Trae Young has put together a solid start to his sophomore NBA season. He’s averaging 25.0 points and 8.1 assists per game, resulting in an average of 1.42 DraftKings points per minute. He’s increased his usage rate of 34.8% and his assist rate to 49.2% this season, both of which rank in the top four in the league.
He has the potential to be even more involved in the Hawks’ offense today. Vince Carter and Evan Turner have both been ruled out, and while neither player is a huge part of the Hawks’ rotation, Young has seen a boost to his usage and assist rates with both players off the court this season.
He also has a nice matchup vs. the Portland Trail Blazers. They rank ninth in pace and 20th in defensive efficiency this season, giving Young an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.09 on DraftKings.
Ben Simmons will miss today’s contest for the 76ers, which makes Raul Neto one of the strongest value options of the day. He started in place of Simmons in his last game and finished with 25.6 FanDuel points in 30.2 minutes. He’s averaged 0.87 FanDuel points per minute this season and is currently projected for a similar workload on today’s slate. He’s tough to pass up at just $3,700 on FanDuel.
Ricky Rubio has looked rejuvenated for the Suns this season, and he’s scored at least 30.1 FanDuel points in all seven games. He’s in a nice spot today vs. the Brooklyn Nets, who have played at the fourth-fastest pace. The Suns are currently implied for 117.75 points, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.
Terry Rozier got off to a slow start with the Hornets this season, but he’s scored at least 33.25 DraftKings points in four of his past five games. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.01 DraftKings points per minute, which makes him a strong option at just $5,900.
Malcolm Brogdon has been one of the best low-key additions of the offseason. He was never considered to be a superstar-caliber player while with the Bucks, but he’s taken his game to another level after escaping the shadow of Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s increased his usage and assist rates by substantial marks in his first year with the Pacers, and he’s scored at least 36.25 DraftKings points in all but one game this season.
Brogdon is coming off his worst performance of the year in his last outing — he scored just 24.0 DraftKings points in 32.5 minutes — which has caused his salary drop by -$1,000 from its peak on DraftKings. His current $7,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%. He has a tough matchup vs. the Orlando Magic, but this is a very interesting buy-low spot for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
Evan Fournier has seen a reduction in playing time this season, but he’s coming off his best game of the year in his last outing. He scored 39.4 FanDuel points in just 27.2 minutes, and he could’ve had an even bigger game if the Grizzlies managed to keep that game competitive. He’s an excellent target at just $4,500 on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 98%, particularly if Terrence Ross is forced to miss another contest.
Kevin Huerter has been eased into the Hawks rotation this season, but he did play 29.9 minutes in his last contest. He responded with a season-high 26.6 FanDuel points, and he should be looking at a similar workload today given the Hawks’ current injury situation.
The Blazers own the top implied team total of the day vs. the Hawks, which makes C.J. McCollum an interesting option at just $6,000 on DraftKings. McCollum has struggled to start that year, but that’s a really cheap price tag for a player of his caliber. McCollum has historically been a strong investment with a comparable price tag on DraftKings, posting an average Plus/Minus of +4.17 (per the Trends tool).
SF is loaded at the top today. It starts with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been a fantasy monster to start the season.
He’s averaged 63.53 DraftKings points per game in just 32.7 minutes of playing time, which is basically unheard of. He’s on pace to set new career-highs in points, rebounds and assists per game, and he’s also averaging 3.0 blocks + steals per game. Giannis the top fantasy producer in the league right now, and it’s really not even that close.
Giannis is in a pretty mediocre spot vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder — they rank in the top 10 in defensive efficiency and bottom 10 in pace — but it really doesn’t matter: He still owns the top median, ceiling and floor projections in our NBA Models. Basically, paying up for him is almost never a bad idea.
That said, LeBron James is also available, and he might be the better pure value on DraftKings. He’s nearly $1,000 cheaper at $10,300, and his price tag results in a Bargain Rating of 88%. His numbers aren’t as gaudy as Giannis’, but he’s still averaged 1.68 DraftKings points per minute this season. He leads the position with 12 Pro Trends.
