• 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.

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