There could be a lot of overlap on the slate tonight with only four games going on and eight teams to choose players from. The good news is all four games have totals of at least 197. That means we should see a lot of points scored here and some big fantasy stat lines. This is a list of some standout options at every position broken down by Studs and Values. Let’s take a look at what we have for Thursday.
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John Wall ($9100) – This is a great spot for the surging John Wall here. New Orleans has struggled to stop point guards all season and Wall is on fire right now. In his last 7 games, he has been no lower than 4.3 times value and has four games of 6.7 times value or better. He is a legit triple double threat every time he steps on the floor. Washington is playing fast and Wall has the ball in his hands a ton. He should be flirting with another triple double here. He has returned solid value for cash games and flashed tournament upside, so you can roll him out in any format.
Damian Lillard ($8800) – Lillard is a solid cash game option in this one. He has gone 5 times salary or better in 7 of his last 10. Phoenix plays fast and has been giving it up to the point guards this season, so Lillard has a good matchup. This is one of the higher totals on the day and Lillard is the main man for this Blazers team. He is a tad cheaper than the other top options at the position and may go off at a slightly lower ownership with huge upside.
Trey Burke ($4200) – Trey Burke is not the starter, but he’s played more minutes lately. He has also been jacking up shots, which we like for fantasy purposes. The $4200 price tag is a tad too low. He has had at least 21 fantasy points in each of the last 4 games. That means he has returned 5-9 times value for a cheap price tag. If you need to save and fit in a stud or two, he is one of the better options on the day to look at.
Lou Williams ($4800) – Lou Williams is now a starter in LA. Byron Scott is limiting the minutes for the young guys for some unknown reason, but that is why we have to like Williams. In his last five games he has played over 30 minutes in each. He has also averaged 28 fantasy points. His price is rising, but his average game would still be a 6X return at his price today, so that makes him a solid option for cash or GPP play.
Dwyane Wade ($7000) – Dwyane Wade is the one guy who I would be fine paying up for here. The entire Miami team looked bad against Charlotte, but Wade had four games before that where he averaged 42 fantasy points. 42 points at $7K is a solid return of 6 times value and would be on pace for a big cash in a tournament. Klay Thompson just put up about 60 fantasy points against this same defense last time out, so Wade has a soft matchup here. I also expect them to come out hungry after getting lit up by Charlotte in the last game, so I like his floor for cash and his potential upside for a tournament play.
Will Barton ($6200) – It is starting to become a stretch to keep calling Will Barton a value play, but that is where we are at for a few more games. His price has slowly risen up to this point and the price raises have been completely justified. Barton is getting extra minutes and shots with Gary Harris out. In fact, he may have been due those minutes anyway since he is arguably the best scorer on the team. Barton has been between 28-40 fantasy points in 10 of his last 12 games. In every game he played over 26 minutes, he wound up with 28 or more fantasy points.
O.J. Mayo ($5400) –Before you cringe at the thought of taking O.J. Mayo, let me make the case for him. Since his return in mid-November, he has made 5 times value in every start that he played over 27 minutes. The only two games he missed going 5X or better during a 10 game stretch were the games he played less minutes. He is not only starting for Milwaukee, but finishing as well. He is the shooting guard that Jason Kidd feels most comfortable rolling out. With injuries and underperformance littering the Bucks backcourt, Mayo is the one guy we can count on to return a solid number on a daily basis. I do not love his GPP upside, but I do like the safety he can give you in a cash game.
Nicolas Batum ($7500) – Batum is a great cash game play. He has returned 4.5 X or better in 15 of his last 17 games. He is the basketball equivalent of a Swiss army knife. He picked up his rebounding with Al Jefferson out to help the team. He has picked up his assists with Kemba banged up as well. He has actually looked to facilitate a little more, so his scoring is down a bit. We saw him have some big 20+ point games along the way as well though, so he also offers that upside. He is long on defense, so he gets you a few steals and blocks as well. Batum basically contributes in every category across the board. He has flashed some big upside, but his price has reached a point where I still like the floor for cash games, but he is probably not a great GPP play anymore.
Gordon Hayward ($7000) – When Gobert went out, the Jazz picked up the pace. That has coincided with Hayward putting up about 6X value in five straight games. His scoring is up thanks to his shooting from behind the arc. He is also contributing a little more in every category across the board, so he is a solid option. His price is slow to rise, so the safety and upside are both there. OKC plays at an even faster pace, so his game is being paced up here today. If Utah keeps it close, Hayward will see a ton of minutes, high usage, and likely a solid fantasy score as well.
Mirza Teletovic ($4300) – Mirza’s minutes have creeped up close to thirty with the Chandler injury and the Markieff benching. He has returned 5.5X or more in 9 of his last 11 starts. That is insanely good value for a cheap option that is always underowned. Mirza has found himself on multiple tournament winning lineups in the last two weeks. Getting a guy who is low owned, low priced, and producing big numbers in the 25-35 range for great value is what this game is all about. $4300 is one of the higher prices we have seen him at, but he is consistently putting up over 25 and has seen his minutes rise to just shy of 30. That is exactly what we want out of him for fantasy purposes.
Julius Randle ($5900) – I know that byron Scott said he was limiting the kids to 20-25 minutes a game, but Byron Scott is a liar. In all seriousness, how do you limit Randle when he is playing this well? Randle has put up double double in 6 of the last 7 games and 9 of his last 12 overall. He is still playing less minutes than you would like to see and he is only scoring 12-18 points most games. With that being said though, 12-18 points an 10-12 rebounds is still putting him at 30 = fantasy points on a consistent basis. At a price of only $5900, that is 5X or more and excellent value.
Jon Leuer ($5200) – The price has reached the point where Leurer is no longer an automatic start, but he is still a solid value option. If you do not know why I called him an automatic start, just check his recent game logs. Markieff Morris is not getting any minutes for the Suns, but Leuer is seeing 25-40 a game recently. He is putting up 25 fantasy points as a floor and that would be around 5X at his price here. He has had some bigger games, so there is also upside for him.
Ersan Ilyasova ($4800) – Ersan is back up to 30 minutes and back up to 25-30 fantasy points. He has been on the court more often recently for the Pistons and the minutes have been reflected in his production. He had been in the lower $4K range and putting up 6X value in these recent starts. His price has adjusted upwards as well, so there is not much upside left. I prefer guys like him and Leuer for cash games, but would look to get up to Randle for the tournament upside.
Andre Drummond ($9500) – Drummond has been one of the best centers in the league this year. His numbers have pulled back from the lofty ones he had early in the year, but he is still producing at a well above average clip. The best part is he gets a Philly team that we have been targeting centers against all season. Okafor is a PF playing center. He struggles with the bigger stronger players in the post. Drummond should be able to score, grab a ton aof rebounds, and pick up some blocks on a guy who gets his shot blocked quite a bit in Okafor. He is not cheap, but a 50-60 Fantasy point game is well within his ability and I expect to see that here today.
Marcin Gortat ($6000) – Gortat is back from injury and is the only Center on the roster. We watched guy like Jared Dudley play the post with Gortat out, so he is going to get as many minutes as he can handle here. He was up to 30-25 minutes before the injury and played 35 in his first game back. He is putting up 30-40 points as well, so the added minutes at his price make him a top guy for cash and tournament rosters. New Orleans has not been great against centers, so I expect to get good production today from the Polish Hammer.
Alex Len ($5000) – Alex Len went nuts the other night and won people some GPPs. In fact he has been almost a must start with Tyson chandler out. He followed up back to back games of 6 times value with a huge 41 fantasy point performance which jacked his price up almost $1000 for this start. Len is still a guy who should get you between 25-35 points in this matchup. At a cost of just over $5K, that’s 5-7 times value which makes him a top option.