January 20, 2017, 2:09 pm
Tonight we have a nice looking nine game slate which I can confidently say will be decided on how we choose to play the Warriors vs Rockets game. Whether you go all in or decide to fade the game entirely, this game will garner so much focus and ownership that it will require a lot of attention when we make our lineups.
Coming in with the highest total of the season (a ridiculous 236.5 points), I will break the game down and highlight the different ways that I plan on attacking it. I will also go over my favorite overall plays and value plays at each position from the rest of the slate.
Typically I would never focus one one game so heavily but this has all the potential to be one of the fastest and highest scoring games that we’ll see this season (think Warriors vs Thunder last year).
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WARRIORS @ ROCKETS + 5.5 (236.5)
As mentioned above, this is the highest game total we’ve seen so far this year and likely the highest total that we will see. The last matchup between these two teams didn’t disappoint, with the Rockets travelling to the Oracle and escaping with a double OT victory, winning 132-127. There are a couple of things to take into account whenever we compare the last game between these two teams with tonight’s meeting.
Although I have lofty expectations for the fantasy production from this game, it’s important to remember when looking at individual player scores that their fantasy points came from a game that went into double overtime. Before the overtimes, only Kevin Durant had actually reached value out of the game’s studs. The two overtime periods changed the game from being a great fade into ‘THE GAME’ – you weren’t cashing high if you didn’t stack multiple players.
A total fade of this game is completely viable if you happen to think that either team (likely the warriors) will run away with this game. That being said, Pat Beverly, one of the leagues top defenders, was absent from the first meeting and has turned the Rockets into a completely different animal with his return from injury.
Personally, I’m going to make sure that I have a piece of this game and in just about every lineup I make on both Draftkings and Fanduel. I can’t remember a game that I was so excited to both watch and use fantasy players from. If you choose to fade this game (you brave soul), I recommend not watching this one as it’ll be painful seeing what should be non-stop buckets from start to finish.
Beginning with the Warriors, I am interested in every starter with the exception of Zaza Puchulia. Zaza has been very solid but I’m worried that he could lose his minutes quite easily if Draymond Green slips down and plays center.
That leaves the four Warriors’ studs: Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. I am interested in these players in the order listed not for their matchups, but simply based on who I think is most affordable on a night with lots of great plays in other games.
There will be lots of talk about Pat Beverly getting in Steph Curry’s way tonight. Although Bev’s lockdown defense is definitely concerning, I don’t think there is anyone that really stands a chance against the way the Warriors move the ball around. What I’m interested in here is Steph’s reasonable price tag, as well as what should be some major shot volume. Look for him to shoot upwards of 20 times tonight, more than justifying his very fair prices of $8700 on DK and $9100 on FD. I would have no hesitations of rolling Steph out in cash or GPPs.
I’ll touch on Kevin Durant and Draymond Green together as they represent they same matchup nightmares for the Rockets, being separated by just over $2000 in price on both sites. KD had a monster game the last time these teams met, scoring 39 points to go with 14 rebounds, 2 dimes, 3 blocks, and 3 steals.
There should be no answer for Durant once again as he should be able to do whatever he wants for as long as he’s on the floor. With little value so far and priced at $10,500 on both sites, it might be difficult to roster KD and have a team you feel comfortable with.
Although Draymond Green doesn’t have the same ceiling as Durant, he offers triple double upside at a discounted price. I haven’t started my lineups yet but would not be surprised if Dray was one of my main ways of getting Warriors’ exposure. His price, which hovers around $8000 on both sites, is very affordable given the matchup and makes him a great cash and GPP option.
If you aren’t able to find the cap space to roster the more expensive Dubs’ studs, I have absolutely no issue going with Klay Thompson, who shouldn’t cross paths with Beverly and offers 50 fantasy point upside in a fantastic matchup.
On the Rockets’ side of the ball, we have lots of intriguing options from both the starting lineup and the bench. The likely return of Ryan Anderson, which halts Sam Dekker’s viability, should give us a better idea how the minutes will shake out with the rotation now back to normal.
