This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
If you're playing NBA DFS at this point of the season, you should probably get a heart rate monitor. This is the wild, wild, west of the fantasy industry and it's not for the faint of heart. The injuries are one thing but the amount of players resting continues to grow.
That makes DFS even more challenging that usual, as the typical, optimal lineup strategy is a stars-and-scrubs approach. With so many cheap players seeing big minutes, it's a little easier to employ that strategy at this point in the season, but the hits and misses are more volatile than ever.
James Harden, HOU at SAC ($11,400): On a four-game slate, it's hard to fade a guy who's virtually guaranteed to top 40-plus fantasy points. Harden has at least 39 DK points in all but one game this season, and his season average sits well north of that at 62.4 fantasy points per game. What really makes Harden difficult to fade is the matchup, with Sacramento ranking third in pace and 26th in total defense. That was crystal clear in Harden's most recent game, as he provided 50 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists en route to 85.3 DK points against this same Kings team on Saturday. Another 80-plus-point effort is probably an unrealistic expectation, but I still wouldn't fade Harden's upside.
Chris Paul, HOU at SAC ($7,100): Paul simply remains too cheap on DK and, like Harden, he too should be able to exploit this matchup. It's actually an even better matchup for Paul, with Sacramento owning a 30th OPRK against point guards this season. Paul has returned to his All-Star form in recent weeks, and he's averaging 38 DK points per game since returning from injury on January 27. That's right in line with his season average, which, alone, is flirting with 6X value. Not to mention, Paul is averaging 42 fantasy points per game in three meetings with the Kings this season.
Rajon Rondo, LAL at OKC ($6,600): Rondo might be the best play on the board, and it's clear he's going to run the show in Los Angeles with LeBron James, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma expected to miss this game. In the last two games without those four, Rondo is averaging 53.5 DK points per game, and he's been good for 34 fantasy points per game across his last 16 outings. This high-usage Rondo is essentially a poor man's Russell Westbrook at $5,000 cheaper, and that's tough to fade.
LaMarcus Aldridge, SAN vs. ATL ($8,400): Stacking Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan is an optimal strategy on this slate, as the Spurs get the best fantasy matchup in the NBA. Not only does Atlanta play at the fastest pace in the league, they also rank 26th in defensive rating and dead-last in points allowed per game. In addition, the Hawks own a 29th OPRK against power forwards this season. That alone makes Aldridge worth a shot but, the veteran is also averaging 51.4 fantasy points per game across his last four fixtures. The one time he faced Atlanta this season, Aldridge collected 48 DraftKings points.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL at OKC ($5,400): Using Lakers is going to be the biggest factor on this slate, but picking the right ones will decide who takes down the tourneys. Caldwell-Pope is a good bet to take on a substantial scoring load, as he's been firing up threes at will. While he's been a disappointment on the whole this season, KCP is putting up 8.2 three-point attempts per game across his last 13 games, and its led to his best production of the season. In that span, he's averaging 29 DK points per game, and that number bumps up over 30 in his last seven games.
Moritz Wagner, LAL at OKC ($3,800): This one is a tough sell but a couple games without Kuzma indicates Wagner could see monster minutes. In two starts this season, Wagner is averaging 28.6 DK points across 32 minutes of action. That's gargantuan production from a player south of $4,000, and he should be looking at 30 minutes once again here, as long as Kuzma is out. The sample size is small, but Wagner ranks second on the team with a 24 percent usage rate with Ingram, Ball, James and Kuzma sidelined.
Clint Capela, HOU at SAC ($7,500): In two games against the Kings this season, Capela is averaging 53 DK points per game. That should really be no surprise when you consider the aforementioned defensive numbers, which includes the fact that Sacramento owns a 24th OPRK against centers. Capela comes into this matchup rolling , averaging 38 fantasy points per game across his last 13 outings and scoring at least 30 DK points in each of those games.
Steven Adams, OKC vs. LAL ($6,100): This is more about the matchup, with Los Angeles ranking 22nd in points allowed, while playing at the fourth-fastest pace in the league and holding an OPRK of 20th against centers. Adams has been at his best over the last five games, and the Lakers have very few viable options to keep off the glass and away from the rim.