Chicago @ Washington (O/U 203.5, Was -10)
John Wall and Bradley Beal would appear to be strong plays in tonight's game, as they both display peak fantasy point production around a spread of -5. But, if you wanted to play the scenario of a Washington blowout, in particularly one where Washington puts up a high point total, Otto Porter could be a nice play. His production can take off in blowout victories, and his production steadily increases as the Wizards' point total increases. His DKP/$1K distribution also suggests that he has some nice value upside in the range of 8-12 DKP/$1K.
With Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade out, I like Doug McDermott and Michael Carter-Williams on Chicago's side. Although his production doesn't peak in Bulls' losses, his minutes get a sharp boost in such games. And his production does tend to be higher in low-scoring games, which would seem likely given the Bulls implied point total of 96.75. And with the Bulls' top two scoring options out, look for McDermott to play a more significant role for the Bulls' tonight. Carter-Williams has been pretty effective as the Bulls' starting point guard, and I think he stands to benefit from the absence of Wade and Butler.
Atlanta @ Brooklyn (O/U 214, Atl -7)
I think given the opening line, Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap make for solid plays tonight. Both players peak fantasy production centers around 10-point Hawks' victories, which seems like a good bet given a line of Atlanta -7.
Dennis Schroeder has more stable production across game spreads, which might make him a more desirable play if this game were expected to be close or if the Hawks were significant underdogs. Schroeder does display increasing production as the Hawks' point total increases through the 90-120 point range, and because of this I think he could also be a solid play. But I wouldn't play any combination of these players, as they all have negative or no correlation (Howard & Millsap 0.0, Schroeder & Millsap -0.04, Schroeder & Howard -0.36). If I were to pick one of these three, I'd probably go with Millsap; who has the most dense distribution above 8 DKP/$1K, tends to have the highest fantasy production around a -7 spread, and also is the most productive and has the most value among the three through the Hawks scoring range of 100-110. I don't love any of the Nets' players in this matchup. I've promoted Sean Kilpatrick in the past as a guy who is productive in high scoring games, but his production steadily drops off as the as games become noncompetitive. I could see Rondae Hollis-Jefferson being a sleeper play, as he gets an increasing bench share and displays higher fantasy production as the Nets' margin of defeat increases. But his production steadily decreases as Nets' scoring increases through the 95-110 range, which is a bit concerning.
Boston @ Toronto (O/U 218, Tor -4.5)
When it comes to Toronto's backcourt, you usually have to pick either Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozan. The two guards don't make for a great pair as they have a -0.18 correlation. I usually like Lowry more than DeRozan, but for this game I like DeRozan marginally better. Lowry is usually more productive, but DeRozan's productivity is most similar to that of Lowry in games that the Raptors win by 10-20 points. Which isn't extremely likely given the pre-game line, but DeRozan actually tends to be more productive than Lowry in the Raptors' 110-120 point range. Patrick Patterson could make for a nice pair with DeRozan as they have a +0.26 correlation, and Patterson minutes peak in close Toronto wins and his fantasy production displays a nice increase as Toronto tops 120 points. Boston is a tough team to project, as many of their players display stability across varying point totals and game spreads. I usually like Al Horford (he has a high-upside distribution and scores well even in low-scoring games), but he doesn't perform very well in losing efforts, and given that they game has a pretty high over/under by Celtics standards, I'm not as high on him tonight as I usually am in more favorable matchups.
Charlotte @ Houston (224, Hou -9.5)
As usual, I'm a big fan of the James Harden/ Montrezl Harrell combination. This figures to be a good matchup for this pair. For a superstar, Harden shows pretty stable production in blowout wins, and Harrell has some of his better games in Rockets' blowout victories. If you wanted to add Eric Gordon to this pair I think tonight might be a good night to do it, as Gordon displays increasing production as Houston's point total and margin of victory increases. He also has a nice right-tail in his DKP/$1K distribution around 9 DKP/$1K.
I think I'd probably stay away from Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum, whose production diminishes in games which Charlotte loses by a substantial margin. Marco Belinelli and Frank Kaminsky could be decent plays off of the Charlotte bench, as they display increasing production as Charlotte's margin of defeat increases, but also tend to be more productive in high-scoring games.
