NBA DFS Picks: Boom Boom Pau
I wanted to just insert the entire Spurs starting five into this piece, but unfortunately, you know that isn’t possible. Not because they won’t destroy the Lakers and be incredibly efficient in the process, but because, we won’t even know until tipoff who the Spurs will be starting. Thanks, Obama.
PG: Isaiah Thomas
You guys are so mad at me right now. Two weeks in a row I’d be crazy enough to recommend the use of a 5’9” point guard? It just so happens that IT2 keeps drawing favorable matchups on Friday, don’t blame it on me. Last week I serenaded you with the stats, the usage rates (28.9), the per-36 minutes (23.9/3.3/7.4), anything to get you to believe me. I’ll tell you that the Bulls are the third worst team against point guards this season in terms of average FanDuel points against. I’ll tell you that Isaiah Thomas is averaging nearly 25 points a game in January to go along with 6.5 assists. I’ll tell you his nickname is Pizza Guy. But, the only thing that really matters, is that IT2 is running down one hell of a narrative street – he’s trying to make the All-Star game.
SG: Rodney Hood
I’ll say this – I’m not entirely in love with the slate that is presented before us tonight. The shooting guard position is never one that leaps off the page, but sometimes I at least have James Harden to default to (I can’t force his salary on you tonight). Klay Thompson? Meh. Rodney Hood? Why? Perhaps it’s the irrational Slack Chat love that I’ve seen DailyRoto’s Drew Dinkmeyer give him. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s actually been playing well. Maybe it’s because Brooklyn can’t defend anyone. Yeah, it’s probably that last part. Hood has actually been pretty solid recently, and when he isn’t picking up a ton of fouls, he’s on the court for a ton of minutes. That would be a good thing tonight, as despite the low total on this one, the game carries only a five and a half point spread. The other genuinely good aspect of using Hood is that he won’t cost you all that much. You don’t need to expect much in return, and you can’t be too mad when he damn near fouls out in the first quarter.
SF: Kawhi Leonard
I had to at least mention one Spur. It wouldn’t have been fair to waste a matchup with the Lakers without doing so and Kawhi is the Spurs’ best player anyway. The only issue with rostering Kawhi tonight is the fact that the Spurs will probably win this game by about 400 points…if that were possible. Leonard probably won’t see a full complement of minutes tonight, but when he is on the floor, expect him to do just about everything. He’s set a new career high in usage rate (24.6) and is truly becoming the star of this team averaging (22/7.6/2.8/2.1/1.0) per-36 minutes. If you want someone not named Draymond Green to contribute in as many statistical categories as possible, you’ll want Kawhi.
PF: Clint Capela
Observation: The Houston Rockets are really banged up. Dwight Howard has already been ruled out, and Patrick Beverley, Jason Terry and Montrezl Harrell are all questionable for tonight’s matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks. That opens up some front court minutes for Capela, who saw a brief uptick in the last game when Howard went out in the first minute. He most likely won’t wow you with any crazy line, and he is prone to foul trouble, but given the minutes, Capela should be quite solid against a Milwaukee frontcourt that has yielded big games from opposing big men. He averages 12.6/11.9 per-36 minutes to go along with two blocks. That should be plenty for you given his price on the sites. Be wary of any news that comes out on the Houston front though, as things could change in this situation, either upgrading or downgrading Capela.
Center: Pau Gasol
This play is DraftKings specific, as Pau is listed as a PF on FanDuel. I’ll say, there is just something about taking a player a game after they score one point. That’s what Pau did in the Bulls attempt at a game against the Warriors. He was 0-8 from the field, but knocked down a free throw to earn his only tally of the game. If you think Pau ends up with only one point tonight, you’re probably drunk. The Celtics have been beat up all year by opposing big men and I expect Pau to do the same tonight. For example, Pau has already played the C’s twice this year, averaging 16.5/16.5/4.0. Does that strike your fancy? The game has a total of 207.5 with only a 3.5 point spread in favor of Boston. I say the Bulls bring their A-game and Pau and Isaiah Thomas throw haymakers at each other the whole time resulting in so many fantasy points that you won’t know what to do.