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 packed-out 12-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.)
You’re probably stuffed (pun intended) after Thanksgiving Day so in honor of shoving it in yesterday I’m giving an extra play at each position today! Let’s line em up! Ask any questions on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.
Russell Westbrook ($11,100) – Folks are going to want to spend less here because of the presence of Kevin Durant and all the other plays on the board, but Westbrook has a sneaky good matchup against Reggie Jackson and the Pistons, scored over 60 DK points his last time out, still with Durant and has the ceiling to make your tourneys. I’m coming down in the other positions so I can play Westbrook, which I don’t believe will be the way most are going tonight.
Ish Smith ($6,400) – Smith’s price has gone over 6K which may dissuade folks from rostering him, but if you don’t go Westy, Smith is a nice 6-7X play even at this salary. Jrue Holiday is still on a minutes limit and Smith is going off even when Jrue plays. Tyreke Evans is very doubtful for tonight which is the only thing that could change Ish’s projection. Over 40 DK points in his last three games and toss in that people don’t like rostering PG against Chris Paul, but the reality is that the Clippers are fairly neutral in that category overall. Tourney-approved play!
Tony Parker ($5,300) – Look, he’s burned you over the years, no doubt. The truth is he’s playing fantastic right now, scoring over 25 DK points in six straight games and over 37 in the last two. The Nuggets are atrocious defensively in the backcourt and Parker will trigger fantasy points for as long as he’s on the floor.
Isaiah Canaan ($3,900) – Yes, it was surprising to see Phil Pressey in the game down the stretch against Boston, especially when Canaan had already snapped off 27.25 DK points. He’s still getting minutes and, as long as he’s starting, which he is expected to, he’s a good tourney punt against the Rockets, who have their best defender on a minutes restriction (Patrick Beverley) and the position is a mess overall.
Carmelo Anthony ($8,200) – Those of you who frequently read my Game Breakdowns here on the site will know that I rarely feature Melo, but I do really like his place tonight and believe, in general, he’s always a good tourney play due to bias about him being only a scorer. Tonight, Anthony is in a low scoring battle with the Heat, but Miami has been seventh worst against SFs and has given up some big games to SFs like Paul George (64 DK pts), Gordon Hayward (42.8) and Melo himself (45), so I like Anthony tonight, at home, to have a boss game.
Rudy Gay ($7,200) – One of the easiest things for me to decide is what to do with Rudy Gay. If DeMarcus Cousins is playing, I stay away generally. If Cousins is out, I play Rudy almost every time. His usage soars to over 30% and the Kings rely on him for offense every time down the floor when Cousins is out. In the last two games that Cousins has missed, Gay has scored 43.5 and 50.25 DK points. The matchup against Minnesota is sound as well, with a game total that’s sure to be high (Vegas is waiting on Cousins news before posting a total) due to both teams being top ten in pace.
Robert Covington and Jerami Grant ($5,100 and $4,300) – Pick your Sixers SF here. I have an irrational affection for Covington, whom I love playing whenever his price is this affordable (6K is too far for me) in tournaments due to his variance and ceilings. Houston offers the illusion of strong defensive work at SF due to Trevor Ariza’s reputation, but this season the Rockets have been third worst in defending the position, putting Covington in the fabled catbird’s seat tonight. If you have allergies to Covington, even in tourneys, then Grant has been super solid even in bench minutes getting his value at his low salary and enjoys the same generous matchup.
DeAndre Jordan ($7,200) – Jordan gives good floor with solid upside against a Pelicans team that has been fourth worst against centers this season. The game total is super high (213.5) so Jordan gives a nice entry point for exposure into the game. Lastly, the Pelicans are the second worst offensive rebounding team, leaving Jordan to clean the glass all night.
Marc Gasol ($7,200) – Two teams I often look at when I look to target centers, the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks. The reason is that their philosophy is to abandon the offensive glass and provide a nice rebounding floor for any center opposing them. So this puts Gasol firmly on the radar to start and then toss in Zach Randolph’s absence recently and that makes Gasol an unsexy, very tourney friendly play at home against the Hawks.
Greg Monroe ($7,100) – the last of the 7K triumvirate of center for today, Monroe has a plus matchup against the Magic in Orlando tonight. The game itself is an easy one to overlook, but Monroe will be facing off against a top ten worst defense against the center position. And a little stat that helps when looking at centers, Monroe’s power forward teammate starter, Jabari Parker, has a terrible 9.8% defensive rebounding rate, meaning he won’t be in competition for rebounds with Monroe in the game. Monroe’s consistency works against him with the people in tournaments because with no huge games on his record, he’ll be disregarded, but all it takes is one nice matchup like the one he has tonight.
Kosta Koufos ($4,500) – Obviously, we’re looking at Boogie’s status before lineup lock, but Koufos has produced with Cousins out, including his 35 minute, 31.25 DK point game against the Bucks on Wednesday. The Timberwolves are right in line with the Bucks as far as center fantasy points goes, so as long as Cousins is out again tonight, Koufos is a good play with Gay in what should be a tasty game total.