Tonight’s NBA schedule is broken up into an early slate, featuring two games, and a “main” slate featuring six games. Today’s tip sheet will focus only on the main slate, which tips off at 6 p.m. EST.
Of the six games, Phoenix traveling to Toronto is one of the more intriguing ones for fantasy purposes. Both teams have lower-priced, usable fantasy assets with high upside. However, there are solid matchups to target with Houston, Philadelphia, and the Lakers all in action tonight.
Before we jump into the picks, today’s news and notes:
- Nerlens Noel (knee) is doubtful tonight against the Grizzlies. This gives Jahlil Okafor a bump in value, and should make life easier for Marc Gasol.
- Zach Randolph (knee) is doubtful for the same contest. Jeff Green should be the biggest beneficiary here.
- Evan Turner (eye) is probable, and makes for a solid tournament play with Marcus Smart still out.
- Evan Fournier (hip) is questionable, with Victor Oladipo potentially in line to see more time should he miss.
- Lou Williams (personal) will likely rejoin the team Tuesday, meaning he’s doubtful for tonight’s contest. Kobe Bryant (rest) is also questionable, so the stock of Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell could skyrocket.
Remember to check the news up until tip:
BUILDING BLOCKS – Studs and Must-Have Values to Build Your Core Lineup
Robert Covington, SF, PHI ($6,000): Covington has been a man on fire since returning to what appears to be full health, and I’ll keep deploying him until he shows signs of slowing down. That could be tonight against a tough Memphis defense, but his ability to rack up a variety of stats still gives him a solid base of production.
Marc Gasol, C, MEM ($7,100): The 76ers have been awful at defending opposing centers, and without Nerlens Noel it may take divine intervention for them to slow down Marc Gasol. The only concern I have in this spot is a potential blowout, but Gasol’s price makes it easier for him to reach value if he sits late.
Three more studs to consider: James Harden, SG, HOU ($10,200) — Eric Bledsoe, SG, PHX ($8,300) — Andre Drummond, C, DET ($8,900)
BARGAINS – Complementary Players & Punt Plays
Elfrid Payton, PG, ORL ($6,000): Since Scott Skiles shuffled his starting lineup, Payton has been a fantastic play, putting up at least 35 DraftKings points in both games. Things will be a bit tougher against the Celtics, but Payton doesn’t need to score a ton of points for him to have a big fantasy day; the point guard averages over six assists, four rebounds and one steal per game.
Isaiah Canaan, PG, PHI ($4,300): Canaan is better suited for tournaments, but on a short slate it’ll be tough to find a better punt option with his upside. It looks like he’ll start at one of the guard spots for Philadelphia and play around 30 minutes. He only needs around 20 DraftKings points to pay back his salary.
Jordan Clarkson, SG, LAL ($5,000): With Lou Williams not likely to return until Tuesday, Clarkson becomes an intriguing play in the Lakers’ backcourt. One of Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell is likely to see the defense of Monta Ellis, and whoever it is should stand to pay back their salary tonight. I prefer Clarkson in cash because he’s been a steady performer for the Lakers.
Arron Afflalo, SG, NY ($4,200): Afflalo is a solid punt option as he takes on the Houston Rockets’ defense tonight. He’s been bad his last three games, but typically sees around 30 minutes per contest. That’s all you can ask for when you’re looking to save money, and Afflalo looks like he’ll have the opportunity to be a value.
Carmelo Anthony, SF, NY ($8,000): Carmelo’s price is at one of the better marks we’ve seen this year, and he makes for a solid play at home against Houston. He got into foul trouble his last time against the Rockets, but assuming that was just an aberration, he’s in line for a good matchup.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, NY ($7,500): Porzingis is the highest priced power forward on the board, which is definitely not something I thought I’d be typing this early in his career. Last time against the Rockets, he put up nearly 60 DraftKings points, and he should have a solid base of production in this matchup again.
Andrew Nicholson, PF, ORL ($3,200): Power forward is pretty weak tonight, but if you must punt, Nicholson is probably where I’d lean. He’s seeing around 25 minutes per game lately, and the Celtics are vulnerable against bigs.
Bismack Biyombo, C, TOR ($4,600): Biyombo put up the “Ben Wallace Special” last night, nabbing 16 boards and swatting four shots while scoring zero points. The result was 32 DraftKings points, and his 30+ minutes per game are pretty much guaranteed with Jonas Valanciunas sidelined.
LOTTERY TICKETS – Five Tournament Plays
D’Angelo Russell, PG, LAL ($4,900): A lot of my thoughts here are similar to those on Jordan Clarkson. George Hill is likely to start on Russell, which isn’t nearly as favorable as being matched up with Monta Ellis. Still, Russell’s ability to put up a variety of stats in extended minutes makes him a fine play in tournaments.
Evan Turner, SG, BOS ($5,000): Turner is a tournament option because there are better values at shooting guard, but he still carries high upside due to his ability to rack up triple-double stats. He hasn’t been nearly as effective as he was last season, but the Magic aren’t good at defense, so the opportunity is there.
DeMarre Carroll, SF, TOR ($5,900): Carroll was awful last night, but a matchup with the Suns could be just what he needs to get back on track. Few people will be on him in tournaments with Covington just $100 more, so there’s contrarian appeal here.
Markieff Morris, PF, PHX ($5,500): Markieff has been a roller coaster so far this season, but his price compared to his upside is extremely appealing. If he has an “on” night, he could challenge 40 DraftKings points.
Brook Lopez, C, BKN ($7,100): Lopez is a solid pivot off of Marc Gasol, as many people won’t want to take him as he takes on Andre Drummond. When Lopez is good, he has 50 DraftKings point upside with a solid floor, so I like him in tournaments tonight for a variety of reasons.
BUYER’S REMORSE – Reasons for Skepticism
Avery Bradley, SG, BOS ($6,400): After an absurd hot streak, Bradley has failed to make value over his last two games. I prefer to go cheaper at shooting guard tonight.
Paul George, SF, IND ($10,100): If Stephen Curry didn’t exist, George might just be both the fantasy MVP and the NBA MVP. He’s just a tournament play for me against the Lakers, though, because the blowout potential here is real.