John Wall $9600 – Only an average matchup here, but John Wall has been on an absolute tear since Beal went down. In his last 9 games, only once has he failed to register a points/assists double double, and that was a tough matchup at Memphis. In that span he has 4 games of 26+ points, and 7 games of 12+ assists so it’s not like he’s scraping in either. We also expect Paul to give a little less effort defensively given the fact that his offensive usage will be through the roof with Blake out.
Chris Paul $8900 – Which brings us to this guy. Dollar for dollar we have him as a better play than Wall, but Wall has a higher ceiling. With Blake out, the Clippers only have one player who can create offence for their team, and it’s CP3. Combine this with a great matchup against the Wizards and he’s a rock solid play today.
JJ Barea $4100 – I imagine the secret is out by now, but that doesn’t make him any worse a play. He’s averaging 40 FP since he was inserted into the starting lineup, which is a healthy 10x. Mid-tier matchup against the Bucks here, but he’s almost impossible to fade.
Ish Smith $3800 – In his first game with the 6ers this season, he put up 25 FP without having practiced with the team and led them to their first road win of the season. With a couple days of practice under his belt, and a matchup against Utah that is less scary without Gobert on the cards (and a questionable Favors) he’s our number 2 value PG play of the day. While Barea is a little nicer, we’ve split our lineups, half with Smith and half with Barea.
Others to consider – Brandon Knight $7300, Elfrid Payton $6700, Michael Carter-Williams $6500
JJ Reddick $4900 – With Blake out, JJ moves up one spot in the Clippers offensive pecking order, ranked only behind CP3 in terms of likely usage. In the first game without Blake JJ put up 32 FP, and now he’s got a nice matchup against Washington as an encore. Should be close to a lock for 15+ points, and may take on a little extra ball handling duties as well.
Evan Fournier $4500 – November’s fantasy darling is back on the radar after hitting 5x value in his last 4 games, and his minutes have risen accordingly. From a 13 game slump where he only hit 30 minutes once, he has now surpassed that Magic (see what I did there) number in 4 straight games. Combine this with a dream matchup against the Pelicans and you have a recipe for success.
Rodney Hood $4300 – Hasn’t been the most trustworthy fantasy asset this season, but with Burks out for 4-6 weeks Hood should see his minutes solidify in the 30-35 range over the next month or so, with a slight uptick in usage as well. They also have Philly coming to town, which while this could lead to a blowout, it could lead to some nice fantasy production before the Jazz empty their bench.
Others to consider – Klay Thompson $7200, Devin Booker $3500
Lebron James $10500 – Great matchup by the numbers against a reeling Suns team, we particularly like this matchup due to the thumping the Lebrons received in Portland two nights ago. Lebron typically blows up after a loss, and with a little extra sting leftover from their Christmas day loss to the Warriors, we may get a rare glimpse of double angry Lebron ie a big fantasy game.
Gordon Hayward $7200 – Same narrative as Rodney Hood, except Gordo is a much safer fantasy play with 11 of his last 13 games eclipsing 34 fantasy points. Extra usage and minutes with Burks out, and a great matchup against Philly.
Chandler Parsons $4500 – Just like Barea, it looks the secret should be out, as the guy who earned his $6500 price tag last season has returned to last seasons form, albeit with a price tag $2k less. His minutes continue to trend up, with his last two games tallying 34 and 35 minutes. If he plays minutes, he’ll earn a $6500k salary, so he’s close to a must start at $4500, in a solid matchup against the Bucks.
Other to consider: Omri Casspi $5600, Jared Dudley $4200
Power Forward is actually a little thin today. There are plenty of OK options, but every other position has players we love, whereas PF is simply a bunch of solid plays in our mind. Bearing that in mind, our others to consider category are ranked pretty much equally to the players we go into depth on, so don’t hesitate to play them.
Anthony Davis $10500 – Pretty much matchup proof, and while the Magic are good defensively, none of their bigs can match up with AD defensively. We don’t love him here, but we found during our lineup construction that we had money to burn at PF, and he is the number 1 PF play on the board, as nervous as it makes us playing him.
Draymond Green $9300 – His price is a lot higher than we would like, but once again we’ve been able to afford him due to the bargains we’ve found elsewhere. Great matchup against the Kings, once again our only concern will be the blowout factor.
Taj Gibson $4600 – Our number 1 dollar for dollar PF play today, he’s close to a must start for us. Not a great matchup against Toronto, but Taj is a garbage type of player anyways, who scores most of his points outside of the offensive flow, and therefore shouldn’t be as affected by a strong Toronto defence. With Noah out, his minutes will likely stay in the 30s, and he’s too productive a player to fade at this price.
Others to consider – Pau Gasol $9100, Kevin Love $7800, Frank Kaminsky $3800
Nicola Vucevic $7900 – Our #1 C play today. Amazing matchup against the Pelicans and has been in excellent form lately, averaging 35 minutes and 41.7 FP over his last 5. High floor as well, as he’s putting up 20 shot attempts/game over his last 5, and as always is a rebounding machine. Play him.
Hassan Whiteside $7200 – His price is still hovering at a level we think is about $500 too low for a player of his upside. The Nets are also a perfect matchup for Whiteside, as they are poor enough defensively that he can go to work on offence, but also play through a low-post centre for a lot of their offence, which requires Whiteside to play a lot of minutes defensively as well.
Al Jefferson $6200 – Tournament special alert – Wouldn’t touch him in cash, as this is only his second game back from suspension. However, this is a guy who has been valued at $7000ish for most of the season, and he has a dream matchup against the Lakers. Could easily flop, but will be severely underowned in tournaments and makes a great contrarian play.
Others to consider – Deandre Jordan $7700, Marcin Gortat $7000