PG Damian Lillard – 9,800 FD & 9,300 DK
Damian Lillard has the most favorable matchup against a Los Angeles team that allows the third most points in the league to opposing point guards, allowing an average of 54.3 FD points per game. Although talented, Lonzo Ball should be no match for Damian Lillard (obviously). The Portland Trail Blazers are favored by 6.5 points with a 210 over-under. Considering tonight’s small slate, I recommend staying away from GPP tournaments as the “Professionals” have massive advantages on smaller slates simply because they’re max entering. Max entering a small slate allows for too much exposure to any game scenario. I’d do some single entry, or even 5-man winner take all on a night like tonight. Just make sure you lock in Damian Lillard against the 27th ranked Lakers defense vs. opposing point guards.
Other Cash PG Option(s): Lonzo Ball & Dejounte Murray (GPP)
SG Klay Thompson – 6,800 FD & 6,700 DK
Klay Thompson is simply a lower priced shooting guard that helps make lineup construction easier on a two-game slate that doesn’t allow for many options. Klay has averaged 33.1 FD points per games over Golden State’s first 8 games. At a reasonable price of 6,800 on Fan Duel and 6,700 on Draft Kings, Klay becomes hard to fade in cash lineups. He might not have the highest ceiling right now, but he is on the court for roughly 30 minutes/game on one of the highest scoring teams in league. Also, McCollum has a tough matchup against KCP, a very talented defender. I am recommending that people stay away from C.J McCollum, consequently expressing my confidence in Damian Lillard.
Other Cash SG Option(s): Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (GPP)
SF Kevin Durant – 9,900 FD & 9,700 DK
Small slates are the worst, mainly because there are so few option’s and one play/non-play can ruin your whole night. With that said, Kevin Durant becomes a must play if you have the salary to afford him. I’m trying not to pay up for him and find value plays that I am confident in, but things aren’t looking good. I don’t have to be a “Expert Analyst” to tell you Kevin Durant will get his tonight against a Spurs team that is plagued with injuries, it’s just not going to be easy to fit him in your lineup with salary and all. I’m including GPP options in the “Other Plays” part of my article today due to this small slate. If I just wrote up 5 cash plays you would be left with minimal salary. Beside Durant, Brandon Ingram is currently the only viable play that I can say I am slightly confident in at the position. Like I said things are rough at SF tonight, you might have to lock in Durant and then start from there. It sucks but sometimes the slate dictates how you approach a lineup and it’s looking like paying up for a safe KD is the first move you must make. No choice here.
Other Cash SF Option(s): Brandon Ingram (GPP)
PF LaMarcus Aldridge – 8,100 FD & 8,300 DK
LaMarcus Aldridge has been the most reliable player on a Spurs team that is attempting to function without Kawai Leonard. It’s as simple as this, without Kawai the Spurs have limited offensive options. The only two Spurs that I am considering in cash games tonight are LaMarcus and Pau Gasol, both showing favorable matchups. The Golden State Warriors are favored by 7.5 points with a 217 over-under. If this game stays close, it will be on the back(s) of LaMarcus Aldridge and possibly Pau Gasol who I think is a sneaky/interest GPP play and a fade off Aldridge, who is expected to be high owned.
Other Cash PF Option(s): Larry Nance (GPP) & Noah Vonleh/Ed Davis (Punt)
C Jusuf Nurkic – 7,400 FD & 5,900 DK
With Al Farouq Aminu confirmed out of the game, the clear benefactor becomes Jusuf Nurkic in tonight’s game against Brook Lopez – a horrible defender. Considering Aminu’s absence, Nurkic should expect more rebounds, extended minutes and increased usage on the offensive side of the court. Jusuf Nurkic had his first big game in a while last night against the Utah Jazz, which is not the easiest matchup. Nurkic has a great matchup tonight and I look for him to build on his last game and get back to the numbers he was putting up last season. Without Aminu and the favorable matchup against Brook Lopez, this play becomes a lock in cash game lineups.
Other Cash Center Option(s): Pau Gasol