Welcome to another edition of our NBA Preview here at PlayON’s Daily Fantasy Focus.
Below is a breakdown of my top 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.
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Point guard – Jerian Grant, Chicago Bulls: $10.1 million
Point guard – Ryan Arcidiacono, Chicago Bulls: $6.0 million
Kris Dunn missed the last game with a concussion suffered in a particularly nasty fall, and Grant got the start at point guard in his stead. Despite previously losing his spot to Dunn and reportedly being on the trading block, Grant consistently does a pretty solid job of playing within his limitations, and he recorded 26.2 fantasy points in this start, a number he can surely get again. Meanwhile, with Cam Payne also out and Kay Felder waived, two-way player Arcidiacono became an NBA backup point guard for one night, and did fairly well. Undynamic and barely able to get into the lane, Arcidiacono nevertheless gave his usual gritty defensive effort and stuck his jumpers, recording 17 fantasy points on the night. His second NBA rotation minutes went much better than his first, and he has earned another go.
Shooting guard – Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Philadelphia 76ers: $6.2 million
Although Jerryd Bayless got the starts initially in the absence of J.J. Redick, the extra starting guard spot went to Luwawu-Cabarrot the last time out, and he looked rather poised in this new role. Such poise has been rare from a player who has been known to force the action at times – nevertheless, in spotting up at the right times and driving closeouts when needs be, Luwawu-Cabarrot has become a decent wing fifth scoring option of late. In his spot start, TLC recorded a very healthy 16 points and 22.6 fantasy points, more than earning another go-around tonight.
Shooting guard – Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks: $18.2 million
Shooting guard – Lou Williams, L.A. Clippers: $18.2 million
Williams and Middleton play the same position and are available for the fantasy price. And of late, both have been on a tear, particularly in their last games. Williams’s scoring tear has been well documented of late in this space and many others, yet he took his fantasy point production to the next level in the Clippers’ last game by flanking his usual production with a massive ten steals, for what was in total a colossal 70.9 fantasy point night. The steals were of course an anomaly, but the fantasy value isn’t. Meanwhile, subbing in for Giannis Antetokounmpo as the half-court go-to guy, Middleton recorded a triple double last time out, the offence running primarily through him rather than Eric Bledsoe in a way it will need to again tonight as well.
Pick either, sure, but don’t rule out picking both.
Shooting guard – Wayne Selden, Memphis Grizzlies: $6.2 million
The Grizzlies are decimated by both injuries and illness right now, with potentially nine players missing for tonight’s game. Selden saw this as an opportunity to come in, be aggressive, and play big minutes as a much needed bench contributor. And he really pulled that off, recording 31 points and 34.4 fantasy points as a seventh man. Selden has always been shot-happy, but the shot quality is there to match it now, and with the injury list only getting longer (with Dillon Brooks subsequently joining the list, someone we were otherwise going to list as a value pick tonight), Selden will get the opportunity for more of the same. We can rest assured that he will try to get you points.
Small forward – Wesley Johnson, L.A. Clippers: $9.6 million
Power forward – Montrezl Harrell, L.A. Clippers: $8.0 million
Also struggling with injuries are the Clippers, who have given Harrell much more time at the centre spot in the absence of DeAndre Jordan, and who are quite prepared to let Johnson catch and shoot some of Lou Williams’s passes amid his season-long Allen Iverson impression. Harrell was quieter than usual last time out, but his 16.6 fantasy point performance took his five game average down only to a still-impressive 29.3 fantasy points per game, while Johnson has seen his fantasy point total increase for five consecutive games now, averaging 24.8 over the last four. Both will get more chances tonight, and with their prices stagnated, both should be on your radar, especially Harrell.
Power forward – Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, Houston Rockets: $8.4 million
Power forward – Ryan Anderson, Houston Rockets: $10.9 million
It should be noted that the returns from suspension of both Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green will happen tonight, which might affect the minutes, production and fantasy value of any Rockets frontcourt player, these two included. Nevertheless, the defensive-minded Mbah A Moute has averaged 23.2 fantasy points in the two games since his return from injury, while the jumpshooting Anderson has rebounded better of late on his way to a four game fantasy point average of 25.3. Anderson’s price has toppled as his production has gone down, which it has done now for a few years, but it has gotten so low now that he can have value at this price.
Power forward – Skal Labissiere, Sacramento Kings: $8.2 million
The Kings are said to be recommitted to playing their young players, and Labissiere certainly is one of those. Labissiere’s play has picked up of late with a 25.5 fantasy point average over his last three games, and while he has shot pretty darn poorly all season on the mid-range jump shots that are supposed to be a staple of his Aldridge-light game, he is about to get plenty of opportunity to turn that around.
Power forward – Ivan Rabb, Memphis Grizzlies: $6.0 million
Centre – Deyonta Davis, Memphis Grizzlies: $6.4 million
We were going to list both JaMychal Green and Jarell Martin here, as both halves of the Grizzlies’ power forward rotation have been playing well of late. However, bitten by the injury and illness bugs that have affected the entire team, both are likely to miss tonight, with Green already definitely ruled out. Rabb thus becomes a possible low-price fantasy pick tonight – the wiry rebounder and finisher has played little on the season to date, but now would be the ideal time to see what he has at an NBA level. That is all Memphis has left to play for, so they might as well go for it now.
Centre – Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat: $9.3 million
As always, consider Adebayo here as he continues his development into a featured offensive player. Also consider shooting guard Wayne Ellington ($8.4 million) – prices for key Heat rotation players have not gone up despite the fact that their importance to their team has.
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: DeAndre Bembry (Atlanta), Cody Zeller (Charlotte), Kris Dunn, Cameron Payne (Chicago), Nerlens Noel, Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith (Dallas), Paul Millsap, Kenneth Faried (Denver), Chinanu Onuaku, Zhoi Qi (Houston), Austin Rivers, Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari, C.J. Williams, DeAndre Jordon (L.A. Clippers), Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, JaMychal Green, Dillon Brooks, Mario Chalmers, Andrew Harrison, Jarell Martin, James Ennis, Brandan Wright (Memphis), Goran Dragic, Rodney McGruder, Okaro White, Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson (Miami), Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Mirza Teletovic (Milwaukee), Frank Jackson, Alexis Ajinca, Tony Allen, Solomon Hill (New Orleans), Jerryd Bayless, J.J. Redick, Markelle Fultz, Furkan Korkmaz (Philadelphia), Brandon Knight, Alan Williams, Marquese Chriss (Phoenix), C.J. Wilcox (Portland), Frank Mason, Harry Giles (Sacramento), Dante Exum, Rodney Hood, Thabo Sefolosha (Utah), Sheldon Mac (Washington)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in!