The NBA All-Star Break is right around the corner. There will be daily fantasy basketball leagues up until Wednesday, but after that, we have an entire week until the next slate of games.
We are all going to miss the action, so make sure to join some FanDuel leagues over the next few days. Today’s column is focused on my favorite plays in cash games.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $250,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday's NBA games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers (Salary: $9400, FPPG: 39.7, MPG: 35, Usage Rate: 22.6)
With Blake Griffin out for the foreseeable future, Paul is going to have to shoulder the load offensively. In his first start without Griffin, Paul had 18 points, 6 rebounds and 13 assists. His usage rate is going to rise and so will his daily fantasy production. This is a great opportunity to target Paul before his price goes up. He also draws a favorable matchup against the Mavericks, who have struggled to contain opposing point guards this season.
John Wall, Washington Wizards (Salary: $9000, FPPG: 39.1, MPG: 36, Usage Rate: 24.9)
Even though the Magic fired coach Jacque Vaughn, they are still playing at a very quick pace. Over the last three weeks, they have played at the eighth-fastest pace in the NBA. That bodes well for Wall and the Wizards, whose team total on the NBA odds board is set at 103.3 points tonight. Wall should excel in a plus matchup against a Magic team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.
Additional Plays: Jeff Teague, Jose Juan Barea
Monta Ellis, Dallas Mavericks (Salary: $7900, FPPG: 31.9, MPG: 34, Usage Rate: 28.6)
Rajon Rondo is out through the All-Star Break, which means we will continue to see a heavy usage from Ellis. Over the last week, his usage rate is just under 30.0, which is coming close to superstar status. Ellis has scored at least 35 fantasy points in three of his last five games and draws a favorable matchup against the Clippers, who have struggled to contain talented scorers on the wing.
Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers (Salary: $5000, FPPG: 22.7, MPG: 27, Usage Rate: 28)
Coach Doc Rivers said that he would be hesitant to play J.J. Redick tonight, even if trainers clear him. The Clippers have no reason to rush him back with the All-Star Break right around the corner. Blake Griffin will also miss tonight’s game, which makes Crawford the number two or three option offensively. His price is reasonable, and he is the king of garbage time.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder (Salary: $10700, FPPG: 40.2, MPG: 34, Usage Rate: 29.2)
Durant played only 29 minutes against the Clippers on Sunday, but still managed to fill up the stat sheet with 29 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Tonight the Thunder travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets in a game that features a close spread. Assuming the Nuggets can keep it close, Durant should play close to 40 minutes tonight. We need to take advantage of the sub-$11K price tag while we still can.
Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks (Salary: $6400, FPPG: 26.2, MPG: 33, Usage Rate: 20.5)
Parsons has quietly played well over the last three weeks, averaging 29 fantasy points in 33 minutes per game. He is starting to become the stat-stuffing small forward that we came to know from his time in Houston. Parsons draws a favorable matchup tonight against the Clippers, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season.
Chris Bosh, Miami Heat (Salary: $7700, FPPG: 33.6, MPG: 35, Usage Rate: 28.9)
Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside are both listed as questionable for tonight. Bosh sees a sizable uptick in usage and production with these two players off the floor. If Whiteside one or both are ruled out, Bosh will be the primary option offensively for the Heat. He should be able to exploit his matchup tonight against the makeshift frontcourt of the Knicks.
Thaddeus Young, Minnesota Timberwolves (Salary: $6800, FPPG: 27.4, MPG: 33, Usage Rate: 21.3)
The Wolves have been adamant that they will not play Nikola Pekovic in back-to-back situations. He played last night against the Pistons, which means he will likely get tonight off. His absence will give a boost to both Thaddeus Young and Gorgui Dieng. Young should see close to 40 minutes of action tonight against the Hawks. He is also coming off of a great three-week stretch, where he averaged 33 fantasy points in 37 minutes per game.
Spencer Hawes, Los Angeles Clippers (Salary: $3500, FPPG: 14.2, MPG: 18, Usage Rate: 18.3)
Hawes is the chalk play at center tonight in cash games. With Blake Griffin out (and Glen Davis likely out too), he will draw another start at power forward tonight against the Mavericks. Hawes scored a season-high 17 points in yesterday’s start and should be able to improve on that performance tonight. He is a low-risk, high reward play at minimum salary.