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.
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. Claim your free entry now.
Point guard – Terry Rozier, Boston Celtics: $10.0 million
Be warned that Rozier left in the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ previous game and is not actually yet guaranteed to play tonight. So keep an eye on the injury wire. If he does play, however, note two things – firstly, that Marcus Smart is out, opening up a lot of minutes for Rozier, and secondly, that he has played well of late, averaging 26.5 fantasy points over his last two games. Having a lesser share of the ball than most point guards, Rozier’s unconventional production can be streaky, yet he makes things happen and performs with minutes.
Shooting guard – Sterling Brown, Milwaukee Bucks: $5.5 million
Brown is the cheapest player we have ever recommended, or at least, he will be until you get further down this piece. The rookie is winning the backup wing battle off the bench, a battle that has been wide open all season, praying for someone to win it. In the absence of Malcolm Brogdon, Brown has played more, and has averaged 18.9 fantasy points over the past four games through some threes and some defence.
Small forward – Justin Anderson, Philadelphia 76ers: $6.0 million
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot ($6.0 million) is getting the starts in the absence of J.J. Redick, and has done well, averaging exactly 20.0 fantasy points over the last five. He would be a good pick here. But let us also recommend Anderson, who has averaged 22.1 fantasy points of his own over the last three. More athletic than Luwawu-Cabarrot, and more aggressive in his drives to the basket, Anderson is also much more wild and streaky. Pick your favourite, or pick neither, but both are solid plays.
Small forward – Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies: $7.9 million
Averaging 23.2 fantasy points over the past seven games, Brooks is in an increasingly senior role. Tyreke Evans is not currently around to set everybody up, but this does at least give everyone else the opportunity to try new things, all of which benefits us in fantasy. Brooks is one of them, and he is scoring more of late, thus recording decent fantasy nights any time he can also flank it with steals.
Power forward – Ivan Rabb, Memphis Grizzlies: $5.4 million
The new cheapest player we have ever picked, Rabb has been getting opportunities in the absences of JaMychal Green and Jarell Martin, opportunities that have continued even with Martin’s return. Averaging 15.3 fantasy points over the last three games, Rabb is showing some poise, mobility and ball-tracking instincts, along with touch from the mid-range areas and in, which gives hope to the future and value to the present.
Power forward – Maxi Kleber, Dallas Mavericks: $6.4 million
Kleber is the victim of quite a lot of variance in his output. A limited scorer, he is in to rebound and defend, yet as is the fickle nature of defending, not every night will post D translate into statistics. Blocks and steals are the highest value fantasy stats, yet are also not especially accurate captures of one’s defensive ability, and also are streaky to come by. Nevertheless, on nights that Kleber is getting them, such as the last two games (28.7 fantasy point average), then he has tremendous fantasy value.
Power forward – Marcus Morris, Boston Celtics: $10.7 million
Playing aggressive offensively this season, Morris has gotten his health and mobility back as the year has gone on, and is providing important points contributions to the Celtics. Spotting up wherever possible and getting some scrappy finishes inside, Morris has averaged 24.7 fantasy points over his past seven games. Whatever unit the Celtics run, Morris fits into it and is an important contributor as anything from a large wing to a really small ball centre.
Centre – Dwight Howard, Charlotte Hornets: $18.3 million
Howard is on a tear of late, posting numbers like those of his youth. He has averaged 51.3 fantasy points over the last eight games, fuelled by a torrent of blocked shots that he has not been on for a few years. Howard has blocked 3.3 shots per game in January, up to 1.8 per game on the season, compared to only 1.2 last season and o.8 in November. Considering that a 3.3 blocked shot per game average is worth 10 fantasy points to us in that one category alone, before flanking it with his always-huge rebounding numbers and a points tally that may be inefficiently scored but which at least comes in a high volume (Howard is getting the amount of post touches he wants, not the amount of post touches he merits), then it all combines to make a very valuable fantasy player.
Centre – John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks: $11.6 million
Henson has toiled away as the Bucks’ starting centre since the time of the Eric Bledsoe trade. Thon Maker has not been able to win the spot from the bench, and rumblings of upgrades at centre (more borne out of fan frustration with Henson’s limitations than rumours of actual movement) have not come to anything. To be sure, Henson is limited; athletic, rangy and willing, but with little feel to the game, no play away from the basket, and limited offensively to short hook shots. Nevertheless, from a fantasy perspective, Henson is averaging 29.8 fantasy points over the last three games, and is a fantasy option until the day he is upgraded.
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), Gordon Hayward, Guerschon Yabusele, Marcus Smart (Boston), Cody Zeller, Michael Carter-Williams (Charlotte), Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nerlens Noel, J.J. Barea, Devin Harris (Dallas), Paul Millsap, Tyler Lydon (Denver), T.J. Leaf, Glenn Robinson III (Indiana), JaMychal Green, Chandler Parsons, Deyonta Davis, Mike Conley, James Ennis, Tyreke Evans (Memphis), Okaro White, Rodney McGruder, Dion Waiters (Miami), Malcolm Brogdon, Mirza Teletovic, Jabari Parker (Milwaukee), Jerryd Bayless, Markelle Fultz, J.J. Redick, Furkan Korkmaz (Philadelphia), Alan Williams, Brandon Knight, Tyson Chandler, Alex Len (Phoenix)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in!