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

    Studs

    Chris Paul (PG) – Los Angeles Clippers $8,800

     

    CP3 draws arguably the best PG matchup in the league vs. the Nuggets.  Denver ranks dead last in defensive efficiency vs. point guards, 8th in pace, and 29th in defensive rating.   Chris Paul is one of the greatest pick and roll point guards of all time, and though he will be without his usual partners of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, he is facing the 2nd worst team at defending the pick and roll ball handler.  With the usage bump he should see with Blake sitting out, he will no doubt be popular as a cash game building block.

     

    Carmelo Anthony (SF/PF) – New York Knicks $8,100

     

    No matchup boosts fantasy scoring more than the Brooklyn Nets.  Nets are the fastest paced team not only this season, but also the past 10 seasons.   They also rank 28th in defensive efficiency, 30th in defensive efficiency vs. small forwards, and are below average at defending isolations.  Kristaps Porzingis will miss the game with a thigh injury, solidifying Carmelo’s usage.  Everything lines up for a huge game from Melo.

     

    Stephen Curry (PG) – Golden State Warriors $9,500

     

    The 2-time MVP is the most logical pivot off of Chris Paul in GPPs.  The Warriors have been making it a point to turn Steph back into his old MVP self, and this might just be the game it can happen.  The Magic do not represent the type of smash matchup Carmelo and Chris Paul are facing but Steph has found success against Orlando in the past.  Last season he had two huge games over 70 fantasy points in the season series vs. the Magic.  Steph’s upside with KD still sidelined is immense.  We know what he is capable of, and if he returns to last year’s form, this will be the cheapest price we see Steph at until KD returns.

     

    Midrange

    Gordon Hayward (SF) – Utah Jazz $6,900

     

    Gordon Hayward comes in at a very enticing bargain.  Coming off of a 47 dk point game, he faces a Cavs team whose defense has became a dumpster fire as of late.  While LeBron James’ teams in the past have represented tough matchups for opposing small forwards, this has not been the case this year.  Cleveland has been middle of the pack vs. small forwards this year and have given up their fair share of big games to the position.  At a $900 discount on DK compared to fanduel, I will get my Hayward exposure mostly in DK cash games.

     

    Rudy Gobert (C) – Utah Jazz $6,800

     

    Rudy Gobert comes in as our 2nd under-priced Jazz player.  Gobert has averaged 37 DK points per game for the season, well past a 5x value threshold for the salary.  Even better, this is only in 33.4 minutes per game.  Recently he has been seeing 36 minutes a game as the Jazz try to lock up home court advantage in the first round.  Until they raise his price, he will be a great cash game play in all but the very worst matchups.  His matchup tonight is better than it first appears, as Cleveland has been one of the worst rebounding teams in the league while Kevin Love has been out.  Though LeBron can represent foul trouble risk, I expect an extremely high floor for the $6800 price tag in a competitive game.

     

    Derrick Rose– Chicago Bulls $6,700

     

    I love playing Derrick Rose in GPPs whenever he pops.  He is rarely a player you have to worry about becoming too popular.  His game log does not inspire much confidence, and he almost never represents a must-have in cash.  He draws the dream matchup vs. the Nets, a matchup that turns players much worse than Rose into viable cash plays.  Brooklyn rankes 27th in defensive efficency vs. point guards.  If he goes a little overlooked with the strong options at PG, he could make for an elite tournament play.

     

    Cheapies

    Marreese Speights (PF/C) – Los Angeles Clippers $3,300

     

    With both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan sitting out this matchup with Denver, Marreese Speights is a smash play in all formats.  Speights is an extremely efficient fantasy player with a Massive 1.11 fantasy point per minute output.  To put that in context, Speights’ per minute production is on par with Draymond Green, Carmelo Anthony and Kyle Lowry, players on this slate who cost over twice as much as Mo Buckets.  If you need another reason to play him, he draws a matchup with the Nuggets.  Denver is 8th in pace, and 2nd-to-last in defensive rating.  Speights has a great chance to see 30 minutes or more, and if he does, he will be arguably the best value play of the season thus far.  I will have him 100 percent.

     

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (PF) – Brooklyn Nets $4,000

     

    More of a GPP play, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson represents perhaps the best way to get exposure to the Brooklyn side in this Juicy Knicks-Nets matchup outside of Brook Lopez.  He should be low owned.  His minutes are not stable enough for cash on a slate that should be rich with great value plays, but facing a match up with Carmelo might encourage Kenny Atkinson to give RHJ a little extra run.  If he can get the minutes, he has a very high ceiling in what could easily turn into the highest scoring game of the night.

