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 – Dwight Buycks, Detroit Pistons: $7.0 million
Buycks is still getting a useful role in the Pistons rotation, when healthy. Stan van Gundy has more trust in him than he does Langston Galloway, and Buycks is responding with fairly consistent bench performances. Averaging 19.0 fantasy points over the last three, Buycks has value to the team and for us in fantasy, and moving Avery Bradley in the trade for Blake Griffin will only help with that.
Point guard – Tomas Satoransky, Wasington Wizards: $6.4 million
Three straight fantasy point performances in the 20s in three straight starts have seen Sato averaged 24.7 fantasy points per game, which is great value at this near-minimum price. John Wall is out long term, and thus this will not be a one-off pick.
Point guard – Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs: $9.6 million
Despite a low performance last time out and the sneak small increases in his price that will eventually prevent him having this good of value, Murray is still the point guard pick of the night. With five of his last seven performances yielding fantasy point totals above 30 – and one above 50 – he is value until proven otherwise, and even if a match-up with the Utah Jazz will be a slow-paced, defensive affair, that will quite suit a rebounder and steals hawk like Murray.
Shooting guard – Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards: $18.8 million
Satoransky and his reserve Tim Frazier might be getting the point guard minutes, and doing well with them relative to their own abilities, but neither of them can do what John Wall can. Beal kind of can, however, and has taken on a bigger role in his absence. Over the last four games, Beal has averaged 48.7 fantasy points through this increased offensive responsibility, and while that number features quite a lot of variance, the upside is there.
Small forward – Reggie Bullock, Detroit Pistons: $7.6 million
Bullock’s consistent if one dimensional fantasy production continues. Over the last three games, Bullock has averaged 24.3 fantasy points, and while he pretty much only records points via jump shots, he records enough of them. We always talk about how all shooters are streaky, but Bullock really doesn’t seem to be.
Small forward – Mario Hezonja, Orlando Magic: $7.0 million
Notwithstanding the below (see Marreese Speights), Hezonja is back into Valuable Reserve territory with Terrence Ross, Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon out. Over the last three games, Hezonja has averaged 25.1 fantasy points – he is never consistent, but he is often useful.
Power forward – Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, Houston Rockets: $8.0 million
Mbah A Moute has been starting at small forward in the absence of Trevor Ariza, and with Ariza out long term, he may well do so for a while. He even played some shooting guard minutes last game with Eric Gordon also unavailable, and while that is probably not the best idea, every minute played does at least give him fantasy value. Averaging 18.9 fantasy points over the last three games, Mbah A Moute is never hugely productive, but if he is getting big minutes, he will have value at this price.
Power forward – Zach Randolph, Sacramento Kings: $13.4 million
Elder statesman Zach has been playing well of late. He does not play every game – he, like all veteran Kings, is privy to the rotational benching system the team are employing, and so look out for that. But if he does play, he might perform in the realm of the 33.2 fantasy points he has averaged over the last four games. As ever, with no blocked shot numbers to his credit, Randolph will have to do it with his scoring and rebounding. But he can still do that.
Centre – Marreese Speights, Orlando Magic: $6.1 million
Frank Vogel, head coach of the Orlando Magic, is still trying to win every game that he can. This means that, if playing the veterans is the way to go, then that is what he will do. And so despite the best efforts of Khem Birch and Mario Hezonja, Vogel feels that in the absence of Aaron Gordon, the shot-happy Speights is the way to go at power forward. Speights can shoot the ball and certainly tries, which from a fantasy point of view meant a 29.2 fantasy point average over the last two games. All Speights needs to succeed in fantasy is minutes, because he will always, always shoot.
Centre – Channing Frye, Cleveland Cavaliers: $5.9 million
It would appear Frye’s resurgence was not only one game long. He has played significant minutes in each of the last three games, and averaged 26.6 fantasy points along the way. Frye is not just spotting up, either, having plays run for him and taking on a part of what the team has lost with Kevin Love’s broken hand. With Love out for a while, Frye might be on our radars for a while.
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: John Holland, Kevin Love (Cleveland), Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nerlens Noel (Dallas), Tyler Lydon, Paul Millsap, Mason Plumlee (Detroit), Jon Leuer, Reggie Jackson (Detroit), David West, Shaun Livingston, Jordan Bell (Golden State), Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza (Houston), Myles Turner, Glenn Robinson III (Indiana), Lonzo Ball (L.A. Lakers), Rodney McGruder, Okaro White, Dion Waiters, Udonis Haslem, Hassan Whiteside (Miami), DeMarcus Cousins, Solomon Hill, Alexis Ajinca, Frank Jackson (New Orleans), Aaron Gordon, Terrence Ross, Jonathan Isaac, Nikola Vucevic (Orlando), Markelle Fultz, Furkan Korkmaz (Philadelphia), Frank Mason, Skal Labissiere, Harry Giles, Malachi Richardson (Sacramento), Rudy Gay, Kawhi Leonard, Brandon Paul (San Antonio), Dante Exum, Thabo Sefolosha, Rodney Hood (Utah), John Wall, Sheldon Mac (Washington)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in!