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NBA Core Plays 1/07/20


1) Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

FanDuel: $8,400, PG DraftKings: $8,700, PG Yahoo: $39, PG FantasyDraft: $15,600, G

The list of injuries in Toronto got even longer with the addition of Fred VanVleet (out with a hamstring, as Dean would say). Add FVV to Gasol (out), Siakam (out), and Powell (doubtful), and I shouldn’t have to go into too much detail as to why we will like Lowry tonight.

But you know I am going to anyways.

Let’s see what good ol’ CourtIQ has to say when we take those four injured guys OFF. It is immediately as clear as day that Lowry has to do almost everything for this offense, posting a 31.9% usage rate and 45.5% assist rate.

(For sake of comparison, a guy like James Harden has a 37.5% usage rate and 35.9% assist rate on the season. )

Those huge rates for Lowry in that 136-minute sample resulted in 1.38 FD / 1.45 DK points per minute. And if you are wondering exactly how big all of those bumps are from Lowry’s season numbers, here they are:

23.1% usage rate 29.4% assist rate 1.03 FD / 1.08 DK points per minute

Throw in all of the minutes that he can handle (we have him projected for a whopping 39 minutes) in what is a very tight spread at home against Portland, and I really don’t think anything more needs to be said.

Tournament pivot: I like Damian Lillard as the tournament pivot (or addition to a game stack if you are eating Lowry chalk) on FD at a depressed price tag of $8,900. I think the ceiling is right in line with Lowry’s, but there is no way the ownership will be. Devin Booker is probably that guy for me on DK, where he is slightly more expensive than Lowry at $8,800. The usage rate for Booker has shot through the roof recently. On the season, he has a 29% usage rate. And in the last six games? Only 40.6%, 31.8%, 31.6%, 39.1%, 37.6%, and 31.2%. If that usage sticks again tonight (against a Sacramento team that is on the second night of a back-to-back) and he has an extremely efficient night shooting the ball, you are probably looking at a ceiling of 60+ DK points here.)

2) Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder

FanDuel: $6,500, C DraftKings: $6,600, C Yahoo: $24, C FantasyDraft: $12,200, F/C

This one is pretty contingent on the status of Nerlens Noel, who missed last night’s game with an ankle injury. This tweet sure makes it sound like he is on the doubtful side tonight. But with this being the second night of a back-to-back, we don’t have anything official at the time I am writing this.

With Noel inactive last night, Adams played 35 minutes going up against Embiid. However, when Noel is available, the Thunder trust him plenty to trot him out there as a backup to Adams to lighten his load a bit. On the season, Adams only averages 28.1 minutes per game, while Noel averages 18.4 as the backup. In fact, the two have not shared the court together for one minute all season. The backup for Adams last night, Mike Muscala, came through with a #NotGreatBob -15.5 Net Rating in his almost 13 minutes.

So if we do get word that Noel is out tonight, Adams will be a priority for me in cash games on this six-game slate.

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