Winning in tournaments requires getting not just good efforts from your roster, but some extra high point production. Sometimes this requires differentiation in roster, and other times, it’s just identifying the high-ceiling plays for the slate.
For our purposes, we’re going to focus on the high-ceiling plays by position, and salary tier (top end, mid tier and low end), for tonight’s games, a solid, ten-game slate. These are plays that could go for about, on average, six times what their salary is. (Ex. $6,000 * 6 = 36DK points equals value.)
Let’s line em up! Ask any questions on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.
John Wall – WAS @ PHX – $10,300 – Something has to give here. Washington is allegedly going for a playoff spot, but each game John Wall is used less and less, with a 25% raw usage rate over the latest three games since they really had to start feeling some urgency. His salary, despite a 44 DK points per game (DKPPG) average, has gone up to $10.3K, $100 more than Stephen Curry. The PHX matchup, which is a plus matchup for PGs, will entice some, but it’s hard to see high ownership on Wall with a large slate and other good matchups below him. He has the 65-70 DK point upside if he cuts loose and ballhogs, which he needs to do here to win. It’s what a tourney play is all about.
Dwyane Wade – MIA @ SAC – $7,200- He might be higher owned than I’d like, especially since he’s always a threat to leave a game early. But the Heat are playing for homecourt and have a winnable, plus matchup here in Sacramento. Wade has been playing very well, with games of 49.5 and 52 DK points in his last two. It’s go time and Wade is balling.
J.R. Smith – CLE @ ATL – $4,400 – Total anecdotal play here, but J.R. Smith lights up the Atlanta Hawks and has since his days in Denver. Smith has averaged 28 DKPPG against the Hawks this year and the Hawks are a plus matchup for opposing SG, even better matchup than the Kings over the last three weeks. The Cavs are trying to hold off the Raptors for the home court advantage, so there’s reason to keep him in the game and he only played 24 minutes against the Nets last night.
Carmelo Anthony – NYK vs. BKN – $8,500 – Well, he’s playing, for whatever reason, and he’s balling, with 35.3% raw usage over the last three games and 43.75 DKPPG over that span. He has the best SF matchup of the night and there will be many who shy away from this game and head towards LeBron James against Atlanta.
John Henson – MIL vs. ORL – $3,800 – Henson has played 24 minutes per game over his last four games and is averaging 31 DKPPG over that span. He has a positive matchup against the Magic tonight and there’s no reason to discontinue playing him if you are the Bucks. His peripherals game is strong, averaging 18.4 DK points per 30 minutes on non-scoring stats alone.
Thomas Robinson – BKN @ NYK – $3,600- He’s no secret anymore, as we’ve trumpeted his peripherals and have identified him as a key replacement should extra playing time be afforded. Well, it has over the last two games and if Thaddeus Young sits again tonight with Brook Lopez back, and Robinson gets 20-24 minutes, he is going to hit value. Like we mentioned about peripherals with Henson, Robinson averages 20.7 DKPP30 minutes from non-scoring stats, laying a very high foundation for him when he gets minutes.
Hassan Whiteside – MIA @ SAC – $8,700 – He’s an elite peripherals player, staying with that theme, laying a 24 DK point foundation per 30 minutes and has a super plus matchup against the Kings tonight when the Heat are trying to move up in the standings to get home court advantage. He’s high priced at a position that players try to attain value in to get up to the high priced guards, so he could be underowned even in an elite matchup.
Marcin Gortat – WAS @ PHX – $6,400 – See comments for Wall, John. Seriously, the Wizards. They have to go big and Markieff Morris may not be as big a drag in an obvious revenge game for him AND Gortat. The matchup is a plus matchup, even against Tyson Chandler, and Gortat has to be leveraged if Randy Wittman wants to save his job and make the playoffs, though I have to be wondering if that’s their real intention at this point. You have to believe it is and that these Wizards have to go hard against the Suns.
Kelly Olynyk – BOS @ GS – $3,800 – Brad Stevens is all about the matchups when it comes to his bigs, and the last time the C’s took on Golden State was in Boston when the Warriors were unbeaten and Olynyk gave them all they could handle, scoring 49.5 DK points. No predictions of that level of course, but it does underline the matchup problem he was for the Warriors and Stevens, whose team hasn’t clinched a playoff spot yet, certainly remembers. With everyone on this tier likely playing Kosta Koufos or Cody Zeller, Olynyk is a high risk, high reward, alternative play.