Happy New Year! 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, new-year 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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John Wall ($9,700) – He’s all alone on the top tier of guards tonight and it’s not close. Wall is $1,500 more than Kyle Lowry and I’m not sure too many folks are going to go high for Wall, even if his usage is above 30% with Brad Beal out, he hasn’t scored below 44.25 DK points in seven games and has 50+ point games in nine of his last 15 games.
Lou Williams ($5,000) – Dare we go back in on Lou after burning us a few times in the last week or so? Of course! Nothing has changed about Lou, he’s going to score in bunches, get to the line and it all efficiently. He and Jordan Clarkson are practically the same player at this point, but Lou is considered less consistent to the masses, keeping him lower owned.
Ramon Sessions ($4,100)- With the comedy team of Beal and Neal out for Washington, Sessions has consistently delivered 6x value for the last five games, even off the bench. Much like Lou Williams, Sessions does it with scoring, being in the top 25 in free throw points per 32 minutes.
Carmelo Anthony ($8,300) – Anthony has been playing well lately, scoring 40 DK points or higher in nine seven of nine games, including three 50-burgers in there. He’s eighth in field goal attempts per 32 minutes, so he’s going to get his 30%+ usage and he’s top 20 in free throws attempted per 32 as well. He gets enough rebounds to spare him from one-trick-pony status and the Bulls are below average in defending the small forward position.
Nerlens Noel ($6,300) – They’ve got something figured out in Philly now that Ish Smith is running the point. Suddenly, Ish has unlocked Noel’s scoring game around the basket, hitting lob after lob and bringing Noel’s points into the high teens. In Smith’s three games at the point, Noel has scored 14, 18 and 20, while providing his usual all around game with it. It’s produced 37.25, 39 and 41.25 DK points over the same three games. Oh, he also gets the Lakers, so if he starts at center as he has been in those games, he has a prime matchup as well.
Bobby Portis ($3,900) – There’s not much on the value front at the forward position right now, so we’ll tap Portis, who has received mid-20s minutes the last two games and responded with games of 25.25 and 27.25. Portis has a 28.5% usage rate this season, so he’s good to go as soon as he hits the floor in this PF-neutral matchup against the Knicks.
Pau Gasol ($7,700) – Pau has been getting more minutes since Joakim Noah went down with an injury, extending our overall exposure to a top ten DK Net Points player. He’s averaged 41.45 DK points over his last 15 games and the matchup against the Knicks might keep his ownership lower than the other three centers around him in salary.
Marcin Gortat ($6,900) – Gortat will have a busy matchup with Nikola Vucevic, providing opportunities to get some blocked shot points in addition to his added scoring burden. The Magic have the second lowest +/- to the center position on the slate, according to Fantasy Labs, leaving Gortat in the best spot not facing the Lakers.
Robin Lopez ($4,200) – If you’re going to stay away from the top four centers tonight then Lopez may be your guy. When he plays the minutes like he played against Andre Drummond the other night, he’s going to put up some solid numbers to make value on his modest 4.2K salary, as he did scoring 35.25 DK points in 36+ minutes. With Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson hosting Lopez and the Knicks, we will likely see him going longer minutes to defend that size.