Chalk Talk 10-23

Welcome to the second calendar week of Chalk Talk. I hope everyone had a profitable weekend! Once football season is over I may expand these writeups to also cover the weekend slates, but for now I focus on NFL on the weekends (although I do still play NBA). As of about 4:15 EST, the ownership projections aren’t up, but there is some obvious value again today. I’ll touch on a few of those plays and a few of the stars who are relatively easy to fit into lineups tonight given all the value. As always these writeups are DK focused, I generally play 1 GPP lineup per night and almost no cash games.


Malcolm Delaney – $3,000 – Play

If it weren’t for there being so much value tonight, Delaney’s ownership would be through the roof tonight. Even with all the value I wouldn’t be surprised to see him over 40% in tournaments. Even at that ownership eating the chalk and playing him is the right move. He should have a floor of 15-18 DK points, with upside for 25-30. The 15-18 won’t sink tournament lineups, and if he goes for 25-30 it will be hard to take down a tournament without him.

Mike James – $3,000 – Play

Another 3k point guard, James’ roll is more uncertain than Delaney. It remains to be seen how the new coach utilizes James, but he has been one of the few bright spots on the Suns so far this season. I expect him to get minutes into the mid 20’s whether or not he starts, which should be enough to get him into the low 20s for DK points, with upside for more. Hopefully the likely high ownership on Booker and possibly Warren keeps his ownership down.

Matthew Dellavedova – $3,100 – Fade

I think Delly is in a fine spot tonight for the Bucks, however my expectation is that with Brogden out, Giannis will take over even more of the ball handling duty. This could make it difficult for Delly to get enough peripheral points to give you a tournament winning score tonight. That said, with the aforementioned value point guards $100 below him, Delly could go overlooked tonight. He makes an interesting play from a game theory perspective if his ownership is projected to be significantly lower than Delaney and James.

Lucas Nogueira – $4,000 – Fade

Without Jonas Valanciunas tonight Nogueira could get the start, and may be somewhat popular because of this. Even if he does start, Jakob Poeltl should see plenty of minutes. Between that and the matchup/pace difficulty presented by the Spurs, I would look elsewhere if you need a value big tonight. Which leads me to…

John Collins – $4,000 – Play

With Ersan Ilyasova out tonight Collins should see minutes in the high 20s (at least). The last couple games he has exceeded value even with Ilyasova playing. He has already flashed 8x upside for his price, albeit against Brooklyn, in just 22 minutes. If he plays close to 30 minutes tonight Collins should smash value.


James Harden – $11,200 – Play

Harden’s price is slowly approaching the 12k plus he consistently was last year, but I will keep plugging him in until he gets all the way there. My hope is that the Memphis matchup will instinctively turn people away from this spot, but this is not the same Memphis team. They are still in the bottom third in pace, but are closer to 20th than 30th after years right near the very bottom. They also no longer have Tony Allen guarding opposing wings. Harden is going to explode one of these nights, and tonight could very well be that night.

John Wall – $10,100 – Fade

The Wizards/Nuggets game is by far the highest total of the night, but I have my concerns about this spot. The Nuggets pace so far this season is concerning to me, and they have played 2 low scoring games to start the season. One of those games was against the Jazz, so there is a good chance I am just being tricked by small sample size, and most experts expected the Nuggets to play at a top 10 pace. That said, I am going to exercise caution in targeting Nuggets games, at least until we see them speed it up a bit. Additionally, on a night with so much value I think raw points becomes more important than points per dollar out of your studs, and I like both Harden and Giannis to outscore Wall tonight.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – $10,900 – Play

Giannis can’t keep shooting over 60% from the field, can he? I keep finding myself asking that question, but with the looks he has been getting I do not see why he can’t. Getting to the rim and free throw line at will, I don’t see how anyone on Charlotte will slow him down. As I touched on earlier, with Brogdan out of the lineup I expect him to have the ball in his hands even more. Giannis could very well pick up his first triple double of the season tonight, and he is always good for 6-8 DK points worth of defensive stats.

Devin Booker – $6,800 – Play

With Eric Bledsoe apparently on his way out of town, this could very well be the last game we can get Devin Booker at below $7,000 all season. Even if he projects to be over 50% owned I think he is a must play on this slate. The Kings historically have struggled with wings and Booker is a lock for volume. If his shot is falling his could go over 50 DK points and even if it isn’t I think his floor is close to 5x his price given his volume.

Paul Millsap – $7,000 – Fade

Most people still view Paul Millsap through the lens of him as a Hawk. On the Hawks, he was relied upon not just to score and rebound, but also get assists, as he averaged over 3 assists the past few seasons. On this Nuggets team, however, Jokic is the playmaking big man, and I expect Millsap’s assist numbers to suffer. So far (2 game sample size, I know), Millsap only has 3 total assists. I also expect Denver will want to get Jokic going from a scoring perspective, and that could cut into Millsap’s opportunities. Lastly, Denver has the depth to match up with Washington’s small by lineup they have been rolling out with Oubre starting next to Porter. I think it would be a mistake, but I could easily see Denver going small themselves to try and match up with Washington, which might cost Millsap a few of his minutes.

5:00PM ownership update: Wow those ownerships are high on Harden and Giannis. I still will be playing them, but I can see the merit to fading them if they end up where they are expected to be.

The only 2 players I didn’t touch on that are in the top 10 are Josh Richardson and Andre Drummond. Drummond I will be fading on account of matchup. Not matchup in that the 76ers play strong defense, but matchup in that Drummond already has foul issues, and a matchup against Embiid and Simmons do nothing to make me think tonight will be the night he manages to stay out of foul trouble. Richardson I like, but I’d rather pay a few hundred more to get TJ Warren at sf, or move up to Olynyk or James Johnson if you are looking for Heat exposure. Lastly, it turns out Nogueira is nowhere near chalk (to be honest I only included him because my friend who is more into NFL dfs than NBA mentioned him, so I figured he must be on casual players radars), so he actually makes a slightly interesting tournament pivot. I still won’t be going there as I think Collins offers better floor and upside, but I can see a slight case for making the play.
That’s it for today, good luck to everyone tonight! Let me know what you thought in the comments!

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