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.
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Point guard – Emmanuel Mudiay, New York Knicks: $7.1 million
Following his trade to the Knicks, Mudiay has been given the opportunity by the team to play through his problems. With Jarrett Jack always more situational than essential, Frank Ntilikina still struggling offensively and Trey Burke brought in only because Mudiay had not been acquired yet, the spot was certainly open. Averaging 21.4 fantasy points in his three games thus far, Mudiay is tripling his cost in points, which is always a healthy barometer for fantasy value.
Point guard – Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards: $7.5 million
Before suffering a concussion after a nasty fall, Satoransky had been on a pre-All-Star break tear as John Wall’s fill-in. He averaged 36.9 fantasy points in the three games immediately prior, doing so with contributions all across the stat sheet. Pretty athletic, smart and certainly skilled, Satoransky should have a big role for the team going forward even when Wall is back.
Shooting guard – Allen Crabbe, Brooklyn Nets: $10.6 million
Crabbe’s career-long streakiness has given way in his last few games to a marked consistency. He has put up four consecutive fantasy point performances in the 30s, and averaged 35.6 fantasy points in that span, with an unrelenting confidence in his outside stroke even if he never eally does all that much else around it. With D’Angelo Russell back, the Nets’ guard rotation figures to be pretty full once Caris LeVert is also back (and even fuller still next season should Jeremy Lin return). Crabbe perhaps figures he is thus playing for his job. Whatever is making him this assertive in hunting his shot, though, it is currently working.
Small forward – Paul Zipser, Chicago Bulls: $5.7 million
They cannot come out and explicitly say it, because as Mark Cuban demonstrated, to do so is to receive a heavy fine. But the Bulls are tanking the remainder of the season. In amongst the teams in the mad rush for the bottom, but slightly outside of the prime positions after too many accidental wins, the Bulls are redoubling their losing efforts post-All Star break and benching Justin Holiday and Robin Lopez, on account of their being too darn solid. Zipser, it has been announced, will instead start. And although Zipser’s lack of speed makes him a very limited NBA player, the only concern here is whether he will do enough from a fantasy perspective to have value. Given that he is to start, he might.
Small forward – Mario Hezonja, Orlando Magic: $9.5 million
In the two games immediately prior to the All-Star break, Hezonja recorded an average of 47.4 fantasy points per game, on the back of two 20+ real point performances. Even when Terrence Ross returns, Hezonja has surely now won his spot.
Small forward – Michael Beasley, New York Knicks: $12.2 million
With Kristaps Porzingis out, Beasley has had a share of the scoring load to pick up, a task which he is as accepting of as ever. Averaging 35.9 fantasy points over his last four games, Beasley is scoring the ball plenty, and rebounding like a power forward as well. Anything else is a bonus.
Power forward – Larry Nance, Cleveland Cavaliers: $11.2 million
Nance’s much-needed defensive addition already looks to be an important one, and a beneficial one for him as an individual. He has averaged 28.1 fantasy points in his two Cavaliers games thus far, with his usual bevy of high-value defensive statistics and some rebounds. Playing with LeBron James should improve his points totals, too, and until Kevin Love comes back and rejigs the rotation, Nance should play a big role going forward, and play it well.
Centre – Cristiano Felicio, Chicago Bulls: $5.6 million
As above with Zipser, Felicio will start indefinitely in a bid to aid the tank. Felicio has been poor all year and taken out of the rotation due to his sheer ineffectiveness, always a limited offensive player but also being unimpactful defensively except for fouling, and not rebounding enough to overcome either. That said, having just given him $32 million last offseason, the Bulls have an investment to protect. And so even if Felicio remains poor from here on out – and given the lack of spacing that will be around him, this seems very plausible – he will get minutes. At his low price, even nights like six points, four rebounds and a steal would be good value.
Centre – Ian Mahinmi, Washington Wizards: $6.0 million
Before the All-Star break, Mahinmi was in the best stretch of his overall poor season. Averaging 18.3 fantasy points over the last seven games, Mahinmi was an unlikely beneficiary of the increased ball movement the Wizards have enjoyed without John Wall. Still a very limited offensive player, Mahinmi has at least been able to catch and finish a bit more regularly, giving him low end fantasy value here.
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: Caris LeVert, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jeremy Lin (Brooklyn), Malik Monk (Charlotte), Kevin Love (Cleveland), Jordan Bell, Pat McCaw (Golden State), Avery Bradley, Jawun Evans, Pat Beverley (L.A. Clippers), Joakim Noah, Ron Baker, Kristaps Porzingis (New York), Andre Roberson (Oklahoma City), Jonathan Isaac, Terrence Ross (Orlando), Justin Anderson, Demetrius Jackson, Furkan Korkmaz, Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia), Harry Giles, Iman Shumpert (Sacramento), John Wall (Washington)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in!