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 – Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards: $8.5 million
The secret is pretty much out on Satoransky right now – he is very good, and a very valuable starter in the absence of John Wall. His fantasy price however has still not risen by much to reflect that, and he thus remains a fantasy steal. Satoransky’s 39.8 fantasy point performance in yesterday’s game is essentially bang level with the 39.9 average he has put up over the last three games, and seemingly is his level right now. Buy him.
Point guard – Elfrid Payton, Phoenix Suns: $15.0 million
Payton’s move to the Suns has seen him contend with precious few others for minutes and ball-handling responsibilites, which in turn has massively benefitted his own production. Given freedom to play through errors given the lack of team incentive to win, Payton has averaged 41.3 fantasy points over the last three games, including a triple-double along the way. It might not entirely sustain, but the opportunity should.
Shooting guard – J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers: $8.2 million
The reshaping of the Cavaliers’ roster at the trade deadline has, unexpectedly, had the benefit of seemingly rejuvenating the play of Smith. Very much into the back end of his career now even if he does look exactly the same as always, Smith is (or was) partway through his second consecutive down season, yet perhaps looking over his shoulder at the new genuine competition for his spot has stirred a greater urgency within him. Or maybe it is merely a fluke of small sample sizes. Whatever the reasoning, Smith has averaged 28.5 fantasy points over the past three games, and is worth noting here.
Small forward – Jae Crowder, Utah Jazz: $8.4 million
Just as Smith seems to have benefitted from the Cavaliers’ series of trades, so too may have Crowder. Sent to the Jazz as a part of the overhaul, Crowder has been slotted into the role left open by Joe Johnson’s departure and Thabo Sefolosha’s injury, and has averaged 24.8 fantasy points in the two games he has played with them so far. It is of course still very early, but if Crowder can get back to his Boston-era production while still at a Cavaliers-era price, he should have fantasy value for a while.
Small forward – Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns: $10.3 million
Jackson was the breakout player of the first two weeks of February, and it should continue. He has averaged 35.9 fantasy points over his last eight games through a bevy of defence, rebounds, cuts and runs. And although the price has increased slightly, it is far too slight to ignore that level of production.
Power forward – Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks: $9.3 million
Over the past five games, Powell has recorded an average of 31.5 fantasy points. The Mavericks, as owner Mark Cuban was willing to admit, are going nowhere this season and are prepared to tank, a direction that involves playing the younger players. Powell is, or should be, part of that. If he is too good, he may have to be benched. Until such time when or if that happens, though, he is of value to us here.
Power forward – Nikola Mirotic, New Orleans Pelicans: $14.7 million
Always a better defender than his reputation suggests, or at least so this year, Mirotic is flanking his usual point and rebound production with some defensive contributions since arriving in New Orleans. He has averaged 46.3 fantasy points over the last three games, an excellent rate, and given how few frontcourt options the Pelicans have right now, he will continue to be called upon in a big way,.
Centre – Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers: $8.3 million
The Cavaliers’ roster readjustment has not detracted from Thompson’s role any – he is still the only centre in the rotation, and the best defensive big, so will play as many minutes as he earns. Four out of Thompson’s last six games have resulted in fantasy point performances in the 20+ point per game range. The others have been kind of washouts, a 13.8 performance and a 8.5 point performance that drag the average over that span down to 21.5. That range however is still value at this price.
Centre – Deyonta Davis, Memphis Grizzlies: $6.1 million
When healthy, Davis is playing a decent amount of minutes, one of the main benefactors of the Grizzlies’ commitment to playing their youth. Over his last four games, Davis has averaged 17.8 fantasy points per game, nearly tripling his cost in points, a level we are always interested in 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: Antonius Cleveland, Isaiah Taylor, Tyler Cavanaugh, Malcolm Delaney (Atlanta), Gordon Hayward, Jabari Bird, Shane Larkin (Boston), Kevin Love (Cleveland), Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith (Dallas), Tyler Lydon, Torrey Craig, Paul Millsap (Denver), Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Jon Leuer (Detroit), Darren Collison (Indiana), Avery Bradley, Jawun Evans, Pat Beverley (L.A. Clippers), Lonzo Ball, Channing Frye (L.A. Lakers), Mario Chalmers, Chandler Parsons, Wayne Selden, Mike Conley (Memphis), Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk (Miami), Mirza Teletovic, Matthew Dellavedova, Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee), Solomon Hill, Frank Jackson, DeMarcus Cousins, Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans), Tyson Chandler, Tyler Ulis, Brandon Knight, Alan Williams (Phoenix), C.J. Wilcox (Portland), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Lorenzo Brown (Toronto), Thabo Sefolosha, Dante Exum (Utah), John Wall (Washington)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in!