Welcome to another edition of our NBA Preview here at PlayON’s Daily Fantasy Focus.
Below is a breakdown of my fantasy picks at each position for tonight’s game. Once you’ve seen who I like, be sure to lock in your line-ups and win some cash tonight.
If you’re new to PlayON, be sure to take advantage of their first-time depositor’s bonus, where a deposit of $20 will get you a FREE $22 entry.
Point guard – Chris Paul, Houston Rockets: $21.1 million
Just as James Harden enjoyed the statistical benefits he had when Chris Paul was out and he could have a larger usage rate as a result, Paul is enjoying the absence of James Harden in the same way. Over the last three games, Paul is averaging 46.6 fantasy points, and has the potential on any given night to go off for a huge one.
Point guard – Ish Smith, Detroit Pistons: $10.6 million
Another player benefiting from injury to another, Smith is averaging 29.1 fantasy points over the last six games in the absence of Reggie Jackson. He has yet to go below 22 in any of those games, and at $10.6 million, even 26 is a decent return.
Shooting guard – Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets: $13.8 million
Paul is not the only beneficiary of Harden’s absence. Over the last four games, Gordon has averaged 40 fantasy points, with variance ranging from 27.1 to 55.1, the high end of which is extremely enticing. Gordon is a scorer, the Rockets need scorers without Harden, he plays the same position; it is a logical development, and fantasy players should take advantage.
Shooting guard – Wayne Ellington, Miami Heat: $8.4 million
We have reached a point now where Wayne Ellington is taking and making game winners. And with last night’s game winning layup, Ellington capped off another 26.6 fantasy point night It is a big endorsement from the Heat to Ellington that he was even in the game at this time, and it speaks to the importance of his role in the immediate and longer term futures for the team. But his fantasy price is still yet to reflect that, so take advantage.
Small forward – Gerald Green, Houston Rockets: $6.0 million
Consider some context here. Here are some of the other small forwards available for the fantasy minimum price, and their fantasy point averages over the last ten games.
Royce O’Neale – 8
Richard Jefferson – 3
Jake Layman – 3
Jalen Jones – 2
Luis Montero – 1
As for Green? 23. The more cheapies you can get, the more stars you can have, and Green is tonight’s best cheapy by a considerable distance.
Small forward – Mario Hezonja, Orlando Magic: $6.5 million
Hezonja’s incredibly variable role on the team is one of feast or famine, and which it is is basically determined by whether or not Jonathan Simmons plays. Nursing a bad back, Simmons is often day-to-day, and when he cannot start, Hezonja does. And when Hezonja starts, he performs. In the last three games, with Simmons out, Hezonja averages 27.9 fantasy points; in the three prior to that, with Simmons in, Hezonja did nothing. So keep your eyes peeled on Simmons news and act accordingly.
Power forward – Trey Lyles, Denver Nuggets: $9.5 million
There is nothing further left to say on the player we have anointed as a great value pick for 14 straight games, so instead, look at his price, look at the 42.5 fantasy points he scored last time out, and do the right thing.
Power forward – Markieff Morris, Washington Wizards: $10.6 million
Due to the very slow start he has had to the season, Morris’s fantasy price has tumbles down to this level, whereupon he has now started to play with some value. Over the last four games, Morris has averaged 30.3 fantasy points through four consecutive games of double-figure rebounds. It may only be short-term value – the Wizards need to make upgrades to their front seven, and Morris is the most obvious candidate. But it is there for now.
Centre – Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers: $16.5 million
Last night represented one of Nurkic’s lower statistical output games for a while, but only because he has been on a recent tear. It also wasn’t exactly a poor game, recording 32.6 fantasy points and scoring 20 real points in the contest. Over his last seven games, Nurkic has averaged 37.9 fantasy points and has done so with a remarkable consistency, with every outing in that span ranking between 31.3 and 45.0 points. He is thus a very god high-to-mid-range pick tonight.
Centre – Bismack Biyombo, Orlando Magic: $7.8 million
Biyombo is normally tremendous value. Last night, with only 17.1 fantasy points recorded, he wasn’t. This is only about half of his fantasy points average over the nine games previous. However, it is still value. We loosely work to a theory whereby averaging more than double one’s cost in million represents fantasy points value, and even in lesser nights like yesterday, Biyombo is doing that.
As with all NBA slates, we need to be sure to avoid certain players each night.
Here’s who you should steer clear of.
DO NOT PICK DUE TO INJURY/ABSENCE/SUSPENSION: De’Andre Bembry (Atlanta), D’Angelo Russell, Nik Stauskas, DeMarre Carroll, Jeremy Lin (Brooklyn), Cody Zeller (Charlotte), Zach LaVine, Cameron Payne, Nikola Mirotic (Chicago), Nerlens Noel, Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith (Dallas), Paul Millsap (Denver), Reggie Jackson, Jon Leuer (Detroit), Chris Boucher (Golden State), Nene, Troy Williams, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, James Harden (Houston), Myles Turner, Glenn Robinson III, Edmond Sumner (Indiana), Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari, Austin Rivers, Blake Griffin, Milos Teodosic (L.A. Clippers), Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons (Memphis), Rodney McGruder, Okaro White, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow (Miami), Jabari Parker, Mirza Teletovic (Milwaukee), Jeff Teague (Minnesota), Anthony Davis, Tony Allen, Frank Jackson, Solomon Hill, Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans), Michael Beasley, Tim Hardaway Jr (New York), Andre Roberson (Oklahoma City), Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross, Jonathan Isaac, Jonathan Simmons (Orlando), Wade Baldwin, Damian Lillard (Portland), Raul Neto, Dante Exum, Rudy Gobert (Utah), Sheldon Mac (Washington)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups