Ish Smith ($4800, 26.1 USG) – At first glance, this would be very weird recommending any Sixers against the Jazz. The Jazz aren’t as much of a defensive powerhouse without Gobert anchoring the defense and if anything, defending point guards was always one thing they were mediocre at. Ranking 17th in DvP, The Jazz with still be without Gobert and possibly Derrick Favors in Phili tonight. There’s a chance the Sixers can keep this one close (if Favors is out) and Smith is still priced as a backup point guard on DraftKings. In his first game as the Sixers new starting point guard, Smith logged 27 DKPTS in 31 minutes. With the recent release of Tony Wroten, it signals that Philadelphia is content with handing over the keys to Ish for the foreseeable future.
Rodney Hood ($4700, 20.0 USG) – Funny thing is, the Sixers are dreadful in defending every position except shooting guard. They’re 9th in DvP and near the bottom everywhere else. We’re still going to take a look at Hood here because of the recent injury to Alec Burks. If Derrick Favors were to miss this game, it should open the door even more for Hood to get a green light whenever he pleases. Gordon Hayward (great play tonight BTW) cannot shoulder the load alone, even against Philadelphia. Hood’s averaging 26.2 DKPTS per 36 and should see close to that in a game where the Jazz are projected to score more than their season average.
P.J. Tucker ($4000, 11.2 USG) – Tucker is the least sexiest pick of the bunch tonight but it’s also a reflection of how I feel about value at the position. Maybe Joe Johnson is appealing at only $4800 but I never feel comfortable rostering him so if I’m gonna roll with someone I don’t feel safe with, I’ll roll with Tucker. P.J. has been reinserted into the starting lineup in Phoenix and played 38 minutes right off the bat. Granted, it was against Philadelphia but still …. minutes count. He’s a utility guy, someone who will grab you boards, steals and so on. With Eric Bledsoe (knee) and Markieff Morris (suspension) out, their will be minutes to spread around. I don’t like that he’ll be matched up against LeBron and a great defensive team like the Cavs but with minutes, comes opportunity. I’d do my best to pay up a bit more for someone like Chandler Parsons in a more favorable matchup and off his minute restriction limit.
Trevor Booker ($4300, 14.0 USG) – Man, if there was ever a time to use Booker, this could be it. Simply put, no team is more fantasy friendly to power forwards than Philly. If Favors is out tonight (3rd time I’ve mentioned this, I’m aware), all three big men in Utah (Lyles, Withey and Booker) would see a serviceable boost in value but none with the kind of upside that Booker has. Remember that game against New Orleans earlier this year? If you don’t, he played 38 minutes in that game Favors was out (illness) and scored an insane 46.8 DKPTS (13 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals). Booker is all about matchups. If you look at his game logs, he shows up against the weaker front court teams and disappears in tougher situations. The Sixers will also be without Jahil Okafor tonight so they’re going to be thinner than usual. This could be another monster night for Booker if the dominoes fall in his favor.
Cole Aldrich ($3100, 16.3 USG) – I was gonna go with either Festus Ezeli (likely blowout) or Withey (see above) here but wanted to have a little fun and go with a gut feeling. With the recent injury to Blake Griffin, everyone including myself assumed it was time to let Josh Smith run wild with his newfound starting gig. Doc Rivers had other plans. Smith can safely be avoided as a punt in daily leagues until we see otherwise but for now, it looks like Rivers might lean on Aldrich to fill in for Griffin. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Aldrich started over Smith tonight based on how Saturday played out. Smith started and played the first 5 minutes against UTA and then didn’t play a single minute after. It’s no secret that Smith’s time in Los Angeles has failed miserably. Every incident has been well documented, so the Clippers may feel they have no choice but to go big and pair Aldrich alongside Jordan and see how it plays out. I would no way in hell recommend Aldrich as a cash play (unless word leaks that he’s starting) but he’s a fine GPP punt. Aldrich is a fantasy point per minute guy (averages 36.22 DKPTS per 36) so if he can get at least 15 minutes, he should hit value with ease and has the upside to produce 8X’s his salary.