These fantasy basketball picks will help you find your way into the money on today’s great slate!
Gordon Hayward (36.75) set the bar at SF last night, while Brandon Jennings (22.75) was the unfortunate victim of an achilles injury (more on that later) and Andre Drummond (17.75) got off to a fast start before disappearing. Greg Monroe (32) continued his remarkable consistency, and Langston Galloway (20.25) struggled his way to an adequate performance. Wesley Matthews (31.25) did what he does, as he hit value once again for Portland despite the shocking return of LaMarcus Aldridge. Giannis Antetokuonmpo (16.75) may have played his way out of cash games yet again with a subpar performance and Jason Smith (13.75) dealt with foul trouble all night long. Tonight’s slate kicks off at 6 P.M. and is shaping up to be a solid slate with lots of value emerging.
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
Eric Bledsoe ($15,650) vs Los Angeles Clippers – This game has an enormous 222 point total, and you’re going to need to get some exposure. Bledsoe has been tremendous over his last three games, averaging 25/7.7/7.3 and now steps in to a close game with an astronomical total. He may see some CP3 on defense, but that doesn’t concern me too much. He is by far the most consistent option on this Suns team, and he’ll need to step up once again if they are going to knock of the Clippers.
D.J. Augustin ($7,400) at Toronto – As I mentioned earlier, Brandon Jennings went down with an injury, and it looks like he’ll miss the rest of the season. Augustin has played well at times this season in limited minutes, averaging 16.6 FP in 21 minutes per contest. He’ll be thrust into big minutes tonight against Kyle Lowry and company, and he’ll be a very popular play.
James Harden ($21,400) at Los Angeles Lakers – I don’t need to tell you to play James Harden tonight. He draws an ideal matchup agains ta Lakers team that is seemingly incapable of defending any position. Outside of Harden, the Rockets have struggled to produce consistent offense, and if the Lakers can be competitive tonight (the spread is -9), Harden should be in line for another monster effort.
Eric Gordon ($11,050) vs Dallas - While many others will flock to Tyreke Evans, I’ll take the discount with Gordon who has been producing at a similar level with Jrue Holiday sidelined. Over his last 7 games, he has posted at least 25 FP and played 34+ minutes in each game with a high total of 41.25 against the Lakers. He’ll be matched up with Monta Ellis tonight, who has always been much more focused on the offensive side of the ball.
Blake Griffin ($17,100) at Phoenix - Griffin is my favorite play on the night. I’ve already mentioned the huge total, and Phoenix has struggled against PF all season long. I like Griffin to have his way with Markieff Morris and company down low and easily eclipse his season averages of 23/7.6/4.9 in a plus matchup. He will likely be in every one of my lineups and is coming off of an impressive 24/6/3 in just 25 minutes against the Nets.
Patrick Patterson ($9,150) vs Detroit - “Pat-Patt” had a tremendous game against the 76ers last time out, much to the chagrin of Amir Johnson owners, and now Amir is listed as “Questionable” for tonight’s contest. The Pistons have been vulnerable down low all season, and if Amir sits, Patterson will make his way into my cash game lineup.
Brandon Bass ($8,650) at Golden State - This one is projected to be a blowout at -18, but I anticipate that Bass will still see solid minutes. With Kelly Olynyk out, Boston is very thin in the frontcourt, and Bass should be able to pay off his salary tonight while being “showcased” for a potential trade. His price is too appealing for his potential upside.
Matt Barnes ($10,150) at Phoenix - As you can see, I’m looking to get as much exposure to this game as I can, and Barnes fits the bill as a value play with upside. I don’t expect he will come near the 52.25 he posted against the Kings, but his minutes have been tremendously consistent and he could benefit from Phoenix looking to limit Blake and CP3.
Nikola Vucevic ($16,000) vs Indiana - My love for “Vucci Mane” has been well-documented throughout the season, and the affair will continue tonight. Roy Hibbert has been so ineffective down low that he has played 21 minutes or less in 6 of his last 7 contests. This game has a solid total at 207 with the Magic favored by just two. Vucevic is averaging 30/16.5 over his last two games, and I expect him to continue his torrid pace in another great matchup.
If you’re looking for values, Jordan Clarkson ($5,000) has a tough matchup but doesn’t need much to pay off his salary, Anthony Tolliver ($5,850) has been very effective when he is on the court, and Avery Bradley ($8,600) should see an increase in minutes with Marcus Smart sitting out.
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!