Cory Joseph ($3900, 16.1 USG) – As usual, a Nuggets matchup for any team delivers a whole lot of fantasy goodness. With that comes the potential of blowouts and limited minutes for the players you spend on. If the blowout wasn’t a concern, I think Kyle Lowry would probably be my favorite dollar for dollar player to pay up for tonight. Denver ranks 27th overall in DvP against PG’s and Toronto has one of the highest projected totals on that night (101.5). So why am I recommending his backup, Cory Joseph? Toronto has been playing small ball as lot as of late due to the injury to Jonas Valanciunas (hand). Over the last 3 games, Joseph has averaged 33.7 minutes (starters minutes) playing backup point guard to Lowry and sliding over to shooting guard when Dwane Casey chooses to go small. The results haven’t been anything to rave about (averaging 22.7 DK points in that span) but we’ve already witnessed a few games this season where he’s shown the ability to fill up the stat sheet in limited minutes (28 DK points vs SAC, 30.3 DK points vs GS, 33.5 DK points vs NY). The expected game script should play right into Joseph’s hands. Toronto is playing the 2nd end of a back to back, Lowry has been battling the flu, the matchup is unbelievably favorable (DEN 25th in DEF EFF) and Toronto are 10 point favorites (garbage time). I have no problem stacking both Lowry and Joseph together if you wish to go that route.
Gerald Green ($4200, 22.8 USG) – As long as Luol Deng is out (doubtful tonight) and Green is priced this cheaply, he has to be considered. In the 3 games Green has started for Deng, he’s averaged 33.6 minutes (24.2 DK points). On a night where shooting guard doesn’t really have any top tier options, I’m perfectly content on settling for a player like Green, who has the upside to reach 8X value. The matchup against Durant though is a bit worrisome. I just don’t see any way at all Green can matchup with KD so I’d expect to see a fair share of Justice Winslow as well (averaging 31 min over his last 3 games). I’m also curious to see if Erik Spoelstra keeps Green on a long leash because quite frankly, he hasn’t been playing well. Only making 1.5 of his 5.1 three point attempts and shooting a terrible .354 FG%, I’m sure Spo misses Deng more than you or I do but hey, as long as he keeps playing him and Green keeps shooting, I’m fine rostering him.
Matt Barnes ($4300, 17.1 USG) – That stretch where the Grizzlies were without Zach Randolph might have been a blessing in disguise. It forced them to play Matt Barnes more and he’s been extremely productive ever since. He’s averaged 27.6 DK points over the last 7 games and has played 27 min in each of the last 3 that Randolph has started. His price point has caught up to his production as of late but he’s still cheap enough to feel safe when rostering. You’re hoping for 21 DK points for him to reach value, something he’s failed to do only once (19 DK points) over the last two weeks. I can’t fault you if you choose to pay up for PG13 or KD tonight, both being excellent plays but if you choose to scroll down near the bottom teir, Barnes feels like the best bet to reach value even in a terrible matchup against the Spurs.
Trevor Booker ($4000, 14.3 USG) – The chalk of the night if starting in place of Rudy Gobert (MCL) and even a great play if coming off the bench. Gobert’s injury is going to have an interesting trickle down effect throughout the rest of the Jazz roster. It’s not like he was the focal point of the offense or anything (only 13.3 USG) but it’s going to force Favors to play a lot more center, allowing Booker to fill the void Favors leaves behind. And with Favors playing center, I’d expect the see Gordon Hayward‘s USG rate to increase as well, etc etc etc. We should have more of a sample size moving forward of how the situation plays out but one thing is for certain, Booker is going to be relied upon a lot as long as Gobert is out. Don’t be surprised if his price jumps to $6000 by next week. Remember, it was just two games ago that Booker started for Favors (personal reasons) and scored a massive 46.8 DK points (13 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals). Trust me, a lot of people will be using that game as a reference point when thinking about rostering Booker tonight. I’d suspect he’ll be the highest owned player of the night and deservingly so going up against a Magic team that he matches up perfectly with. Keep an eye out for Kenneth Faried‘s status as well. If he’s out, I wouldn’t mind Darrell Arthur as a nice pivot/contrarian play.
Ian Mahinmi ($4700, 15.1 USG) – There’s two options tonight for me at Center. Either Mahinmi or Biyombo. I see both having similar production but with Mahinmi costing $200 less, I’ll lean towards him. Portland is allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing centers (23rd in DvP) and Mahinmi’s finally getting a decent amount of minutes (27.3 over his last 3). He’ll continue to get near 30 min a game as long as he stays out of foul trouble, which was always his achilles heal. Portland doesn’t have the kind of big men that warrants foul trouble worries for guys like Mahinmi. This guy is just a consistent source of fantasy production. Over his last 8 games, he’s only had 1 game where he’s scored less than 23.8 DK points (he only needs 23.5 tonight to reach value). In a favorable matchup, he’s a very safe cash game play.
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