Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
The Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards have both been playing at an above average pace this season, ranking 13th and eighth in the NBA in pace, respectively. Dallas has struggled at times offensively this season, ranking only 19th in the league in offensive rating. They get an elite matchup, though, as Washington ranks 26th in the NBA in defensive rating this season. The Mavs are small underdogs in a game set at 225 points, and they feature an implied total of 111.8 points tonight.
The Wizards are known to struggle to rebound the ball the season, making DeAndre Jordan one of the chalkiest plays on the slate. He only owns a 14.1% usage rating, but he’s a near lock for a double double. On the season, he’s averaging 12.7 points, 14.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 blocks in 33.8 minutes per game. Dennis Smith is the other potentially extremely chalky player, as he’s mispriced tonight. He has played 30+ minutes in four of his last five games, scoring 30+ DK points in three of those four games. He leads the team with a 26.7% usage rating, and he should be locked into 30+ minutes once again. He’s an easy value play on a smaller slate. Harrison Barnes rounds out this stack. He has struggled at times this season, but he is averaging 14.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 31.6 minutes per game. He owns a 23.1% usage rating, and ranks second on the team in shot attempts per game. He won’t be as highly owned as Jordan or Smith, but he should still feature a bit of ownership on only a four game slate.
Wildcard GPP: Low Owned Stack
The Portland Blazers only rank 14th in the NBA in pace this season, but they will see a major uptick against the Milwaukee Bucks, who currently rank fourth in the league in pace. Portland has found plenty of offensive success, though, ranking fifth in the league in offensive rating through 10 games. This will be a tough matchup, though, as Milwaukee leads the NBA in defensive rating thus far. The Blazers are +1 point underdogs in a game set at 229 points tonight, giving them an implied total of 114 points.
Damian Lillard has been the focal point of the Portland offense this season, recording a 30.2% usage rating through 10 games. He’s averaging 28.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in 33.4 minutes per game. Furthermore, he’s averaging 18.6 shot attempts and 8.1 free throw attempts per game this season. C.J. McCollum is the other focal point of the offense, as he’s the only other player averaging over 30 minutes per game this season. He boasts a 25.8% usage rating, turning that into 18.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. The Blazers team becomes somewhat of a toss up after those two players, as no one else has been locked into big minutes. Jusuf Nurkic is a player that come with undeniable upside, though. He owns a 25.6% usage rating on the season, and he has caught fire over his last four games. Over that span, he’s averaging 18.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 block in 26.3 minutes per game. He has also recently scored 52 DK points against the Washington Wizards, and this is another relatively good matchup for Nurkic. While he does add a ton of risk to this stack, he also brings tremendous upside for a reasonable price tag.
Hidden Gem: Value Guard
Dinwiddie has performed extremely well this season, although he has only seen limited minutes. Through 10 games, he’s averaging 14.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 4.0 assists (24.4 DK points) in 26.6 minutes per game. He ranks only fifth on the team with a 22.6% usage rating, but he has made the most of his opportunities. His price tag also has been dropped, even though he has scored 25+ DK points in three of his last four games, including a 37.5 DK point performance against the Detroit Pistons.
Dinwiddie is expected to see a similar role tonight, recording minutes in the mid-20s. He gets a great matchup against the Phoenix Suns, though, who have struggled against guards this season. This game could also be higher scoring than anticipated, adding to the number of opportunities Dinwiddie generally sees on a nightly basis. He isn’t an elite player by any means, but he’s a strong salary relief option on a smaller slate.
Hidden Gem: Value Big
Bembry has only seen limited minutes this season, but he’s averaging 12.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.3 steals on a per-36 minute basis. He has been a player that can contribute in multiple categories, and he’s averaging 0.92 DK points per minute on the season. His usage rating sits at only 18.4%, but he has shown that he can dominate while on the court without seeing increased usage.
Taurean Prince is unlikely to play tonight, leaving a plethora of minutes for other players to take over. Bembry will likely see the bulk of those minutes, and he could potentially see 30+ minutes in this game. He gets a good matchup against the Charlotte Hornets, who have struggled against small forwards early this season, and Bembry is a near must start with only four games on the slate.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)
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