Winning in tournaments requires a nice mix of roster differentiation and high upside.

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 thank goodness it’s the weekend, sweetspot eight-game slate. These are plays that could go for about, on average, six times what their salary is. (Ex. $6,000 * 6 = 36 DK points equals value.)

Let’s line em up! Ask any questions on Twitter @JasonWalker_72



Kyle Lowry ($8,400) – He’s going to get somewhat overlooked on a slate with more obvious matchups like Chris Paul against the Kings or Mike Conley against the Lakers. Kyrie Irving continues to be a good target and despite the Cavs rep as a good team defense, the game total is 208 and the spread is a point and a half. I’m using deciding if it’s a DeRozan night or a Lowry night for Toronto and this looks very much like a Lowry night.

Mike Conley ($7,200) – So while we want to seek lower ownership, you don’t always want to turn away from a good play and a good situation. Mike Conley still carries the stigma of someone who isn’t an Alpha Dog, but in the last four games without Marc Gasol, Conley leads the team in both usage (~25%) and DKPPG (36.2). He now gets the premiere PG matchup with the Lakers, where it doesn’t matter if it’s Jordan Clarkson or D’Angelo Russell defending, the points are going to be there over and over again.

JJ Redick ($5,100) – Target the Kings SG position. Redick is a one trick pony, but he does roll up that trick (scoring) against bad comp, evidenced by his 29.25 and 32.75 games recently against Denver and Phoenix. Pacy games, high total, lots of shots all play into a good night for Redick.

Levitan's LeverageTournament PlaysNBA Sneak Peek
Player TargetsTop 5's by PositionCheat Sheet



Carmelo Anthony ($8,300) – It’ll be a sexier play to go with LeBron James or Paul George at SF, and Carmelo has been sounding off negatively and had a below value game against the Pacers the last time out. Sounds like a great time, in a good matchup, to roll with Melo, who is still a 29% usage, 42.25 DKPPG scoring player. Going against Evan Fournier or Aaron Gordon, either one, will be a positive matchup for Anthony.

Dirk Nowitzki ($6,300) – Dirk lacks that 50-60 DK point ceiling so the lottery players who are looking for that from every roster spot will look past Nowitzki in a top matchup against the Nuggets, in Dallas. Nowitzki is the usage leader in Dallas and still produces, per minute, in the elite class of forwards. Denver has struggled mightily so as long as the game is close (Dallas by five as of this writing), Dirk is looking at a 6x game with 7x upside here.

Wesley Johnson ($4,300) – This is more risky, but as long as Wes plays 25-27 minutes (as he has in two of the three games since Jeff Green came over to LA) he has the matchup and production to make fantastic value at $4.3K. Wes has already averaged 23 DKPPG over those three games and in a plus matchup against the Kings, where they will need his skills to keep up with the fast paced Kings.



Pau Gasol ($8,600) – The Hawks are one of the more targetable teams for bigs due to their terrible lack of overall rebounding. This slate has a number of lower cost center options that will get players off of Gasol, who has also been limited by illness in recent games. Gasol has produced 44.4 DKPPG with Jimmy Butler out and is second on the team in usage.

Zaza Pachulia ($5,800) – Denver is also a top matchup for opposing centers and Pachulia has seen his salary drop below 6K. The Nuggets have had their shot blocked more times per game than any team in the league over the last 15 games. Denver also has fouled the fourth most from the center position over that span, marrying nicely with Pachulia’s fourth best free throws made per game rate this season.

Nikola Jokic ($5,700) – He’s the main reason why the Nuggets have fouled so darn much out of the center position and the whims of Michael Malone make Jokic and automatic tourney-only play, despite Jokic averaging a staggering 1.54 DKPPM rate over the last three games. Pachulia has been a comfort to opposing centers as well, and Jokic’s ability to shoot the long shot will play well against Zaza. He’s only averaging 25.5 minutes per game recently due to his foul habits, but when he’s on the floor, especially in a good matchup, the ceiling is too hard to pass by.