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.
“Any time Curry goes underowned, you need to give him a long look.”
Stephen Curry – GSW vs. UTA – $10,500 – Any time Curry goes underowned, you need to give him a long look. Tonight is almost surely one of those nights. He’s the same price as several other superstars in elite matchups. Curry faces tougher sledding. He’ll compete against the Jazz in a slow, defensive minded game. The Warriors have faltered surprisingly often lately and it’s very possible this is a competitive game. Four quarters of Curry can stack up against any player in the league regardless of the matchup.
Norris Cole – NO vs. CHA – $5,400 – Cole is questionable tonight so you’ll need to keep an eye on his status. I think the combination of his injury status along with the fact that Mario Chalmers is $200 less will keep his ownership very low. Everyone was quick to jump on the Jrue Holiday bandwagon last game and for good reason. What was lost in the shuffle is that Cole benefits in all of the same ways from Eric Gordon’s absence. There are more minutes and shots to go around. Cole has played at a high level all season. I think there is enough of a sample to indicate he’s not the same sub-par player we’ve seen in previous years. I expect his price to settle in above $6K so lock him in at his current discount.
J.R. Smith – CLE vs. SAC – $4,700 – Smith is a cheap way to get exposure to one of the best game environments of the night. He also gets an elite matchup. The Kings have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing SGs this season. Smith is a streaky shooter and that makes him a prime GPP candidate. If his shot is falling, he won’t hesitate launching double digit attempts from three. He posted 35 DK points in his lone matchup with the Kings earlier this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him top that today.
Dirk Nowitzki – DAL vs. DET – $5,800 – Nowitzki is typically pegged as more of a 50/50 target than GPP target. That’s because of his perceived lack of ceiling. While he typically settles in around 30 fp, he has topped 40 DK points ten times this year. The fact is his price is just too low. Despite playing very well lately, Dirk’s price has fallen to $5.8K. Tobias Harris has represented a downgrade in defense at PF for Detroit. Dirk is a great price play that can be had at perennially low ownership levels.
“Ariza has as much upside as anyone on the slate priced under $6K.”
Trevor Ariza – HOU vs. PHI – $6,200 – Ariza is slightly overpriced. In 50/50’s he’s best to avoid, but we mostly care about ownership and upside in GPPs. Ariza has as much upside as anyone on the slate priced under $6K. He gets an elite matchup against the 76ers in what will be the best game environment of the night. The 76ers are allergic to stopping the 3-ball and give up tons of steals and points in transition. Basically, it’s a game that perfectly suits Ariza’s style. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ariza is the highest scoring SF not named Kevin Durant.
Serge Ibaka – OKC vs. LAC – $5,900 – By all measures, Ibaka has had a down season. He’s been a very frustrating player to roster. Over the last 10 days, he’s been showing signs of life and his production has been in line with his career numbers. That represents a nice upgrade on his season long performance. If we can believe Ibaka will continue to play at that level, he’s underpriced at $5.9k. His ability to block shots provides elite upside in GPPs. He’s a great way to get exposure to the Clippers vs. Thunder game at a discount.
Hassan Whiteside – MIA vs. MIL – $8,400 – Whiteside is listed as questionable but is expected to play. This is another situation where we can leverage an injury tag in our favor. I think it will keep his ownership depressed. Center is also very deep tonight and there are several exceptional plays for $1k+ less than Whiteside. It’s very possible he goes overlooked tonight despite a phenomenal matchup. The guy has been on an unbelievable tear lately. Don’t overlook that he’s playing for a contract. Whiteside could easily be the top scoring player on the slate and he’s $2K cheaper than the superstars.
Andre Drummond – DET vs. DAL – $7,600 – Len is going to be the most popular center today by a long shot. He’s just been too good and he’s at a meaningful discount to the other well positioned centers. I like either playing two centers or fading Len and paying up for Drummond or Whiteside. The Mavericks played solid defense for the first half of the season but it’s broken down more recently. Zaza hasn’t been able to play big minutes and he’s been less effective overall. The Mavericks simply won’t have the size or the will to stop Drummond.