Wednesday’s 10-game slate is awkward because we have a lot of strong defenses facing players we like to use in fantasy. The Heat are hosting the Warriors, the Spurs are hosting the Kings, the Cavs are hosting the Hornets and the Grizzlies are hosting the Lakers. Then we have two teams with a fistful of underpriced players in great spots — Detroit and Memphis. Rostering the correct balance of players from those two squads will be key.
INJURIES TO BE AWARE OF
1. Chris Bosh, PF, Heat — Bosh will not play in tonight’s showdown against the Warriors due to his calf issue. That means Luol Deng is locked into the power forward spot, a place he’s excelled like so many “typical” small forwards before him have (Rudy Gay, Carmelo Anthony etc.). In the three games without Bosh, Deng has posted 10, 11 and 16 rebounds while getting at least 35 minutes in each outing. The matchup with Golden State is extremely difficult, but the increased possessions in the game mitigates that.
2. Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs — Leonard is questionable to play against the Kings as he also battles a calf injury. We might not know his status until an hour before the 10:30pm tip. We do know that the Kings are absolutely atrocious against wing players and are coming off a win last night in Denver. Leonard will be strong GPP late-swap play if he can go as the injury will ensure his ownership stays low.
3. Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Garnett, PF, Wolves — Nothing new here. Pekovic (foot) is out, Garnett (knee) is doubtful and Nemanja Bjelica (foot) is out. Gorgui Dieng had an awful dud against the Knicks on Saturday, but that was somewhat predictable as he came off a 44-minute outing the night before. He bounced back Monday against the Raptors and is likely to go over 35 minutes again tonight. Freak talent Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 35.6 minutes over his last eight games and is still underpriced relative to his All-Star caliber production.
|OUT||Spencer Hawes (CHA), Kevin Garnett (MIN), Matt Bonner (SAS), Stanley Johnson (DET), Nemanja Bjelica (MIN)|
|DOUBTFUL||Tony Allen (MEM), Iman Shumpert (CLE), Anthony Tolliver (DET), TJ McConnell (PHI)|
|QUESTIONABLE||Spencer Dinwiddie (DET), Jameer Nelson (DEN), Kawhi Leonard (SAS), Gary Neal (WAS)|
MATCHUPS TO EXPLOIT
1. All the Pistons against the 76ers
It’s a bit of a perfect storm for the Pistons tonight. First of all, they are without key bench pieces Stanley Johnson (shoulder) and Anthony Tolliver (knee). They ended their last game with virtually no backup wings. Second of all, they are facing an inept Sixers defense which is on the road and in a back-to-back. This Philly team gives up an absurd 4.9 more points than salary-based expectation to point guards and Reggie Jackson was already underpriced. Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris should push over 35 minutes. Andre Drummond is going to eat against a team that ranks 28th in rebounding differential and 27th in times blocked per game.
Adam Levitan discusses tonight’s slate
SITUATIONS TO CAPITALIZE ON
1. Salaries not catching up to Grizzlies’ makeover
It’s a new world in Memphis. Marc Gasol (foot) is done, Courtney Lee/Jeff Green have been traded and Tony Allen (knee) is doubtful. That leaves us with a lot of opportunity, especially in a dream matchup at home against the Lakers. The sample size with all these players off the court is too small to draw conclusions, but expect underrated Mike Conley to take a lot on his shoulders. He’s far too cheap ($6900) relative to his new role, as is Zach Randolph ($6900). Matt Barnes is priced fairly at $5000, but gets 0.819 DK points per minute on the year and is likely to see 30 minutes with Allen sidelined. We can expect a bump on that 0.819 number thanks to the matchup.
Check Out More Big Wednesday NBA Content
|Levitan's Leverage||Tournament Plays||Cheat Sheet|
|Player Targets||Top 5's by Position||Game Breakdown|
1. Deron Williams against the Thunder
The oft-injured Williams is a bit risky for cash games on a slate with so many quality options at point guard. But he’ll provide both salary relief and go lightly owned in tournament lineups despite being in a really good spot. Point guards fare very well against the Thunder (2.3 more DK points than salary expectation) because they’re typically playing from behind and up in pace. That will be true for Williams tonight, as the Thunder are 10th in pace while the Mavs are T-23rd. Williams has been strong over his last four games, averaging 1.05 DK points per minute while logging 37.2 minutes a night. It would be a surprise if he can’t 5x his $6,100 salary tonight.
1. Ian Mahinmi against the Knicks
Similar to the point guard position, there are a lot of strong plays at center tonight. That will cause Mahinmi to go overlooked even though he’s averaging 32.6 minutes a night in three games since the All-Star break. This is a guy that gets 0.942 DK points per minute on the season and has a plus matchup against a free-falling Knicks team that is allowing 105.6 points per game over their last 12.
WHO I’M CONSIDERING IN DRAFTINGS CASH GAMES
(No particular order)
|Point Guard:||Reggie Jackson, Mike Conley, Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry, DeAngelo Russell|
|Shooting Guard:||Dwyane Wade, DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Monta Ellis|
|Small Forward:||Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chandler Parsons, Luol Deng, Matt Barnes|
|Power Forward:||Zach Randolph, Kevin Love, Gorgui Dieng, Myles Turner, Julius Randle|
|Center:||Karl-Anthony Towns, Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan, Marcin Gortat, Ian Mahinmi|