Milwaukee @ San Antonio (O/U 205.5, SA -10)
I don't love any of the Bucks' players in this matchup. With the exclusion of Matthew Dellavedova, all of the Bucks' players display diminishing production as the Bucks become move from blowout winners towards losers. Giannis Antetokounmpo in particular does very well in Bucks' blowout wins, but is less productive in close games or Bucks' losses. While Dellavedova might figure to be a decent play if the Spurs win big, he is quite unproductive in games in which the Bucks score less than 100 points. On the Spurs' side, I like Kawhai Leonard, Tony Parker, and LaMarcus Aldridge for who all produce well in Spurs blowout wins. Leonard is most valuable it games in which the Spurs score below 105, while Parker and Aldridge are most productive in games in which the Spurs score more than 105. It is tough to get a feel for which way the Spurs will go, as their implied point total is at 107.75. Given the slightly above 105 implied point total, and a nice correlation of +0.33 between Parker and Aldridge, I'd probably go with those two. Pau Gasol might be a tempting play, as he has a +0.43 correlation with Parker and peaks in production around 110 points, but I'd caution against him as his production drops off rather steeply in noncompetitive games.
Cleveland @ Utah (O/U 202, Cle -3)
I don't love any of the Jazz players for tonight. Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert are usually pretty productive in low-scoring games, but they just aren't as likely to have a big games in losing efforts, especially if the Jazz lose by double digits. I think both are risky plays and don't present a ton of upside. On the Cleveland side, I am more intrigued by LeBron James and/or Kevin Love than Kyrie Irving. Love and James are better in close and low-scoring games than Irving, who is at his best in games in which the Cavs' margin of victory centers around 20 points and they score 115-125 points. It is tough to predict how new addition Kyle Korver will fit into the Cleveland rotation.
Miami @ Golden State (O/U 218, GS -15.5)
In a projected high-scoring blowout, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are the two Warriors to keep an eye on. Kevin Durant's production tends to drop off as games become noncompetitive, while Curry and Thompson's production tends to peak around 20-25 point spreads. Additionally, Curry and Thompson's production tend to take off as the Warriors point total eclipses 120. I really like Thompson's upside more than that of Curry, who is frequently overvalued by DraftKings, and has very little upside beyond 8 DKP/$1K. On top of this, Thompson has the steepest curve among the Warriors star players as the team's margin of victory increases and their point total increases beyond 120. Ian Clark's trends are well suited for a high-scoring, noncompetitive game, but he hasn't received a lot of playing time or been very productive lately. He could be a strong play but I'm a little concerned by his recent lack of production and minutes.
Detroit @ Sacramento (O/U 206, Sac -2)
Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are the two Pistons who tend to play their best in close games, but beware of KCP who has been known to put ups some duds in Pistons' blowout losses. But as mentioned before, I love Pope's bi-modal distribution. Reggie Jackson is a good guy to own for low-scoring games. I would probably stay away from Andre Drummond, who excels in high-scoring Pistons' blowout wins, but is less effective in lower-scoring, competitive games or Pistons' losses. DeMarcus Cousins is a strong play, as he is quite productive regardless of spread, except in the case of a double-digit Kings' loss. His production also steadily increases as the Kings' point total increases, so he has nice upside if the game turns out to be high-scoring. Ty Lawson could be a nice sleeper, as he has some good upside in his value distribution, plays better in Sacramento victories, and also has increasing value as the Kings' point total increases. Lawson also has a +0.19 correlation with Cousins.
Portland @ LA Lakers (O/U 223, Por -1)
Figuring out what to do with the Portland backcourt is always a challenge, and I unfortunately don't have any great insight into what makes Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum tick. They display identical value (seriously, check the Blazers' DKP/$1K vs. Spread chart) across game spread, Lillard tends to have marginally better value than McCollum in high-scoring games. Although he seems to be a better value in low-scoring games, Mason Plumlee tends to be one of Portland's high-value players in close games and he does have a pretty nice DKP/$1K distribution. He might be a decent play assuming this game stays close.
Lou Williams and Nick Young are the two guys for the Lakers who tend to have the most value in close games that are fairly high-scoring. Brandon Ingram has been hot lately, and might figure to be a popular play tonight. This hot streak might continue, but he doesn't fare so well in close games, and tends to play better in low-scoring games. I'm a little hesitant to jump on Ingram tonight given the pre-game over/under and line.