These fantasy basketball picks are the key to success on tonight’s HUGE slate!
After an afternoon of uncertainty, John Wall (55) played and dominated the Lakers just like we knew he would. Beno Udrih (16.50) ended up splitting some time with Nick Calathes, which hurt his value. D.J. Augustin (40.25) continued to step up in the absence of Brandon Jennings, and Monta Ellis (23.25) threw up yet another dud. LeBron James (46.25) continued his solid play, while Greg Monroe (30.25) was effective, but not spectacular against the Cavs. Zach Randolph (35.25) remained incredibly consistent, while Khris Middleton (26) had another fine performance. Andrew Bogut was announced with the starters before leaving the arena with an illness after tip off. Tonight’s HUGE slate gives us some great options, and I’m here to highlight some for you.
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
James Harden ($21,200) vs Dallas – Dwight Howard may end up sitting once again tonight, which bumps Harden up to the top overall play once again. His usage rate with Howard off the court is an astonishing 35.1%, and the Mavericks don’t have a defender capable of slowing him down. He’ll shoulder the load once again, and has at least 52 FP in 6 of his last 7 games. He is an elite option once again in a game with the second highest total on the night at 207.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($8,300) vs Oklahoma City – Hardaway isn’t a player that I love rostering of efficiency sites like DraftDay, but I can make an exception because he is playing well and the Thunder are ranked 9th in pace, which suits his game well. Carmelo Anthony may play tonight, but he can’t do it all. I’ll take the sizable discount with Hardaway. He is coming off of his best performance of the season with 25/6/5 against the Hornets. Even if Carmelo plays, he should have a solid chance of reaching value, which is just under 25 FP.
D.J. Augustin ($10,950) at Philadelphia – I’m going to continue to ride the D.J. Augustin express until his price tag gets to a difficult level. The Pistons are 7.5 point favorites, meaning Vegas thinks that the Sixers can keep this one close. Augustin has 54 and 40.25 FP in his last two games, and should be a near lock for value once again against a Philly team that struggles to defend any position.
DeMar DeRozan ($11,000) vs Sacramento - DeRozan finally seems to have found his scoring touch with 49 real points over his last two games, and now draws a matchup with the Kings in a game with a 207 point total. I’m rolling DeRozan out as one of my favorite wing options tonight at this price.
Thaddeus Young ($12,600) vs Boston - Thad has been playing great basketball recently, but is still flying under the radar. He has at least 28 FP in 6 of his last 7 games, including 43.75 and 36 over his last two. Tonight’s matchup against the Celtics is ideal. Boston has been one of the worst teams in the NBA against opposing PF all season long, and Thad is a great bet to have a big game against Jared Sullinger and company tonight.
Serge Ibaka ($12,600) at New York - Vegas has the Thunder listed as just a 9-point favorite against the Knicks, which leads me to believe that they aren’t confident that Kevin Durant will suit up. Ibaka has been playing his best ball of the season of late, including 3 straight double-doubles, each with 2 blocks to top it off. He posted 44.50 FP without Durant against Minnesota, and should have no trouble down low against a weak, depleted Knicks frontcourt.
Jason Smith ($7,650) vs Oklahoma City - Speaking of the Knicks frontcourt, I love Jason Smith at this price tonight. Amare Stoudemire is out for the forseeable future, which means Smith will be locked in to big minutes once again. He has played at least 32 minutes in 4 straight games, and if he sees that number again tonight, he will have ample opportunity to pay off this small price tag so you can afford studs like Harden and DMC.
Anthony Tolliver ($6,150) at Philadelphia - Tolliver has been one of my favorite value plays over the past week, and for good reason. He has 18 FP or more in 6 of his last 7 games, and that’s right about where his value threshold lies tonight. He has seen 57 minutes of court time in his last two games, and could see some extended run tonight considering the Pistons are on their 4th game in 5 nights.
DeMarcus Cousins ($20,350) at Toronto - Cousins has shown his dominance down low this season, averaging 24.2/12.2/3.2 and 47.5 FP per contest in just 33.8 minutes per game. He hasn’t played since the 23rd due to the postponements in New York, and should be poised to dominate a Toronto frontcourt that is devoid of options that can defend the most dominant center in the NBA. Use him with confidence 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!