Last night was a whacky night for basketball. 3 players were ejected in the Phoenix/Miami game, Jarrett Jack hit a last second jumper to lead Brooklyn over Golden State, and it turns out the Pelicans may not be better off with Anthony Davis on the sidelines. In all seriousness, even with only 5 games being played there was plenty to take away for fantasy purposes.
5 things from last night
- DeMar DeRozan without Kyle Lowry is the man- His already high usage rate jumped to over 38% last night, so if Kyle Lowry misses any more time DeMar is a serious value at his current price tag.
- Ricky Rubio is an elite fantasy point guard without the elite price tag- He’s gone over 40 FDP in 3 straight games, and will be a steal at the position until his salary reaches $8500 or so.
- $9700 is just too much for DeAndre Jordan- Lets do a little math. If his salary is $9700, we need him to reach somewhere between 44 and 48 points to reach value (4.5x to 5x his salary.) That means even if he rips down 20 boards and scores 15 points, we still need him to grab a handful of steals/blocks/assists in order to simply hit value. The massive upside is no longer there, and I’d much rather grab a guy with a similar ceiling like Hassan Whiteside at a more reasonable price tag.
- Nerlens Noel is no longer just a tourney play- He’s returned at least 4.5x value in 7 of his last 9 games and has scored 30+ in 4 of his last 5. He will always carry some risk because he relies on his defensive numbers for points (steals, blocks, rebounds), but he’s found a level of consistency that eluded him earlier in the season.
- The Mavericks fantasy value is too hard to predict- For a team that scores so many points, it’s incredibly difficult to predict where the fantasy points will come from. One night its Dirk, the next its Monte, and the next its some random like Richard Jefferson. For the most part I think it’s best to leave this team alone.
Now let’s turn our attention to tonight’s slate. We’ve got 14 teams in action, but a decided lack of star power. There are only 3 players with a salary above $9K, so it’ll give us a good chance to build a nice, balanced lineup. Let’s start with my value play of the day before getting into a position by position breakdown.
Play of the Day-
Tony Snell- SG- $3800
Tony Snell will be in 100% of my lineups tonight. He’s shown he can put up big numbers with Jimmy Butler out before, and he seems locked in for at least 35 minutes tonight. With his bargain basement price tag, he seems like a lock for at least 4x value, with a chance to hit as high as 8x. This one’s a no brainer
Play- Mo Williams at LAL- $6700
Williams has been great since getting traded to the Hornets, and he’s got an amazing matchup tonight against the Lakers. They’ve allowed the most fantasy points to point guards this season, and Williams is coming off back to back big games against the Celtics and Magic. Even with the increased price tag, I like Williams quite a bit in this matchup
Play- Ray McCallum at NYK- $4200
If you’re looking to go cheap at the position, McCallum is my preferred punt. He’s had at least 19.7 points in 4 straight games and has a plus matchup tonight against the Knicks. This game has the third highest total of the night at 199 and a close spread at 2.5 points, so I there should be plenty of opportunities for McCallum to score points.
Also considered- Michael Carter-Williams at Denver- $7900, Langston Galloway vs Sacramento- $5400
Fade- Ty Lawson vs MIL- $7700
Denver is a sinking ship, and I want basically nothing to do with them. That includes Ty Lawson, who’s averaging only 25.9 FDP and 30 minutes per game over his last 5 games. The fact that he’s got a tough matchup tonight against the Bucks is just the icing on the cake.
Play- Will Barton vs MIL- $4500
Ok so I lied, I won’t be fading all Nuggets tonight. As Anthony pointed out yesterday, Barton’s minutes and points have picked up dramatically after his trade to Denver, and he’s scored over 20 FDP in 5 straight. With the season all but over for Denver, it makes sense to play this kid as much as possible to see if he can be a piece of the future puzzle. The matchup isn’t great, but all he needs to do is hit 20 points to reach value tonight. I like his chances.
Play- Giannis Antetokounmpo at DEN- $6400
Giannis has cooled off a bunch recently, but hopefully this matchup will wake him back up. The Nuggets have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to shooting guards over their last 5 games, and no OJ Mayo tonight means Giannis should get 35+ minutes of run. His ability to contribute in every category always makes him a threat for a monster game.
