These fantasy basketball picks will help you turn your night into a profitable one!
The landscape of last night’s slate was shifted in huge ways with the game cancellations, then with Kevin Durant being announced as OUT just after 7 P.M. Eastern. Thaddeus Young (36) continued his solid play for Minnesota, while Brandon Bass (21.50) was serviceable, but disappointing. Blake Griffin (42) fell just short of a triple-double, and Mo Williams (10.25) threw up a complete dud against OKC. Wilson Chandler (37) continued to crush his value threshold, while Tyreke Evans (25.25) gave his owners a firsthand look at his floor.
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
John Wall ($17,600) at Los Angeles Lakers – Wall will be a popular play today against a Lakers team that allows more points to opposing PG than any team in the NBA. Despite the total in this one only being 197.5, it is slotted in as the 3rd-highest total. If the Lakers can keep this one close, Wall could have a huge game against an inferior backcourt.
Beno Udrih ($6,050) at Dallas – This play is contingent on the status of Mike Conley, who played just 22 minutes last night due to discomfort in his wrist. Udrih stepped in and contributed 33 FP in 26 minutes. Tonight the Grizzlies match up with a Dallas backcourt that allows the 6th-most FP to PG. If Conley is out, Udrih will be my favorite value play.
D.J. Augustin ($9,450) vs Cleveland – Don’t expect a repeat of Sunday’s 54 FP performance against Toronto, but Augustin is very much in play tonight against Kyrie Irving and the Cavs. Brandon Jennings is done for the season, and we saw D.J. put up 20 FG attempts against the Raptors. There is plenty to go around in this offense, and I’m firing him up in cash games tonight in a game with the 2nd-highest total.
Monta Ellis ($13,350) vs Memphis - Seeing Ellis in my column seems like a bad omen after his string of disappointing performances, but I’m going back to the well tonight. The Grizzlies’ achilles heel is SG, and Ellis is one of the best in the game. He has 33 or more FP in each of his last two games, and I like him to have a big night once again.
Greg Monroe ($14,950) vs Cleveland - While the Cavaliers have struggled against big men, much of the reason is Kevin Love. The Cavs are 11th in the NBA in rebounding differential, and Andre Drummond will draw the tougher assignment against Timofey Mozgov, while Monroe draws the “defense” of Love. Monroe has a double-double in 12 of his last 14 games, with at least 28 FP in every contest. He will be an anchor in most of my lineups tonight.
Khris Middleton ($9,900) at Miami - I’m not in the minority when I say that I can’t stand rostering most Bucks players, but Middleton is playing great basketball. He posted a solid 21/5/2 line against Kawhi Leonard and will now draw the Heat without Luol Deng. His price is fair for a player who has bested 33 FP in his last two games and 3 of 5.
LeBron James ($20,600) at Detroit - “The King” draws a matchup with the Pistons and Kyle Singler tonight. No further analysis necessary on this one. If you can fit him, you’re playing him. He has at least 49.75 FP in 3 straight games and 6 of 7. He’s the top overall play on the night.
Zach Randolph ($16,350) at Dallas - He is expensive, but if you can’t afford LeBron, a duo of Monroe and Z-Bo will do just fine. He has been tremendous since his return, with 9 consecutive double-doubles and at least 36 FP in every contest. Dirk Nowitzki is beatable at his age, and I like Randolph to abuse him down low.
Andrew Bogut ($10,800) vs Chicago - My favorite C on the evening is Andrew Bogut. The Bulls allow the 6th-most offensive rebounds of any team in the NBA, and Bogut should have no trouble racking up some key boards down low. The Bulls have a very sizable frontcourt, meaning that Steve Kerr will be forced to play his big man some additional minutes. Add in the fact that he is a terrific shot blocker and you have the recipe for an elite value play down low.
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!