Shane Larkin (DK $3800, FD $3700, 17.9 USG)
Larkin has been starting as of late and the price has yet to catch up to the news. Playing 29 minutes a game over the last 3 he’s started, he’s averaging 28 DKPTS and now gets a decent matchup against ORL, who have given up the 10th most DKPTS to PG’s on the season. They’ve actually been better as of late but as long as Payton is starting on the other side, I consider it a plus matchup. What’s really been helping out his fantasy production is that his AST% has been at 31.83 over his last 3 games. ORL is bottom ten in opponent assists per game (23.1). At sub 4K, Larkin is a decent fill in that should easily exceed value and give us some salary relief that allows us to fit in some studs.
J.R. Smith (DK $4400, FD $4300, 18.2 USG)
The Cavs are going to be very popular tonight with LeBron sitting this one out. You have to understand that LeBron is the primary ball handler on this team and everyone’s USG% spikes up when he’s out, most notably Kyrie Irving who owns an insane 38.8 USG when LeBron is off the floor. So you’re getting J.R. Smith at a depressed price when his USG% jumps up to 22.7 and a great matchup against the Houston Rockets, who have given up the 6th most DKPTS to opposing SG’s over their last 3 weeks, thanks to some James Harden defense. I’m likely going to spend up for someone like Harden or Klay tonight but whenever LeBron sits, Smith is decently owned and it scares the crap outta me thinking there’s a decent chance I may have missed the boat on some pretty sweet value. We know he has the ability to get hot at anytime and if those extra shots are there, he’s going to take them.
Trevor Ariza (DK $4800, FD $5400, 15.7 USG)
Another position that I’m likely to spend up a bit on but Ariza is under 5K, which is hilarious considering he was costing us over 6K less than a month ago. The reason he’s this cheap right now is because of Harden. Simply put, Harden has taken most of this teams production over their last 5 games, with their playoff hopes on the line. Everyone’s role has decreased a bit, including Ariza’s but he’s still playing an insane amount of minutes, averaging 38.2 minutes over his last 5. And with LeBron not on the other side of him tonight, the matchup isn’t as difficult as the numbers would suggest (CLE giving up the 7th fewest fantasy points to SF’s over the last 3 weeks, 3rd in DvP on the season). Either way, I’m likely not going this route (probably gonna go with Porter or Covington here), but he is underpriced given the circumstances.
Carl Landry (DK $4500, FD $4700, 24.3 USG)
First of all, if you’re not playing Kevin Love tonight . . . just stop playing NBA DFS. The matchup is literally the best possible matchup for him, there’s no LeBron James and he’s severely underpriced. Ok, now that we’ve gotten that outta the way, look at Landry if Noel continues to sit and/or Jerami Grant is out (knee). There are two things we know about Landry. 1) He won’t play more than 25-26 minutes. 2) As long as he’s on the court, he’s going to shoot at will. In the 10 games he’s played at least 20 minutes, he’s averaged 28.29 DKPTS. So yeah, this play really hinges on the availability of Noel and Grant in a big way because if he draws another start, he’ll make for a fine punt at the position.
Ian Mahinmi (DK $4900, FD $5100, 15.4 USG)
That’s 4 out of 5 games now where Mahinmi has logged at least 30 minutes. If you’re giving me 30+ minutes at center against this Bulls team, I’m going to have to consider it. If you’re telling me you’re getting him at under 5K, then I really have to consider it. Mahinmi did me well on Sunday against the Rockets, scoring a career high 19 points to go along with 11 rebounds (41.3 DKPTS). In 3 games against CHI this year, Mahinmi is averaging 28.33 DKPTS. It’s nothing spectacular but the center position is really lacking tonight, with the exception of Pau Gasol (if you trust him to get 30+ minutes again) and maybe Brook Lopez, but I think I’m done with BroLo on the year, as they’ve mentioned possibly shutting him down. We always target bigs against the defense of Pau, and with the way Mahinmi has looked lately (37.3 DPPTS over his last 2) and how thin the position is, he seems like the safest play on the board.