We only have a few more days before we enter the dreaded Allstar break, a time where the majority of us pretend we know something about golf or hockey for a week. Let’s make the most out of the six-game slate this evening, and there are already values opening up with the Spurs and Warriors.
Stephen Curry, GS ($10,200)
We were in agony on the podcast last night over whether this game was a viable one to target due to the immense blowout risk, but Draymond Green’s likely absence has made the Warriors’ remaining players much more appealing. Curry sees a 27% assist rate go to 32% when Draymond sits, and the matchup can’t get much better. Pheonix is third in pace, last in overall team defense, and last against PGs. The spread is 15 points so the blowout risk is real, but Curry will likely have a huge hand in that, and Golden State has by far the highest total on the slate. Curry is a solid play in all formats.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – Elfrid Payton, Spencer Dinwiddie
Austin Rivers, LAC ($5100)
Rivers’ ceiling takes a bit of hit with Milos Teodosic returning, but he’s still too cheap for the full complement of minutes he’s getting, and the matchup with Brooklyn is great. The Nets rank fifth in pace and 26th against opposing PGs, and Rivers only needs about 28 points for value.
Other options – Ish Smith, Rajon Rondo, Dejounte Murray, Frank Nkilitina, Emmanuel Mudiay
Lou Williams, LAC ($6800)
It’s a Sweet Lou day on FD, as he is mispriced for his matchup against the Nets. The Clippers have an implied team total of 112 points, and the Nets rank 16th against opposing SGs. Lou is seeing a 29% UR and 32% AR with the second unit which is elite, and his floor is as stable as any player’s in the NBA.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – Donovan Mitchell, Jrue Holiday, Klay Thompson, Evan Fournier
D’Angelo Russell, BKN ($5400)
Russell is a bit scary due to the severe limitations he’s had, but he played 32 minutes in Saturday’s double OT loss to the Pelicans, and it would seem the training wheels are almost off. I’d feel much more comfortable with this play if Russell were starting, but even if he goes back down to 25 minutes you have to like his upside given his usage rate off the bench is 36%. The Clippers provide a strong matchup too, as they rank 22nd against guards.
Other options – Tim Hardaway, Courtney Lee, JJ Redick, Danny Green
Kevin Durant, GS ($10,900)
Strangely enough, there are actually some values at the SF position tonight, so I don’t recommend spending up for KD in cash (Curry is the preferred play from the Warriors). The argument can, of course, be made for it as Durant has a 28% UR, 11% RR, and 30% AR without Draymond on the court, but at his price tag there’s a lot more room for downside with such a big blowout risk.
Other options – None
Mid-tier options – TJ Warren, Josh Jackson, Michael Beasley
Royce O’Neale, UTA ($4000)
O’Neale is a nice form or salary relief on this slate as long as Ricky Rubio remains out (which I’m assuming he does). The matchup is brutal against San Antonio, but O’Neale started in Rubio’s place yesterday, played 32 minutes, and actually ran the offense for a good bit of the game. At a usually thin position, he’s a good means to helping you fit in multiple stud players.
Other options – Robert Covington, Jonathan Simmons, Mario Hezonja, DeMarre Carroll, Kyle Anderson
Ben Simmons, PHI ($9000)
Simmons is priced fully, and that makes him an elite tournament play but I think he’s cash irrelevant on a slate that is offering multiple cheap options at the PF position. Simmons does have triple-double upside and faces a Knicks team that has fallen all the way to 17th in defensive efficiency, but he only becomes a true value play for cash if Joel Embiid were to be scratched for some reason. Think cheap here tonight.
Other options – Blake Griffin
Mid-tier options – Dario Saric, Nikola Mirotic, Lauri Markkanen
Kevon Looney, GS/Davis Bertans, SA ($3500/$3900)
I can’t imagine these two guys not being my cash PFs tonight, as they’re stepping into elevated roles and are both under 4k. Draymond Green and LaMarcus Aldridge will both sit this evening and Looney and Bertans should each see at least 25 minutes. Looney gets the matchup against Phoenix (last against PFs) and Bertans steps into the usage (just under 20% without LMA). Both are incredibly solid punts tonight.
Other options – Derrick Favors, Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss, Khem Birch, David West
Andre Drummond, DET ($10,800)
I know we had googly eyes for Joel Embiid on the podcast once again (and rightfully so), but at the same price on FD I’m actually starting to lean Drummond’s way as the better option. New Orleans is now ranked fourth in pace and is plummeting on the defensive rankings without DeMarcus Cousins on the court. Anthony Davis will likely be tangled up with Blake Griffin as Detroit finally has an athletic PF to try and defend him, which leaves Drummond alone in the paint to savage whatever poor soul is assigned to him. Drummond has a 25% usage rate and an insane 30% rebounding rate since Blake came to town, so he’s not suffering.
Other options – Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid
Mid-tier options – DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert
Pau Gasol, SA ($5400)
Gasol’s minutes are not the safest to project, but he looks like one of the best plays on the slate at his price tag, and it’s certainly viable to fade one of the top centers above for him in cash. Pau has averaged 1.25 FD points per minute with Aldridge off the court and has also posted a gaudy 22% usage rate, 20% rebounding rate, and 25% assist rate. The matchup against Utah is rough, but Gasol is flat out mispriced. He’s a better value on DraftKings where you can play him alongside those top centers.
Other options – Jarrett Allen, Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn (Kanter stands no chance at defending Embiid), Zaza Pachulia