Read our NBA expert Mark Deeks before picking your daily fantasy line up for tonight.
Point guard – Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards: $6.3 million
John Wall’s injury has given the starts to Tim Frazier, yet it is third string point guard Tomas Satoransky who has taken the fullest advantage. Previously out of the rotation altogether, Satoransky is using his new-found court time to average 10.0 points, 5.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds over the past four games, for a fantasy points average of 24.0. Further impressive has been the fact that Satoransky, despite this new aggression on the court, has not committed a single turnover in that time. Frazier, meanwhile, has done little, and thus the rotation looks to be featuring a lot of Satoransky in the very immediate term.
Point guard – Jarrett Jack, New York Knicks: $7.9 million
If it is not too weird of a thing to say about a 34-year-old, Jack is breaking out. Given the point guard spot a few games into the season more out of necessity than design, Jack has visibly improved throughout the season, as can be seen in his statistical output. As he has rediscovered the confidence in his jump shot slightly, Jack averaged 5.9 points, 5.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds in November, and had 9/7/4 in his last game, for a fantasy point average of 21.9 over his last eight games. He will continue to start, and he will continue to do this.
Shooting guard – Alec Burks, Utah Jazz: $7.8 million
Super utility guy and Man With A Very Hard Career To Define Alec Burks is currently indispensable to his Jazz team. Backing up Donovan Mitchell, Burks is doing a fine job of actually being another Mitchell, being a hugely important half-court scorer via an array of pull-ups and timely dives, and recording a fantasy point average of 31.8 over the past five games. Nothing is ever consistent with Burks, but never before in recent memory has he had a hot streak this hot, nor has he looked this healthy and confident in a while. He represents tremendous value right now.
Shooting guard – David Nwaba, Chicago Bulls: $9.5 million
In his first and only game back from a month off with a hamstring injury, Nwaba got right back to work. He recorded 9 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists for a 26.3 fantasy point average, displaying all his usual athleticism and not looking slowed by injury or rust at all. Neither a halfcourt creator nor much of a finisher outside of the athletic ones, it is Nwaba’s physical profile and energy that seems him yield any return on the court, which luckily are two things he has every night. Fred Hoiberg has to find a spot in his line-up for one so dynamic, energetic and (now) productive, and you should consider it too.
Small forward – Michael Beasley, New York Knicks: $7.5 million
We had chosen Beasley for this list prior to the Knicks’ last game, but his candidacy was buoyed by a late injury and scratch to Tim Hardaway Jr, a move which bumped Beasley up to the starting line-up. Beasley responded with another 21 point outing, looking very athletic in the process, and although those 21 points yielded only 24.1 fantasy points due to Beasley’s tendency to fill up only one part of the stat sheet, that is enough for strong fantasy value at this price.
Power forward – Maxi Kleber, Dallas Mavericks: $6.2 million
The rookie Kleber has started the last few games at power forward, and has held the former turnstile of a fifth starter spot down for eight games in a row now. Despite his own limited production, the Mavericks seem to do better with Kleber in the line-up, as evidenced by their 4-4 record with him starting (as opposed to 2-13 without). And while it is his own production we are to be concerned with here in fantasy, there is nevertheless enough there to entertain the idea of picking him as a very deep pick; long, athletic and defensive-minded, Kleber averages 5.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game as a starter, with a 15.4 fantasy point average over the last four games. Once he adjusts to the NBA three-point line, expect further improvements here.
Power forward – Jonas Jerebko, Utah Jazz: $6.7 million
This might be the last time we pick Jerebko on account of Rudy Gobert likely returning to action later this week. Yet we do so anyway due to his continuing good value as a starter. Averaging 9.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in that role, Jerebko’s headiness and high IQ for finding the open spot both around the basket and from the perimeter has stretched the floor for the Jazz team, in the process both reinvigorating the career of Derrick Favors and averaging 15 fantasy points of his own over the last ten games.
Centre – Mason Plumlee, Denver Nuggets: $12.1 million
Spraining his ankle two games ago, Nikola Jokic will again miss tonight’s action, thus opening up a spot for his backup, Last time out, Plumlee immediately responded with a 12 point, 6 rebound, 6 assist performance entirely consistent with his numbers as a starter for Portland last season (11.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.1 blocks). If he were to post those averages again, those would make for a fantasy point average of 30 per game. At this price, that would be extremely nice. And on a high-paced and undermanned Nuggets team built around passing from the centre spot, it Is entirely realistic in the immediate term, too.
Centre – Miles Plumlee, Atlanta Hawks: $6.0 million
Similarly, Mason’s brother Miles is suddenly in fantasy contention due to injuries ahead of him. With all of Dewayne Dedmon, John Collins and Mike Muscala out with injury, Plumlee – who had only played two games all year himself until this point due to his own injuries but also through simply not being needed – responded with a very energetic and effective game at both ends. Playing a shade under 20 minutes, Plumlee put up 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 assists versus Brooklyn, good for 23.4 fantasy points. Despite the wide variance in his role throughout his career, Plumlee generally responds with rebounds and post defence whenever he is given significant minutes for a stretch of games. He may now be about to be.
DO NOT PICK DUE TO INJURY/ABSENCE/SUSPENSION: Dewayne Dedmon, John Collins, Mike Muscala (Atlanta), Gordon Hayward (Boston), Yakuba Ouattara, D’Angelo Russell, Jeremy Lin (Brooklyn), Julyan Stone (Charlotte), Nikola Mirotic, Cameron Payne, Zach LaVine (Chicago), Isaiah Thomas, Tristan Thompson, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert (Cleveland), Dorian Finney-Smith, Seth Curry, Josh McRoberts, Nerlens Noel (Dallas), Nikola Jokic, Wilson Chandler, Paul Millsap (Denver), Jon Leuer (Detroit), Andre Iguodala, Chris Boucher (Golden State), Edmond Sumner, Glenn Robinson III (Indiana), Wayne Selden, Brandan Wright, Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons (Memphis), Mirza Teletovic, Matthew Dellavedova, Jabari Parker (Milwaukee), Justin Patton, Nemanja Bjelica (Minnesota), Anthony Davis, Alexis Ajinca, Frank Jackson, Solomon Hill (New Orleans). Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr (New York), Jonathan Isaac, Adreian Payne, Terrence Ross (Orlando), Justin Anderson, Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia), Brandon Knight, Davon Reed, Alan Williams (Phoenix), Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gay, Kyle Anderson (San Antonio), Danta Exum, Rudy Gobert, Joe Johnson, Rodney Hood, Raul Neto (Utah), John Wall, Sheldon Mac (Washington)