Only six games on a Friday? This is Adam Silver’s NBA.
After delivering a hefty Thursday slate, we’re left with a more tolerable schedule tonight, with a few games that look like healthy fantasy matchups.
The big one I’ll be looking at is Houston taking on Dallas. Houston is atrocious defensively, and I don’t think the Mavericks are all that good, so there could be quite a bit of value in this one. James Harden sticks out, but guys like Wesley Matthews, Clint Capela and Patrick Beverley should be usable tonight as well.
I have full thoughts on all of my favorite plays tonight, but first, today’s news and notes:
- Tyson Chandler (hamstring) is out and Markieff Morris (knee) is questionable tonight for the Suns. Some reports have surfaced that Jon Leuer and Alex Len worked with the starters at shootaround, and Leuer is looking like an elite play if Morris sits.
- Dwight Howard (rest) is out tonight. Terrence Jones should start at power forward in his absence tonight, with Clint Capela sliding to center.
- There are rumblings about a lineup change for the Cavaliers tonight. Timofey Mozgov, Mo Williams or J.R. Smith could move to the bench. I wouldn’t expect any change to dramtically shift the fantasy value on this team, but it’ll be worth watching for.
Remember to check the news up until tip:
BUILDING BLOCKS – Studs and Must-Have Values to Build Your Core Lineup
John Wall, PG, WAS ($8,300): Wall has broken out of his funk with solid outputs in his last two contests. Tonight, he gets an excellent matchup with the Suns that gets better – both starting centers are out for this game. That means this game will trend towards small-ball, and Wall’s performance should trend up.
Jon Leuer, PF, PHX ($4,100): If Markieff Morris is ruled out, Leuer is a fantastic value play. You’ll want to check the news here, but Leuer offers double-double upside at a cheap price.
Three more studs to consider: James Harden, SG, HOU ($10,500) – Anthony Davis, PF, NO ($10,700) – Andre Drummond, C, DET ($9,000)
BARGAINS – Complementary Players Who Look To Have Favorable Pricing
Patrick Beverley, PG, HOU ($4,400): Beverley has been a solid play as of late, and that’s all you need for him for his price tag. He’s your premier punt option at either guard spot tonight.
Jeff Teague, PG, ATL ($6,700): Teague plays the Lakers at home, and that’s all you really need for a point guard to go off. Other than that, Teague is a usually solid cash game play, so I have no issues using him here.
Eric Bledsoe, SG, PHX ($8,300): Far and away my No. 1 shooting guard option for the price, Bledsoe will be a key fixture in what projects to be a fast-paced showdown. He’s a strong option, even with James Harden on the board.
Wesley Matthews, SG, DAL ($4,600): Matthews is getting a ton of minutes, and on a shorter slate, his $4.6K salary makes him a good fit for cash lineups.
Marcus Morris, SF, DET ($6,100): Morris seems to always get a boatload of minutes, and he’s now facing one of the worst teams in terms of small-forward defense. His floor remains high because of his immense workload, despite a little concern for his back issue.
Trevor Ariza, SF, HOU ($5,300): Ariza hasn’t performed well in his past few games, but his upside is still there, and so is the 35+ minute workload.
Terrence Jones, PF, HOU ($4,900): Terrence Jones should slide into the starting lineup in place of Dwight Howard. I don’t like Jones’s production this year, but if he gets the minutes, he should be a big value play tonight.
Thaddeus Young, PF, BKN ($7,100): Before his dud against Phoenix, Young was consistently putting up 30+ DraftKings points. I expect that to be the case again tonight against the Knicks.
Al Horford, C, ATL ($6,700): Horford is an affordable center play, and he gets to take on the Lakers at home. His floor is often high, and tonight his ceiling will be high as well.
LOTTERY TICKETS – High Risk, High Reward Plays
Jarrett Jack, PG, BKN ($6,300): Jack has been losing some work to Shane Larkin, but the matchup with the Knicks is excellent, and he should be considered as a GPP flier with high upside.
Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL ($5,900): Kobe turned back the clock a bit against the Wizards, though I don’t expect him to continue the trend. The positives with plugging Kobe into your tournament lineups begin and end with his ridiculous volume and the upside that comes with such a workload.
T.J. Warren, SF, PHX ($4,800): Warren seems to be trapped on the Suns’ bench despite being one of their more productive players, but he should shine in what projects to be a small-ball shootout. I don’t trust his workload for cash, but I love his upside in tournaments.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, NY ($8,100): Porzingis’s price is reaching scary-high levels, but his potential production matches it. I’m all for loading up on this unattractive game in tournaments, because if it hits, then so should your lineup.
Brook Lopez, C, BKN ($7,600): Continuing the statement from above, grabbing Porzingis and Lopez for a tournament lineup ensures you have exposure in the right spots for this unattractive matchup. Lopez is also a cash consideration, but I’d prefer to pay down for Clint Capela or Al Horford.
BUYER’S REMORSE – Reasons for Skepticism
Ryan Hollins, C, WAS ($3,000): He’ll start for the Wizards tonight, but he just isn’t very good. After getting torched by Trevor Booker last night, I’m looking elsewhere.