Trey Burke ($3900, 23.1 USG) – Burke is going to be so hard to trust tonight in cash games but for tournaments, he’s a great guy to target. He’s played 34 minutes in back to back contests (averaging 30.05 DK points) despite not playing 30 minutes in any other game this year. So why should this trend continue? Sacramento is absolutely brutal on defense, especially when it comes to defending point guards (5th worst, giving up 52.4 DK ppg). The Jazz have an implied team total of 102, which is a bit high for their liking and they’ve been playing a lot of small ball since Gobert has gone down. If Boogie Cousins starts at center tonight for the Kings, I think the Jazz will be forced to go to their small ball lineup quicker than they’d like to. I don’t want to say Burke gets 30 min again but it’s logical to assume he gets near 25 with the way they’ve been playing as of late and given the matchup. Also, Burke has just been playing better than he ever has in career, most notably his shooting. A career .324% 3PT shooter, he’s now making .415% from deep and owns a .530 TS%. I think he hits about 6X value tonight, which is important on a night that doesn’t offer many appealing cheap options.
Rodney Hood ($4900, 20.5 USG) – Let’s stay in this game one more time and take a look at Rodney Hood. Also a beneficiary of the small ball Jazz lineups, Hood has the chance to play about 35 minutes against one of the worst defending teams vs shooting guards (SAC allows 44.9 DK ppg to SG’s). The main knock on Hood though is that he can rarely stay out of foul trouble. Forgot to mention this above, but it’s also another reason Burke has seen so much time as of late. Hood averages 4.3 fouls per 36 min, which is extremely frustrating for a head coach trying to get comfortable with his rotations. But then you think of the matchup against SAC. I don’t think Ben McLemore or Omri Casspi (maybe Collison) do enough to warrant foul trouble, so I’m just gonna project him to play above 30 minutes. What I really want to do though is to try and find a way to get Will Barton into my lineups if Gallo sits tonight, so pay close attention to the injury reports because Will the Thrill becomes one of my favorite plays of the night if starting (Gary Harris already ruled out)
Matt Barnes ($4400, 16.6 USG) – The small forward position is so weird tonight. I don’t want to say it’s a fantasy wasteland because you have Paul George, Kevin Durant and LeBron James all playing. Then you look below and maybe you feel comfortable sticking to the mid tier player like Gordon Hayward or Evan Fournier? But then you look at players under $5000 and things get ugly real fast. Here’s my dilemma: I’m likely to pay up for a center that costs me $7000 or more, pairing him with Steph Curry and Derrick Favors/Draymond Green. That doesn’t leave me a lot of wiggle room at SF so it looks like I’m going to be forcing myself to roster Matt Barnes. Now, Matt Barnes isn’t the sexiest of names but he’s been productive for Memphis and at only $4400, consistency is a luxury. Barnes is one of the Grizzlies’ best rebounders and gives them a capable defender to throw at Durant so I’d expect him to get near 25 minutes. He’s only failed to reach value once over his last 10 games so for being as cheap as he is, it’s not a bad play at all.
Andrew Nicholson ($4000, 18.5 USG) – Nicholson has carved out a role for himself in the worst and most unpredictable rotation in basketball, thanks to Scott Skiles. No matter what has happened to the Magic starting lineup over the last 2 weeks, one thing is consistent: Andrew Nicholson. He’s played at least 23 min in each of the last 7 games and gets to go up against a Denver team that gives up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing power forwards (50.3 ppg). Aaron Gordon is questionable tonight so if he’s unable to play, that could open up even more minutes for Nicholson. If it wasn’t obvious enough before, I’ll make my point clear now: The value sucks tonight. It’s no different at PF. Only two choices here to go cheap with and those two would be Nicholson and Booker. I’d prefer Nicholson because I believe he has a much higher floor than Booker (who may just play 15 minutes depending on matchups).
Steven Adams ($3800, 10.5 USG) – Ughh, another one I can’t fully get behind. It’s almost as if DraftKings is forcing us to pay up for Center. The only center that’s cheap besides Adams I would possibly roster would be Koufos if word got out that he was starting but as of now, Adams is the only guy. Earlier in the year against this same Memphis team, Adams played a total of 27 minutes and scored 25.3 DK points. At least we have that as a reference point because not much else makes me feel comfortable about rostering him. His minutes are up and down but I would suspect they stay near the up, given the size they’ll need to match up with Memphis. That’s the one common trend with Adams. Anytime OKC is going up against a physical center, he sees the playing time. Look at the game logs when he goes up against players like Drummond, Gasol, Cousins and so on (Kanter does not defend well). He gets the minutes you’d think he would get in those matchups so let’s hope that continues tonight.
Featured Image Credit: By Chris Green (Chrisg21090 at en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons