There are four NBA games on the schedule for tonight, and there are three true DraftKings studs that you need to be considering for your lineup. Ultimately, you should probably have at least one of the three in cash games. Here is a quick rundown of my thoughts on each:
James Harden, SG, HOU ($10,800): Harden is playing in the most attractive game of the night. The Kings are the worst at defending shooting guards, and Harden has lit them up so far this season. But, “the Beard” is also coming into the second night of a back-to-back and will run you the most of any of the stud players.
LeBron James, SF, CLE ($10,000): James is the most reasonably priced of any of the three studs, and is as matchup proof as a player can possibly get. He doesn’t usually have the night-to-night ceiling of a Harden or DeMarcus Cousins, as he has chosen to defer for the most part in his return to Cleveland. Still, he has the most dependable floor of a $10k guy.
DeMarcus Cousins, PF, SAC ($10,200): “Boogie” is the riskiest of the studs tonight, but he carries a ton of upside at a weak position. The risk comes from his production waning because of injuries, but if he feels right, this matchup is going to lead to an absolutely massive day for the best fantasy big man around.
I can’t argue against taking any of these guys, though, I would probably go with Harden or James for cash games.
Today’s news and notes:
- Matthew Dellevadova (back) is a game-time decision. He is likely to play, but I really have no interest in using him.
- Emmanuel Mudiay (ankle) is out again tonight. Fire up Jameer Nelson! Will Barton also gets an uptick in value.
- Clint Capela (illness) and Terrence Jones (eye) are questionable tonight. Capela was dealing with food poisoning, so it’s not hard to see him giving it a go tonight. Jones has a lacerated eyelid, and given his fragility over the past few years; the team may just opt to keep him out.
- Rajon Rondo is suspended tonight for comments made toward an official. Thoughts on Darren Collison below.
- Jordan Clarkson (ankle) is likely to play tonight after practicing in full. I am staying away from this situation.
Remember to check the news up until tip:
BUILDING BLOCKS – Studs and Must-Have Values to Build Your Core Lineup
Darren Collison, PG, SAC ($4,900): If you are playing cash games tonight, this is where your lineup construction starts. Collison will start for the suspended Rajon Rondo, and he already was a usable fantasy asset as a bench player. Now, he should see as many minutes as he can handle, making him the value play of the night. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was 90-percent owned in cash.
Greg Monroe, C, MIL ($7,100): You probably should have one of the $10k guys tonight, but Monroe is a nice complement to the stud of your choice. He takes on a Los Angeles Laker team that is bad, and can’t defend centers even with Roy Hibbert on the roster. Monroe is the player at his position with the highest floor as well.
Three more studs to consider: James Harden, SG, HOU ($10,800) – LeBron James, SF, CLE ($10,000) – DeMarcus Cousins, PF, SAC ($10,200)
BARGAINS – Complementary Players Who Look To Have Favorable Pricing
Jameer Nelson, PG, DEN ($4,500): Nelson will start again for Emmanuel Mudiay, making him a great option at a bargain price once again. The veteran played 37 minutes last night, which is pretty much the only argument that I can make against using him in tandem with Collison.
Isaiah Thomas, PG, BOS ($7,700): If you don’t want to save money at point guard, use Thomas. The Cavaliers are the second easiest point guard defense over the last three weeks, and the Celtics will rely heavily on their best player in this contest.
Khris Middleton, SG, MIL ($5,300): Middleton’s price is favorable considering he is seeing over 35 minutes per game as of late, and even more so when you consider he is playing the Lakers. He is one of those guys who really needs his shot to fall to be useful, but that shouldn’t be a problem here.
Gary Harris, SG, DEN ($4,100): Speaking of guys getting a huge workload, Harris has played 40 minutes in back-to-back games. He doesn’t do a ton of stuff in terms of statistical production, but with that workload he can do just enough to help you round out your roster at his price.
Trevor Ariza, SF, HOU ($5,500): Ariza is constantly seeing heavy minutes as long as he is healthy, and now gets a fantastic matchup against the Sacramento Kings, who don’t play defense. When those two things intersect, it usually means fantasy production.
Omri Casspi, SF, SAC ($5,600): Casspi should continue to see extended minutes as the starter at power forward. In this matchup, that means he is worth using, given that the total in the game is by far the highest on the night and the Rockets struggle to defend every position.
Kevin Love, PF, CLE ($8,000): The only two options for me at power forward are Love and DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins will run you $2.2k more than Love, so if you want to save some money this is the way to go.
Nikola Jokic, C, DEN ($4,100): Jokic is an intriguing punt play as he has been extremely productive on a per-minute basis. He is averaging 28 DraftKings points against the Timberwolves despite playing an average of 21 minutes over two games.
LOTTERY TICKETS – High Risk, High Reward Plays
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, MIL ($5,800): Carter-Williams, tournament only option. Forever. A matchup with the Lakers would be so tempting if you could trust him even a little bit.
Will Barton, SG, DEN ($6,200): Barton has been phenomenal this season, and you could probably use him in cash, too. I prefer the value plays at guard tonight, so Barton is a GPP option for me, and there is legitimate 45 DK points worth of upside here.
Giannis Antetokoumnpo, SF, MIL ($6,800): Don’t chase the triple-double, chase the matchup against Kobe Bryant. He is too up and down for cash games, but you have to love the upside with the Greek Freak tonight.
Kenneth Faried, PF, DEN ($6,000): Faried at halftime last night: 9 points, nine rebounds, two blocks. His final line? 11 points, nine rebounds, two blocks. High-variance in minutes will do that to you, but if his minutes are there, he should have a big game tonight.
Karl-Anthony Towns, C, MIN ($7,300): If we are talking about the best center tonight in terms of talent, production, and matchup, it’s Towns with no questions asked. The other factors matter, though, and his foul trouble is a real concern. With the safety of Monroe available, I can’t pay up for Towns in cash, but I sure will in tournaments.
BUYER’S REMORSE – Reasons for Skepticism
Cavaliers outside of Love & LeBron: Who else are you trusting? Shumpert’s return throws a wrench into everything, so wait and see with the rest of the gang outside of the stars.
Lakers guards: Jordan Clarkson is back, and that likely mutes D’Angelo Russell’s rising fantasy value. You don’t need Lou Williams or Clarkson with the other values on the board.