Read tonight’s Daily Fantasy preview from our NBA expert, Mark Deeks before setting your line ups.
Point guard – Jarrett Jack, New York Knicks: $6.9 million
Jack continues to get better this season. A 10 point, 8 assist, 5 rebound, 1 steal outing in his last game made for a 29 fantasy point night – his fourth 20+ point game in the last five.
With an average of 25.0 fantasy points over that span, Jack is increasingly productive for a tiny price. Most sub-$7 million players do not even play at all.
Point guard – Shaun Livingston, Golden State Warriors: $6.8million
Shooting guard – Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors: $18.2 million
While Livingston has not cracked the 10 fantasy point barrier in his last four games, he may start tonight’s game with Stephen Curry listed as ‘questionable’ due to a hand injury.
Keep your eyes open for updates on his status before deadline, because the last time Curry missed a game, Livingston posted 16 points and 6 assists on his way to 29.4 fantasy points.
Thompson is chosen for the same reason. He is, of course, a good pick every night, but in the potential absence of Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, he could explode for a huge night.
All three are listed as questionable, as is Andre Iguodala. While statistical averages suggests two of the four will play, losing either Curry or Durant will certainly mean increased offensive responsibility for Thompson.
The Warriors are also playing the Kings tonight, who rank 26th in defensive rating, and being particularly bad at defending the three-point shot (allowing 39.2% from there, the second worst mark in the league). Whoever can get the most shots up, then, figures to have a high fantasy impact tonight.
Shooting guard – Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets: $8.0 million
Even when including a mere 6 point performance three games ago, Harris has averaged 21.8 fantasy points over his last five games, and 20.4 over his last nine.
He may now further be buoyed if Allen Crabbe – who essentially plays the role of Designated Wing Shooter ahead of Harris – misses any more time due to injury.
The risk of picking players so cheap is that they may put up nights like that 6 at any time. But Harris has done enough lately to assuage those anxieties, and is a value pick candidate.
Small forward – DeMarre Carroll, Brooklyn Nets: $13.1 million
Carroll has been consistent this season, averaging 13.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game, the first two of which are on pace to be career highs.
His efficiency is down, due to some poor shooting in the paint – however, Carroll is making up for this by getting to the free throw line far better than ever before, and is back near his alert best on the defensive end.
Carroll looks rejuvenated this season, regularly outperforming his salary slot. If regular feature on this list Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (listed as “questionable” at the time of writing) misses tonight’s game after playing only 9 minutes last night due to injury, then Carroll could further experience a one game spike.
Small forward – Omri Casspi, Golden State Warriors: $6.9 million
Power forward – Jordan Bell, Golden State Warriors: $6.0 million
Power forward – Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors: $6.3 million
In Bell’s last ten fantasy games, he has recorded four games of 0, five others of less than 10 fantasy points, and one whopping 43.2 outing. His variance is significant, that much is obvious.
More of an athletic specimen than a skilled player at this stage, Bell is more beholden to luck and team play around him than calling his own shot.
More than anything, though, Bell has to answer to the score board. However productive he can be in his minutes, he does not get many unless there are injuries or blowout wins. With this in mind, consider selecting him in light of the aforementioned injuries the Warriors are going in with tonight. He may well start.
In contrast to Bell, Casspi and Looney are already playing and performing fairly regularly, even when the roster is healthy around them.
Looney’s slow but steady game features regularly in the rotation, posting an average of 13 fantasy points over the last ten games – rising to 16.3 if games of -1 and 0.7 are discounted.
Casspi, meanwhile, can top that with a 15 fantasy point average over the last ten, rising to a striking 23.2 over the past four.
Set up news alerts about Durant and Green’s injuries, because at least one of this forward trio stands to reap the rewards should they be absent.
Power forward – Noah Vonleh, Portland Trail Blazers: $7.6 million
Profiled before his last game, Vonleh came through again, recording 8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and a block for a 26 fantasy point night. At this price, this is a high yield, and with regular power forward starter Al-Farouq Aminu still out tonight through injury, Vonleh is once again a good potential fantasy value pick.
Centre – Tyler Zeller, Brooklyn Nets: $6.0 million
We have profiled Zeller in this space before, and when we did so, we remarked how he was given the chance to be a starter on account of the other options at the position being unavailable.
However, they are now all available again, and Zeller starts anyway. With Timofey Mozgov perhaps permanently relegated to the bench and rookie Jarrett Allen not ready for the full-time minutes, Zeller starts and has averaged 14.1 fantasy points over the past four games. It is not much, but it is possibly the best available for the minimum price at any position.
DO NOT PICK DUE TO INJURY/ABSENCE/SUSPENSION: Gordon Hayward (Boston), D’Angelo Russell, Jeremy Lin, Yakuba Ouattara, Allen Crabbe, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Brooklyn), Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Dorian Finney-Smith, Nerlens Noel, Seth Curry, Josh McRoberts, Wes Matthews (Dallas), Jon Leuer (Detroit), Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, Chris Boucher (Golden State), Nene, Zhou Qi (Houston), Victor Oladipo, Edmond Sumner, Glenn Robinson III (Indiana), Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari, Milos Teodosic (L.A. Clippers), Larry Nance Jr (L.A. Lakers), Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah (New York), Jonathan Isaac, Adreian Payne (Orlando), Nik Stauskas, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Justin Anderson (Philadelphia), Al-Farouq Aminu, Wade Baldwin, C.J. Wilcox (Portland), Harry Giles (Sacramento), Derrick White, Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio)