Patty Mills (DK $3700, FD $4000, 19.2 USG)
We have ourselves an awkward 4 game slate for this Thursday night. 2 games are highly attractive and the other 2 are incredibly ugly. The two games we’ll want to target (SAC/DAL & OKC/GS) are going to feature the most expensive players on the night so the only way to afford those studs is to roster some duds from the less desirable games. The Spurs are playing the second end of a back to back and going up against the 5th worst defense in the league. It’s safe to assume that Pop could end up resting some players against the Pelicans. If it’s Parker, Patty Mills will instantly become the premier value play on the night. Over their last ten games, the Pelicans have given up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing point guards. The thing with Mills is that even if Parker plays, he’ll still get around 20 minutes of playing time. And if this game gets out of hand like I’d expect it to, Mills would get an extra bump with some garbage time. The last time these teams met, he played 24 minutes and got us 20.8 DKPTS so he’s a fine punt regardless of Parker’s status but in the event he starts, just begin your rosters with him locked at PG. Worth noting, the Spurs waived Ray McCallum 3 days ago and signed ol’ man Andre Miller. Miller played just 8 minutes yesterday against the Pistons.
If Steph Curry misses tonight’s game against the Thunder, obviously Shaun Livingston would benefit and provide solid value.
Also, Rondo is now listed as questionable. This goes without saying but if he were to miss tonight’s revenge game against Dallas, Collison will probably be nearly 80% owned and you’ll instantly be at a disadvantage if you choose to fade.
Danny Green (DK $4800, FD $4400, 14.6 USG)
Lemme just preface this by saying that the chalk value people will likely be going with tonight is Wes Matthews. I know I sound like a broken record here but we always love targeting SG’s against the Kings and Matthews has been playing really well as of late to make the play even more justified. So to be a bit contrarian on such a small slate, Danny Green makes for a great pivot. With Manu still not expected back tonight, Green should be locked into his usual amount of minutes (averages 35.6 minutes against NO) and gets to go up against a New Orleans team that’s given up the most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards on the year. In the two games these teams have played against each other this year, Green is averaging 27.15 DKPTS. Matthews is the safer play of the two but if Green outperforms him on the night, you immediately have your leverage play on the rest of the field.
Omri Casspi (DK $4700, FD $4700, 16.9 USG)
This play hinges on the availability of Rudy Gay. As of now, he’s listed as questionable but with the way the Kings handled the Rajon Rondo situation a few days back, that could mean anything. If Gay were to sit, Casspi gives you a cheap way to get some exposure to the second highest game total of the night (220.5). I have’t been on Casspi for a while now because of his minutes not being as secure as they once were. Even in the games Gay sits, he’s still playing less than 30 minutes as opposed to earlier in the season when his minutes were in the high 30’s. On FD, I think the slightly better play is Harrison Barnes for $400 less. He’s another way to get some cheap exposure to the Warriors/Thunder game and will likely see minutes in the mid 30’s. He’s a bit more inconsistent than Casspi as evidenced by his 10.8 DKPTS performance against this same Thunder team 2 games ago, but last month he got us 25.5 DKPTS against OKC. I for one know myself pretty well and will be paying up for KD tonight so I may not even need to worry about saving money here but gun to my head, if I had to choose one: I’d go with Casspi on DK even though I don’t typically like targeting SF’s against DAL.
David Lee (DK $4300, FD $4400, 20.7 USG)
The day I wrote him up was the day he fell back down to earth. Coming off of back to back 30+ fantasy point days, he let a lot of people down against ORL scoring 18.5 DKPTS. I mentioned this last time we talked about Lee but he’s going to benefit most when teams plays small against DAL. We already know that he’s going to get you over a fantasy point per minute when on the court but it’s simply a matter of figuring out if he’ll be on the court enough to warrant consideration. Well, with a slate like this … we can’t be picky, even with his salary jumping up to an uncomfortable price. With value being so thin tonight, you have to take game scripts into account. For instance, big men usually have foul problems defending Boogie. If that were to be the case tonight, Lee should get the bump in minutes that we’re hoping for. Also, with Gay out last night, the Kings had Acy play PF next to Boogie for 23.6 minutes of the game, so Lee should get some small ball minutes as well. With the Kings giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to power forwards, Lee should reach value if he sees somewhere close to 20-22 minutes.
Steven Adams (DK $4200, FD $4200, 12.0 USG)
I keep insisting that Adams is underpriced and rostering him. He keeps disappointing me. It’s been the story of my week even though I’ve been somehow able to overcome his performances. Well, this is another cheap way to get some exposure to that Thunder/Warriors game. He’s averaging 26.13 DKPTS in the two contests against GS this year. For $4200, you’re asking him to get you 21 fantasy points to reach value. Simple math says go with Adams here. I know for certain there’s no way I can afford Whiteside with how my early roster construction is looking like so you’re left with some unappealing choices anyways. Why not go with the cheapest starter who’s already proved to us he can perform well in these kind of games? Also, the Warriors have been getting destroyed by centers as of late. Only 6 teams have given up more fantasy points to opposing centers over their last 10 games. Don’t be afraid of that ugly 2 in red next to his name on DK. I will say though, that I am considering Alex Len for $5600. He’s playing PF for PHO, so it’ll be Deng guarding him, not Whiteside. Also, Len is playing blowout minutes which helps a lot whenever we consider guys playing for or against the Suns.
Featured Image Credit: By Amin Eshaiker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons