NBA Top Plays: Sunday 4/18

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Louis Cangiano
·6 min read
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Point Guard

Kevin Porter Jr. - Houston Rockets (vs. Orlando Magic)

Kevin Porter will serve as Houston’s primary point guard tonight as John Wall, Eric Gordon, Sterling Brown, and David Nwaba are all out for Houston. The Orlando Magic will have Gary Harris and Cole Anthony back in their lineup but James Ennis, Michael Carter-Williams, Otto Porter, and Mo Bamba are likely out for tonight. I do like the Rockets tonight. Christian Wood, Jae’Sean Tate, and Kevin Porter Jr. should supply more than enough offense to carry the Rockets to a victory. If this game stays close, having exposure to Terrence Ross on the other side would make a lot of sense. Ross is Orlando’s primary scoring option at the moment and will have tons of usage tonight. The Magic have lost seven of their last eight games while the Rockets have lost five in a row, and 10 of their last 11. So far this season, the Houston Rockets are 7 - 21 on the road while the Magic are 10 - 19 at home. Something needs to give. I expect a sloppy game including steals, blocks, turnovers, etc. These are the types of games that result in massive fantasy outputs especially on sites like FanDuel where steals and blocks are worth three points compared to DraftKings and YahooFantasy where they are only worth two points. The Rockets are allowing 115 PPG which is the fourth-highest in the NBA. The Orlando Magic are allowing 112 points per game (ranked 13th highest). Lock in Kevin Porter as well as Ross for your GPP lineups.

Other PG Option: Ricky Rubio - Minnesota Timberwolves (vs. Los Angeles Clippers)

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Shooting Guard

Paul George - Los Angeles Clippers (vs. Minnesota Timberwolves)

The NBC Sports Edge NBA Optimizer has George projected for 47.4 DK points at a salary of $9,300, not particularly great. With that said, he’s still in our optimal lineup for tonight’s small five-game slate. Without Serge Ibaka, Patrick Beverley (and possibly Kawhi) George’s usage will be through the roof. Unfortunately, so will his ownership. George has averaged 56.5 DK points per game over his last five games. His minutes are through the roof and his floor is high enough for cash games. Over his last five, his worst outing was a 50.75 FP effort against the Detroit Pistons. If Kawhi remains out, lock in George despite his potentially high percentages.

Other SG Option: Buddy Hield - Sacramento Kings (vs. Dallas Mavericks)

Shooting Guard

Terrence Ross - Orlando Magic (vs. Houston Rockets)

Ross is out

As I mentioned in Kevin Porter‘s writeup, Terrence Ross becomes the perfect play for exposure to the Orlando Magic. Kevin Porter will run Houston’s offense. I have no doubt that he will reach value considering his low salary and high usage with John Wall out for tonight. Porter is priced at $6,600 on DraftKings, which is simply way too low considering his ceiling. Just three games ago he totaled 54.25 DraftKings points over 30 minutes of play. When you give this kid the opportunity, he thrives. With a litany of recent injuries for the Houston Rockets, Porter will have the opportunity to thrive. Terrence Ross sees a solid matchup against Jae’Sean Tate. Over his last five games, Ross has averaged 19.0 FPPG over 26.5 MPG. The best time to roster Ross is when Orlando needs to keep up from behind. Considering their current injuries, Ross will be needed in a big way tonight in order to keep Orlando close. In my opinion, you either roster Ross and Porter together, or neither of them. If Ross does not perform, the Magic will be blown out, consequently putting Porter on the bench for most/if not all of the fourth quarter. Forming a game narrative for each entry is very important when constructing daily fantasy lineups. How do I think the game will play out? Based on how I think it will play out, what correlations are there? A daily fantasy lineup is nothing but a physical manifestation of how a given game will play out. Terrence Ross and Kevin Porter or two mid-range salary options who have significant ceilings with high floors on a small five-game slate.

Other SF Options: Carmelo Anthony - Portland Trail Blazers (vs, Charlotte Hornets)

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Power Forward

Robert Covington - Portland Trail Blazers (vs. Charlotte Hornets)

With Lillard out tonight, there's value plays all over the Trail Blazers roster. Remember, Gary Trent is gone. Portland is going to need someone other than McCollum to step up and produce more than normal. Robert Covington, Carmelo Anthony, even Norman Powell must take on a larger role tonight against a Charlotte team that is allowing 111.7 PPG (ranked 15th in the NBA). McCollum will be popular (and I do like McCollum) but for low-owned GPP purposes, give me the veterans in Covington and Anthony all day. The Trail Blazers are still favored by -186 with a 216.5 O/U Courtesy of Pointsbet.com. Once again, make sure that if you’re investing in one side of a matchup, you’ll likely want shares of the other side. Charlotte’s Terry Rozier is another solid play assuming the game stays close.

Other PF Option: Dorian Finney-Smith - Dallas Mavericks (vs. Sacramento Kings)

Center

Kristaps Porzingis - Dallas Mavericks (vs. Sacramento Kings)

If you’re planning on playing De’Aaron Fox tonight, Kristaps Porzingis becomes a nice complement in the same lineup. Fox has improved his defense in a big way this season and Doncic might have more on his plate than he realizes. Fox has yet to face the Dallas Mavericks this season but is averaging 25.2 points per game. Fox faced the Dallas Mavericks three times in the 2019-2020 regular season. In these matchups, he averaged 23.7 points per game while shooting 46.7% from the field (over an average of 35.7 minutes per game). Doncic on the other hand averaged 29.8 points per game against the Kings with 11.3 assists and 13.5 rebounds. If you’re going to invest in Fox tonight, (which seems like the most popular at the moment)Porzingis becomes a logical correlation play. The Sacramento Kings do not perform well against big men allowing 45.1 rebounds per game as well as 10.5 offensive rebounds per game. The Kings are also allowing their opponents to 7.7 steals per game and 4.3 blocks per game. These stats add up when you take into account the variety of stats Porzingis is capable of putting up. The Dallas Mavericks are favored by -9 points with a 231 O/U.

Other C Option: Maxi Kleber - Dallas Mavericks (vs. Sacramento Kings)

Bargain Bin

PG Reggie Jackson

SG Paul Watson

SF Carmelo Anthony & Dorian Finney-Smith

PF Nicolas Batum

C Maxi Kleber