Welcome to “Blick’s Six”, where I’ll use game environments to find six players I believe will be low owned with plenty of upside. These players will be a perfect way to diversify otherwise cash-like builds. Let’s get to it!
Games/Teams to Target
The best game environment appears to be NO/LAC and I don’t think it’s close. Sacramento and Portland have the pace to match, but both are playing better defense than the Pels and Clippers.
James Harden (FADE)
It will be very rare for me to include a player as a fade as one of the six, but this is a unique circumstance. To be clear, I’m not saying you should fade him in GPPs, just that there’s merit to it. I’m playing three lines tonight and I’ll probably fade him in one, play him in two.
To begin, I believe Capela’s absence could negatively affect James. The pick and roll with Capela is the centerpiece of their offense, so no Capela could both disrupt Harden’s rhythm and lead to a decrease in his assist rate.
Second, look at the game environment! Houston, an already slow team, is getting a 5.2 possession pace hit against an elite defensive team. I believe Harden’s enormous usage rate and talent is enough to overcome it all, but there’s enough here to warrant fading him at his expected ownership.
Portland’s 5.1 possession pace boost is highest on the slate, benefitting Nurkic from a rebound and defensive stat perspective. Additionally, WCS is way too small for Nurkic (listed 35 lbs difference). WCS’s lean frame is a big reason why Sacramento remains 25th in defensive rebound rate. The last time these teams met, Nurk went for over 80 DK points, but he will be low owned as pairing Harden with AD will be the most common lineup construction.
Gobert has really stepped up his activity level without Rubio. What I love most here is the minutes. Gobert is averaging 39.8 DK points in 31.3 mpg on the season, but played 32 in a blowout win against LAL, followed by 40 against Chicago. If we project him at 40 minutes tonight, he will exceed 50 DK points with his average FPPM. The matchup against Drummond doesn’t look great, but he’ll be around the rim all night and Detroit’s defensive rating is in free-fall.
Harrell played over 30 minutes in two of his last three games. He’s in the very best game environment tonight, neither Boban nor Gortat has any hope of containing AD’s athleticism (meaning he should see 30 minutes again tonight), and Harrell is flashing his enormous upside once again.
I’ll also note here that he and Lou Williams make each other 100x better, so pairing the two is an enticing idea in such a perfect situation.
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jackson’s price is all the way down to $5100! There’s risk here, as Bickerstaff has chosen to ride with JaMychal Green multiple times lately, but JJJ usually gets 30 minutes as long as he stays out of foul trouble. Without Capela, Houston will be undersized in the front court and Jaren has tons of defensive upside.
Marvin Bagley III
Fresh off an injury, Bagley played 25 minutes last game and should play at least that against the size of Portland’s frontcourt. I’m especially intrigued here because WCS was dominated last time by Nurkic. Whether that leads to some frustration fouls or Joerger simply trying a new body to slow down the behemoth, Bagley could end up seeing extra time in Cauley-Stein’s stead. Since Bagley is comfortably over a FPPM, extra run is gold for him.Fantasy Basketball