Going to mix things up today. Just going to highlight a couple of guys I like from each game. If you want to pick my brain on anything further, I’ll be on Twitter for most of the evening. Don’t worry it’s just a one-time thing as I’m in a pinch for time. So let’s get started!
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D.J. Augustin, PG, (DK: $7.3k | FD: $7.2k)
His only bad games have been on the tail end of a back-to-back. Charlotte plays with a slower pace which sort of hurts him. Their rugged defense would cap his ceiling even further but they’re missing a few key pieces in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker. With the Gary Neal deal now complete, their backcourt depth is missing. Augustin should have no problem with Brian Roberts or anyone else they throw at him. Can you say revenge game? Okay maybe not entirely but Charlotte did draft him a while back and he’s had some solid outings against them lately.
Greg Monroe, PF, (DK: $8.5k | FD: $8k)
He hasn’t had that great of a stretch lately. Miami and Chris Bosh held him down then he went to Indiana where David West controlled him. Both of those teams are very good defensively, though and play at a slow pace. He got into some foul trouble against Minnesota which limited his playing time and likely caused frustration. Good news here though as Charlotte’s best man at PF is Cody Zeller. Monroe will need to fight of Big Al Jefferson for rebounds, but I don’t see much reason why it shouldn’t happen.
Al Jefferson, C, (DK: 7.7k | FD: $8.3k)
On a small slate like today’s you have to consider everyone. Not that Jefferson is a bottom of the bin pick because he’s not, but this game wouldn’t look as enticing on a 8-game slate. Andre Drummond, Jefferson’s matchup, can rebound quite well but he doesn’t have the slightest clue how to defend. With Biyombo OUT his minutes will stay in the mid-30s. With guys like Kemba, MKG and now Neal out of the rotation his usage rate is fairly high as well. The C position has quite a bit of value tonight, but if you want to pay up he’s one of your better options.
Gerald Henderson, SG/SF, (DK: $5.1k | FD: $5.7k)
With the wing and backcourt running bare in Charlotte, Henderson is poised to see 40 minutes tonight. That’s great news as Detroit’s wings aren’t very good defenders themselves. Even better, they’re not the primary scorers so Henderson won’t get gassed playing defense. His price is low, minutes are up, usage is way up and he’s next to Augustin as one of my prime targets for tonight.
Zach Randolph, PF, (DK: $8.3k | FD: $8.6k)
He plays better at home, Brooklyn can’t defend the PF position because Lopez is terrible and Garnett is old, Gasol hasn’t been himself lately and his price is fairly reasonable. Personally I’m not sure if I would target him in tournaments as it doesn’t seem like his ceiling is much higher than 5x his salary. But in cash games he’s a go for sure.
Mike Conley, PG, (DK: $6.9k | FD: $6.8k)
Yes he’s still a risk but he’s one that a lot of people likely won’t take. It looks like his minutes restriction is off with the All-Star Break looming. This is a good matchup for him as Jarret Jack is tired and Deron Williams is still being eased back in.
Joe Johnson, SG, (DK: $5.4k | FD: $6k)
He’s really the only Brooklyn Net I’m interested in. Brook Lopez could have a decent night but I doubt he pulls down many rebounds. Jarret Jack doesn’t look terrible but he plays poorly in back-to-backs, which tonight’s game happens to be. Johnson gets, arguably, the best matchup on the floor for any Net. He’s been rather consistent aside from his game against Washington. Not a huge fan here, I’d rather have Henderson, but if you want low % he could be a decent play.
James Harden, SG, (DK: $10.3k | FD: $11.2k)
The best play on the night, projected far and above mostly everyone else. Eric Bledsoe isn’t a lock-down defender by any means, but even if he was it wouldn’t matter much. Phoenix doesn’t offer much in the way of rim protection without Alex Len inside. The fast pace and poor defense make for the perfect recipe, giving Harden tremendous upside and a floor that isn’t likely to kill your night.