Coming in at $12,200 on both DK and FD, James Harden might make for the most enticing play on the entire slate. He put up a massive triple double in the last meeting and I won’t be at all surprised he we see a repeat performance tonight. The Warriors come in playing some of the top defense in the NBA but should have no real answer for Harden. He makes for an easy cash play and obviously a very strong tournament play. Though it may seem near impossible to fit The Beard beard into lineups due to the little value available, I would not recommend fading him tonight.
Outside of James Harden, every member of the Rockets’ starting lineup is in play tonight as well as Eric Gordon coming off the bench. I wouldn’t trust anyone but Harden in cash, but plan on mixing exposure to Pat Beverly, Montrezl Harrell, Trevor Ariza, and the still under the weather Ryan Anderson.
Of this list we can most definitely lock in Beverly and Ariza for big time minutes, with Rhyno and Trez in more unclear roles. Beverly makes for my favorite starting target outside of Harden due to his cheap price, minutes guarantee (he will be out there on Steph all game), and recent flashes of offensive upside.
Coming off the bench, we have seen Eric Gordon absolutely chuck and I would expect no different tonight. Seeing him shoot 20 times would be no surprise at all and that is definitely the GPP upside we’re looking for at an affordable $5600 on DK and $6100 on FD. I will mostly be looking at Gordon on Draftkings where we have a price discount as well as the three point bonus.
Below are my favorite plays at each position taking price into account, as well as my favorite value play at each position.
Top play: Kyle Lowry $8300 [DK], Steph Curry $9100 [FD]
Despite putting up monster scores on a regular basis, Kyle Lowry seems to be forgotten and underplayed most of the time. This will certainly be the case tonight with all of the flash options available in the big game. I like Lowry for both cash and GPPs as he has been one of the most consistent studs the entire year.
Value play: Dennis Schroder $5900 DK, $6300 FD
Due to his awful defense and occasional inability to shoot, Schroder is most definitely a GPP only play. That being said, he’s been playing much better the last few games and can be had for a fraction of what we were paying for him weeks ago. I’ll be taking some shots on Schroder on a slate that lacks real value.
Top Play: James Harden $12,200
I can’t stress enough how excited I am to play and watch James Harden tonight. I will be quite shocked if he doesn’t score the most raw fantasy points tonight, with the chance of being a great point per dollar play as well. Don’t overthink it.
Value Play: Eric Gordon $5600 [DK]
I’m going to be searching for ways to get cheap exposure to the Warriors/Rockets game and Eric Gordon makes for a great way to do that, particularly on DK. He’s an affordable option that offers 40 fantasy point upside.
Top Play: Draymond Green $7900 DK, $8200 FD
At a relatively weak position tonight, I will be using a lot of Dray. Not only does he fill up a tough position but provides some great exposure to the night’s highest total.
Value Play: Montrezl Harrel $4900 DK, $5200 FD
As a GPP only play, I really like taking a shot on Harrell tonight. Capela is back in the mix but has only seen limited minutes thus far. If he starts off hot, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trez get run and smash his price tag.
Top Play: At PF tonight I’ll either be playing Kevin Durant or paying down.
Value Play: Brandon Ingram (if Luol Deng sits) $4200
Although a very volatile player, we’ve seen a number of nice fantasy games from Ingram over the past couple of weeks. I don’t particularly love him as a player (at all), but he helps to save salary for the studs tonight.
Top Play: Rudy Gobert [DK] $7100
Coming off two 50 burgers in a row there’s not much to dislike about Gobert’s cheap price tag. I wouldn’t trust him in cash due to a slow paced matchup with the Mavericks, but plan on having plenty of tournament exposure.
Value Play: Cody Zeller $5000
Cody Zeller isn’t the most exciting play on the board but he’s shown the ability to but up big games on a consistent basis at a pretty cheap price. I’m not crazy about his matchup down low against the Raptors but will be looking to him to save some salary to use on other positions. Going 7x his salary is certainly in his bag of tricks.