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.
Damian Lillard ($9,200) – Damian Lillard has been on fire the past few games. A big part of his run has been due to all the excessive amount of three point shots he’s been taking. In the past two games, he’s taken 29 threes and made 14 of them. Lillard will have trouble driving against the defense of Rudy Gobert and the Jazz tonight so don’t be surprised if he settles for a ton of threes again. We’re ok with that. Despite his recent game log, I expect the matchup to keep his ownership depressed. It’s a great opportunity to get one of the hottest players in the game with low ownership.
Khris Middleton ($6,800) – Khris Middleton has played very well lately including two outings over 50 points in his past ten games. Tonight he faces off against the Wizards who have been terrible against SGs since Bradley Beal went down. He also gets a solid game environment. The spread is relatively tight at 6 points and it will be up-tempo. Middleton’s price has risen quite a bit in the last several weeks. That coupled with the fact that he tends to get lost in the shuffle in Milwaukee will keep his ownership low.
Isaiah Thomas ($7,800) – Boston’s backcourt is finally healthy. The good news is that IT2 took advantage of his opportunity over the past few months and has solidified his starting role. He seems a lock for 33-34 minutes a night which is plenty to produce. He’s coming off back to back games of 53 fp. The public seems to be shying away from him due to his backcourt mate’s health, but the times have changed in Boston. Deploy IT2 before everyone else realizes that his production is here to stay.
C.J. Miles ($4,600) – C.J. Miles is always a favorite tournament option of mine. He’s one of the streakiest shooters in the league and when he’s on, it’s game over. Rodney Stuckey is questionable which could open up minutes and shots for Miles. In a competitive, fast game, I expect Miles to shoot early and often. Small forward is a tough position tonight and I expect most people to either punt with Derrick Williams or spend up. C.J. Miles gives a unique price point to help provide diversification in your lineup. Let’s hope it’s a C.J. Miles night!
Serge Ibaka ($6,000) – Serge Ibaka has been awfully quiet lately and it’s reflected in his price. We have a long track record from Serge that indicates he should be performing at a higher level. It’s possible he’s in decline and he’s not the same player anymore. I’m willing to take my chances in tournaments. He should be able to take advantage of his matchup with Dirk Nowitzki tonight. I think PF ownership will largely center around Porzingis, Cousins and the cheaper Drew Gooden. Serge provides a unique price point.
Jabari Parker ($4,900) – We keep waiting for the Jabari Parker breakout game. It hasn’t come. He has, however, shown signs of life lately with 25 and 29 fp in his last two games. He’s been active and generally looks good. I expect him to have a monster game sooner rather than later. With Gortat likely to miss, the front court matchup is soft with Gooden set to log heavy minutes. I like Parker’s chances to surpass 30 fp tonight which is fantastic for 4.9k.
Rudy Gobert ($6,100) – Last year, Rudy was oozing upside. He smashed 50 fp on the regular, especially when Favors was out. We haven’t seen that guy this year. He’s coming off a long layoff that hopefully got him right. He’s played 29 and 30 minutes the last two games. Tonight, he gets a great matchup against Portland. There should be plenty of block and rebound opportunities.
Greg Monroe ($6,800) – I don’t have a strong feeling for what Monroe’s ownership will be tonight. It’s entirely possible he’ll be a popular pick. The public has generally been scared off Monroe by his inconsistent minutes, but he’s coming off 33 and 37 minutes the prior two games. It’s possible that with Kidd sidelined, their interim coach isn’t as interested in messing with rotations. His matchup is greatly aided by Gortat sitting out. Monroe should feast on Drew Gooden.