• Welcome back to another Friday edition of my top DFS plays of the night. It is January 11 and we have nine games to check out for tonight’s slate. We have a few superstars to play and ton of injuries that have opened up the value to get there. I do not feel the need to mention the studs that drop monster lines every night. These guys are always in play. We are here to focus on some value to help us jam those studs in.

    Tonight seems like a wonky night that and we are going to have to take some hard stances on games and players. As of Friday morning we currently have five games with spreads of nine points or greater, meaning there are plenty of blowout chances. If we are play studs from these games it is going to be a must to correlate them properly.

    For instance, if you are playing anyone from the Warriors in the late game we are hoping to get all four quarters worth of play out of them. To do this we would need the Bulls to keep the game intact and we’d have to identify the key players who could help do that. The game currently has Golden State favored by 15 ½ points and the players’ prices in this game reflect on the spread.

    A few examples of correlation plays I like for tonight’s games:

    *James Harden with Tristan Thompson and or Jordan Clarkson.

    *Warriors with Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine or Kris Dunn. (Preferably in that order)

    *Raptors with D’Angelo Russell and or DeMarre Carroll.

    *Sixers with Trae Young, John Collins or Dewayne Dedmon.

    These are all spots I believe could easily get out of hand and on the chance that they stay intact I believe it would largely be in part of the players mentioned as pairings. This, by no means, means you have to correlate your plays, it just sometimes makes sense when trying to get the most out of your players in mass field GPP’s. Now that we got that out of the way let’s jump into some of my favorite value plays of the night.

    Point Guard

    Lonzo Ball vs. Jazz $6,500 – This is a game everyone is going to target heavily. We know right off of the rip that Donovan Mitchell and every other Jazz player gets a bump because of matchup and injuries. Knowing this means we have to take a look at some Lakers and Ball is my favorite. He draws a defensive matchup against Mitchell, but more importantly, Ball will have a chance to stuff the defensive stats guarding a bunch of guards who are not truly point guards.

    Jordan Clarkson vs. Rockets $5,700 – Clarkson has been taking advantage of the injuries in Cleveland. He’s taken at least 16 shot attempts and has scored at least 35 DK points in each of the last three games and his minutes feel safe round 26 regardless of the score. Rodney Hood is currently being considered questionable and we really want to hear that he is out again to utilize Clarkson.

    Jeremy Lin vs. Wizards $4,600 – Lin started in place of Kevin Huerter the other night and went nuts for us DFS guys and with Huerter back I assumed it was time to hop off. I was wrong and Lin played 28 minutes with Huerter starting and took 18 shots off of the bench. I mentioned the other night liking Lin better coming off of the bench and the usage is the reason why. Lin falls into the category of players who contain upside whether or not the game stays close.

    Shooting Guard

    Donovan Mitchell vs. Lakers $7,900 – This play is no secret; Mitchell is the chalk play of the night. The Jazz have literally no one to play point guard and Mitchell should be handling the duties on top of normal scoring load in a great matchup versus the Lakers.

    Eric Bledsoe/Khris Middleton vs. Wizards $6,100/$6,900 – I was close to calling it quits on the article, hitting save and sending it in. That was until Giannis got downgraded to doubtful, leaving us to scramble to where his massive usage will fall. Bledsoe and Middleton get a massive bump and we also have Malcolm Brogdon in play at $5,700. This totally changes the outlook of this game and even puts more Wizards in play with my favorites being Bradley Beal and Otto Porter.

    Kyle Korver vs. Lakers $3,500 – While Mitchell is the obvious play in Utah we need to also focus on where the value will come from due to injuries. With Mitchell likely running point we should see a lot more of Kyle Korver and Jae Crowder in the starting lineup playing small forward and shooting guard. Jae Crowder is definitely the safer play, but Korver could provide some decent value if we are trying to spend up on James Harden.

    Small Forward

    Luka Doncic vs. Timberwolves $8,400 – Dennis Smith Jr. has already been ruled out and that means Doncic’s usage will be insane. This kid has been nothing short of unreal and completely warrants this price tag. He’s shown flashes of upside, but I don’t believe we’ve truly seen his “ceiling” game yet. It may not be tonight either, but his floor is so steady that I am willing to take a few shots and not worry about getting burned.

    Andrew Wiggins vs. Mavericks $6,800 – Wiggins looks like a totally different player without Thibs in town. In the past two games he has taken a combined 47 shot attempts and that transitioned into 104.25 DK points over that span. He’s pretty scoring-dependent, but if we have the news that Derrick Rose is going to miss again I’d expect the volume to continue for Wiggins.

