The NBA begins this week with a 9 game slate. The big question right now is if Tyreke Evans will play or not as he is listed as questionable as he is dealing with knee tendinitis. If he misses the game, that opens the door to start guys like Norris Cole, Alonzo Gee, and most importantly, Bryce Dejean-Jones. Make sure to stay updated on Evans’ availability.
Let’s dive into some key plays for both 50/50 and tournament contests…
Russell Westbrook, $11,000– The OKC/WAS game is the game to target tonight with a game total of 221. Westbrook has been arguably the most sure-fire play thus far in daily fantasy this year, and even with such a high price tag, you can count on at least 50 fantasy points. If you can fit him into your lineup, then feel free free to do so in any format.
Rajon Rondo, $8,400- Highly consistent play, Rondo has scored at least 35 fantasy points in his last 10 games. Sacramento is usually a great team to target in daily fantasy, and Rondo’s production this year has been a main reason for that.
Jrue Holiday, $7,400– If Evans sits tonight, Holiday will be relied upon even more to carry the offense. His minutes this season have been highly variable, which is discouraging for daily fantasy owners. With that said, Holiday is a decent play even if Evans is active, and he becomes almost a must play if Evans is inactive.
Michael Carter-Williams, $6,400– MCW is not going to light it up in any specific category on the stat sheet, but what he will do a little bit of everything. At $6,400 against a Kings team that loves to play high-tempo basketball, Carter-Williams has the opportunity to exceed his season averages (11.6 P, 5.0 Reb., 5.5 A). The risk here will be his minute total, as Milwaukee has shown that if MCW starts off poorly, they aren’t afraid to put him on the bench. I think it’s worth a risk tonight.
Corey Joseph, $3,900- He is Toronto’s backup PG, and it’s not as if Kyle Lowry has been struggling as of late as the starter, yet Joseph has been putting up solid production over his last 4 games with at least 21 fantasy points. Relying on bench players in DFS can be a risky proposition, but if you are looking for value at the point guard position, Joseph a fine play tonight. Keep in mind that Joseph is averaging 25 min/G this season, so it’s not as if his playing time as of late has been a fluke.
Khris Middleton, $7,100– Don’t let his game against Miami scare you, as the Heat are always a tough matchup. If anything, maybe his poor performance last time out will drive down Middleton’s ownership %, and this is an opportunity for you to pounce on. When I look at players to target in daily fantasy, I look at the minutes a player is receiving, as well as the categories his producing in. Middleton does it all, and he’s been hot as of late. $7,100 is a bargain here.
Monta Ellis, $7,000– Want to fade off of Middleton? Monta Ellis is similarly priced and has put up 58 and 53 points in his last two games. We know that Ellis has the ability to light on fire and put up a huge scoring total, so this may be a chance to get on board and ride the hot streak if you want a lesser owned player than Middleton.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, $5,800– Caldwell-Pope may not be the sexiest play in DFS, but the man racks up plenty of playing time, scores a decent amount consistently, and can pile up a respectable amount of rebounds from time to time. In a solid matchup against Brooklyn that ranks 29th in opposing team FG percentage, Caldwell-Pope is a safe play.
Mario Hezonja, $3,000– He received 33 minutes in his last game, putting up 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assisted while hitting 3 3-pointers (25.75 FP). He gets a miserable matchup against San Antonio, but if you want to take the risk here and hope he gets playing time in a blowout, then it’s worth a try. Keep in mind that this is merely a tournament option.
Kevin Durant, $10,400– Durant is my top play tonight, and fading him against a Wizards team that struggles mightily against wing players will most likely be costly. Get KD in your lineups.
Rudy Gay, $6,800– He’s back from injury, and he’s back to getting a heavy amount of minutes per usual. With DeMarcus Cousins out tonight, Gay will get even more responsibility for scoring tonight for the Kings.
Stanley Johnson, $4,200– If you need to go cheap here, Stanley Johnson is an alright play. If Ehsan Ilyasova is held out tonight, the Pistons have to allocate 30+ minutes throughout the roster, and Johnson’s play has already grown on coach Van Gundy, so don’t be surprised to see him get even more playing time.
LaMarcus Aldridge, $7,000– Boy do I hate rostering this guy. Aldridge has immense upside at his price tag, but also can burn you due to the Spurs’ inconsistent rotations. Duncan is out tonight, so I believe Aldridge is a solid tournament play here, but don’t be surprised if he burns you.
Derrick Favors, $6,600– In his 3rd game back from injury, Favors finally saw his typical amount of minutes (35), and was able to put up 20 points and 9 rebounds. This is promising for Favors as a DFS option, and I love the value here against Chicago.
Jordan Hill, $4,800– He will get another start tonight with Ian Mahinmi out once again, and with his 45.8 FP in 38 minutes last game against Denver, Hill is going to be the chalk tonight for value at the power forward position.
Myles Turner, $5,800– The Pacers finally started giving Turner the minutes to produce 7 games ago, and he has taken advantage of the opportunity. With Mahinimi out, expect Turner to receive even more playing time than what he has been getting as of late.
Willie Cauley-Stein, $5,200– His last two games were poor, but with Cousins out tonight, expect Cauley-Stein to get back to form. He’s not a guy that relies on his scoring to produce value, so with the Kings losing their #1 option, I like Cauley-Stein’s chances of exceeding his price tag. Keep in mind Milwaukee isn’t afraid to run out small lineups, so Cauley-Stein is not a lock.
Bismack Biyombo, $4,000– Jonas Valanciunas sprained his right thumb, and he may not play tonight against Denver. This would open up the door for Biyombo to get the start, and I love the price tag for a starting center here in a decent matchup. If Valanciunas sits, I love the play. Even if he plays, his minutes may be limited if the thumb ends up bothering him, so Biyombo still could find value.
Let me keep a log of my DFS plays in these write-ups to keep you all informed as to how my picks are going…
My Tournament Lineup:
PG: Michael Carter-Williams
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Jordan Hill
C: Bismack Biyombo
G: Corey Joseph
F: Derrick Favors
UTIL: Rudy Gay
My 50/50 Lineup:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Khris Middleton
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Jordan Hill
C: Bismack Biyombo
G: Bryce Dejean-Jones
F: Jabari Parker
UTIL: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope