Plays of the Day
Value: This may be your last chance to milk Ersan Ilyasova for all he’s worth as Paul Millsap returned to practice Friday and his return is imminent. The great news is that the Atlanta Hawks face an ideal matchup on Sunday against the lowly Brooklyn Nets. No team has allowed more Fantasy PPG to PFs this season than the last-place Nets.
Fade: There weren’t a ton of clear-cut options to fade on this slate. The stars are all in solid shape for their games. However, I have to pick one, so I’m going with Hassan Whiteside. He doesn’t have a great matchup against the Denver Nuggets, and the centers behind him have very strong matchups in their favor. Dwight Howard takes on the Nets, Myles Turner the Cavs and Jonas Valanciunas faces the Sixers.
Games to Target
- Denver Nuggets @ Miami Heat
- Washington Wizards @ Golden State Warriors
John Wall (WAS) @ GS FD: $10,400/DK: $9,800
Wall has been an absolute monster this season and has taken his game to a whole new level. Most any other year he’d be in the MVP conversation, unfortunately for him, this is a ridiculous year in the MVP race with players putting up historically great seasons. He topped 60 Fantasy points (FD) in three straight games previous to his last game. Speaking of MVPs, Wall will be defended by Steph Curry in this one which is a huge advantage for Wall in that matchup.
Kyrie Irving (CLE) vs. IND FD: $8,600/DK: $7,900
I’m opting for Irving in this matchup against the Pacers over Curry vs. the Wiz. As I mentioned in before Wall has taken his game to a new level, a big part of that is his improved defense. I’ll take Irving for $1,400 cheaper with the better matchup, even if Curry has been hotter. Jeff Teague is no match for Irving on the defensive end, and he’s more than capable of lighting up with the best of them.
Goran Dragic (MIA) vs DEN FD: $7,800/DK: $7,700
Dragic good just as well be one of our two studs. Usually, I prefer going with a cheaper option for a “value” pick, but being that he’s been playing well and has the best possible matchup at home his value is incredible on this one. He will be starting in the vast majority of my lineups tonight.
Patrick Beverley (HOU) @PHO FD: $4,800/DK: $5,000
Beverley has seen his numbers dip down the stretch. Nevertheless, I love him in this one. Phoenix is an ideal matchup as they are allowing the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing point guards and while he’s not a big-time scorer he still tops 30 minutes most nights, can push 20 points and contributes with steals and rebounds with limited turnovers.
James Harden (HOU) @PHO FD: $12,100/DK: $12,500
Harden hasn’t been playing as well of late thanks to struggled from the perimeter. However, his numbers are still off the charts, and his usage rate is massive. Even when he has a bad game by his Fantasy standards, he’s still topping 40 Fantasy points. Any night he plays, he’s a stud.
Devin Booker (PHO) vs. HOU FD: $8,000/DK: $7,800
Few players in the league have been hotter than Booker. He’s topped 33 Fantasy points in all of his past four games and exploded for 91.6 Fantasy points in his 70 point performance against the Boston Celtics last week. I’m taking him over DeRozan tonight in a close call. Booker has the better matchup and is $1,200 cheaper.
Monta Ellis (IND) @CLE FD: $4,500/DK: $4,400
The Cavs have struggled against two-guards this season and are allowing the fourth-most Fantasy points to the position. Ellis clearly isn’t the Fantasy star he once was, nonetheless, at his current price against a horrendous Cavs defense the value is obvious. I expect him to post 25-to-35 Fantasy points in this one.
J.R. Smith (CLE) @IND FD: $3,600/DK: $4,300
You can see Smith finally starting to get into a groove after missing months due to a thumb injury. He’s playing big minutes without restrictions now, and the Cavs are relying on him to hit shots. Few role players in the league can get hotter than Smith, so there is huge upside when he costs just $3,600. This is a bit of a gut call, but he looks like he’s getting close on the offensive end and has now topped 20 Fantasy points in the past two games.
LeBron James (CLE) @IND FD: $10,700/DK: $10,000
If LeBron is playing, he’s a stud. There isn’t much more to it. The Cavs are slumping and relying more heavily on him now than ever. He’s near the top of the league in minutes and contributes in all facets of the game. It seems like every night he’s knocking on the door of a triple-double. The best player in the world is always going to be a great play, and this is a good matchup for him.
Jimmy Butler (CHI) @NO FD: $8,900/DK: $9,700
It was a tough call here between Butler and Paul George. George has a bit of a better matchup and is cheaper, but Butler is just playing too well to ignore right now. In his last eight games, his worst Fantasy output was 42.7 points (FD). During that span, he’s topped 50 Fantasy points three times and 60 Fantasy points twice maxing out at 66.9.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (BKN) vs ATL FD: $5,000/DK: $5,600 (as PF)
The Hawks are abysmal when it comes to attempting to slow down small forwards. Only Hollis-Jefferson’s Nets are worse. Before his last two games, he was on a four-game streak when he topped 30 Fantasy points each night. Look for him to bounce back from a bad game in this one as a high-value pick.
Taurean Prince (ATL) @BKN FD: $4,200/DK: $4,600
As I just mentioned, the only team worse than the Hawks against SFs in the Nets. That’s why Prince is my long-shot option. He’s seen big minutes jump late in the year topping 35 minutes in three of his last four games with a Fantasy high of 33.9 points during that stretch. He’s a nice play tonight for just $4,200.
Draymond Green (GS) vs WAS FD: $7,400/DK: $7,500
It was tough overlooking Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic on this slate for obvious reasons. However, their huge price tags had my preference with the next tier of PFs. The Wizards are allowing the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing power forwards, and Green is a major contributor in so many categories for the Warriors. His big minutes and versatility with an optimal matchup make him a great play tonight.
Kevin Love (CLE) @IND FD: $7,300/DK: $7,400
Although the matchup isn’t quite as strong as Green’s, it’s the same story with Love. He’s been playing very well as of late, and his price tag is more than reasonable. With the Cavs struggling in the paint and shooting, Love needs to be a major impact player right now. Every night he has the potential to put up a double-double and can 30-15 type of nights. We see him rounding into form after injury coming off a 37.5 (FD) Fantasy game.
Ersan Ilyasova (ATL) @BKN FD: $5,000/DK: $5,900
This may be your last chance to milk Ersan Ilyasova for all he’s worth as Paul Millsap returned to practice Friday and his return is imminent. The great news is that the Atlanta Hawks face an ideal matchup on Sunday against the lowly Brooklyn Nets. No team has allowed more Fantasy PPG to PFs this season than the last-place Nets.
Montrezl Harrell (HOU) @PHO FD: $3,900/DK: $3,500 (as C)
With Ryan Anderson out with an injured ankle and a fantastic matchup against the Suns, this could be a huge game for Harrell. Phoenix is allowing the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing PFs and Harrell is coming off a 21.3 Fantasy performance in just 22 minutes. Don’t be shocked if the minutes and the numbers go up tonight. You can’t beat his $3,900 price tag.
DeMarcus Cousins (NO) vs CHI FD: $9,600/DK: $10,200
Boogie is another player that regardless of matchup or circumstance it’s very difficult to keep him out of the “studs” section. He’s averaging more than more FPPG than the next center on the slate, and in his last four games, his worst performance saw him post 49.2 Fantasy points while topping 60 Fantasy points twice with a high of 69.2. This is par for the course with Cousins.
Dwight Howard (ATL) @BKN FD: $7,600/DK: $8,100
As they are against so many positions, the Nets are horrific when it comes to defending centers. They are bottom five in the league once again when it comes to allowing Fantasy points to this position. Howard has been on a role topping 30 Fantasy points in eight straight games with a high of 53, and there is no reason at all to believe he’ll slow down against a miserable Nets squad.
Jonas Valanciunas (TOR) vs PHI FD: $5,500/DK: $5,900
While the Nets are bad against centers, the 76ers are worse. As a matter of fact, they are the worst. No team is allowing more Fantasy points to the position, and it’s only gotten worse late in the season without Joel Embid and Nerlens Noel. To make matters worse for Philly, they face a big man who has topped 40 Fantasy points in back-to-back games. This was an easy choice.
Alan Williams (PHO) vs HOU FD: $4,700/DK: $4,900
With Tyson Chandler out, Alan Williams has stepped up as the center of the Suns. He takes on the Rockets who are allowing the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing centers. Look for Williams to take advantage in this one and put up a strong effort against the superior Rockets. He’s worth rolling the dice on if you are trying to save money on your big man.