Welcome to another edition of our NBA Preview here at PlayON’s Daily Fantasy Focus.
Below is a breakdown of my line-up 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 – Yogi Ferrell, Dallas Mavericks: $10.3 million
Ferrell has over the last three games significantly boosted his fantasy value. Over that span, Ferrell is averaging 30.6 fantasy points, fuelled by 16 real points per game and surprisingly buoyant rebounding numbers – indeed, last time out, he moved into the starting line-up. The idea, it would appear, is that few if any opponents will be able to keep up with a barrage of smaller quicker guards, and that if Dallas as a team are going to have significant defensive problems regardless, they might as well try to outscore the opposition anyway. That bodes well for Ferrell if it continues – even if it doesn’t, he has value when this productive anyway. What will also help his cause here is the fact that fellow small guard J.J Barea, normally the main playmaker behind Dennis Smith Jr, is out tonight, thus bestowing the chance for Ferrell to get more assists than usual.
Shooting guard – C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers: $18.0 million
In Damian Lillard’s absence, McCollum picked up an increased scoring load, as would be expected from a second-star type of player. Over the past ten games, McCollum has averaged 39.3 fantasy points, and while he recorded only 18 real points and 19 fantasy points last time out (the average increases to 41.5 over his previous nine games if this one outlier is removed), a significant reason for picking McCollum is his opponent. The Blazers will play the Phoenix Suns tonight, and in addition to playing at a high pace, the Suns cannot stop anybody. They particularly cannot stop scoring guards like McCollum, and he could feast.
Shooting guard – Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves: $20.5 million
Over his past nine games, Butler has averaged 44.7 fantasy points, with more high-value assists and steals than usual. Five consecutive double-digit wins for the Timberwolves have limited his usually-enormous minute tallies, but that cannot be accounted for, and even then, Butler is recording sufficient output to have fantasy value. He gets more defensive stats than others in his price range, too, which maximises the potential for particularly high individual nights.
Small forward – Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns: $9.8 million
Helped by the injury to T.J Warren, Jackson has moved into a bigger role of late, and has finally put a few consecutive decent performances together as opposed to the one-off games he had posted earlier in the year. Over the last four games, Jackson has averaged 28.4 fantasy points, becoming more aggressive offensively and looking more comfortable with the increased range of the NBA three-pointer. Jackson will be one of the players (if not the main player) charged with the task of chasing C.J. McCollum around, which will be a thankless task, but this should guarantee him a good amount of minutes, something he has been receiving of late anyway.
Power forward – Trey Lyles, Denver Nuggets: $10.6 million
The Trey Lyles Tremendous Fantasy Value Game streak is over. Last time out, Lyles recorded only 3 points, 5 rebounds and 9.5 fantasy points, and was the opposite of his usual effective, efficient self. Still, the whole Nuggets team other than Nikola Jokic was similarly ineffective on this night, shooting 34.9% on their way to a 32 point loss against the San Antonio Spurs. Anomalously terrible performances will happen, and Lyles just had his. It is therefore safe enough to assume that he will be back to his best tonight, and that best is a baseline of mid- to high-20s performances, rising through the 30s and 40s. As ever, take advantage of this market inefficiency.
Centre – Bismack Biyombo, Orlando Magic: $8.4 million
At the time of writing, 60% of fantasy players have picked Biyombo in their line-ups tonight, and with good reason. For the price of a tenth man, Biyombo is starting and playing the best basketball of his career. Last time out, Biyombo posted a 20/10 game, recording 21 points and 13 rebounds, the first such time he has achieved this milestone in his career. Around him, the Magic are falling apart, almost dead last in both offensive and defensive rating, yet his own performance and his fantasy value are greatly benefitting from the increased playing time Nikola Vucevic’s injury has availed him. If you are not one of the 60%, do so now – considering how large of a number that is, picking Biyombo has little downside. After all, if he strikes out, no one gains any advantage.
Centre: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves: $22.1 million
Biyombo’s matchup tonight will be against Towns. And while he is adept at defending the perimeter, Biyombo is not as good away from the basket, somewhere to which Towns can drag him. This, then, is not a good match-up for him. Towns is played well of late, averaging 45.4 fantasy points over his last nine games, and doing so without his usual blocked shot numbers. Were he getting those at his usual rate, Towns will be in the low 50s for an average, an eye-catching numbers even at this price. Being able to help off of Biyombo tonight might help with 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: Gordon Hayward (Boston), Nerlens Noel, Dorian Finney-Smith, Seth Curry, J.J. Barea (Dallas), Paul Millsap (Denver), Frank Jackson, Solomon Hill, Alexis Ajinca, Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson (New Orleans), Terrence Ross, Nikola Vucevic, Jonathan Isaac (Orlando), Brandon Knight, Alan Williams, Marquese Chriss, Josh Jackson, T.J Warren (Phoenix), Shabazz Napier, C.J. Wilcox (Portland)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in!