Jaylen Brown has already been ruled out, which means all of the main Boston guys get nice bumps and in a great matchup against Memphis to boot. Gordon Hayward will get a Core Play tag on FD/DK/FDRFT, as he is the cheapest of the bunch and at a thinner position. Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum make for fantastic cash game options now as well.
1) Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers
FanDuel: $6,300, SG DraftKings: $7,300, PG/SG Yahoo: $27, PG FantasyDraft: $13,600, G
There is a strong likelihood that the Clippers are going to be short-handed tonight. We’ll obviously know more as the day goes on, but I am treating it as if they are going to be without three normal starters tonight.
Kawhi Leonard hasn’t played in a back-to-back since I was below 230 pounds (hint: it’s been a while).
Paul George has missed the last six games with a hamstring injury. And while it sounds like he will be back on their current road trip, it doesn’t appear as if that will be tonight.
Patrick Beverley left last night’s game with a groin injury. None of us know the severity of the injury, but it is quite telling to me that he was unable to return in a competitive game against a Western Conference foe.
In my scan of their box scores, I did not see a scenario for the Clippers in which these three guys all missed the same game. We did have two games earlier in the season in which both Kawhi and PG sat out, but Beverley was active for those. So let’s lean on CourtIQ for some help here.
We have a sizable 353-minute sample with Kawhi/George/Beverley OFF, and to say that Sweet Lou is the big winner would be an understatement. His usage rate goes up to 34.9%. The assist rate spikes all the way up to 41%. The end result is a massive +0.35 boost to his FPPM rate, ending at 1.38 FD / 1.49 DK. And here I thought I was going to have to dive in a little deeper!
As if we even needed any more good news, the Clips are on the road in Atlanta. As we know by now, rostering players against the Hawks is fantasy gold. Try these stats on for size:
6th in pace 27th in defensive rating 29th in overall team defensive efficiency 24th in defensive efficiency against opposing backcourts
Low to mid-30s minutes seem like an absolute certainty if all three of those guys sit out tonight, making Lou drastically underpriced for this situation. Lock him in and move on.
(Tournament pivot: On FD, I’d be shocked if a Lou/Mitchell pairing isn’t extreme chalk at shooting guard, so I like Andrew Wiggins as a tournament pivot right in that same price range. He can still pop off for 50+ FD points, even with KAT back in the equation. He dropped a 51, 57, and 65 back in November, all games that KAT was active. Unfortunately, there is no telling when you actually will get aggressive Wiggins, but I still like taking on that volatility in tournaments. On DK, I like pivoting to Donovan Mitchell at $7,800 against the Warriors. Ownership should be far lower on DK due to the more appropriate price tag, but the matchup is still great here against the Warriors. There are a number of other options you can look to here in this price range due to the huge slate, but Mitchell stands out as one of my favorites if you want to get away from Sweet Lou.)