Tonight’s slate of NBA action brings us nine games. But, more than that, it brings with it plenty of difficult choices.
Among those tough decisions will be which stud to invest in tonight. With four $10K players, two $9K players and a host of players $8K and over worth seriously considering, tonight’s major contests could very well feature a deep mixture of lineup combinations.
As for which stud you should play? I have my own recommendations below. The bigger piece of the puzzle will be finding which players you can surround your choice with to build an effective lineup. Hopefully, I can help with that tonight.
Today’s news and notes:
- Harrison Barnes (ankle) is out for the Warriors, which means another spot start for Brandon Rush. I don’t care much for him or Andre Iguodala.
- Al Jefferson (calf) is going to miss up to three weeks with a calf injury. Cody Zeller is your fill-in until further notice, but Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes are wildcards.
- Tyson Chandler (hamstring) will be out again tonight. I have thoughts on Alex Len below.
- Marcus Morris (back) is a game-time decision for tonight against the Suns. I like him if he plays, and I love Stanley Johnson if he doesn’t.
- Gary Harris (concussion) is still out, so Randy Foye should remain with some relevancy. I like Will Barton more, but Foye is an off-the-wall punt play.
- Jrue Holiday (rest) will sit on the second night of a back-to-back. Ish Smith will start in his place, though I’m not terribly interested given his price.
- Chris Paul (abdomen) is a game-time decision tonight. I don’t love him in this spot, and I have zero interest in Austin Rivers should he get a spot start. Blake Griffin is the guy to look at if Paul is ruled out.
Remember to check the news up until tip:
BUILDING BLOCKS – Studs and Must-Have Values to Build Your Core Lineup
John Wall, PG, WAS ($8,000): I’ve been waiting to get back on the John Wall bandwagon, and last night’s performance was just the push I needed. His price is fantastic for the production we’ve come to expect out him, and a matchup with the Lakers gives him immense upside for tonight’s slate.
Alex Len, C, PHX ($3,300): There are so many good plays tonight, and many of them are of the high-priced variety, so getting Len into your lineup will give you some cap flexibility. He should start for the injured Tyson Chandler, and his near-minimum price tag represents good value here.
Three more studs to consider: Stephen Curry, PG, GS ($10,600) – James Harden, SG, HOU ($10,300) – Anthony Davis, PF, NO ($10,700)
BARGAINS – Complementary Players Who Look To Have Favorable Pricing
Patrick Beverley, PG, HOU ($4,100): The Houston-New Orleans tilt should be free-flowing with a bunch of points scored, and Beverley gives you exposure to this game at a cheap price. I like plugging him into my guard spot to open up higher salary options.
Jose Calderon, PG, NY ($4,100): Along the same lines as Beverley, Calderon is a punt play with an attractive matchup. The 76ers are bad defensively against lead guards, and Calderon doesn’t have to do much in order to achieve value.
Jeremy Lamb, SG, CHA ($4,800): If you want to skimp at shooting guard, Lamb is a choice that should be fairly safe. The matchup with the Warriors isn’t ideal, but it is fast-paced, and Lamb could see a few extra minutes with Jeremy Lin potentially limited.
Bradley Beal, SG, WAS ($7,000): Beal is a fantastic option at shooting guard on most nights as long as he’s at this price tag. Against the Lakers, there should be very little concern with deploying him, even alongside John Wall.
Jared Dudley, SF, WAS ($3,300): When you lose to the 76ers, it’s pretty clear you’re a matchup to target, so you can consider every Wizard tonight. Dudley is a cheap starter on Washington, so if you want to punt small forward, he’s your guy.
Marcus Morris, SF, DET ($5,900): Welcome to narrative street! Marcus Morris, who may miss this game with a back issue, plays his old team tonight. If he goes – initial reports have been positive – I like him in this contest. If he misses, roll with Stanley Johnson at a cheaper price point.
Paul Millsap, PF, ATL ($8,100): Millsap has been one of the more underpriced players we’ve seen on DraftKings this year. With a ceiling of around 60 DraftKings points and a base of around 35 DraftKings points, he’s an excellent play at a mere $8,100.
Cody Zeller, PF, CHA ($3,800): Al Jefferson is going to be sidelined for a few weeks, so Cody Zeller gets the starting spot for now. Even against the Warriors, it’s hard to argue against a starting center at this price who can threaten a double-double any night.
Pau Gasol, C, CHI ($6,800): Gasol is priced favorably and gets a weak Nuggets interior tonight. His floor isn’t as high as it once was, but he still can put up a DraftKings total in line with an $8K player.
LOTTERY TICKETS – High Risk, High Reward Plays
Kemba Walker, PG, CHA ($7,500): A fast-paced game at home is a good place to look for a point guard. Walker may not be the most efficient player, but he has big upside tonight, making him a fantastic tournament play.
Will Barton, SG, DEN ($5,800): With Gary Harris sidelined, Barton has become a consideration for me almost every night. The matchup with Chicago isn’t bad as long as he can avoid Jimmy Butler, and Barton’s upside is ridiculous if he gets going.
C.J. Miles, SF, IND ($5,600): Miles was built for tournament play, and this year has seen him play some of the best basketball of his career. The Clippers are going to have their hands full with Paul George – who I also like tonight – so it’s unlikely that Miles sees much of any of the Clippers’s few good defenders.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, NY ($7,900): You can play Porzingis in cash too, but I feel more comfortable rolling with Millsap for $200 more. Still, the upside with the rookie from Latvia is terrific, especially against Philadelphia.
Clint Capela, C, HOU ($5,500): Capela is slowly breaking out as a starter for the Rockets, and now he’ll play a Pelicans front line that’s been getting annihilated this season. There’s massive upside here.
BUYER’S REMORSE – Reasons for Skepticism
Tyreke Evans, SG, NO ($6,600): I like the player, and I like the matchup, but it’s too risky for my taste to play a guy coming off injury in the second night of a back-to-back.
Greg Monroe, C, MIL ($7,000): I’ve been a supporter of Monroe in DFS this year, but not against the Spurs.