     

    Brandon Bass (PF) – Los Angeles Clippers $3,000

     

    No doubt today will be Marreese Speights’ chalk night by the time lock rolls around.  Brandon Bass might go overlooked as a result.  A decent fantasy scorer himself, he should be a pretty safe bet to hit value tonight.  The game is very likely to play more on the small side, so I don’t see much of a path to him seeing huge minutes.  I like Bass more as a cash game punt than a GPP play because of the lack of huge minutes, but if he ends up getting very low ownership, he could make sense as a possible pivot off of Marreese Speights for those crazy enough to try to fade Speights.  Because both players are so cheap, it is perfectly fine to play both in the same lineup, a path I favor over fading Speights.

Fantasy News

  • D'Angelo Russell
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    D'Angelo Russell scored 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting to go with three boards, nine dimes, three steals and six triples in Thursday's 131-134 loss to the Nuggets.

    Russel's shooting was off, but it's a good thing that all six of his made field goals were triples. The game-high nine assists also help boost his line and even though he'll be dinged up here and there, the Warriors don't risk much by playing him so there's not too much to worry about here.

  • Willie Cauley-Stein
    C, Golden State Warriors

    Willie Cauley-Stein logged 33 minutes in a start on Thursday and scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting with six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.

    Cauley-Stein has always had ample opportunity to run away with the job, but he just can't. He's simply not good enough to establish himself as a frontrunner for this spot so it's too hard to trust him on a regular basis. Omari Spellman (17 minutes, three points, one rebound, two assists and a triple) got relegated to the bench, but should be held onto for a few more games to see how things shake out.

  • Damion Lee
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Damion Lee scored 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting to go with four rebounds, six assists, a steal, a block and three triples on Thursday.

    Lee started and logged a team-high 37 minutes on Thursday and should be rostered in all standard leagues. The Warriors like what they see from him and he's proving himself on the court in both reality and fantasy.

  • Alec Burks
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Alec Burks led the Warriors in scoring on Thursday with 25 points on 6-of-14 shooting to go with four rebounds, one assist, one steal and four triples.

    Burks played 32 minutes off the bench as Coach Kerr rode the hot hand. The Warriors took this game into OT, but fell short and Burks continues to provide a strong scoring punch for them. He doesn't do much else, so keep that in mind when looking at him.

  • Eric Paschall
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Eric Paschall logged 20 minutes off the bench on Thursday and scored 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting to go with five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one triple.

    Paschall was efficient from the floor and was able to fill up the stat sheet in a limited amount of minutes, but our main concern is the playing time. He just doesn't get enough on a regular basis to warrant standard-league ownership.

  • Draymond Green
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green scored six points on 2-of-8 shooting with eight rebounds, eight assists, a steal and two blocks on Thursday.

    He's never going to score a lot, but the overall line was juicy enough for us to pay attention and it might be enough for owners to sell-high. There are plenty of risks that come with owning Green and if he can keep up this level of play you should definitely ship him off for a more reliable option.

  • Nikola Jokic
    C, Denver Nuggets

    Nikola Jokic posted a 23-12-8 line with two blocks in Thursday's 134-131 win over the Warriors.

    Jokic went 10-for-20 from the floor and hit all three of his free throws in 44 minutes of action. Now that he has his legs under him, he's been pushing out first-round lines on a nightly basis. The eight turnovers were a bit uncharacteristic, but we'll live with that as long as he keeps bringing the rest.

  • Will Barton
    SG, Denver Nuggets

    Will Barton led the Nuggets in scoring on Thursday with 31 points on 11-of-20 shooting with five rebounds, seven assists, a steal, a block and seven triples.

    Barton was an inferno from deep, connecting on 7-of-10 from distance and looks to be the biggest beneficiary of Jamal Murray and Gary Harris sitting. He should have been owned and starting in all standard leagues prior to tonight anyways, so expect some increased production in the next few contests.

  • Monte Morris
    PG, Denver Nuggets

    Monte Morris had a quiet night on Thursday, scoring 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting to go with three rebounds, three assists and a triple.

    Morris got the starting nod with Jamal Murray (ankle) sitting and while he didn't put up a spectacular line, he's still worth streaming if Murray misses more time.

  • Mason Plumlee
    C, Denver Nuggets

    Mason Plumlee scored 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting with 15 boards, four dimes, one steal and two blocks on Thursday.

    Plumlee logged the same amount of minutes (27) as starter Jerami Grant (27 minutes, six points, four boards, two assists and two steals) and outplayed him on both ends of the floor. Grant couldn't capitalize with Paul Milsap sitting and it's unlikely that he'll be the top-100 guy he was in OKC last season anytime soon. He still has potential to reach that point, but it's just not now.