• Welcome back Hoop Ballers! It is Friday, March 1 and we have seven games to open the new month. As always we have some top-tier studs on the board in LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. They face off against each other in the late game, and both are priced up but still in play. I’d lean LeBron given Giannis’ playing time concerns, but I would not be surprised to see the Greek Freak play with some fire against LeBron.

    Nonetheless, we have plenty of other spots in we could target and a ton of high paced games and pivots. More value will surely open up throughout the day, but as of this morning these are some of my favorite value plays on the slate.

    Point Guard

    Kemba Walker vs. Nets $8,200 – This price tag seems a tad too low. We’d expect a slight price bump given that matchup versus the Nets, but Walker’s price has actually dropped $300 since their last game. Walker will surely be a popular play and if you are looking to pivot off of him Trae Young ($8,100) has been hot and has a similar price tag.

    Elfrid Payton vs. Suns $5,600 – His lowest score over the last three games is 34.75 DK points and he has yet to hit the threshold where we fade. It’s a fantastic matchup versus a Suns team that plays at a fast pace and bleeds fantasy points. It will be hard to not have some sort of exposure to the Pelicans backcourt. Still waiting for a random triple-double from Payton and keep in mind this is a revenge game for him.

    Rajon Rondo vs. Bucks $5,000 – Rondo may fly under the radar in what will be one of the best games of the night. The Lakers have been a dumpster fire as of late and the recent play forced Luke Walton to make another change to the starting lineup. If Rondo is starting and playing 30-plus minutes we have to consider him. I don’t love the matchup for point guards, but he played 36 minutes in the Lakers’ win last game and dropped 48 DK points. I’d run to the bank with 30 DK points and take whatever else I could get from this matchup.

    Shooting Guard

    Jrue Holiday vs. Suns $7,900 – Everything I mentioned with Payton’s matchup could be said for Holiday’s. The Suns do not have a decent defender outside of Richaun Holmes. The organization mentioned limiting Holiday’s minutes going forward, but we haven’t really seen any sort of limitations on him thus far. He is averaging 43 DK points over his last over his last four games and has already dropped 46.5 DK points on this Suns team earlier in the season.

    Tyler Johnson vs. Pelicans $5,000 – Johnson has been playing well in his new threads. He is averaging 36 DK points over his last three games, one game is slightly inflated, but now we are hearing that Devin Booker is questionable with a toe injury and if he is forced to sit we should see Johnson handle plenty of minutes with increased usage. Johnson is in play for me regardless of Booker’s status, but if Booker does in fact get ruled out he becomes a chalky play. I’d also take a strong look at Josh Jackson and Kelly Oubre if Booker does sit. If Booker plays he becomes a fantastic play in this matchup.

    Pat Beverley vs. Kings $4,900 – Bev has quietly returned to the form that fantasy owners love. He’s been aggressive on defense, fighting for rebounds and playing big minutes. This is going to be one of the higher scoring games on the night and Bev is my favorite guard on the team. He’s dropped 38. 5 and 45 DK points over the last two games and scored 23.5 DK points in 25 minutes in the three games the two teams have met this season. If he were to play 35 minutes that would equal to 32.9 DK points at 0.94 DK points per minute.

    Small Forward

    Khris Middleton vs. Lakers $6,600 – Middleton has begun turning his play around following the All-Star break. Over his last four games Middleton is averaging 39 DK points. Everyone will be on LeBron and Giannis and for good reason, but this may lead to Middleton flying under the radar slightly and I don’t mind taking advantage of that.

    Jeremy Lamb vs. Nets $5,300 – Lamb has been crushing since going to the bench. In fact, he is averaging 1.24 DK points per minute since going to the bench, while his season average is 1.01 DK points per minute. It is a great matchup versus the Nets and allows us to get some exposure to this game if we are not spending up on Kemba.

    Moe Harkless vs. Raptors $3,800 – I don’t love this matchup, but Harkless has been taking advantage of the minutes left behind by an injured Evan Turner. If you need the value he’s there, but I am not in love with the play this early and looking for value to break later.

    Power Forward

    John Collins vs. Bulls $7,000 – How is Collins only $7,000 in this matchup? The Bulls play at one of the league’s fastest paces with one of the worst defenses. Collins dropped 53 DK points on this Bulls frontcourt already this season and just came out with a bang against the Timberwolves last game with 38 points and eight rebounds.

    Nikola Mirotic vs. Lakers $4,800 – This is a dream spot on paper for Mirotic, but the question is, does he see the minutes? Well, we know they are comfortable with rolling him out there for 27 minutes like we saw last game, but that was also an overtime game so will he need to play that much? Personally, I don’t care, I know the upside is there now and if this game gets out of hand early he should still see some decent run. He can provide value in limited minutes as well and while everyone will be jamming the studs into this game I am leaning towards the value.

    Jabari Parker vs. Celtics $4,700 – I will always reiterate the fact that Parker should only be played in tournaments. He is one of the better GPP values on the slate given his upside, but his floor is also extremely low and could sink lineups. The Celtics have an excellent team defense, but Parker should draw a few plus individual matchups against the Celtics second unit. I am not going overboard on Parker, but I will definitely have a share or two.

    Nemanja Bjelica vs. Clippers $3,800 – Bjelica has been phased out of the rotation for the better half of a month now, but the injury to Marvin Bagley should open up some playing time for him again. He only played 10 minutes last game, but Bagley also played 20 minutes in that game and we can’t imagine a world where the Kings want to run out Harry Giles big minutes. This puts Bjelica in play along with another name we will get to in a moment.


    Julius Randle vs. Suns $8,000 – Randle has been playing big minutes and that means big DK point totals. I am never worried about Randle burning me and his upside is immense in this game. There is not much that needs to be said here, but if for some reason we hear Anthony Davis is ruled out he would only be better (obviously).  The sky is the limit for Randle in this matchup.

    Robin Lopez vs. Hawks $4,900 – Lopez is finally seeing a price increase, but not enough to scare me off of him in this matchup. The Atlanta frontcourt is just as poor defensively as the Bulls’ and while Lopez isn’t an offensive juggernaut, he should continue playing heavy minutes and have plenty of rebounding and block upside.

    Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Clippers $4,500 – WCS will be chalky tonight with Marvin Bagley ruled out, but someone has to take advantage of the minutes and usage and over the last few weeks we have been seeing plenty of Bagley at the five. This price tag is great and so is the matchup. We target bigs against this weak Clippers frontcourt and there is no reason to shy away from it tonight, especially with this game’s total.

    Honorable Mentions:

    Kyrie Irving, Eric Bledsoe, Al Horford and Harry Giles (GPP value play)

    As always you guys can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions and comments. Good luck!

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