Raymond Felton ($3400, 18.7 USG) – With J.J. Barea (ankle) sidelined, a whole lot of minutes have opened up for Felton and he sure is making the most of it. Over his last 4 games, Felton has been averaging 28.5 minutes and 24.15 DK points (He’s shattering value). You would think his price would have spiked up by now but no, he’s still near minimum salary. Barea will be out again tonight, so no need to worry about those minutes going elsewhere. Also, the Mavs played last night so there might even be a chance Wesley Matthews (see below) sits for rest purposes. If Matthews sits, this would be the no brainer of the day going up against a Blazers team that’s 3rd worst against opposing SG’s. Felton is going to get some run at the point as well which also bodes well for him. The Blazers are just terrible at guarding PG’s despite their mediocre 14th ranked DvP.
I only look for players under $5000 for this column but if you’re looking at the must play of the day, look at Isaiah Canaan who sits at exactly $5000. He’ll likely be the highest owned player tonight and deservingly so, starting at PG against the lowly Lakers defense.
Matthews ($4400, 18.9 USG) – As mentioned above, there’s a chance Matthews sits tonight on the tail end of a back to back set, but I think that chance is slim. I’m aware that I recently wrote about him in yesterday’s column but I just love taking strolls down Narrative Street, where Matthews will be playing tonight. Always a fan favorite, he’ll be returning to Portland (where he spent his previous 5 years) and will be wanting to perform well for the audience that loves the hell outta him. Matthews is even putting away his “bow and arrow three point celebration” tonight out of respect for the fans. As mentioned above, he’ll be matched up against a Blazers team that gives up 44.7 DK ppg to opposing SG’s. His minutes are trending upwards since playing back into basketball shape (Achilles) and is still dirt cheap at only $4400. Ok now, enough Mavericks for one night.
Jerami Grant ($4700, 18.3 USG) – It was just a few days ago that Robert Covington was the poster boy for the Cheap Advice column, constantly being priced under $5000 for very little reason. Man, those days seem like weeks ago with the way Bob is priced now (Second to only LeBron at $6700, SF eligible). Quite often, when one door closes, another one opens up. As soon as Covington entered the starting LU, Grant’s value diminished a bit, but then . . . Nerlens Noel‘s knee became sore, then he got sick and now Grant is relevant again. Averaging 31 min over the last two games Noel has missed and going up against a Lakers team that’s second to last in DEF EFF (107.4), he’s a great under the radar play. Yes, I still think Covington is going to be very highly owned tonight despite his huge bump in pricing, meaning Grant is probably going to be much lesser owned. It’s hard to get yourself to pay for 2 guys playing the same position on the same team. As much as I want to pay for Covington, it’s hard to sustain what he’s been doing (21 steals over his last 3 games) even against the Lakers. I’d much rather save a couple thousand and play Grant. As of now, Noel is still questionable for tonight so keep an eye on this because if he’s healthy and starting, it will hurt Grant’s value a lot.
Jon Leuer ($3500, 17.7 USG) – Tyson Chandler has already been ruled out for tonight’s game against BKN meaning Alex Len will get the start again in his place. Len makes for a fine punt at center tonight, but it’s been Leuer who’s been more productive with Chandler injured. In the 2 games Chandler missed this last week, Leuer scored 39 and 27 DK points (25, 23 minutes played). He outscored Len to 66 to 36.8 (DK points) and played 6 more minutes total in both games. Don’t be tempted into paying for the starter in name when you see the trends favoring the backup. It’s hard, I know but it pays off. Leuer will be going up against a Nets team thats given up the second most fantasy points to opposing PF’s over the last 10 games (44.6). It’s a great spot for him and I would much rather spend an extra $300 for him rather than Len.
Gorgui Dieng ($4300, 16.9 USG) – I have to admit, I was kind of late to this. I’ve been so enthralled with Karl Anthony Towns’ talent, that I haven’t even bothered checking in on his backup. Quietly, Dieng has averaged 24.2 min over his last 7 games compared to KAT’s 25.5. In that same span, Dieng has averaged 26.48 DK points compared to KAT’s 30.04. Having said all of that, Towns costs $2600 more than Dieng. Let that sink in for just a second. The Magic are 20th in DvP against centers and just recently, both Towns and Dieng had great success in this same matchup. On November 18th, Towns had a monster line of 21 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks against this same Orlando team. Dieng was priced at the near minimum and had a nice line of his own scoring 7 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. If Dieng’s minutes continue to trend near the 30’s, this is beautiful cash game and GPP play. I know this is going to sound crazy, but with no clear cut center I’m willing to spend up for tonight, Dieng will probably be in 100% of my cash game lineups.
Featured Image Credit: By Chris Green (Chrisg21090 at en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons