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 Thank Goodness It’s Friday 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 – HOU vs. TOR – $10,400 – With Stephen Curry a mere hundred dollars more and John Wall at home against the Timberwolves $700 less, I expect Harden to be the lesser owned of the three. I don’t see people catching up to the newness of Harden retaking the team from his modest splitting of scoring chores with Dwight Howard, but Howard’s raw usage has sunk to 15% over the last 10 games and 13% over the last three. Harden, meanwhile, is over 30% and has averaged 60 DKPPG over his last four games as he’s dragging the team into the playoffs.
DeMar DeRozan – TOR @ HOU – $7,800 – DeRozan has a great matchup against a bottom five SG defense that also is in the top ten in most free throws attempted per game, over the last 15 games. DeRozan had a modest 38.5 DKFP his first time around with them, but with Harden focusing even more on the offensive end, the defensive side has provided more than its share of comedic moments.
Kevin Martin – SAS vs. MEM – $3,000 – He may end up being more owned than I would like, but just in case, Martin looks to get into the 20s on minutes and his raw usage has been around the 20% mark, and that’s before you remove Kawhi Leonard, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw and Danny Green, all of whom are sitting out tonight. Martin is a one trick pony, but that trick, scoring, he’s still pretty proficient with. If he gets even 24 minutes tonight, he’s a strong candidate for 8x.
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DeMarcus Cousins – SAC vs. PHX – $10,300 – Cousins comes back after missing a game due to a knee bruise, so there is sometimes a deflation of ownership that occurs when a player is returning from a day off. Now, Boogie is Boogie, and it’s against the Suns, so we’re still talking about double digit percentage ownership, but players may choose to pay up at guard over Cousins. PHX is a positive matchup for Cousins, and the game total is 220 with an implied team total at 113.5. Cousins has led all forward/centers with a raw usage of 34.5% over the last 10 games and has averaged 55.2 DKFP over the same span.
Julius Randle – LAL vs. DEN – $6,000 – In the mess that is the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s easy to lose track of Randle, who is second in defensive rebounding percentage over the last 15 games. He’s averaged 30 DKFP over his last 10 games and posted back to back 40+ DKFP games. Denver rolls in resting in the bottom ten in fantasy points allowed to PFs, and the game total is a healthy 214.
Jon Leuer – PHX @ SAC – $4,100 – You can’t always ignore the higher owned, right? Leuer has been playing more minutes with Tyson Chandler out (as he is again tonight), and in the last two games, Leuer has posted 36.25 and 44 DKFP. Sacramento is the most generous when it comes to power forward fantasy points allowed, and the game, as discussed, will be high scoring. Roster Leuer and hope Alex Len has to cover Boogie.
Hassan Whiteside – MIA vs. ORL – $8,000 – He’s wedged in between two more popular plays tonight at center, Karl-Anthony Towns at $8.3K and Andre Drummond at $7.6K. Whiteside is a peripherals beast, and the Magic have been getting shredded inside, making Whiteside a low-owned center target with 50 DKFP upside.
Nikola Jokic – DEN @ LAL – $5,900 – Ever the tourney option due to inconsistent minutes, but Jokic has been on a roll lately. Jokic has averaged 30 DKFP over 24 minutes per game in his last four games and gets the Lakers who, while they’ve been better recently against bigs, are still a positive matchup here. Denver is a three point favorite in a 214 game total. Jokic’s ability to go outside to score will find a happy partner in Roy Hibbert, who is a useless statue in the paint.
Miles Plumlee – MIL @ ATL – $3,100 – The Atlanta Hawks, despite being the second best defense over the past 15 games, still give up a truckload of rebounds. Plumlee, should he start and get his usual 20+ minutes, is in line for a 21-24 DKFP game. He would have done that his last time out against Atlanta, if the Bucks didn’t randomly played Greg Monroe 35 minutes. It’s a total punt play here, but noting Atlanta’s poor rebounding, especially giving up offensive rebounds (Miles’ specialty), it’s an interesting tourney play.