Matthew Dellavedova ($4800, 15.1 USG) – This night is absolutely brutal in terms of value plays so I’d suggest staying away from cash games and trying out a few GPP’s instead. Kyrie Irving has already been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Nuggets so Dellavedova should see a bit more playing time in a very favorable matchup. Denver is 29th in DvP against point guards and the Cavs are only 6 point favorites. He doesn’t have as much upside as you’d like and his price point isn’t as low as you’d hope for but he offers a safe floor considering the matchup and opportunity.
Gary Harris ($4300, 16.7 USG) – The Nuggets backcourt has been patchwork due to injuries and tonight is no different. Danilo Gallinari and Emmanuel Mudiay are out again meaning a lot of minutes being divided between Harris, Nelson, Foye and our favorite Barton. Harris has averaged 34.5 minutes over his last 4 games and despite the Cavs being an elite defensive team, they’re mediocre at defending shooting guards (14th in DvP). The Cavs are playing their 4th game in 5 days so the tired legs are something we shouldn’t be afraid of attacking.
Stanley Johnson ($3800, 20.2 USG) – Johnson seems to finally be getting back into the good graces of Stan Van Gundy. His playing time is trending upwards after numerous games playing under 20 min (averaging 26.25 min over his last 4). He’s showing signs offensively (scored double figures in 3 out of his last 4) and always a good source of peripherals given the minutes. I think in a matchup against the Knicks, he could see additional time with the defense needed to guard Carmelo, who’s been playing really well as of late.
Ersan Ilyasova ($4900, 17.6 USG) – Ersan is going to be dependent on his shot falling to reach value. He has a terrible rebounding rate (9.5 %) and won’t dish out many assists (1.6 per 36) but he does what Detroit needs him to do, which is to space the floor and allow Drummond to do his thing down low. The Knicks have been a decent team defensively on the year, especially against power forwards (4th in DvP) but that number is a bit skewed. They’re good at defending traditional power forwards whose games are played near the rim. Carmelo gets lazy chasing stretch 4’s like Ilyasova so don’t look too much into DvP here.
Nikola Jokic ($4700, 20.2 USG) – DraftKings finally realized that the starters label doesn’t mean much in Denver anymore. For the first time all year, Jokic is going to cost you more than Lauvergne. My hope is that people look at the box score from the previous game against OKC and feel that Lauvergne is the safer play (He outscored Jokic by 9.2 DKPTS and played 14 more minutes). Let’s look at the games before that and you’ll have a clearer picture of who’s the better center in Denver for fantasy purposes. Jokic was averaging 31.7 DKPTS over his previous 4 compared to the 18 DKPTS Lauvergne was averaging. He does a lot more with the time given to him despite playing similar minutes. In a tough matchup against the Cavs stout frontcourt, I can see Lauvergne struggling early, allowing Jokic a chance to put up big numbers again.
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