Patty Mills (DK $4000, FD $4200, 19.2 USG)
If you’ve been playing DFS this past week, you know how fortunate we are to get news this early. Spurs will be resting their original big 3 tonight against the Timberwolves (Manu, Duncan and Parker). When those three are out, here are the top 5 USG leaders in SA: Kawhi Leonard (31.6), LaMarcus Aldridge (29.7), Boban Majanovich (26.6), David West (21.6) and Patty Mills (21.5). All 5 of these guys are in play when you’re looking at the matchup against Minnesota, but this is a value column so we’ll take a look at the cheaper guys. Mills usually remains on the bench when Parker sits but Ray McCallum is no longer there (usually started for Parker) and Andre Miller has averaged just 7 minutes a game since joining the Spurs, so you have to think Mills is the one that’s going to be playing a majority of the game at point. So if Mills is going to see close to 30 minutes against Ricky Rubio‘s defense (MIN gives up the 6th most fantasy points to PG’s), he has to be considered for all formats. Mills is averaging .99 fantasy points per minute without the big 3 playing, so as long as he gets the minutes we’re all expecting him to play, he’s a lock to make and exceed value.
Garrett Temple (DK $3200, FD $3600, 14.4 USG)
With Bradley Beal out tonight, Temple should draw the start at the two against a Blazers team that is very friendly to SG’s (they give up the 8th most fantasy points to SG’s). This matchup owns a very friendly over/under of 213.5 and Beal costs near the minimum on most sites. I don’t usually enjoy rostering him even with his depressed price tag because of what they ask him to do on the court, which isn’t much. He only averages .50 fantasy points per minute, which is actually pretty hard to do in the NBA. But given the matchup and the opportunity, he should reach value given his price tag. If you’re looking for a little more upside and on the cheap, I’d spend a little more for someone like Arron Afflalo who is also in a great (revenge) matchup against this Nuggets team, who are also very friendly to opposing backcourts.
Al-Farouq Aminu (DK $4100, FD $4100, 16.9 USG)
OK, this is where it gets really ugly. This slate is pretty much forcing us to spend up at SF tonight because all their cheap options are not enticing at all. I’ll throw in AFA just to mention someone, but even I don’t feel comfortable with this play. It’s just that his price is really depressed and the matchup is something we’ve targeted all season, wings against the Wizards. These teams have played once this year and in that matchup, AFA played 25 minutes and scored 19.75 DKPTS. I’d expect something similar tonight because with the exception of Dame and C.J., no minutes are safe on this team and they’re fine with that. This whole Blazers team has bought into what Coach Stotts is doing, which isn’t the greatest thing for DFS purposes.
Jason Smith (DK $3000, FD $3500 21.0 USG)
This will be as chalk as it gets tonight if Vuc (groin) is out again. If you faded JaMychal Green last night like me (even though I wrote him up), you know how much it’ll hurt you if someone this cheap goes off and you have no exposure. Simply put, you’re getting a min salary player in one of the best of possible matchups and playing decent minutes. In only 23 minutes last night, Smith recorded 21 DKPTS for 7X value. If he gets the same amount of playing time against a Lakers team that gives up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing centers, I’m almost certain he’ll do similar, if not better results. Using a combination of Mills and Smith really opens up what you can do with the rest of your lineups. Only problem here is that this is the late game so we likely won’t have an update on Vuc’s status till after lineups lock. It’s a gamble but I’m going to guess he sits because if he was a late scratch in Oracle (somewhere that most players like to compete), they’ll likely be cautious with him in a game at Staples that they’re more than capable of winning without him. If we get word that Vuc does end up playing, just spend a bit more on David West, who will likely be starting for a rested Duncan.
Boban Marjanovic (Dk $3100, FD $3600, 24.3 USG)
You know how this works by now but this is never a safe play at this point, even with Duncan out. If the Wolves somehow keep this game competitive, Boban could play maybe 10 minutes but if this gets out of hand, these are the games San Antonio lets him loose in the 4th quarter. Personally, I don’t think he’s a necessity on a night that already offers us plenty of value but if you’re up to the gamble, he’ll likely be low owned and would allow you multiple studs at various positions. Currently, the Spurs are 10 point favorites, which is a lot on the road considering everyone who’s resting so I wouldn’t hate on this play at all in GPP’s. For cash though, you’re much better off saving on guys like Robin Lopez (especially if Porzingis is out again), Valanciunas or Jokic. I think the middle tier is the way to go though with guys like Gobert and Gortat in great spots and with reasonable price tags.