It’s the last big tournament slate of 2015, so let’s make it count! It is hard to believe that 2016 is almost here already, but time flies when you are having fun playing DFS. Here are some tournament targets to take a look at on this Wednesday evening. Be sure to check out the NBA Starting Lineups Page to ensure all your selections are playing before tipoff.
Top Play: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
The biggest boost in value with Blake Griffin on the shelf belongs to Chris Paul, who should enjoy some massive lines over the next few weeks. His production was great in the last game, but the Clippers blew out the Wizards, so he didn’t have to play down the stretch. Paul should be able to log 50+ fantasy point games with regularity in contests that stay close, and that should start tonight against the Hornets. This game has just a two point spread, and Paul is the best top-dollar target at the point guard spot.
Value Play: Shaun Livingston, Golden State Warriors
It is very difficult to write this article ahead of time today, because there is a plethora of injury news that will come out as the day goes along. Be sure to update your rosters as needed. As of now, it sounds like the Warriors might choose to let Stephen Curry rest for a couple of games. That will hand the point guard duties over to Shaun Livingston, and Livingston is priced like a bargain-basement option on almost every daily fantasy site. He has been playing around 20 minutes per game and should see a spike to 30+ if Curry sits out this evening. Keep an eye on the news and plug Livingston in as the best value play of the day if this happens.
Top Play: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Again, much of this article is predicated on the notion that Stephen Curry will not play tonight. If he sits out, the rest of the Golden State scorers will have to pick up the slack. That starts with fellow starting guard Klay Thompson. He draws a tough individual matchup with Wesley Matthews here, but the increased usage should be enough to make up for that. Golden State is projected to score 110 points in this game, and Thompson should be a big part of that offense.
Value Play: Gary Harris, Denver Nuggets
He doesn’t carry a sexy name brand value, but Gary Harris has quietly been producing for the Denver Nuggets in recent games. With the injuries to Emmanuel Mudiay and Danilo Gallinari hurting the depth of the squad, Harris is going to continue to play heavy minutes for the team. Given his cheap DFS price tag, he is worth a look in what should be an entertaining matchup against the Blazers.
Top Play: Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
Once again, this pick somewhat hinges upon an injury status. Hayward has been very solid over the last two games for the Jazz, and his usage will continue to spike should Derrick Favors miss another game. I think Hayward is in play regardless, but the appeal certainly boosts upward if Favors is out. This is a fine matchup with Minnesota, a team that ranks in the middle of the pack defensively against small forwards. This is a fairly tough spot to fill tonight, and Hayward is a fine option near the top. However, if you can afford Kawhi Leonard, he may be the pivot should Derrick Favors happen to suit up for the Jazz.
Value Play: Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks
The opportunity to buy low on Chandler Parsons is closing fast, so be sure to get in on the fun while you still can. He returned to the starting lineup for Dallas in their last game and played a healthy 37 minutes against the Bucks. They will likely keep his minutes in the mid-30’s range, but that is plenty of activity to give his fantasy value a boost. He is not priced like a player getting a full-time role, and he is in play tonight even though this isn’t the best matchup on paper against a very good Golden State squad. The cheap price and increased role are more than enough to outweigh the matchup for me.
Top Play: Thaddeus Young, Brooklyn Nets
In a strange twist of events, the power forward position is desperately lacking top-end options this evening, and that is rare on a full slate. Injury concerns linger over guys like Draymond Green (who is expected to play tonight) and Derrick Favors (who may or may not play tonight). This leads us to… Thaddeus Young!?!? It’s somewhat hard to believe, but Young has been a consistent fantasy force for the Nets so far this season. His minutes are secure, he is highly involved in the offense, and he has a good matchup against a weak interior for the Magic this evening. That’s enough to make him one of the top plays at a frustrating position to get a grasp on tonight.
Value Play: Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls
Value might be the route to take at power forward tonight, as this is where some of the safer value picks reside. Taj Gibson has seen quite the boost in playing time in the absence of Joakim Noah, and his typical steady production has followed. He even managed a solid fantasy game on Monday despite scoring just four actual points in the contest. He will likely be highly owned tonight, but don’t be afraid to take him even in a tournament lineup. There is something to be said for pairing some high-risk, high-reward picks with a few safe options here and there.
Top Play: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
The only qualm about Cousins this year has been his questionable shot selection, which has been a death sentence for his shooting percentage. The good news is that efficiency doesn’t matter in DFS formats, with the exception that it might lower his overall point totals on a nightly basis. In addition, Cousins draws a favorable matchup here with a Sixers team that has nobody capable of checking him. He should be fresh in his first game since being ejected after picking up five fouls and two technicals in twelve minutes the other night. This could be a “Boogie Night” that helps someone take down a big tournament.
Value Play: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Jokic has been inconsistent all year long, and the impending return of Jusuf Nurkic will further complicate matters in the Denver frontcourt. However, Jokic has played very well off the bench in recent games and has plenty of fantasy upside on a per-minute basis. There is a lot of risk to this pick, but there is potential reward for those willing to take on that risk. There isn’t much to love on the cheap at the center position, so give Jokic a look if you want to go for his upside at a low ownership percentage.