• Every Thursday Moose highlights some of the best core plays at each price tier for both Cash Games and GPPs.  Feel free to reach out to Moose on Twitter at @MooseBeLoose9 if you have any questions.


    Jusuf Nurkic (C) – Portland Trail Blazers $7,600


    Nurkic has been great since he joined the Blazers.  Always an elite per minute producer, Portland fans have been enjoying the great production out of their new big man that DFS players always knew Nurkic was capable.  Tonight, he draws a great matchup at home vs a weak New York front court.  He carries very high rebounding upside vs a Knick’s team ranking 30th in defensive rebounding.  Facing a bottom six defense with a healthy 114.5 team total, Portland is a team I will be looking to get exposure to on this 5-game slate.


    C.J. McCollum (PG/SG) – Portland Trail Blazers $7,200


    Vegas projects Portland for the highest team total on the slate along with the second highest team total compared to season average.  The third highest projected team is projected to score almost 13 points less than the Blazers.  The Knicks have given up their fair share of monstrous games to shooting guards this season.  On a slate void of many studs in great spots, C.J. McCollum at a great price of $7,200 on DraftKings has upside to be the highest scoring player on the slate.   This potential at such a cheap price at the shooting guard position is very enticing for GPPs.


    Damian Lillard (PG) – Portland Trail Blazers $9,800


    Lillard ranks as both the 3rd best player to spend up on, and the 3rd Blazer to make this write up.  The spread indicates possible blowout risk.  However, in late season NBA DFS we are looking for teams that have something to play for.  We can expect Lillard to have nearly a 0% chance of resting and upside to play 40 minutes with Portland looking to make a playoff push.  He is easier to fit in on FanDuel where it is very reasonable to play all three Blazers in cash.


    Alan Williams (C) – Phoenix Suns $5,700


    Big Sauce produces 1.29 fantasy points a minute.  For comparison, this level of fantasy production places him up there with Chris Paul (1.33) Kawhi Leonard (1.28) and Lillard (1.21) as one of the highest per minute fantasy producers on the slate.  Williams does carry some risk, however, having missed Tuesday’s game in Miami with a stomach flu.  This risk is mitigated by how highly he projects in a dream matchup with Brooklyn.  Underpriced at $5,700, he faces a Brooklyn team that is first in pace, 23rd in Defense, and 22nd in defensive efficiency versus Centers.  Brooklyn’s 28th ranking in offensive put-backs sets up as a smash spot for the elite offensive rebounder.  If 100% healthy, Big Sauce is far and away the best play on the slate.  If Williams should miss, Len steps in as the highest per dollar projected play on the slate and Marquese Chriss becomes an elite tournament and cash play.


    Jeremy Lin (PG) – Brooklyn Nets $5,600


    Very rarely does Vegas rate Brooklyn as a favorite.  Facing a tanking Phoenix team, the Nets come in as a 4-point favorite with the second highest team total of the night.  There should be tons of fantasy goodness in this game as both rank in the top five in pace and towards the bottom of the league in defense.  Phoenix has been awful against point guards, ranking in the bottom five in defensive efficiency vs. point guards and bottom five vs. pick and roll ball handlers.  They have only gotten worse since sitting Eric Bledsoe for the season.  Lin’s minutes could get limited, making him more of a tournament play, but if he can see up to 27 minutes he carries a 40 point ceiling in this premier matchup.


    Brook Lopez– Brooklyn Nets $6,900


    The less violent of the Lopez brothers faces an extremely beatable matchup against a somewhat undersized and foul-prone Phoenix front court.   Center does not pop statistically as the softest spot to attack the Phoenix defense but they’ve fallen off greatly since Tyson Chandler got shut down for the season.  Normally not a great rebounder, Brook might be able to grab some more boards against the team that gives up the most points on offensive put backs in the league.  As the highest usage player on the Nets, Brook stands to benefit more than any other Net from the great Vegas total in this game.


    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (PF) – Brooklyn Nets $4,400


    The fast-paced game environment sets up well for Rondae, who does most his damage on the boards and in transition.  While Lin and Brook carry risk from being Veterans playing for nothing late in the season, the Nets have big incentive to develop Hollis-Jefferson.  He is a strong per minute producer who has only seen 20 minutes per game this season.  In the past two games, he has played 30 and 27 minutes in two close contests against Detroit and Dallas with little success.  Expect a huge game from RHJ if he sees the same minutes in a much better matchup.


    Alex Len (C) – Phoenix Suns $4,500


    A borderline must-play if Alan Williams is unable to suit up, Alex Len rates as a viable salary relief play even if he’s coming off the bench.  He carries massive upside for the price tag in this matchup even in less than 25 minutes.  All the reasons Allan Williams is in a great spot also apply to Len.  Also, a matchup with a Brooklyn bench frontcourt that does not draw a ton of fouls should help mitigate his fouling risk.


    Quincy Acy (SF/PF) – Brooklyn Nets $3,500


    Brooklyn has been encouraging Acy to start shooting more threes.  His 3-point volume has the potential to increase his career fantasy production.  Should no additional value open up, Acy will at least make for a decent cash game punt.  He does not carry enough upside for GPPs as he is likely to only see about 22 minutes.  On the other hand, in this dream matchup 22 minutes is enough to project him as a good enough value to punt in a cash game.

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