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 – Delon Wright, Toronto Raptors: $11.0 million
For a backup point guard, Wright is on quite the tear. His 61.1 fantasy point performance of four games ago remains an anomalous high – that would be an amomalous high for anybody – yet he has followed it with more quality performances. In his three games hence, Wright has averaged 27.1 fantasy points through a versatile collection of statistics, and he has the primary backup guard spot ahead of Fred VanVleet and C.J. Miles. Young, improved and improving, there could be more to come from Wright in the future, yet there is enough there already in the present.
Shooting guard – Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs: $9.3 million
Ginobili still has it, posting an average of 34.3 fantasy points over his last three games played. Note that this is not the same as his team’s last three games, as Ginobili has missed two for scheduled rest. He is not scheduled for any rest tonight as far as we know, but history suggests rest nights can come at quite short notice, so keep your eyes peeled. If he is not rested, then the Spurs’ current wing injuries (detailed below) will also factor, and have been boosting his opportunities and production of late.
Shooting guard – Lou Williams, L.A. Clippers: $17.7 million
Williams is having a career year, buoyed by the scoring opportunities made available by injuries elsewhere. He was particularly spectacular last night with a 50 point, 7 assist night that was worth 58.6 fantasy points, raising his recent average to 46.5 fantasy points over the last five games. Williams can be streaky, but the hot streaks are sublime, and he should be considered as a value pick every night, particularly so when on a limited slate.
Small forward – LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers: $25.8 million
With the recent price update here at PlayON, we now have a new maximum player salary. Therefore, LeBron James and others like him will now cost more. Be advised of this, but don’t be deterred, as LeBron’s greatness and fantasy value are not diminished. A 30.6 fantasy point outing last night is worrying, but also anomalous as one of the worst games of his career – the night before, a 76.5 fantasy point performance featuring a near-triple double and six steals, is the LeBron we could be getting on any given night.
Small forward – Davis Bertans, San Antonio Spurs: $6.3 million
Kawhi Leonard came back and then went out again, while Rudy Gay is out for a few weeks with an injury. With Danny Green also struggling, time on the wing was opened up, and thus Bertans got back into the rotation. He has performed, too, averaging 23.7 fantasy points over the last five games in an amount that has increased game by game. Up to 38.9 fantasy points last time out, Bertans has good fantasy value if the injuries list permits it, so keep your eyes peeled on the news wires.
Power forward – Julius Randle, L.A. Lakers: $14.5 million
It is common knowledge in the public discourse that the Lakers are trying to trade Julius Randle, and it has been common knowledge in the private discourse for even longer. With this in mind, they are starting Randle every night, even though Randle’s lack of hustle goes against the ethos rebuilding teams are supposed to be trying to instill.
From a fantasy point of view, this need not concern us. We need only be concerned with the production, and there is quite a lot of it to be found. Over his last seven games, Randle has averaged 35.o fantasy points, and although there is inconsistency and a lot of variance to be found on the way (with a range from 18 to 55 and no consistent middle range), the opportunities should still be forthcoming. The Lakers have a month to trade Randle, and, having decided he is not a part of their future as he heads to free agency, they really want to do so. This benefits us, so consider him tonight and every night for a while.
Centre: Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings: $14.9 million
Cauley-Stein’s development as an offensive player continues. He has averaged 33.9 fantasy points over his last nine games, many of which have come via the significant developments in his scoring game. Last time out, Cauley-Stein recorded only 19.7 fantasy points, and another night like that tonight would not be good value. But the consistency of his recent form gives plenty of hope that he will get back into that range immediately.
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: Gordon Hayward (Boston), Isaiah Thomas, John Holland, Derrick Rose (Cleveland), Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari, Austin Rivers, Blake Griffin, Milos Teodosic (L.A. Clippers), Amir Johnson, Markelle Fultz, Justin Anderson, Furkan Korkmaz (Philadelphia), Harry Giles (Sacramento), Danny Green, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gay (San Antonio)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in!