Shaun Livingston ($3500, 13.0 USG) – If you’ve ever played Bingo, you’re familiar with the “Free Space”. Well, this would be just that with Curry (calf) likely sitting and Barbosa (shoulder) also out tonight against the Mavericks. Livingston isn’t a high usage player by any means, as his USG% jumps from 13 to 18.3 whenever Curry’s out. He’s not going to create much off the dribble, takes what the defense gives him and looks to get others involved by simply running the offense. However, anytime you can roster a starting point guard in a high powered offense like the Warriors at near min price, you jump all over it. His per 36 numbers leave a lot to be desired (only averages 23.55 DKPTS per 36) but still, you only need him to get about 17 DKPTS to reach value. It’s a lay up, but not a slam dunk by any means.
Allen Crabbe ($4800, 18.1 USG) – This pick hinges on Damian Lillard‘s status but I’m going under the assumption that he’ll sit out at least one more day even though he’s admitted he’s pain free now (plantar fasciitis is one of the trickiest foot injuries). If Lillard sits, Crabbe will once again start at shooting guard with McCollum playing point. Both Denver and Portland are bottom ten teams in DEF EFF and Denver is 29th in DvP against shooting guards. Portland is projected to score a healthy 103.8 points tonight so I’d expect Crabbe to get a nice chunk of that pie averaging 31 minutes in the starting lineup.
Paul Pierce ($3800, 15.4 USG) – I like the spot Paul Pierce is in tonight. He was one of the clear beneficiaries to Blake Griffin‘s injury and didn’t do much with starting gig that was given to him on Monday against the Wizards (RIP Josh Smith). Thing is though, he only played 17 minutes with the game getting out of hand early. He still scored 17.5 DKPTS. In the game before against a tougher UTAH defense, he scored 31.8 DKPTS in 27 minutes so if you add both games up without Blake Griffin, Pierce has become a fantasy point per minute guy and suddenly very relevant again. I’m hoping that ‘meh’ game against the Wizards turns people off him, giving me solid value at a very low ownership percentage.
Bobby Portis ($3700, 28.7 USG) – I haven’t written up my man crush since my first time writing this column back on opening night. After that night, I was in wait and see mode and now that I’ve waited, I’ve also seen. That USG percentage is not a typo. He’s ranked 18th overall in USG% (between Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan) of players who have played 100 minutes or more. They key with Portis is minutes, hence the famous hashtag, #FreeBobbyPortis. He’s averaged about 19 minutes over his last 5, which is more than enough time for him to do damage given his cheap price tag. With Mirotic starting at small forward (that’s been a disaster by the way) and Taj starting at PF, Portis becomes the first big man off the bench for the Bulls (especially if McDermott misses tonight’s game, listed as questionable). The hope is that he gets minutes in the mid 20’s in a nice matchup against the Pacers (19th in DvP against power forwards). And just for fun, let’s pretend he gets minutes in the mid 30’s. His per 36 numbers: 20.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals (41.15 DKPTS). Yes indeed, free Bobby Portis.
Ian Mahinmi ($4800, 14.6 USG) – Mahinmi has scored 29 or more DKPTS only 6 times all season. Two of those times have come against Chicago. To make things better, Indiana will be playing without Jordan Hill, likely giving Mahinmi a few extra minutes. The Bulls give up the 6th most fantasy points to centers, thanks to Pau Gasol‘s often lazy ways. In a highly competitive Central Division rivalry, I’d expect this game to stay close and quite physical which also bodes well for him.
Oh yeah, Cole Aldrich is playing again tonight if you wanna go really cheap. Remember that gut feeling I had on Monday? He ended up scoring 34.5 DKPTS in only 20 minutes ($3100 on Monday, $3400 today). I like him again as a viable punt.
Featured Image Credit: By Chris Green (Chrisg21090 at en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons