
MIN (-8.5) vs. CHA O/U: 228.5
MEM (-4.5) vs. POR O/U: 234.5
DAL (-8) vs. SAC O/U: 226.5
UTA (-4.5) vs. MIA O/U: 217.5
PHO (-7.5) vs GS O/U: 226
LAL (-2.5) @ DEN O/U: 219.5
When slates are this large, it's sometimes effective to exercise discipline and just eliminate a game or two. I think ORL/DET is the game to fade in this case, despite some targets like Christian Wood who are newly-minted production favorites. I'm also not as keen as most on the LAL/DEN matchup, as I suspect we will get value-meeting (but not beating) numbers from most of the elites in that game.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR
Luka Doncic is officially questionable, but he says he is going to play. It's a good matchup against the Kings, but I am likely to go elsewhere with the majority of my lineups.
Deandre Ayton (ankle) DOUBTFUL
The Suns were lost without a viable frontcourt presence against the Lakers, and they definitely need Ayton back. If he can't go, I expect Cheick Diallo ($5,000) to get another start, with Mikal Bridges ($5,300) also getting a modest boost in production.
Kevin Love (achilles) QUESTIONABLE
Back-to-back teams: Washington, Portland
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($10,500) vs. CHA
You couldn't ask for a better matchup for Towns, as the Hornets rank dead-last against opposing centers. He's also enjoyed rock-steady production recently, averaging a whopping 50 DKFP over the past four games. Yes, a quick math calculation shows that he's averaging below 5x value here in relation to that average, but recent ceilings have gone as high as 64.5 DKFP and he annihilated Charlotte with an eye-popping 82.5 DKFP payday in their last matchup. Very hard to fade Towns tonight.
Trae Young, ATL ($10,400) vs. CLE
Young's also got a bit of the unfadeable in him. Like Towns, Young laid the hammer on his opponent in their last matchup as well, with a decisive 63.5 DKFP score against the Cavs. Cleveland is especially weak against opposing backcourts, and although Collin Sexton and Darius Garland have a shiny new toy (Drummond) for their assist totals, they won't be able to match up with Young defensively.
Julius Randle, NY ($8,600) vs. WAS
This price is normally lower than I would go in this category, but I think Randle has a great shot at obliterating the Wizards with Thomas Bryant (foot) still out. Don't get me wrong, I've consistently been a fan of Rui Hachimura, but Randle is an aggressive mismatch for the rookie, and I doubt even Davis Bertans will have much luck. Randle's coming off a 64.5 DKFP game against Atlanta and his recent fantasy point totals have consistently hovered in the mid 40's.
EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS
Khris Middleton ($8,800)
Eric Bledsoe ($7,700)
Brook Lopez ($5,800) @ IND
I had to just put all three Bucks in the same category, because you're rostering them for the exact same reason. Giannis Antetokounmpo will still be out after the birth of his child, so it's time for the Bucks to execute Plan B. This trio is usually the nexus of that plan. I especially like the Brook Lopez option, as he looked excellent against the Kings and really doesn't get his due often enough. Middleton may be a bit too expensive for most, especially if they're stacking Towns with another elite, but its hard to ignore the 57 DKFP he put up against the Kings. Bledsoe is still cheap enough. The veteran point guard averages 29 points, eight assists and a little under six rebounds when Giannis isn't playing. So, bunching these three together is obvious, and I may just use a lineup where I stack them for fun.
D'Angelo Russell, MIN ($8,300) vs. CHA
Russell's presence is another big reason why I'm high on Towns tonight. Russell is arguably a better dime-dropper than anyone else on the roster, and Towns will be his obvious target. He might be a little expensive if you look at his small sample size as a Timberwolf, but this is a plum matchup where Russell should excel.
Caris LeVert, BKN ($6,600) vs. TOR
People are probably growing weary of this endorsement. I've already espoused the advantages of LeVert in Kyrie Irving's absence multiple times, as his usage and production soar in his absence. You'd think Toronto's defense would give one pause, but LeVert has averaged a respectable 32 DKFP over two matches against the Raptors. We may see even higher numbers as he tries to absorb some of Irving's production.
Jaren Jackson Jr., MEM ($6,400) vs. POR
Over the past five games, Portland's frontcourt defense has been porous to a severe degree. They've given up big numbers to Zion, Bam and Bojan over the last three games, and I expect Jackson could follow suit. Ja Morant should be comprised a bit opposite Damian Lillard, so the rest of the team will need to step up. I expect Jackson to be the linchpin of that effort.
Also consider: Jimmy Butler, MIA ($8,000) @ UTA
James Johnson, MIN ($5,500) vs. CHA
This play may seem like it's a bit out of left field, but bear with me. I'm going to assume the T-Wolves will prevail here behind KAT, but there still is the matter of filling the hole left by Robert Covington. I don't think Josh Okogie is the answer as his skills favor a backcourt role, but Johnson has the necessary aggressiveness and defensive ability to fill the spot aptly. He's put up respectable totals of 31 and 21 DKFP in his first two games with Minnesota, and I think he;'s a great seasonal target who can also reap some value in DFS.
Dewayne Dedmon, ATL ($4,700) vs. CLE
When Clint Capela returns it will be a different story, but as a former Hawk, Dedmon's familiarity with the system puts him in the driver's seat at the five. 31 and 28 DKFP performances in his return to Atlanta have borne that theory out, and the Cavs are going to be in a precarious situation of Kevin Love sits, Andre Drummond will be there to defend, but 'defend' is a very strong word when we're talking about Andre Drummond.
Kevin Porter Jr., CLE ($4,300) @ ATL
Porter is very intriguing as a Cleveland value add, and has almost made my recommendation list more than once. In relation to his price tag, his production almost always exceeds 5x value. He put up 30 DKFP against the Hawks in their last meeting, and though his nine rebounds in that game aren't representative of what we'd normally see from him, I still think he could give us 25 DKFP or better tonight.
Also consider: Malik Monk, CHA ($4,700) @ MIN