These fantasy basketball picks will guide your lineups to the top of the leaderboard tonight!
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
Chris Paul ($17,900) at Dallas – Paul’s numbers without Blake Griffin this year are staggering. Granted, the sample size is small (143 minutes including last night), but CP3 has a 37.5% usage rate without his big man on the court. Tonight he draws the team “defense” of Devin Harris and JJ Barea, which will be no contest for Paul. He’ll be relied on heavily to spark the offense while Griffin is out, and I expect huge totals from him tonight. The best part is that he comes in as the 3rd-most expensive PG in the game with the second-highest total at 208.
Tyreke Evans ($15,550) vs Utah – Anthony Davis left the contest against the Bulls with a shoulder strain, and is “questionable” for tonight’s battle with Utah. I’m assuming that the Pelicans err on the side of caution here and let their star sit out. Tyreke has a nice 29.1% usage rate with the Brow off the court, and should have little problem dominating Dante Exum and Trey Burke this evening.
Jamal Crawford ($9,950) at Dallas –Crawford is another player who will see a sizable bump in production and usage with Blake Griffin sidelined. He has a huge 33.3% usage rate with Griffin on the bench, and he will likely be low owned due to his struggles over the past few games. He is shooting just 12/33 over the last two games, but has still totaled 55 FP in 69 minutes. Monta Ellis has never been known for his defense, and I like Crawford to take on some of the scoring load tonight.
Elijah Millsap ($5,000) at New Orleans - If you’re looking for value, here you go. Millsap played 36 minutes with Joe Ingles out last game, totaling 21.50 FP. Ingles is listed as “doubtful” tonight, meaning that Millsap will likely see some extended run once again. At bare minimum price, you don’t need much, and he should easily pay off his salary.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($13,400) vs Brooklyn - I’ve been aboard the “Alphabet” train over the past week, and he’s going to continue being a staple in my lineups until he slows down. He has at least 32 FP in 5 straight games, including 52.75 and 40.25 in his last two. A matchup with the Nets only inspires more confidence in him this evening. Get him into your lineups.
Kawhi Leonard ($15,200) at Indiana - With the Spurs being on the second half of a back-to-back, Kawhi is the only target that makes sense. He’ll draw the best matchup against C.J. Miles and company at SF, and should be the focal point of the offense, as he has many times before in this spot. His price may seem high, but there is a plethora of value tonight that will help you fit any player you want into your lineups.
Kevin Durant ($18,000) at Denver - Durant’s price continues to be low, and despite being on the tail end of a back-to-back in Denver, he makes for a fine play this evening. He played just 29 minutes against the Clippers yesterday, and still managed 44 FP. The reigning MVP will have no trouble scoring at will against Wilson Chandler. Oklahoma City is in must-win mode each night now, so I expect big minutes from Durant tonight.
Chandler Parsons ($12,900) vs Los Angeles Clippers - Parsons will draw Matt Barnes tonight while he looks to continue his great run since Rajon Rondo’s injury. Outside of a 17 FP performance against the Kings, Parsons has at least 31 FP in 5 of his last 6 games. I’m taking the slight discount from Monta Ellis tonight and rolling with Parsons.
Alexis Ajinca ($6,000) vs Utah - Assuming that Anthony Davis sits (I think he will), Ajinca will step into a big role in the Pelicans offense. With Davis out, he has a usage rate of 22% and a True Shooting % of 61.1%. To put that into perspective, that number would be good for top 10 in the NBA if it qualified. He is a smart player who takes good shots, and while the matchup is less than ideal, you can roster a big man with upside spot for 6k tonight, and I’ll take that any day of the week.
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!