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.
Ricky Rubio (7,500) – Rubio is coming off two very strong games in difficult matchups (vs IND, @ SA). Possibly the most important takeaway is the 37 min played in each game. Rubio has been solid all year but his minutes have often been low. Hopefully this is an indication that we can count on 32-34 minutes going forward. If that’s the case, Rubio is simply too cheap. Utah is not the same defense that it was last year. Favors is looking unlikely which will only further weaken their defense. Jump on Rubio before the crowd realizes his price dipped too low for his current role.
Damian Lillard (8,800) – Lillard is questionable tonight and he’s a late game so there is some risk here. If he were to sit, McCollum would be an excellent play so there is potential to make adjustments in your lineup. He said his pain is gone and practiced yesterday so I’m anticipating him suiting up. His status will keep his ownership very low and he’s got a phenomenal matchup.
Demar Derozan (7,600) – Derozan is one of my favorite plays of the night and I would consider him for 50/50s as well. Washington has been terrible against SGs all year and even worse since Beal went down. Wall should be able to keep Lowry in check which will funnel more opportunities to Derozan. It’s a great game environment and he’s been playing very well lately. Everything lines up for Derozan to have a monster game. I think most people will gravitate to Barton for a cheaper price tag. I prefer Derozan even in 50/50s. The lower ownership makes him an elite GPP play.
Evan Fournier (5,500) – Fournier was out of this world to start the season. Predictably, he couldn’t maintain that pace all season long and cooled off for about a month. Lately, he’s found his stroke and looks like the guy that we saw get off to such a torrid start. His revival has mostly gone unnoticed. He’s got a solid matchup tonight against Brooklyn. He’s also at a unique price point. I expect most people to look at Casspi, Gay and Hayward who are all more expensive.
Chandler Parsons (5,600) – Parsons is $100 more than Fournier and will likely come at with higher ownership. I still expect him to take a back seat to the slightly more expensive SFs. Parsons was a $6,500 player last year. This season we saw Parsons struggle a bit out of the gate while also having his minutes limited. The minutes limit is gone and Parsons looks like the player we saw last year. Take the $1000 discount and don’t look back.
LaMarcus Aldridge (6,400) – LMA has been very solid when he’s been on the court. The issue is determining if he will get the minutes on any given night. Make no mistake, there is real risk tonight. There is a 14.5 point spread vs Phoneix. Some of that risk is mitigated if Tim Duncan sits (I expect him to). LMA’s usage numbers jump when Duncan is not on the court and he approaches what he did in Portland last year. If you can get that version of LMA for more than 30 minutes tonight, he’ll easily pay off his price tag.
Karl-Anthony Towns (6,800) – KAT might be my favorite tournament play of the night. I expect concentrated ownership around Vucevic and Deandre. KAT has been very good lately outside of two matchups with San Antonio. Like Rubio, he’s a beneficiary of a tighter rotation and his minutes seem to have settled in the low 30s. That’s a solid increase from the high 20’s we saw for the first quarter of the season. It looks like Favors is going to miss this game which gives KAT a good matchup.
Pau Gasol (7,800) – Pau’s likely to see his ownership held in check by Vucevic and Deandre who are both slightly cheaper. All three of them have been very good lately. Pau has seen his minutes increase to mid 30’s due to Joakim Noah’s injury. Indiana has a weak frontcourt which should allow Pau to gobble up all the rebounds he can handle. If he outscores Vucevic and Deandre, which is very possible, you’ll find yourself in a great spot relative to the field.