Also considered- None. For the most part I’ll be rolling with Snell/Barton/Giannis tonight. The position is very weak.
Fade- James Harden & Jimmy Butler- Just a reminder that the former is suspended and the latter is injured. Don’t be that guy.
Fade- Avery Bradley at CLE- $5600
The Bradley train was rolling along for a while, but it appears to have come to a halt. He’s averaged only 21.2 FDP over his last 3, and the increased role for Isaiah Thomas has clearly started to eat into his workload. Add that to the fact that this game could be a blowout, and I’ll look elsewhere at the position.
Play- Jae Crowder at CLE- $4800
Jae “New England Clam” Crowder has found a nice little niche in Boston. He’s playing right around 30 minutes a night and can score points in a number of ways. He has a tough matchup tonight against some fella named LeBron, but I actually don’t mind that for Crowder; I think he’ll play more minutes than usual to try and serve as a perimeter stopper.
Play- Trevor Ariza at Atlanta- $5800
As usual, small forward is pretty weak tonight, but I like Ariza more than the rest of the options. With Harden suspended he should see an increased role in the offense, and he’s good for at least 35 minutes every game. He’s gone over 25 FDP in his last 4 games, and should have a good shot at that again tonight.
Also considered- Rudy Gay @ NYK- $7600 (especially if Cousins doesn’t play), Mike Dunleavy vs WAS- $3900
Fade- LeBron James vs Boston- $11200
Recommending a fade of the King coming off back to back 60 pointers could be crazy, but the price tag is just too high right now. Kyrie Irving should be back in the lineup tonight, which will obviously reduce his usage a bit. The Celtics have also been relatively stingy against small forwards for the season, and the high spread means this game could be a blowout. Given the lack of star power tonight, James will definitely be highly owned and I think fading him could play big dividends if he fails to score 45+.
Play- Pau Gasol vs Washington- $9500/Nikola Mirotic vs Washington- $4500
With all the injuries currently hampering the Bulls, these two will be asked to carry the burden of scoring the basketball for Chicago tonight. The matchup is there too; Washington has allowed the 5th most points to power forwards over their last 5 games. Obviously Pau is the preferred option, but Mirotic makes an excellent punt option at the position as well.
Play- Terrence Jones @ ATL- $6500
Jones has been a beast as of late, and his price has adjusted accordingly. But I still think its low enough that he can make a solid return on your investment. Atlanta is only middle of the pack against power forwards, and Harden’s absence should give Jones a few extra shot attempts tonight.
Also Considered- Brandon Bass @ CLE- $5400, Andrea Bargnani vs SAC- $4600, Jason Thompson @ NYK- $4300 (if no Cousins.)
Fade- Zach Randolph vs UTA- $8200
Z-Bo’s production is trending in the wrong direction, and this doesn’t look like the game for him to bounce back. This game has the lowest total of the night at only 181.5, and Derrick Favors should be able to do a decent job defending him. He scored 36.2 FDP in his only other matchup against Utah this year, which would put him at just about 4x value at his current salary. I’ll look elsewhere.
Play- Al Jefferson vs LAL- $8200
Big Al is a cash game rock, and he’s got a spectacular matchup tonight against the Lakers. He’s coming off a 40 point game against the Magic, and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t duplicate that effort tonight. With all the value elsewhere, I’ll be paying up for the big man tonight.
Play- Rudy Gobert @ MEM- $6400
Memphis is usually very stout against the center position, but they’ve actually given up 50 FDP/game over their last 5. Meanwhile, the Stifle Tower has really come into his own after Enes Kanter left town, and he will continue to be a value until his price reaches $8000 or so. Let’s continue to enjoy the ride.
Also considered- Joakim Noah vs WAS- $7200
Fade- Marc Gasol vs UTA- $7600
Utah is allowing a ridiculous 23.5 FDP/game to centers over their last 5 games. That’s insane! And honestly you’d have to be insane too if you’re considering playing Marky Marc against them right now.
That’s it for today. Anthony will be back tomorrow to help you guys break down Wednesday’s slate of games. Good luck tonight!