These fantasy basketball picks will help you turn hump day into pay day!
DeMarcus Cousins (66.50) continued to assert himself as the best big man in the game with his third straight 60 FP performance. Even scarier is that he fouled out just before overtime just one assist short of a triple-double. Hassan Whiteside (35.50) continued to impress with another superb outing (15/10/5). Mike Budenholzer paid homage to Gregg Popovich by announcing Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll OUT an hour before tipoff. At least he gave us the courtesy of a 60-minute head start. Kyle Korver (28.50) was adequate in an easy win over the 76ers, while Darren Collison (31.75) was effective yet underwhelming. David West (26.25) waited until late in the 3rd quarter to get going, and never established much of a rhythm. With Gorgui Dieng suiting up (and playing well), the Anthony Bennett value potential disappeared. Tonight we have a great 10-game slate, and I’m looking forward to getting it going.
These plays are intended to help you gain a solid return on salary (at least 2.5X, with the ideal level being 3x or higher) with each player you roster. Sometimes I will highlight a minimum salary player, and the intent is to maximize the number of roster spots where you have potential to hit 3X salary. Keep in mind that a minimum-priced player on DraftDay is even more valuable than a minimum-salary player elsewhere, due to the large gap in pricing with a $100,000 cap.
Today’s Top Plays
Tyreke Evans ($13,850) at Detroit – A big key to DFS success is finding opportunity at the right price, and Tyreke fits the bill tonight. Jrue Holiday has been ruled out for tonight, opening up a plethora of opportunities for Evans to shine. He is averaging 20/9/4 over his last two games, and should see big minutes tonight and play some point guard against Brandon Jennings and company in a game with a 204 point total. He will be a popular play tonight.
Monta Ellis ($13,800) at Denver – Speaking of a guy who is heating up, Ellis has 25.5/4/8 over his last two contests and draws another solid matchup tonight against Arron Afflalo and the Nuggets. This game has the highest total on the night at 216, and Ellis is a great way to get cheap exposure with upside.
Victor Oladipo ($12,900) vs Houston – While we all know that Nikola Vucevic ($16,650) has an extended role in the offense when Tobias Harris sits out (he is out again tonight), Oladipo sees a sizable leap in usage as well. Dipo has a 25% usage rate when Harris is out, and draws James Harden on defense tonight. I like him a great deal at this price.
Mario Chalmers ($7,950) at Golden State - Dwyane Wade is listed as “Doubtful” for tonight, and Chalmers has taken on a bigger role when he can’t go, as evidenced by his 23.2% usage rate in these scenarios. Make sure you monitor this situation throughout the day, because Wade was listed as “Doubtful” in a game recently, then ended up playing. If Wade is in, I’m not interested in Chalmers.
Jae Crowder ($6,700) vs Atlanta - Crowder is coming off of his best NBA performance ever, posting an impressive 22/3/3/4/2 line against New Orleans. The Pelicans have struggled all season with SF, and Atlanta is a solid defensive team across the board. Crowder’s price is incredibly intriguing tonight, especially if he sees close to the 36 minutes he earned against the Pelicans.
Donatas Motiejunas ($10,050) at Orlando - Motiejunas has been playing exceptionally well since his return to the starting lineup, averaging 16.3/9.3/1.7 and just over 34 FP per contest over the last three games. Tonight he draws a matchup against an Orlando Magic team that allows the 8th-most FP per game to opposing PF.
Paul Millsap ($13,650) at Boston – I wanted a piece of Millsap last night against the 76ers, and now he will be in every single lineup coming off a day of rest. The Celtics are one of the worst teams in the league against PF, and I expect Millsap to have a big night. This price point makes him an easy play for me.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($16,900) vs Los Angeles Clippers - LMA is one of my favorite plays tonight against Blake Griffin and the Clippers. Chris Paul will make life tough on Damian Lillard, and I expect much of the scoring load to fall on LMA’s shoulders. He is averaging over 40 FP per game this season, and a matchup with Blake Griffin will not only be fun to watch, but will deliver plenty of DFS goodness in a game with a 3.5 point spread and a total of 207.5.
Chris Kaman ($8,700) vs Los Angeles Clippers - Yes, a lot of people will be on Hassan Whiteside ($9,350) and Nikola Vucevic ($16,650), who are both great plays, but I’m looking toward Kaman to exploit a weak interior defense tonight. Whiteside brutalized this frontcourt to the tune of 23/16/5 in just 29 minutes. While Kaman isn’t quite the athlete that Whiteside is at this point in his career, he is tremendously effective. DeAndre Jordan isn’t a great on-ball defender, and I’ll take the slight discount with Kaman in what should be a close game.
You can find me on Twitter @BigItaly42 and I’d love to help you out with any questions you have about determining salary, finding value, or any lineup construction tips!