D’Angelo Russell ($4500, 20.6 USG) – It’s about time. The second overall pick is finally getting the minutes you would expect after being drafted so high. Prior to the last two games in which the Lakers have played, Russell only eclipsed the 30 min mark once all season. Well, I don’t know exactly what happened behind closed doors or during practice but Russell has now averaged 35 minutes over his last two games averaging 31.8 DK points in that span. You’re getting a starting point guard here that’s beginning to get an uptick in minutes for only $4500. The only thing the Lakers should be playing for this season is the development of their young core (Clarkson, Randle, Russell). Throw the rook in the deep end and see if he can swim (pshhh, it worked just last season for Clarkson). This would typically be a game to avoid with Golden State being 17 point favorites (likely blowout), but I can envision a game script that allows Russell to stay on the court regardless of the score. Teams usually rest their stars during the 4th, not rookies they’re trying to help grow.
Byron said hope is to get D’Angelo to 30-35 minutes per game. But Byron added, “That’s up to him.”
Evan Turner ($4900, 18.4 USG) – Avery Bradley is gonna be the popular pick tonight at SG after playing 40 min on Sunday and scoring 42 DK points. Quite honestly, it is the right play at only $5500, but Turner has also quietly done well since the injury to Marcus Smart (lower leg) averaging 29.5 DK points over his last two games. You’re not gonna get much scoring from Turner but you’ll get plenty of peripherals and if he gets 30+ minutes, he’ll likely reach & exceed value. My preference would be to spend a bit more on either Bradley or Will Barton tonight but I wouldn’t hate this decision at all if you chose Turner. He’ll have a low ownership percentage making him a great GPP play. Also, Vegas thinks this will be a close game with a decent amount of points scored (ATL -2.5, over/under 204), so I like the idea of getting a decent amount of exposure to this game.
C.J. Miles ($4900, 22.4 USG) – If I had to guess who would be the highest scoring player on tonights slate, it would probably have to be Paul George. PG13 is officially back and literally better than ever. He’s having a monster season (averaging 42.3 fantasy points per game) and going up against the worst defending team against small forwards. Please, just lock him in and move on. But, if you’re thinking about someone in that forward slot down below, C.J. Miles is a fine play. Miles rolled his ankle during Sunday’s practice but is listed as probable for tonight. He’s averaging 29.6 DK points over his last 3 and been shooting lights out (12-24 3PM).
Darrell Arthur ($3500, 15.3 USG) – Kenneth Faried is doubtful (back/ankle) for tonight’s game against the Clippers meaning Arthur will likely be making his second start in a row. In place of the injured Faried on Sunday against the Warriors, Arthur did his best Manimal impression scoring 21 points and grabbing 8 rebounds (33 DK points). This is the chalk value of the night. He’ll be close to 50% owned in all cash games and deservedly so. As long as Faried is out, Arthur should have a huge bump in USG% and production. This is one of the many ways to afford studs like PG13 and Damian Lillard in your lineups tonight. Denver’s running out of big men with Nurkic, Lauvergne and Faried all being out due to injuries. The minutes are gonna be there as long as he stays out of foul trouble against a Clippers front line that ranks 18th against opposing power forwards. This brings us to our value play at center . . .
Nikola Jokic ($4000, 18.4 USG) – As mentioned above, the Nuggets are severely short handed up front. It’s just Arthur, Hickson and Jokic left after injuries. The rookie center has made the most of his opportunity averaging 33.1 DK points over his last 3 games with double doubles in two of those. You’re looking at a starting center that’s costing you only $4000 who’s going to get nearly 30 min of action against a team that ranks 28th against opposing centers. I really love the idea of stacking Arthur and Jokic for only $7500 and building studs around the cheap duo. It’s the second highest over/under on the night at 207, against a struggling Clippers team that have lost 3 in a row and are only 7 point favorites. Arthur and Jokic are my building blocks.
Featured Image Credit: By Chris Green (Chrisg21090 at en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons