*** I’m using DraftKings’ pricing, so the picks will be geared towards that site. But assuming there isn’t a major difference in salary, these plays can be used anywhere. And as always, make sure to check for the latest injury news and lineup changes. ***
STARS OF THE NIGHT
SF Kevin Durant $10,100
I have Durant down as both the highest scoring and best value at SF tonight. When that happens, you should probably use the guy. Ariza is a solid defender, but SFs have been going buck wild against the Rockets all season (as you can tell by the neon green “30th” under OPRK). Beverley is a phenomenal defender, and that should funnel some production from Westbrook to Durant. He should see a 10% production bump tonight and score just over 52 FP on average. Yes, please.
SG James Harden $10,000
Andre Roberson (#3 in defensive real plus minus for SGs) is out and has been replaced by Dion Waiters (#76 in DRPM for SGs). Steven Adams is incredibly tough and does a great job protecting the rim, but Enes Kanter is getting 22 MPG over the last 10 games. When Enes is in, James will feast. He may have struggled against the Thunder in the past, but everything sets up for a monster game tonight.
C Nikola Vucevic $7,600
A match-up with the Celtics represents a significant upgrade in terms of pace for Vucevic, and a combination of Sullinger and Olynyk will offer little to no resistance. He’s getting consistent minutes (35+ in his last 8) and converting them into fantasy production (36.75 FP or more in 7 of 8). Look for him to have a big night.
SG Dwyane Wade $6,700
Wade has been on fire of late, posting 31.75, 45.75, and 52.5 FP in his last three games. Here’s something you might find surprising and helps explain the streak…
- Dwyane Wade’s 2015-16 usage with Hassan Whiteside on the floor: 30%
- Dwyane Wade’s 2015-16 usage with Hassan Whiteside off the floor: 35%
Who would have thought Whiteside being on or off would so dramatically affect Dwyane Wade’s usage? But it does, so here we are. Whiteside is out again tonight, so I will be using Wade.
TOP VALUE PLAYS
PF Josh Smith $4,200
I’m a sucker for J-Smoove. He’s back doing his thing in Houston, and I really like him in GPPs tonight. He’s played 21, 23, 28, and 25 minutes in four games since being re-acquired by the Rockets; definitely trending in the right direction. The Thunder rarely go small, and I expect Houston to keep two bigs on the floor for most of the game. As a result, Smith should see closer to 28 minutes than 21. Sign me up for 28 minutes of Smoove in an up-tempo game at just over $4k.
PG Jose Calerdon $4,100 (OR SG Langston Galloway $4,000 if Calderon sits)
Edit: *****Jose Calderon has been ruled out, so go with Galloway*****
I’m not going to spend too much time here as I’m not sure who’s in or out for the Knicks. All you need to know is Calderon makes for a great play if he suits up, and if he doesn’t, go with Galloway. As an aside, if Carmelo Anthony misses, Derrick Williams is a good play, and if Porzingis sits, Kyle O’Quinn can be locked and loaded.
C Zaza Pachulia $5,800
He’s coming off a leg injury, but he tends to play 32+ minutes when he goes. Centers have seen a 10% bump to their per minute production when facing the Nets this season, and that would put Zaza at 1.1 FPPM. The Mavericks are at home and favored by 9, so there is a little bit of blowout potential. If you think he gets his normal run, that puts him at 6x value on average.
PF Serge Ibaka $5,700
Serge has been hit or miss all season, and his hits have tended to pop-up when one of OKC’s two superstars have missed time. That said, we’ve got an eye towards GPPs/upside, and he posted 43.5 FP against the Rockets earlier in the season. A match-up with the Rockets should result in a nearly 15% (!) increase to Ibaka’s FPPM, and I have him down for 35 FP in 35 minutes. Like Pachulia, Serge is another play that should return 6x value on average, though he is much more of a boom or bust play.
PG J.J. Barea $3,900
A lot of people will be on Deron Williams tonight (#revengegame), so I think Barea makes for an interesting contrarian play. In their last game, the Mavericks were blown out by the Warriors. Deron Williams saw 29 minutes (down 5 from his season average) and Barea got 25 (up 4 from his season average). As previously mentioned, the Mavs are -9 at home, so this one could get away from Brooklyn. If it does and Barea steals minutes (in a good match-up) from Williams, you’re going to get a leg up on a large portion of the field in GPPs. I probably wouldn’t play Pachulia and Barea together, as garbage time helps J.J. and hurts Zaza, so it really depends on how you think this game will go.
Good luck tonight!