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 today’s five-game leftover 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!
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Russell Westbrook ($10,500) – It’s either James Harden or Westbrook on the top tier of guards tonight and Harden’s probably going to be way more owned with a similar ceiling as Westbrook. Westbrook has the easier matchup and will be discounted because of the presence of Kevin Durant and threat of blowout, but such risk are what tourneys are there for. Westbrook still has high 60s DK point potential here.
Goran Dragic ($5,500) – It’s a five game slate, so even though the game total is a painful 190, someone is going to produce. This Dragic recommendation is predicated on the absence of Dwyane Wade, who injured his hip last night in game and is questionable for tonight. The Heat typically play cautious with Wade, so Dragic, in a decent matchup against Mike Conley, would be asked to raise his offensive production here. With Wade out, Dragic’s usage rises to 25%.
Mario Chalmers ($3,900) – Total definition of tournament play here, but with Matt Barnes suspended and the rotation juggling around for the Grizzlies, a revenge game narrative for Chalmers looks good here. Chalmers is getting nearly 26% usage off the bench for Memphis and would be going against Gerald Green and Tyler Johnson if Wade misses this game. Both Green and Johnson have nearly the worst two defensive ratings on the team this season.
LeBron James ($9,600)- Two straight subpar games and whispers of no longer being the best in the league have lowered James’ ownership levels, despite some amazing consistency all season. James has a good matchup in Denver tonight against a defense that has been bottom five all season long. No Kyrie Irving tonight means that James’ usage, already in the mid 30’s, is solid.
Chris Bosh ($7,100) – If Wade off the court, Bosh’s numbers rise to almost 30% usage and the game Wade missed this season, Bosh scored 48 DK points in his stead. He’s never a sexy guy to roster and he’s burned people so with a lot of other options to choose from, Bosh may get relatively overlooked, even in the small slate space tonight.
Marcus Thornton ($3,900) – It was tough to find a forward below 5K to love, and I’m not claiming to love this one, but if Terrence Jones misses this game tonight with the illness he’s battling, it could mean a nice spot for Thornton. In November, when Jones missed time, it was Thornton who benefitted most. Keep an eye on the starting lineup in Houston and be ready to go with whoever starts if Jones’ misses.
Andre Drummond ($9,400)- He’s the only center on the top line but that might make him a great tourney play as others battle for the other higher priced gents and look for value at center. Drummond has a good matchup against the Knicks, who have been a positive play for opposing centers the last ten games or so.
Al Horford ($6,300) – Horford is the plainest of the plain janes among centers and that lack of sexiness and excitement suppresses his ownership, but he has a plus matchup against Dwight Howard, the game total is high and his production will be comparable to Howard, Greg Monroe and Marc Gasol, all of whom will likely be higher owned that Al with similar ceilings.
Nikola Jokic ($4,700)- Jokic’s minutes are inconsistent but he’s been producing when called on at over 1.0 DKPPM. Against the Cavs big frontcourt, he may get called on even more tonight and at below 5K, a 30 minute effort would zip past the value line for him.