    Joe Ingles vs. Lakers $5,700 – Ingles looks like he will enter the night as the Jazz’s second most reliable ball handler. He is likely to get slightly overlooked between spending up on Mitchell or spending down on Crowder and Korver, but this game has 30-40 DK points written all over it. It is going to come down to construction, but it is an absolute necessity to get some exposure to this game and we have multiple ways to do so.

    Power Forward

    Domantas Sabonis vs. Knicks $7,500 – All aboard the Sabonis train, next stop Madison Square Garden. Myles Turner is currently being listed as questionable and if he gets ruled out again we could go right back to the well. Sabonis’ point-per-minute stats are fantastic with Turner in and only rise with him off of the court. The Knicks have struggled against centers all year and could be without Enes Kanter. To be honest, we’d probably rather have Kanter play, but either way I am not scared off of the price increase, as long as Turner is out.

    Another option we have to keep an eye on is Kyle O’Quinn. He is a point-per-minute type of player and could stuff the stat sheet in limited minutes. He played 21 minutes last game and if this game were to get out of hand or Sabonis were to get into foul trouble he could see more. Strictly a GPP play if Myles Turner is out.

    Lauri Markannen vs. Warriors $5,900 – This is a stupid cheap price for Markannan and if you think this game stays close he is in line for a great game. The late game has all of the makings to be a blowout, but we’ve seen the Bulls hang in there long enough for their key players to hit value.

    Dario Saric vs. Mavericks $4,500 – We are looking for value all over with James Harden and the Greek Freak (maybe) on tonight’s slate and we may still be able to take advantage of the coaching switch in Minnesota. It was only one game, but without Thibs we saw Saric play 25 minutes and take 12 shots. If we are going to have a floor like that going forward we are going to want to take advantage of it and the time to do so is not following the game because that’s when the price increase happens. Sometimes in DFS you can capitalize off taking a chance and predicting rotation moves before they happen. There is risk associated with this play and I’d leave him for tournaments.

    Center

    Rudy Gobert $8,000 vs. Lakers – Let’s be real, who’s stopping Gobert tonight? He’s priced fairly and when we play Gobert we know we are always getting that safe floor with massive upside due to rebounding and blocked shots. Tonight he faces a Lakers team that struggles with rebounding. A lot of the Jazz players will be chalky tonight, so pivots could come in handy, but Gobert is safe either way.

    Tristan Thompson vs. Rockets $5,800 – Thompson looks to back to full strength after playing almost 30 minutes of the second half of a back-to-back the other night. Tonight James Harden rolls into town and if we are targeting him we are going to need a few Cavs’ players to target as well. Thompson will get the bulk of the center minutes if this game stays close and before injuring himself we saw him mop the glass when getting those minutes. Larry Nance Jr. is going to be out for some time and this may be our opportunity to grab Thompson at a depressed price.

    Brook Lopez vs. Wizards $4,900 – BroLo has played 30 minutes in each of the last two games and Draws a defensive matchup against a Wizards team that is porous on defense and have little to no bodies in the frontcourt. He is never going to be a guy with massive usage and he does not crash the glass, but at $4,900 there is a lot worse we could do at center.

    *Damian Lillard is currently being listed as questionable and his status would drastically change the slate. We’d have a lot more value and could easily pay up for a stud like Harden or Giannis. We’d have to take a look at the other main cogs on C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, with the likelihood of Evan Turner and Seth Curry seeing more opportunity running point and providing us with some value under $4,000.

    I also wanted to give a big shout out to everyone who competed in this week’s “Beat the Expert” contest. We have the most entries out of any contest so far and are so close to filling and expanding this even more. As always you could find me on Twitter @MikeApotria if you have any questions or comments.

Fantasy News

  • Fred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors

    Fred VanVleet needed stitches to close up a gash under his left eye that he sustained in Sunday's Game 3.

    VanVleet ended up going 1-for-11 from the field in 31 minutes, ending up in a major role with Kyle Lowry fouling out with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. He continues to have a terrible offensive postseason, though he did manage to hang tough on the defensive end for the most part. If FVV can get his shot sorted out it would help the Raptors immensely, but him playing this much is not a desirable outcome no matter what.

    Source: Josh Lewenberg on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 36 points on 11-of-25 shooting in a game-high 52 minutes of action in a double overtime win over the Bucks in Game 3.

