These fantasy basketball picks are your guide to cashing in on Saturday!
Nikola Vucevic (64.50) was nothing short of dominant last night against the Knicks, and if it weren’t for Klay Thompson‘s NBA-record 37-point 3rd quarter, he would be the big story this morning. Brandon Bass (41.75) was the popular value play, and he took advantage of a phenomenal matchup. James Harden (63.75) hit the game-winner to cap off another brilliant performance, and Taj Gibson (28) still managed some solid production despite the return of Joakim Noah. Tyreke Evans (34) continued to be solid, albeit unspectacular, and Langston Galloway (32) continued to be the leading value play at PG once again. Kenneth Faried (34) had himself a nice night, while Goran Dragic (3.50) had his worst start to a game of the season before ultimately being benched. Andrew Wiggins (15) struggled with consistency once again in his rookie campaign. Tonight’s 5 game slate isn’t the prettiest, but I’ll help you find some solid plays for your rosters so you can cash in!
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. Another key to remember is that in DFS, late injury news can be HUGE when deciding your final rosters. Just because someone was a great play in the morning doesn’t necessarily mean that better options won’t arise throughout the day. Monitor Twitter closely before locking in your lineups.
Today’s Top Plays
Langston Galloway ($8,800) at Charlotte – Galloway was going to be included in my top plays tonight regardless, but now with news that Jose Calderon won’t play tonight, he is a lock. The Knicks are a complete dumpster fire right now, but Galloway has played well, besting 31 FP in 3 straight games. Tonight he draws a soft matchup against Kemba Walker and the Bobcats. His price actually dropped by $300. You know what to do.
Brandon Jennings ($13,450) at Milwaukee –Brandon Knight is a solid defender, but Jennings has thrived in the Pistons offense since the removal of Josh Smith in Detroit. He has still shown flashes of inconsistency, but does have two games of 50+ FP in his last 4, including his career night of 24/21 against Orlando. While B.J. will be hard pressed to ever repeat those numbers, I expect him to have a big game at a substantial discount from Wall and Lillard.
Wesley Matthews ($11,350) vs Washington – On short slates, sometimes we are forced into playing good players in less than ideal spots. Tonight Matthews will match up with a tough defensive team in the Wizards in a game that is tied for the highest total on the night at a measly 195. SG is a tough position to fill tonight, and Matthews is my go-to on DraftDay due to the 3-point bonus.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,450) vs Detroit - “The Alphabet” has been wildly inconsistent at times this season, but has been solid over his last 3, with at least 23.50 FP in each contest, including 32.75 against Utah. Tonight his length could go a long way against the Pistons, and he can contribute in every category when he gets going.
Gordon Hayward ($14,150) vs Brooklyn - Hayward is having a tremendous season, averaging 19 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Tonight he draws a Nets defense that can easily be exploited. The Utah offense will run through Hayward even more if Trey Burke comes off the bench again. SF is another weak position, and I’ll be rolling out Hayward for his high floor and upside.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ($8,900) vs New York -MKG seems to be the only reliable DFS option on the Bobcats, and tonight he will either draw a banged-up Carmelo Anthony or whichever fringe NBA player Derek Fisher rolls out if he can’t go. His price is phenomenal, and he has bested 26 FP in two straight games. A similar performance tonight would be more than enough.
Greg Monroe ($14,450) at Milwaukee –Another player who has benefitted directly from the departure of Josh Smith is Monroe, who has been the model of consistency since that time. He has one game under 35.50 FP in his last 10 and now draws a solid matchup against Ersan Ilyasova and a weak Bucks’ interior. I’m high on the Pistons today, and Monroe won’t be the last one I’m targeting.
Jason Smith ($7,100) at Charlotte - Amare Stoudemire is likely to play tonight, but I’m still a fan of Smith. He has been tremendous, averaging 16.3/4.7/3.7 over his last 3 games, and at this price he just needs to approach those numbers to hit value. I anticipate that Derek Fisher will find a way to get him some minutes once again tonight against the Bobcats.
Andre Drummond ($14,900) at Milwaukee - My bet for top overall scorer on the evening goes to Drummond. We all know how weak the Bucks are down low, and while Zaza Pachulia is adequate at times, he doesn’t have the athleticism to match up with Drummond. He has 28 more offensive rebounds (212) than any other player in the NBA and I fully expect a monster double-double tonight.
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!