Eric Bledsoe, SG, (DK: $7.7k | FD: $8.4k)
It’s a dedication game! Bledsoe missed the game against the Kings to witness the birth of his child. That’s really cool by the way. He also got some much needed rest. So rest + playing for his kid + Harden’s seemingly nonexistent defense = success. If my math is correct, he’s going to have a good night. He’s not without his risk, however, so no cash games.
Josh Smith, SF/PF, (DK: $6.4k | FD: $6.1k)
My, my, how the tables have turned. I couldn’t think of anything wittier so I apologize if that doesn’t make much sense. Smith has really turned his season around. He’s gone from being the laughing stock of a fan base to a consistent scorer and producer for the Rockets. His price is steadily creeping up but his production is still in line. The Suns, like Smith, enjoy playing up and down the court. This game is perfect for him.
Trevor Ariza, SF, (DK: $5.7k | FD: $5.5k)
He’s knocking down shots, rebounding, assisting and getting a ton of steals. Phoenix turns the ball over quite a bit so I’m expecting the 2+ steal count to continue here. He’s certainly more valuable on DraftKings where he’ll get an extra .5 pts for every 3-pt shot made. Phoenix’s weakest position defensively looks to be SF as Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker are more offensive-minded. It should be a great game for him. I can see myself taking 3 Rockets in a ton of lineups tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins, C, (DK: 10.5k | FD: $10.8k)
As of right now it looks like neither Darren Collison nor Rudy Gay will be suiting up. That’s a good thing for his usage but probably bad for his playing time. I just don’t see the Kings keeping this one close without those guys on the court. The Bulls are relatively healthy now and playing good basketball. If I’m going to spend up tonight it’ll be on Harden, but Cousins might go into a GPP lineup or two.
Jimmy Butler, SG, (DK: $7.8k | FD: $8.8k)
Even in a blowout he’ll get his minutes. We know from the Klay Thompson record performance how bad Sacramento’s backcourt is at defending. He isn’t a top target of mine as a ton of his fantasy points come from real points, but I’ll probably have some exposure to him.
Ramon Sessions, PG, (DK: $4k | FD: $3.8k)
With Collison out again he’ll see another 30 minute outing. He’s played rather well, getting it done in multiple ways, so I don’t see why Corbin would pull him for McCallum. It isn’t sexy and it doesn’t make you really happy, but you can be comfortable knowing you’re going to get 5-7x his salary.
Ty Lawson, PG, (DK: $8k | FD: $8.4k)
If Jameer Nelson is out Lawson could be a great pick. Not a fan of the road game back-to-back, but he’ll need to play near 40 minutes with little else in the backcourt. It’s a very good matchup for him as the Lakers have struggled against guards all season long. Clarkson is still adjusting to the NBA and Lawson could show him a thing or two.
Carlos Boozer, PF, (DK: $5.5k | FD: $5.9k)
Even in limited playing time he’s been able to reach 4x his salary. The Lakers should look to take advantage of the Nuggets’ weakest position, the PF slot. If Boozer can log over 20 minute in this game, and I believe he will, he’ll hit 5x his salary.
Jordan Clarkson, PG, (DK: $5.1k | FD: $4.9k)
Lawson has never been able to defend very well. With tired legs, I doubt he changes that fact tonight. Clarkson has been great for the Lakers aside from his performance in a tough matchup against the Bucks. His minutes are fairly sporadic but we can project him at around 25. That’s plenty of time for him to reach 6x value in a game like this.
Jusuf Nurkic, C, (DK: $4.5k | FD: $5k)
Yeah this guy is my favorite play at C and potentially my favorite on the board. That being said, you should tread carefully. I’m not sure what kind of playing time we’ll see from him considering he played 34 last night. It’s possible that Shaw realized he needs that much if the Nuggets want to win. I hope so. Tournaments only, but the potential value is unrivaled.
Thanks for reading, folks! Be sure to come say hi over on Twitter, @Steven_Royalty_. I run a contest every single night around 6 P.M. EST for a $2 GPP entry. It’s free money, so why not try it out? All I ask is that you follow me and @SportingCharts before you accept the prize. Also don’t forget to come back tomorrow as I do this kind of analysis every single day. Cheers!
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