We have a fairly interesting five-game NBA DFS slate, let’s get right to it…
Los Angeles Lakers @ Atlanta Hawks (o/u 236, LAL -5.5)
Los Angeles is 13th in defensive rating, 4th in pace.
Atlanta is 28th in defensive rating, 1st in pace.
The Lakers head into Atlanta with that glorious Hawks matchup we look to attack on any slate it’s featured. The Hawks are first in pace, 28th in defensive rating, 30th in turnover percentage, 19th in true shooting percentage, and 21st in rebounding rate. They can’t defend, rebound, shoot, take care of the ball, and play the most possessions per game in the NBA. That my friends equals DFS gold.
Leading off with LeBron James. As much as it pains me to say it, the fact is he’s overpriced. The key question is does the Hawks matchup make up for his price. I think the strong argument can be made that it does. I’m unconcerned about a potential blowout here, as the Hawks are at home and quite frankly the Lakers aren’t playing their greatest basketball at the moment. Teams typically lean on stars on the road and the Hawks pace should keep LeBron engaged throughout, he’s an elite target.
Kyle Kuzma remains way too cheap on both sites priced at $6700 on FD and $6000 on DK. Kuzma is coming off of back to back 35+ point games and looks to be fully healthy. This is an elite matchup where he’s priced down after producing well in back to back games. He’s an elite middle-priced PF.
He struggled with his shot in his debut, but Reggie Bullock played 30 minutes and I love to target value wings versus the Hawks. The Hawks poor defense and propensity for turnovers should lead to +steals opportunities and open 3PT looks. With Josh Hart sidelined, I expect the minutes to remain — Bullock is one of my favorite values on the slate.
The sites have yet to out-price JaVale McGee, as he is $6100 on FD and $4900 on DK. If McGee is getting 24-29 minutes he’s a bargain as he’s a 1.26 FD per minute producer and a 1.17 DK per minute producer. Elite matchup and good price, I have no issues riding the McGee death train tonight.
I’m off on Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram. Sure the matchup is great but Rondo is just too expensive if he’s going to come off the bench. Ingram is priced fine I just don’t see the ceiling for him when LeBron and Rondo are both playing.
This is also a DFS friendly game environment for the Hawks, who get a Lakers team who will look to match their extreme pace. The Lakers are a good defensive team but the overall pace of this game outweighs their defense. In case you missed it, Jeremy Lin was waived yesterday by the Hawks. The risk with targeting Hawks players is their deep rotation as coach Lloyd Pierce refuses to let his guys consistently play 30+ minutes a game.
With no Jeremy Lin I’m assuming Trae Young will see a slight minutes bump and for that reason, I like Trae in this spot. A lot of people will want Hawks players in their lines to counter the amount of Lakers they’re targeting and while I don’t think it’s necessary, Young is far and away my favorite Hawk to target.
He’s impossible to trust but the matchup is ideal for John Collins, who is a GPP and a very risky one at that as he’s failed to come close to 5x his value eight of his last nine games. This game environment is the only reason I’d consider Collins here.
It wouldn’t shock me to see DeAndre Bembry and Kent Bazemore pick up a few added minutes with Lin gone. Both are capable ball-handlers and we’ve seen Atlanta use Baze as a backup PG at times. Both are GPP darts, but this is the right sort of game environment for both.
Lastly, the ultimate GPP dart tonight is Alex Len, who saw a slight minutes bump last game versus Orlando and while projecting his minutes is a task, no human is qualified for it wouldn’t shock me to see Len in the 22-minute range here. Len can also exceed his value in 15-19 minutes because of the pace of this game.