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5 Stats to Know: NBA DFS January 29

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It’s not the most crowded slate, with just three games on the main slate, and the totals are very different for all three. We have one as high as 241 points and one under 220 points, so it’s an interesting slate on the surface. 

 

Let’s try to figure out the right players to chase on this small slate. 

1. T.J. McConnell is up to $6,900 on DraftKings 

The results have mostly been great for T.J. McConnell, as he’s taken on the starting point guard role for the Pacers without Tyrese Haliburton. He has games of 43.0, 56.25, 55.5, 45.75 and 45.0 DK points in the recent game logs, but there is something about being nearly $7,000 that is worrisome. The Memphis defense is one of the best in the league when Jaren Jackson is on the floor, and they are just 14th against dimers, while McConnell is scoring 1.10 points per minute on a 17.9% usage rate. He’s been wildly popular, and that likely happens again since it’s such a small slate, but I believe there is a strong case to fade him at this salary and hope he doesn’t reach value. In the 10 games without Haliburton, he’s been under 40.0 DK five times. 

2. Ja Morant is scoring 14.7 points per game from drives to the basket 

With Desmond Bane doubtful for the Grizzlies tonight, Ja Morant has a clearer path to dominate the offense for Memphis. Indiana is just 19th in points per game allowed in the paint, while both of these teams are in the top four in pace. They are also 19th against primary ball-handlers, and Morant is sporting a 36.3% usage rate without Bane on the floor. Among the more expensive options we have on this slate, Morant might be my favorite since I love targeting him in games that should go up and down the court. He should have  less competition for shot attempts tonight. 

3. Evan Mobley scores 1.09 points per minute without Donovan Mitchell 

I would be surprised if Donovan Mitchell makes it back tonight for the matchup against the Clippers (who could be short-handed themselves), and the Clippers are already 28th against rim protectors. Evan Mobley is far more aggressive on the offensive end without Mitchell, and in four of the five games Mitchell has missed, Mobley has scored at least 42.75 DK points. He’s also ninth in points per game as the roll man in the pick-and-roll, while he’s fourth in field goal rate among those nine players at 63.3%. The only players shooting better than Mobley are Christian Wood, Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic. That’s some strong company to be in, and Mobley still has meat on the bone at this salary. 

 

4. Jose Alvarado is scoring 0.86 points per minute 

He’s also averaging 1.2 steals per game while playing just 22.0 minutes per contest on average, but the Pelicans are likely going into the game against the Bucks short-handed. Zion Williamson is out and Brandon Ingram might sit because they played on Saturday night, and he’s recovering from a two-month injury. That could help push Jose Alvarado toward 30 minutes, and we want some value along the way for this slate. He’s under $5,000 and the Bucks turn the ball over the fourth-most times per game at 15.5. Both teams are in the top half of the league in pace, and Alvarado does enough to consider in this environment. 

5. The Pelicans allow the lowest 3-point field goal rate in the NBA 

That sounds like we should avoid any 3-point shooter from the Bucks, but New Orleans also allows the sixth-highest frequency. Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton both were on the floor for 32 minutes in the game on Friday night with the loss of Bobby Portis, and Connaughton played well with 33.0 DK points. However, Allen had 25.0, and he’s shooting 40.2% from beyond the arc. Even though New Orleans is defending the line well, this is another value option (or two) to consider, and both teams are in the top half of the league in pace, which should allow plenty of opportunity. 

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