Patrick Beverley (DK $4900, FD $4800, 15.6 USG) – Since returning from injury (ankle), Beverley has averaged 31 minutes over his last 6 games and been playing very well. His salary is starting to creep up to his production but still underpriced. With averages of 26.58 DKPTS (.87 FPPM) in that span, he should be priced at about $5300. No better time to take advantage of the savings than a matchup against the Suns, who give up the second most fantasy points to point guards. The only worry for me here is that Beverley tends to play more when the Rockets are playing against star point guards, needing his defense. Archie Goodwin doesn’t really fit that mold so his minutes might be less than what we’ve seen but let’s be honest, we’re all trying to fit both James Harden and Anthony Davis into our lineups tonight so building around lower priced guys like Beverley and Norris Cole seems chalky and almost necessary.
Bryce Dejean-Jones (DK $4200, FD $3500, 15.6 USG) – With Tyreke Evans doubtful against the Lakers tonight, BDJ remains in play and in an optimal matchup. The Lakers give up the 5th most fantasy points to SG’s (second most on FD) and the over/under on this game is the second highest on the night at 209.5. He’s played decent enough to get a second 10-day contract with an injury-riddled Pelicans team, doing what is asked of him and nothing more. For fantasy purposes, it’s not what we’re usually looking for but at his salary, it’s fine. The main worry here is that his minutes are trending downwards. His first 2 games starting for Reke, he played 34.9 and 36 minutes. The next two, he only played 23.5 and 22.9. We’ve seen this before with young guys getting a look for the first time on teams. They throw them out there to see what they can do and then scale back once they’ve found out. For that reason alone, I’m likely to avoid him on DK, where his price has come up a bit but on FD, he’s still priced at the min and something you can exploit.
Stanley Johnson (DK $4400, FD $4000, 20.2 USG) – One of my favorite value plays of the night, Stanley Johnson has been getting some extra run over his last 5 games, averaging over 28 minutes a game. With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (groin) unlikely to play, Stanley should get the start and see even more minutes. It’s not just the playing time that excites me, it’s what he’s doing with it. His USG% is up to 23.54 over his last 5 while shooting double-digit field goal attempts. He’s attempted 16 3 pointers over his last 2 games, which is great for sites like DK (3-point bonus). I think you can make an argument for someone like Corey Brewer, who’s cheaper and also starting (better matchup) but my heart is set on Stanley tonight.
Josh Smith (DK $4800, FD $4200, 27.5 USG) – J-Smoove re-entered our lives on Tuesday, starting at C for a suspended Dwight Howard and an injured Clint Capela. He didn’t disappoint, scoring 19 points with only 4 rebounds (31.5 DKPTS) in 21 minutes. Terrence Jones played the majority of minutes with 29, but Smith had the better fantasy night. Dwight Howard returns from his suspension tonight, so that removes Smith from the starting lineup but other factors will be working in his favor. Terrence Jones was involved in a car accident yesterday and has already been ruled out for tonight’s game and Capela is questionable with his hip issue. If Capela is out, Smith could see a minutes uptick in a matchup against the Suns, that suits his style of play perfectly. Only 7 teams play faster than the Rockets and the Suns are one of them (5th). The Suns have given up the 5th most fantasy points to PF’s over their last ten games and this over/under of 214 is as good as it gets tonight.
Omer Asik (DK $3500, FD $3900, 11.0 USG) – I was debating between 3 guys here (Asik, Biyombo and Leonard) and ended up going with Asik. The price and the matchup is just too good (channeling my inner Dan Back). He’s the only one starting of the 3 and actually been productive as of late. Over his last 4 games, Asik owns an insane 26.73 total rebounding percentage while playing about 23 minutes. To compare, Andre Drummond leads the league in TRB% with 24.0 (Boban is right behind him at 23.6). In a game that’s going to have lots of missed shots, the rebounds will add up for Asik. Against the Lakers on Jan 12, he grabbed 13 rebounds in only 18 minutes (24.3 DKPTS). You just hope it’s not one of those games Gentry decides to go small early and ends up barely playing Asik because all he really needs here is about 20 min to reach value (averaging a fantasy point per minute over his last 4). If he can somehow manage to score a few points on put-backs and rack up some blocks or steals, you could be looking at a night where he returns 8X’s value. I mean, if there was ever a matchup to do so.
Featured Image Credit: By Chris Green (Chrisg21090 at en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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