At the other end of the pricing spectrum, JaKarr Sampson warrants consideration for the Pacers. They’ll be shorthanded — Myles Turner, Goga Bitadze and Jeremy Lamb have all been ruled out — and Sampson has played at least 23.8 minutes in each of his past two contests. He’s averaged 0.89 FanDuel points per minute this season, so that should be enough playing time to make him relevant at just $3,800.
If you’re looking for someone in the midrange, Tobias Harris makes a lot of sense at $7,000 on FanDuel. He’s coming off 42.0 FanDuel points in his first game without Simmons this season, and he’s seen a slight boost in fantasy scoring with Simmons off the court in general.
The game between the Nets and Suns figures to be the best of the day from a fantasy perspective. You can grab some exposure at SF with either Caris LeVert or Kelly Oubre. Both players have been productive on a per-minute basis this season — LeVert has averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute while Oubre has averaged 1.01 — and both players are projected for roughly 32 minutes.
Anthony Davis stands out at the top of the PF position, particularly on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 90%. He hasn’t had the best start to his Lakers’ tenure — he’s scored 55.5 DraftKings points or fewer six of his first eight games — but he seems like a prime candidate for some positive regression moving forward. He’s shot below his career averages from the field and 3-point range to begin the year. His usage rate of 31.6% is actually two percentage points higher than it was last season, so there’s no reason why he can’t improve his fantasy output.
His salary has decreased by $300 over the past month, so he’s a nice buy-low option.
The Knicks’ big man rotation is pretty volatile, but Taj Gibson appears to be the current preferred option. He’s coming off 25.0 DraftKings points in a season-high 27.7 minutes in his last game, and he’s expected to see a similar workload today. He’s definitely in play at $4,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Al Horford leads the position with 13 Pro Trends on FanDuel, and he’s in an awesome spot vs. the Charlotte Hornets. They’ve struggled with opposing big men this season, giving Horford an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.12 on FanDuel. He’s seen a pretty large price decrease since the start of the season, but he’s averaged a strong 1.16 FanDuel points per minute.
Domantas Sabonis has scored at least 44.8 FanDuel points in each of his past four games, and he should see another increased workload with Turner and Bitadze out of the lineup. He’s increased his production to 1.27 FanDuel points per minute with both players off the court this season, and only Davis owns a higher ceiling projection at the position on FanDuel.
There are lots of stud options to consider paying up for today, but Joel Embiid should be near the top of the list. He stands out in particular on DraftKings, where his $9,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%. That is a crazy low salary for Embiid. He has historically posted a Plus/Minus of +1.38 with a comparable salary on DraftKings, including an average Plus/Minus of +15.46 in two games this season.
He benefits from the same elite matchup as Horford, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.31 on DraftKings. His average of 1.78 DraftKings points per minute trails only Giannis’ on today’s slate, but rostering Embiid will save you over $2,000. His current rating in our NBA Models is popping as one of the top marks all season.
Bobby Portis is another potential option for the Knicks. He’s dirt-cheap on FanDuel, where his $4,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%, and he’s coming off 31.9 FanDuel points in his last contest. He should continue to see a few additional minutes with Mitchell Robinson inactive.
Aron Baynes has established himself as the go-to center option for the Suns. He’s logged at least 27.9 minutes in each of his past four games, and he’s scored at least 30.0 DraftKings points in each contest. He’s displayed a ceiling of nearly 60 DraftKings points over that time frame, and he’s in a potential smash spot vs. the Nets. They’ve struggled against opposing centers this season, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.05 on DraftKings.
If you’re looking to go with a contrarian option today, consider Pascal Siakam. He leads the position with 13 Pro Trends on DraftKings, and he’s projected for just 9-12% ownership. He owns the fourth-highest ceiling projection at the position, so he has the potential to be a tournament winner.
Pictured above: 76ers C Joel Embiid (21)
Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports