In tournaments it’s vital to find plays that contain both upside and the potential to be overlooked by the public. Take two players that are priced at $8,100 and projected for similar output. If one is 33% drafted and the other is 5%, you want to take the 5% player every time. When he outscores the higher drafted player (which will happen often), you’re passing 27% of the field with that play. That’s a very good thing. Below are a few plays from tonight’s games that fit that mold.
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Brandon Knight ($7,500) – When the Warriors played the Suns in Phoenix a few weeks ago, we saw a game that looked like a track meet. There was very little defense and plenty of turnovers that led to transition buckets. It was a phenomenal environment for fantasy points. Ultimately, the game was a blowout which capped everyone’s production. This game is in Golden State which means there is serious blowout risk yet again. The good news is that will keep Knight’s ownership down. This game will be very high scoring and if the Suns can keep it close, Knight is poised to have a monster night.
Jrue Holiday ($4,700) – Jrue has been quietly crushing it over the past 4 games; averaging over 30 fppg. His minutes have been creeping closer to 30 minutes in the past two contests. He’s still coming off the bench, but as long as his minutes are in the upper 20’s, he’s likely to be very productive. He has what’s perceived to be a difficult matchup tonight. Utah still plays at a slow pace, but their defense has not been the same this year. They’ve even been slightly below average defending point guards. This is a great spot to get on Jrue Holiday before the general public catches on.
Tony Wroten ($4,000) – We were told before the 76ers’ last game that Wroten’s minute limit had been lifted. He was also inserted in the starting lineup. I was hoping this would mean 25-30 minutes of playing time. Instead, he played 17 minutes. Tonight he’s coming off the bench behind Kendall Marshall. We aren’t quite sure how many minutes he’ll play. Wroten is very productive when he’s on the court. It’s possible he could see 25+ minutes tonight. He’s a great guy to take a flier on in a tournament.
Kawhi Leonard ($8,600) – Tim Duncan is out tonight which will open up opportunities for everyone. Most people will look to LaMarcus Aldridge to be the main beneficiary. That’s a reasonable approach, but I prefer to go to the more expensive Kawhi. His ownership likely won’t tick up much and there’s still a big spread to be concerned about (Spurs are 13 point favorites). Tonight, he gets an up-tempo Washington squad that has been dreadful against small forwards. If the game stays close enough for him to see 4th quarter minutes he’s in the running to be the highest scoring player of the night.
Ersan Ilyasova ($5,200) – Ersan is one of those guys that is almost always a good tournament option. His performances are highly volatile and he’s always packed with upside. I try to target him when he’s on a hot streak and that’s exactly where we find Ersan tonight. Ersan has scored 32 or more in 3 of his last 5 games. He also gets a very up-tempo matchup against the Celtics.
Derrick Favors ($7,600) – Most people were expecting a big uptick for Favors with Rudy Gobert sidelined. So far, it hasn’t happened. The main culprit has been difficult matchups, but there have been two blowouts as well. Tonight Favors gets a Pelicans team that has hemorrhaged fantasy points to opposing teams all season. I love Favors chance to get back on track tonight. The fact that most people will look for someone with more consistent production of late is just icing on the cake.
Marc Gasol ($7,400) – The Grizzlies have finally ditched their back to the basket approach and are attempting to keep up with the rest of the league by playing small ball. So far it has helped everyone’s fantasy outlook except for Z-Bo. Gasol gets a soft Bulls interior that he should be able to easily exploit. Plus, he gets to show up his brother. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marc goes north of 50 fp tonight.
Miles Plumlee ($3,000) – Greg Monroe is out tonight from excessive partying, er, a bad knee. Miles Plumlee doesn’t offer much except for cap relief. That’s ok if he can help us pay up for the studs. He’s definitely not a sexy option so I don’t think is ownership will be particularly high. He plays with a high motor and can pile up stats quickly. I expect him to play around 24 minutes tonight which means he could generate a very serviceable fantasy line.