Shelvin Mack (DK $3600, FD $3700, 24.7 USG) – Funny how things work out, huh? The Jazz were one of many teams that were linked to Jeff Teague before the trade deadline. They ended up settling for his backup’s backup, Shelvin Mack. It seemed at the time like a move that wouldn’t shift much movement in rotations. Turns out we were all wrong.
Before making his Jazz debut, Mack said he anticipated that he’d have an “easy transition coming here” because of his relationship with Snyder in Atlanta — not to mention, of course, his friendship with Hayward.
Snyder wasted no time getting Mack involved. After the Jazz came out slow against Portland, Mack entered the game and played better than any UTA PG we’ve seen all year. His familiarity with Snyder and relationship with Hayward may have more to do with this than we know but all that aside, the results were outstanding. In only 24 minutes, Mack scored 16 points to go along with 6 assists, 3 rebounds and a block (30.8 DKPTS). There’s talk of him potentially starting soon in UTA and if that’s the case tonight, he becomes an immediate must play against a defensively challenged Rockets team that gives up the 9th most fantasy points to opposing PG’s.
Gary Harris (DK $4700, FD $4700, 15.9 USG) – These two teams played against each other just 4 days ago and Harris was my boy at SG then too. As expected, he played 40 minutes. Seems like 40 minutes is the norm for him at the moment and anytime you can get that kind of playing time against a team so terrible at defending the position, you have to consider it. In that game, he didn’t do much but enough with 14 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds (28.5 DKPTS). At $4700, you’re hoping for him to get you close to 25 fantasy points. With averages of 25.7 DKPTS over his last 4, I don’t think he should have a problem getting there against a Kings team that gives up the most fantasy points to SG’s in the league.
Maurice Harkless (DK $4400, FD $4400, 15.0 USG) – Admittingly late to the Harkless bandwagon, I’m sold now. Everything you really need to know has been on display over his last 5 games. With averages of 26.2 minutes, 14.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals (29.42 DKPTS) during that span, he’s solidified himself as an important part of Portland’s small ball approach as of late. The Blazers have also won 5 straight games with Harkless playing so well and it’s no coincidence. His ability to defend the PF position and hit shots has really opened things up for POR. He’s shooting 63% from the floor and 43% from three during the winning streak and with a matchup against the Nets, who are 20th in DvP against the PF, why would things change?
Ersan Ilyasova (DK $4800, FD $4700, 26.2 USG w/ ORL) – Here’s what to do with the PF position tonight: Spend up a bit. Only reason Ersan is here is because there’s no one else I would consider under the 5K range. I do like this USG% over his last 2 games with ORL but that’s just about it. Only averaging about 20 minutes since being traded, he’s clearly Aaron Gordon‘s backup and doesn’t offer a whole lot of upside. You would think that with a matchup against the Sixers, there could be a chance for some garbage time but the Magic have lost 6 out of their last 10 and are only 6 point favorites. Also, Skiles told his guys today he considers this game a must win if the Magic have any hope of making the playoffs, so look for the rotations to be a bit tighter and target the studs like Vuc, Gordon and Oladipo instead.
Mason Plumlee (DK $4500, FD $5300, 17.5 USG) – Another selection by default because of the lack of value, but not as depressing as Ersan. There’s actually some merit to punting with Plumlee (especially on DK). The Nets are 22nd in DvP against centers and with Harkless playing more at the 4, Plumlee should be needed more to matchup against the bigs of Young and Lopez. The Blazers would prefer to stay small but if the Brooklyn bigs start dominating this game, their hand may be forced. The minutes are definitely a concern, as he rarely reaches 30 minutes but with Meyers Leonard slowly being phased out of the rotation, I could see about 28 min of Plumlee. But honestly for both PF and C, just pay up. There’s value everywhere else to afford doing so.
Featured Image Credit: By Chris Green (Chrisg21090 at en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons