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NBA DFS Picks from a FD prospective

Slate Overview 

OKC/MEM: The Thunder enter this matchup as a 4.5-point favorite, with a total sitting at 225.  

SAC/BKN: Sacramento comes in as a 4.5-point favorite and that could rise if Brooklyn is missing more players. The total hasn't been released yet but it should be around 230.  

ORL/PHI: Philly is a 4.5-point favorite and we should be looking at a 220-point total between two defensive-minded teams.   WSH/NOP: This game could be nuts. While New Orleans is a 6.5-point favorite, both clubs rank top-10 in pace and bottom-five in defense. That's likely going to give us a total approaching 240.  

BOS/TOR:After a bunch of questionable defenses in the first four games, we finally have some good ones here. That's why the total registers at 218.5 with a 3.5-point spread in favor of Toronto. 

Positional Breakdown 

PG: While we don't have any "superstars" here, there are so many worthy options. De'Aaron Fox, Chris Paul and Ja Morant all sit between $7,700 and $8,000, while Kyle Lowry is next at $7,200. Lonzo Ball follows at $6,900 and no other player is above $5,300. Kemba Walker, Shake Milton and Tyler Johnson are all intriguing plays in the $4,000s.  

SG: Jrue Holiday, Fred VanVleet, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Caris LeVert are all just shy of 8K. They will all be highly-owned, with Marcus Smart fifth at $5,500. Bogdan Bogdanovic and Josh Richardson make for fantastic values below $5,000.   

SF: Brandon Ingram and Pascal Siakam share the crown here at $7,500. Tobias Harris is at $6,800, while Jaylen Brown, Danilo Gallinari, Troy Brown and Gordon Hayward all come in around 6K. Evan Fournier, James Ennis and Harrison Barnes make for nice value plays.  

PF: This represents the weakest position of the day. Jayson Tatum is up top at $7,500, while Zion Williamson is next at $6,900. Aaron Gordon, Rui Hachimura, Richaun Holmes, Brandon Clarke and Daniel Theis are all fascinating between $5,300 and $6,400. I don't trust anyone below that and you don't need to use anyone cheaper with no player above $10,000. 

C: Joel Embiid is the highest-priced player on the slate at $9,800. Nikola Vucevic, Thomas Bryantand Jonas Valanciunas are all good options between $7,500 and $8,000. Jarrett Allen is in play at $7,000 if he plays and Steven Adams is a solid value at $5,900. Derrick Favors is the only viable cheap option at $5,200.  

Injuries to Monitor 

Ben Simmons (PHI) 

Simmons suffered a knee injury in the last game and won't suit up here.  

Allen is nursing a knee injury and enters this matchup questionable. If he's out, he'll join Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyrie Irving and Taurean Prince on the inactive list. Joe Harris is also questionable.  

Aaron Gordon (ORL) 

Gordon suffered a hamstring issue on a nasty fall Wednesday and comes into today as questionable. If he's out, look for James Ennis, Wes Iwundu and Terrence Ross to play big minutes with Al-Farouq Aminu also out. 

Schroder is having a baby and won't play here. It doesn't alter this rotation a lot, with Chris Pauland Shai Gilgeous-Alexander running the show.  

Jaren Jackson Jr (MEM) 

Jackson will miss the remainder of the restart because of a meniscus tear. Look for Brandon Clarketo step into his role and for Josh Jackson to do more. Kyle Anderson and Grayson Allen will play more too.  

Elite Players 

Joel Embiid is the only player above $8,000, sitting at $9,800. He faces a tough matchup against a stingy Orlando defense and it's likely going to make him highly-owned since there are so many cheap options available. It's extremely rare to see a five-game slate with no players above five-figures, but here we are. With that said, there are dozens of players between $6,000 and $8,000, making it one of the most fascinating slates in recent memory. Look for most people to build a balanced lineup with $6-7K guys, rather than the starts and scrubs route. 

Expected Chalk 

Joel Embiid, PHI ($9,800) 

There is no other player above $8,000, so a lot of people will use Embiid with a lot of salary left over. What adds to his intrigue is the fact Ben Simmons is out, guaranteeing him even more touches and usage. Over his last four games, Embiid is averaging 58.6 FanDuel points per game. Look for him to be in nearly half of the lineups. 

Caris LeVert, BKN ($7,900) 

With Durant, Irving, Dinwiddie and Prince all out, LeVert is the man. That doesn't even take into consideration that Allen, Harris and Jamal Crawford will also sit here. LeVert is averaging over 40 fantasy points per game with this roster while posting a usage rate north of 30 percent and that number might end up being how many DFS players use him today against a shaky Sacramento D.  

Key Values 

Jrue Holiday, NOP ($7,700) 

This seems like a strange price. We're talking about a guy who's averaging 39 fantasy points per game for the season and offers about a 35-point floor. The thing that really makes him attractive today is the matchup versus the worst defense in the NBA. I'll be loading up on Holiday because I don't see any way he doesn't reach 40 fantasy points, which would equate to a 5X floor.  

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SAC ($4,900) 

Bogey went off on Thursday by providing 35 points en route to a 47-point fantasy gem. That's a dream for a player below $5,000 and it's about time the Kings realize he's one of their best playmakers. That form pairs really nicely with this matchup against a Brooklyn team with more than half of their roster missing.  

Kemba Walker, BOS ($4,800) 

Walker played 26 minutes in his most recent outing, which means we could be looking at 30 here. The price drop is definitely understandable, but he might never be this cheap again once he sees 30-plus minutes. We're talking about an All-Star averaging 35 FD points per game on the season across 31 minutes of action. Not to mention, this is a big game for both teams and Walker is averaging 36 fantasy points per game in his three meetings with the Raptors this year.  Even if he struggles in 30 minutes, Walker will still drop 20 fantasy points which approaches 5X value

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