    Leonard scored eight points in the second overtime to finish off the win. The Raptors have now made this a competitive series and have a chance to tie it up at two games in Game 4. Leonard shot 2-of-4 from 3-point territory and added nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block to the box score. He will continue to perform well, but the fate of the Raptors rests on the remainder of the team to continuously provide him with support on both ends of the floor.

  • Pascal Siakam - F - Toronto Raptors

    Pascal Siakam had a solid stat line on Sunday, with 25 points and 11 rebounds on 9-of-18 shooting in 51 minutes of action in a double overtime win over the Bucks in Game 3.

    As expected, Siakam bounced back from his underwhelming Game 2 performance with an absolute gem in Game 3. Siakam is proving that he is a force to be reckoned with in this league as he is not shying away from the game's biggest stage. He added one assist, three steals, one block and three 3-pointers to the stat sheet. The Raptors brought the series within one game and have a chance to even up the series on Tuesday night.

  • Marc Gasol - C - Toronto Raptors

    Marc Gasol put up 16 points with 12 rebounds and five blocks in a Game 3 win over the Bucks in double overtime on Sunday.

    He added seven assists and one steal to the box score in his 45 minutes of action. He shot 5-of-10 from the field and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. This was Gasol's first good game of the series and the Raptors won, so it is safe to say that he can be considered an X-factor for them. The Raptors have a chance to even up the series in Game 4 on Tuesday night.

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry put up 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting with four rebounds and five assists before fouling out in the fourth quarter in a Game 3 win over the Bucks on Sunday.

    The Raptors brought the series within one game and Lowry's solid play in regulation helped them pull out the win. Fred VanVleet, who had three points on 1-of-11 shooting, filled in for Lowry in the overtimes and ultimately played well enough for the Raptors to win. Although Lowry receives extensive criticism for his lackluster playoff performances, he is an integral part of the Raptors' team success.

  • Norman Powell - F/G - Toronto Raptors

    Norman Powell put up a playoff-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting in 30 minutes of action before fouling out in a 118-112 double overtime win in Game 3 on Sunday.

    There were some rumors prior to the game that Powell would get an increased role for Game 3, and this turned out to be true as he played 30 minutes before the game even reached the first overtime. He thrived in his increased opportunity and was hitting some key shots down the stretch. He added four rebounds, three assists, three 3-pointers and one steal to the box score.

  • Brook Lopez - C - Milwaukee Bucks

    Brook Lopez had a solid performance in Game 3 on Sunday as he put up 16 points and six rebounds on 5-of-10 shooting in a loss to the Raptors in double overtime.

    Lopez has shown up for the Bucks in this series, but he was not able to lead them to a win like he did in Game 1. He added one assist, two steals and three triples to the box score. Lopez has played Marc Gasol very tough in this series, which has forced the Raptors to consider lineup changes. The play of Lopez should not go unnoticed in the overall spectrum of why the Bucks are as good as they are.

  • Andre Iguodala - G/F - Golden State Warriors

    The MRI on Andre Iguodala's left calf came back negative, but the swingman is considered questionable for Monday's Game 4 vs. the Blazers.

    Iguodala headed to the locker room in the first quarter of Game 3 and had the training staff check on it. If he's unable to give it a go for Game 4, the Warriors will have to dig deep into their bench and find some production from the likes of Kevon Looney or Jonas Jerebko.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Giannis Antetokounmpo put up a unique line in Sunday's Game 3 loss to the Raptors in double overtime, with 12 points, 23 rebounds and seven assists.

    The Greek Freak also added one steal, four blocks and eight turnovers before fouling out in the second overtime. He shot just 5-of-16 from the field and 2-of-7 from the line. The fact that the Bucks were able to force this game to two overtimes with Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe shooting 11-of-48 combined from the field shows how truly good of a team they are. The Bucks will look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead on Tuesday night.

  • Malcolm Brogdon - G - Milwaukee Bucks

    Malcolm Brogdon scored 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting in 37 minutes of action in a double overtime loss to the Raptors in Game 3 on Sunday.

    The series is now 2-1 in favor of the Bucks, but Game 4 is a huge turning point as the game is Toronto and the Raptors have a chance to tie up the series. Brogdon and George Hill were on the court over Eric Bledsoe and Nikola Mirotic to end the game as they have played consistently well all series long. The dynamic duo off the bench had 44 points in this one and were the two highest scorers on the Bucks.