Beno Udrih (DK $4000, FD $3800, 14.1 USG) – Doesn’t it feel good to not be tempted to roster Tyler Johnson? The Heat are still banged up but Udrih has said he intends to play tonight against Chicago after a 4 game absence due to a neck injury. He’s the one guy that’s still priced cheap enough across the industry that warrants consideration because of all the injuries the Heat are dealing with. We’ve seen the lack of upside that most of the Heat reserves bring when inserted into the starting lineup but at only $4000 on DK and $3800 on FD, you aren’t looking for too much upside with Udrih. You’re only hoping for about 18 to 20 fantasy points here for him to reach value and the matchup against the Bulls is one that can allow him to get there with ease. With Chicago giving up the 7th most fantasy points to PG’s and Udrih seeing a heavy dose of minutes, the production should be there. Just think of what he did in place of Dragic against Denver (also a favorable matchup for PG’s) right before he got injured. He played 37 minutes and recorded a double-double (11 points, 11 assists) for 35.3 DKPTS/33.1 FDPTS.
Manu Ginobili (DK $4700, FD $4700, 24.3 USG) – I wish this game wasn’t included on Fanduel or Draft Kings. I’d prefer to just sit back and enjoy the most anticipated regular season game of the year without worrying about the performance of my lineups. I’m likely to avoid this game completely to be honest because these are the 2 best defensive teams in the league despite the over/under being 209 (very low for a Warriors home game). Most of the attractive players in this game are priced too high to recommend against elite defense but Manu is still an option if you wanted some exposure here. Coming off a game against the Lakers where he exploded for 45 DKPTS, I can see him being a popular value play, although I wouldn’t expect him to get anywhere near that tonight. Everyone is available for the Spurs tonight except for Tim Duncan, and you best believe these guys (no matter how old they are) will be up for this game. As for Popovich, well that’s a different story. He might look at the game as being just as important as a game against the Suns. But yeah, Manu has been in these kind of games a handful of times and always seems to perform at his best in them so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do well against a Warriors team that gives up the 11th most fantasy points to SG’s.
Corey Brewer (DK $3900, FD $3700, 18.1 USG) – Brewer has started in back to back games now for the Rockets since Dwight Howard‘s been out of the lineup and been a really good source of value in those games. He’s averaged about 30 min and 24 fantasy points, but he was playing well even before starting. He’s reached or exceeded value in 5 straight games averaging 2.6 steals. Tonight, the Rockets are in New Orleans playing against the second worst defense in the league, in what is expected to be a very high scoring game (215 over/under). It’ll be interesting to see if the Rockets continue to start Brewer against a bigger Pelicans team, but if he does and continues to see those kind of minutes in an up tempo game, he’ll instantly become one of the best values of the night at under $4k.
Josh Smith (DK $4000, FD $3900, 28.4 USG) – Smith hasn’t wasted any time getting re-accumulated with his role in Houston. Ever since being traded back to the Rockets, Smith is sporting a high 28.4 USG% and averaging 1.3 fantasy points per minute. The Rockets knew what they were getting back in trading for Smith and he’s embracing his role as a guy who’s allowed to do whatever he wants when on the court (double-digit shot attempts in both games). The PF log jam in HOU is not something I ever feel comfortable with but you can’t deny what’s he’s doing in only 22 minutes of play. I wrote above how favorable of a matchup this is for HOU already so it’s not a bad idea to game stack this one for tourney’s but be wary, this is also Houston’s 3rd game in 4 nights. Tired legs could be an issue.
Spencer Hawes (DK $4100, FD $3800, 17.1 USG) – I was literally just about to write up Willie Cauley-Stein here but received an alert about Rudy Gay now being listed as probable, which eats into WCS’s minutes a bit so we’ll look at Spencer Hawes. Hawes’ main worry here is avoiding the foul trouble that comes along with defending Boogie Cousins. If he can avoid it and see his minutes in the mid 30’s (averaging 33 min in 2 starts for Cody Zeller), there’s no reason to think he can’t have a productive night. Zeller, Batum and Lamb have all already been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Kings, meaning Marvin Williams, Frank Kaminsky and Hawes should have plenty of rebounding opportunities to themselves against the fastest team in the league.