As always, make sure to check for the latest injury news and lineup changes.
*** I’m only playing on DK tonight, so the picks will be geared towards that site. But assuming there isn’t a major difference in price, these plays can be used anywhere. ***
Ish Smith (NOP) $4,800 & Toney Douglas (NOP) $3,800
Jrue Holiday is doubtful (make sure he’s out closer to lock) and AD is out. There should be plenty of opportunity here for Ish and Toney. The Hawks are favored by 12, so this one looks like a blowout. Given the Pelicans lack of back court depth, I don’t think the score will have that much affect on their minutes.
Cory Joseph (TOR) $3,300
Terrence Ross and DeMarre Carroll are out tonight. That leaves Lowry, DeRozan, Joseph, and James Johnson vying for 144 minutes on the wing. Last game, Joseph played 27 minutes and posted a 12/8/6/1 line. The Raptors are favored by 10 at the Sixers, but I think Joseph gets 27-30 minutes regardless of the score.
Marco Belinelli (SAC) $4,200
The Kings’ starting SG slot has been in flux and whoever draws the start usually sees less than 20 minutes. Belinelli plays big minutes off the bench, and he should get some run at PG tonight with Collison and Seth Curry ruled out. Rondo played all 48 minutes at the point last game, but coach Karl said that won’t be the case tonight. The Kings have a couple of high usage guys in Cousins and Gay that gobble up possessions, but Belinelli should see plenty of minutes and will have the ball in his hands enough to pay off his price more often than not.
Klay Thompson (GSW) $6,600
Mike Conley will be checking Curry, and Tony Allen should be on Barnes. That leaves Klay Thompson with the best match-up on the wing; going against Courtney Lee. It’s a pace down game for the Warriors, but Thompson should still get 15+ shots and plenty of opportunity to pay off his salary.
I thought about Harden as my SG2, but his combination of price and blowout possibility has me a little scared. He’s a great GPP play, though.
Paul George (IND) $8,800
I love his match-up with the Celtics. The Pacers get a huge bump in pace, and the game should remain close throughout. It’s a small sample, but George is hovering around 30% usage and a game against the Celtics should result in roughly an 8% bump in his fantasy production. I’m expecting 50 FP out of George tonight (which coincidentally is exactly what he scored against Boston earlier this year in 31 minutes).
James Johnson (TOR) $3,100
I already mentioned that Toronto has been decimated by injuries on the wing. Johnson should be locked in for at least 26 minutes tonight, and he’s scored 19.75 and 22.75 FP as a starter in the Raptors’ last two.
If you want to spend up a little more, I like Jae Crowder (BOS) at $5,000.
J.J. Hickson (DEN) $4,200
Joffrey Lauvergne and Jusuf Nurkic are out, and Nikola Jokic is questionable. Hickson has seen 25-30 minutes when those guys have been out this year, and he’s been good for roughly 30 FP per game when he starts. It’s a pace down game against the Bucks, but Milwaukee is a little soft up front. Call it a wash. I like Hickson as a nice value play tonight.
Blake Griffin (LAC) $9,500
Blake has been a monster this season; averaging 49.3 FP in 35.3 minutes per game. He should absolutely destroy Dallas tonight. The only question is whether or not the game will stay close enough for him to see his full allotment of minutes.
If you want to drop down a little from Griffin, Greg Monroe (MIL) $8,300 is a fine play. Jabari Parker won’t play in this one, and Monroe should eat.
Jahlil Okafor (PHI) $6,600
Nerlens Noel is out again tonight. When he missed on Monday, Okafor got up 25 shots and pulled down 15 boards in 31 minutes against the Bulls. Okafor hadn’t grabbed more than 7 rebounds in a game with Noel, so it should be obvious just how much Okafor benefits when Noel is out. The game may not stay close, but Okafor has only played less than 31 minutes once all season. The 76ers want him to develop, so I’m less concerned about the blowout factor here.
Andre Drummond (DET) $9,400
This one scares me a little, but I’m turning into it. The upside and match-up are just too good to ignore, and there’s plenty of value to be found at other positions. A game against the Kings should result in roughly a 5% boost to Drummond’s (already ridiculous) average line. The big risk here is foul trouble, as Drummond has traditionally been prone to fouling and Cousins has no trouble getting to the line. However, if you’ve been watching the Pistons this season, you have probably noticed Drummond is now going out of his way to avoid fouls. With Monroe gone, the team is relying on him to be able to stay on the floor, and he’s trying his best. It’s turned him into an even bigger sieve on defense (Cousins may be in for a huge game), but he’s a legitimate 30/30 threat if he stays on the floor. That’s all we really care about.
Programming note: I’m still working on the format for this article (how many picks at each position, more focus on stars or value plays, which sites to include, etc.). If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see going forward, just let me know. I’m open to anything.
Good luck tonight!