There’s more Daily Fantasy NBA tonight on PlayON. Read Mark Deeks NBA preview to get yourself ready for tonight’s games.
Point guard – Mario Chalmers, Memphis Grizzlies: $7.5 million
With Mike Conley Jr out for a while, Chalmers gets the primary point guard role. In two Conley-less games thus far, Chalmers has averaged 26.3 fantasy points, recording big minutes even when shooting badly.
In yielding a good number of assists and steals per game, both high value statistics, Chalmers has fantasy value even when his shot is off.
Point guard – Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets: $10.2 million
After starting off badly, particularly in shooting the three-ball, Murray has very much warmed up.
Buoyed by two 30+ points outings in his last four games, he’s up to 14.1 points per game on the season averaging 22.3 real points and 29.9 fantasy points in that time.
While the outside stroke is still streaky – Murray has not made a three-pointer in seven out of his sixteen games, shooting a combined 0-28 in that time – a bad shooting outing last night might mean he is due a good one tonight. That tends to be the way with Murray.
Shooting guard – Lou Williams, L.A. Clippers: $16.6 million
As the Clippers implode around him, Williams is doing his best to stem the tide.
He is averaging 17.7 points and 3.4 assists per game, all from the bench, the only guard on the team able to get to the rim and finish regularly.
It appears that regardless of the injuries and struggles ahead of him, Williams is not an option to start, and $16.6 million is a lot for a bench player, even in fantasy. Nevertheless, he is currently performing sufficiently to be worth it.
Shooting guard – Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz: $11.0 million
Since becoming a starter six games ago, Mitchell has averaged 18.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.8 steals and 32.7 fantasy points per game.
Nowhere else on the slate can you get that much for this price, regardless of their position.
Small forward – Wesley Johnson, L.A. Clippers: $6.5 million
Johnson is doing better than usual on the embattled Clippers. He has not the talent to stop the rot, and his offensive talents remain highly marginal, especially since he has not shot the three-pointer well this season (28.2%).
Averaging 4.0 rebounds to go along with nearly a steal and a block per game, Johnson yields an 18 point fantasy average over the last ten, stand-out value in this price range.
While the 15 point, 7 rebound, 4 assist, 4 block, 3 steal, 50.2 fantasy point career night performance contained within that span is a clear-cut anomaly driving up the average, who else at this price gets enough minutes to even approach that.
Small forward – Taurean Prince, Atlanta Hawks: $10.2 million
Can’t stop suggesting him and won’t stop suggesting him. For comparison’s sake, look at the next most expensive small forward tonight, Thabo Sefolosha ($10.9 million).
Over his last ten games, Thabo has had fantasy point nights of 0, 5, 8.8, 12.9, 14.1 and 15.3. Whereas Prince’s lowest outing in the past ten has been 17.4, one of only two games in which he scored less than 20. He has also had two of more than 40 points.
Prince continues to vastly outperform his salary slot and should be picked.
Power forward – JaMychal Green, Memphis Grizzlies: $7.6 million
Green is back from injury, and, with Jarell Martin having offered very little in his stead, his starting spot was almost immediately given back to him.
In the two games since his return, he has posted 41 minutes, 23 points, 9 rebounds and nothing else, but perhaps a more accurate forecast can be gained from his numbers last season.
Averages of 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.0 turnovers per game equate to a fantasy points average of 21 points per game. For a mere $7.6 million, that is good value.
Power forward – Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz: $13.2 million
Sliding over to centre in Rudy Gobert’s absence has seen Favors’ numbers pick up across the board.
In the five Gobert-less games, Favors has averaged 15.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.8 blocks per game, averaging 35.3 fantasy points over those five compared to 16.4 over the five before it.
This is more by design than coincidence – Favors is needed to score the ball more on a depleted Jazz team, thus given more shots, and it is he in the middle that the defence funnels players to just as they would normally do for Gobert – so with Gobert out for a while, expect this fantasy uptick to continue.
Centre – Salah Mejri, Dallas Mavericks: $6.9 million
In today’s edition of Things That Feel Weird To Type, we can say with confidence that Mejri has won the rotation spot ahead of Nerlens Noel.
Mejri does not play much – he averages only 12.1 minutes per game, and his bigger nights are largely match-up dependent.
However, he produces extremely well per minute as a rebounder and shot blocker, and averages 19.3 fantasy points over the last eight games. You may therefore wish to pick Mejri as a very cheap fantasy option. But under absolutely no circumstances should you pick Noel.
Centre – Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings: $11.3 million
As the Kings shook things up after multiple heavy defeats, needing to find a better balance, Cauley-Stein was taken out of the starting line-up, a challenge to which he has responded.
Cauley-Stein has totalled 40 points, 19 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks and 2 assists over the last two bench games, for a 39.9 fantasy point averages, becoming an offensive focal point rather than a mere defensive specialist. If this is to be the new WCS way, buy it.
DO NOT PICK DUE TO INJURY/ABSENCE/SUSPENSION: Isaiah Taylor (Atlanta), Gordon Hayward (Boston), Julyan Stone (Charlotte), Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose, Tristan Thompson, Isaiah Thomas (Cleveland), Seth Curry, Josh McRoberts, Dorian Finney-Smith (Dallas), Jon Leuer (Detroit), Edmond Sumner, Glenn Robinson III (Indiana), Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Danilo Gallinari (L.A. Clippers), Tyreke Evans, Mike Conley, Brandan Wright, Wayne Selden (Memphis), Mirza Teletovic, Jabari Parker, Matthew Dellavedova (Milwaukee), Jamal Crawford, Justin Patton (Minnesota), Frank Jackson, Solomon Hill, Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans), Jonathan Isaac, Adreian Payne (Orlando), Nik Stauskas, Markelle Fultz, Justin Anderson, Jerryd Bayless (Philadelphia), Wade Baldwin, Al-Farouq Aminu, C.J. Wilcox (Portland), Vince Carter, Buddy Hield, Harry Giles (Sacramento), Kawhi Leonard, Derrick White, Tony Parker (San Antonio), Dante Exum, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gobert (Utah), John Wall, Sheldon Mac, Devin Robinson (Washington)