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.


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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 thick 11-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.)

There are a couple of very attractive matchups and some very slow teams out there and a lot of interesting players to go with, so let’s line em up! Ask any questions on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.

Guards

Russell Westbrook ($12,300) – Westbrook, Curry, Harden — can you go wrong with any of them? No. You can make a strong case to fade Russ based on the fact that both Curry and Harden are between 1.5 and 1.9K cheaper, but OKC is at home and they need him to do everything for them whereas Curry may throttle down against Bulls in Oakland after having to go to the whip down the stretch in Los Angeles. Harden plays well against Memphis and the Grizzlies aren’t what they used to be defensively, ranking third worst in defensive rating this season. What I’m saying is you can’t go wrong with any of them, but I think Westbrook’s ceiling tonight is 15-20 points higher than Curry/Harden and he’s less likely to be owned due to price, so that’s what I’m after in tourneys.

Kyle Lowry ($8,100) – If you do punt the top side tonight, you should have Lowry as your PG for sure. Going against the Lakers, enjoying mid 20s usage even alongside DeMar DeRozan and did I mention he’s going against the Lakers point guards? It’s a nice number there in LA tonight, too (203). If you want to go a little less owned with a similar ceiling in the same price range, Reggie Jackson ($7,700) is a fine play against the Timberwolves.

Patty Mills ($3,500) – After some thick salary steak above, let’s get small and go for some value with high upside. My hunch is that the Spurs, who are on a back to back starting tonight, will decide they want to rest guys on the road in New Orleans and save them for a more heated battle (historically) at home against Memphis. If that’s the case and Tony Parker plays 12-20 minutes, then it’s going to be Mills who picks up the significant slack. Mills will have 30% usage rate if the starters sit significant minutes.

Forwards

Derrick Favors ($7,600) – Folks like to fade Utah games on bigger slates because they play such slow paced games and their game totals are always low. But Favors produces anyway, getting over 40 DK points per game behind a top 15 peripherals profile which lays down the foundation for higher ceiling games. Dallas has not been defending the frontcourt well this season and when everyone zigs to the Brow or Blake, you can save a buck or two and get into Favors for the same ceiling as Carmelo or Blake.

Nerlens Noel and Nicolas Batum ($6,500 and $7,000) – Hey, I’m cheating! Not really, just want to make the same point about these two guys. Batum had a miserable game two games ago (11 DK points!) that’s sure to still scar (and scare) players away from him at 7K. He immediately bounced back for a 40 burger and has a favorable matchup against PHL. On the other side is Noel, who is coming off a miserable game of his own where he scored less than 5 DK points (!) in 23 minutes and basically played miserably. Now, in a good DvP spot against the Hornets, Noel can get back on track. Both guys have 50 point ceilings and folks are scared — take advantage.

Jeff Green ($3,900) – Toss up here between Ersan Ilyasova and Green, but I’ll go with Green since the Rockets are a defensive mess and Trevor Ariza still has a defensive reputation that scares players away from him even if he’s not playing up to that so far this season. Green, in his last three games, has played 30, 35 and 34 minutes (that’s post-Chalmers, too) and has put up 27.25, 30 and 33.75 in those games.

Centers

Andre Drummond ($9,900) – He’s high priced on a night where the dollars will be drawn to the guards. Also, folks like to punt at center where’s there’s typically more value, leaving higher end centers a little lower. I don’t see a lot of low-end value at center tonight, though, leaving most players likely in the mid-tier and still not as much on Drummond. Andre is beastly, though, and has a 70 point ceiling against the Timberwolves, who just gave up a 62 DK point night to Hassan Whiteside.

Brook Lopez ($7,200) – For whatever reason, his hair, the team, I don’t know, folks don’t roster Brook Lopez all that much. Hey, good for us, because he does great work against smaller opponents, which is what the Celtics are tonight. He’s getting major minutes and has a pace up game in Boston. I also like the other side of the court in Jared Sullinger (6.2K), whose peripherals are strong and has been getting more minutes lately from Brad Stevens.

Joakim Noah ($4,700) – It’s hard to find anybody to like even under 5K at center, much less 4K. So I’ll go with a guy who would be a 7K center easy if given the minutes to do so. It kills me to see Joakim Noah so under-utilized now in Chicago. His peripherals are epic, landing at #1 in DK Net Points (DK points per 36 minutes – points per 36 minutes) with 31.5 DK Net Points per 36 minutes. Alas, he’s only working about 20-23 minutes per game. He could be a 8x value easy if he played even 30 minutes, which is what I want, along with nobody else being on him, in a tourney lineup.