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 tonight’s games, a honey bear of a nine-game 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! Ask any questions on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.
James Harden ($10,000) – People will chase his 80+ point game last time out, but there will be a number of folks who go to Westly, Curry or even CP3 because of Harden’s lack of ceiling the last month or so, last game notwithstanding. However, it’s because of Dwight Howard that Harden shot less near the rim, didn’t get to the line as much and took a less usage approach. With Howard gone, we saw the result immediately. He’s going big again against the Bucks team that has added value to opposing SG this season.
Khris Middleton ($7,000) – As soon as some players break into the next digit, as Middleton does here going from 6.9K to 7.0K, people start to Nah wave the guy because he doesn’t fit that plateau’s eye test. Don’t let it fool you tonight. The Kings are probably the only team that gives up the threes like the Rockets do and Middleton is not scurrred to take shots. This is a sneaky game on the slate tonight and Middleton is going to be good, casual exposure to it if you’re not going big for Harden.
Joe Young ($3,500) – With George Hill and Rodney Stuckey out again for the Pacers, it’s not time just yet to jump off the Joe Young train. Young has been getting mid 20s minutes at backup PG and has shown a steady shot and playmaking skills. In this high total game, there will be plenty of shots for Mr. Young. Enjoy them.
Draymond Green ($9,100) – Narrative Time Alert: Draymond got passed up for a starting spot by the people’s choice, as they voted Kawhi Leonard in ahead of Green for the starting five in the all-star game. Draymond Green is one of those top players that thrives on disrespect. He seeks it out on and off the court to keep him at the highest of his emotional levels for the game. Green is going to go bananas tonight against a Pacers frontline that is very average, at best. Triple-double time for Dray Day. Easiest call of the night.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,200) – There are a couple of things working against high ownership in this game for LMA. One is that he plays for the Spurs and, against the Lakers, the blowout is an easy assumption here. They will blow the Lakers out. Second is his cost. Under 7K he seems a good value, but at 7.2K that won’t be the case. He only played 21 minutes against the Suns last night, so I think Pop lets him stretch out to 30 in this one before he gets pulled. Against the Lakers frontcourt, that could mean 42 DK points here at low ownership, and that’s a good tourney play.
Brandon Bass ($4,100) – The reverse in Spurs games is also true, nobody wants to roster against them. Bass is a king of sneaky, garbage time fantasy points. He scarfed up 35 DK points in 28 minutes against the Kings and with Larry Nance out and Byron Scott refusing to either use Ryan Kelly as a stretch four or Julius Randle over 30 minutes, that puts Bass is a great spot for the same amount of minutes and garbage time goodness.
Pau Gasol ($8,400) – This is a pretty easy call, too. Gasol is coming off a brutal game against Golden State where Fred Hoiberg basically gave up after three quarters. Gasol faces a positive matchup against the Celtics in a higher pace game and a strong 206.5 game total. He’s about a thousand dollars more than the next tier of centers, who also enjoy good matchups and is on a slate with some tasty high end choices at guard. People always spend down at center, leaving Gasol and recency bias at a lower ownership % than he typically commands.
Frank Kaminsky ($4,800) – Couple of things here, too. One is that Spencer Hawes is starting and is at 3.1K, so if choosing between the two, the majority is going to go to Hawes. The second is the lower game total that will steer people away from any stack, leaving Kaminsky much lower owned tonight. So why roster him? One reason is that the Magic are very easy to score on from the center position and the other is that they lean on Frank for big man offense when they trail, especially late. Frank usually closes games for the Hornets unless they are protecting a lead and then they go with Cody Zeller….who is out tonight. So Frank is a 30 DK game waiting to happen tonight which would be good value at low ownership.
Myles Turner ($3,900) – Rostering against Golden State is tough because of the constant blowouts, and this pick is based on the assumption that Ian Mahinmi will miss against (he’s questionable) the Warriors. Turner won’t start, but he’ll get 25-30 minutes in this game and has shown the scoring aggressiveness (21.2% usage in January) to take advantage of a pacy game like this. Most will go lower to Boban Marjanovic or Spencer Hawes and leave Turner alone, especially if he doesn’t start.