I hope everyone benefitted from the Cavs’ shortened rotation last night, as all the guys we were on in chat (Osman, Jeff Green, Tristan) provided solid value next to LeBron. Today we have a six-game Saturday slate to contend with, and some more people making their debuts for new teams. We’ll be in chat as usual helping you out tonight (although I unfortunately won’t), and you can follow me on twitter @jac3600. Be sure to check out our early look podcast as well, as Thor and KJ detail tonight’s action. Good luck!
Stephen Curry, GS ($9600)
This is an odd game to target, but certainly one that’s viable. The O/U (215) seems a touch low, and the spread (GS by 11) seems a touch high. I generally tend to agree with Vegas on most of their lines, but I may go a little rogue on this one. The Spurs rank second in overall team defense and fifth against PGs, but Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray are out, and Patty Mills is by far the worst PG defender on the squad. Curry is viable in all formats, but isn’t a cash necessity with some values out there.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – Eric Bledsoe, Dennis Smith, Jamal Murray, Elfrid Payton
Patty Mills, SA ($4300)
The aforementioned Mills seems to be a strong play on this slate at only $4300. With Parker and Murray both out, Mills should start and log at least 30 minutes. The Warriors rank sixth against PGs, but the Spurs are 29th in pace and the Warriors are second which mitigates a lot of the defensive rankings. Mills has averaged close to a fantasy point per minute in his career and doesn’t need to do that to hit value.
Other options – Jerian Grant, JJ Barea, Austin Rivers, Shelvin Mack, Yogi Ferrell
Bradley Beal, WAS ($9300)
Beal is viable in all formats even with his price tag at a season high. He gets to take on the Bulls trash defense that just got lit up by Jimmy Butler (who plays a similar style of game), and Beal has a 31% UR and 22% AR without Wall on the court. The Bulls ran 26th in overall team defense and 27th against wings.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – Khris Middleton, Will Barton, Gary Harris, Lou Williams
Danny Green, SA ($4600)
Green generally falls into my “no play” zone because his rates are wildly inconsistent, but I think we can get some trusted production from him tonight. He should see over 30 minutes for the shorthanded San Antonio backcourt, and the extra expected touches in this game should help drive his value up. With Parker and Murray off the court this year, Green has an 18% UR, 8% RR, and 12% AR.
Other options – Justin Holiday, Wesley Matthews, JJ Redick, Manu Ginobili
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($11,500)
Giannis and Joel Embiid look like the two viable huge spends in cash tonight, and if you’re worried about Embiid on a b2b, spending the extra $1100 for Giannis is just fine. He’ll take an elite 32% UR, 17%, and 29% AR into Orlando ranks seventh in pace, 27th in overall team defense, and 28th against SFs. They also rank last in defensive efficiency over the last ten games and Giannis should go bonkers on them tonight. He’s worth it on a night with limited studs.
Other options – Kevin Durant
Mid-tier options – Otto Porter, TJ Warren, Harrison Barnes
Kyle Anderson, SA ($5000)
Anderson has proven to be a lower per-minute guy than his rates should allow, but tonight’s a good time to attack. The Spurs will need his defense to combat Kevin Durant, and Anderson has proven to be efficient at running the point from the SF position which gives him assist upside in a slot that doesn’t often bring that. With Parker and Murray out, Anderson has a 13% UR, 12% RR, and 17% AR, which is fine for a 5k price tag.
Other options – Josh Jackson, Robert Covington, Jonathan Simmons, Denzel Valentine, David Nwaba, Kelly Oubre
LaMarcus Aldridge, SA ($8800)
The Spurs theme continues with the best one of them all. Aldridge has maintained his strong 29% usage rate all season, even when Kawhi Leonard was back, and he actually sees his assist rate go up to 13% with the aforementioned guards off the court. Draymond Green will likely draw this defensive assignment and he’s a tough task, but the rates combined with the pace of this game make Aldridge a strong buy in all formats.
Other options – Ben Simmons, Draymond Green
Mid-tier options – Dario Saric, Lauri Markkanen, Bobby Portis
Lauri Markkanen, CHI ($6700)
The Bulls rookie is priced up a bit, but he still rates as a positive value with Nikola Mirotic traded. Markkanen played 35 minutes last night in the win over Minnesota, and should continue to see heavy frontcourt action with only him and Portis as the viable PF options. Zack LaVine’s 30% usage rate will be off the court this evening which should help Markkanen even more, and the Wizards are 19th against opposing PFs.
Other options – Trey Lyles, Marquese Chriss, Khem Birch, Davis Bertans
Joel Embiid, PHI ($10,400)
Sooner or later these sites will realize that Embiid is underpriced, and that he offers the same upside as players like Giannis who he is perpetually cheaper than. I understand the risk of Embiid on a b2b (especially with the fact that he was questionable to begin with yesterday), but I’m not afraid unless I hear a concrete report of limitations. Embiid scored 49.2 FD points in only 24 minutes yesterday which shows you the fantasy impact he can have, and the limited minutes yesterday really helps his cause this evening. The Clippers are 22nd against centers and 18th in rebounding rate, and DeAndre Jordan is going to get Embiid into foul trouble.
Other options – Nikola Jokic
Mid-tier options – Julius Randle, DeAndre Jordan
Pau Gasol, SA ($5800)
The final Spur to mention for tonight is Pau Gasol. His rates honestly look the best for tonight (he has a 22% UR, 22% RR, and 23% AR without Parker and Murray on the court), but the problem is you can’t safely predict more than 25 minutes for him. If you are willing to take the risk that he gets pushed towards 30 minutes, Pau becomes a strong cash option, but right now he just seems like an elite GPP play. The Warriors do rank 21st against opposing centers.
Other options – Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez, Marcin GortatFantasy Basketball