January 22, 2017, 12:07 pm
This is certainly not my favorite kind of slate by any means. The limited amount of players makes it hard to be creative and reasonable at the same time for tournament play. But I digress. Regardless of my feelings, tonight features two uptempo games that promise to be high scoring and fun. So let’s dive into my FanDuel picks for the main slate tournament.
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Kyle Lowry: $8,600
Playing against a Suns team coming straight from New York, I love Lowry’s chances of taking over in this one. The Suns play at an incredibly fast pace and are below average guarding against opposing point guards, so this presents a very juicy matchup for a guy like Lowry. He is the most expensive point guard on the slate but still offers great upside for his ability to contribute in multiple categories. Plus, $8,600 isn’t going to break the bank on a day like today, either.
Jameer Nelson: $3,800
Without Emmanuel Mudiay active, Jameer Nelson was the easiest pick of the day for me. He offers immense value at only $3,800 and should hit 5x value with ease. Cheap plays are few and far between today so Nelson should be a staple of most lineups. Also consider Tyus Jones for tournament play, just be aware of the punt-play risk.
Zach LaVine: $6,600
LaVine has been playing his usual massive minutes but has not really had much to show for it in the past couple of games. However, a game against the fast-paced Nuggets on the tail end of a back-to-back makes a lot of sense when considering the slam-dunk champion. The Nuggets are one of the worst teams in the league guarding the two and the absence of Ricky Rubio may open up more play-making opportunities for LaVine. On such a small slate where most will deploy DeMar DeRozan, I think fading him and going with the athletic LaVine could pay off big time.
Will Barton: $5,700
Barton was another relatively easy pick for me, as I believe he can still surpass value at his price and will get loads of minutes at the two. The absence of Gary Harris has obviously helped Barton a lot and once he returns Barton’s price will be too high, but for now he is as solid a pick as any in today’s slate. Update: Harris has been upgraded to questionable for Sunday, so watch closely leading up to tip-off.
Wilson Chandler: $5,700
On the tail end of a back-to-back, the Nuggets may decide to rest Darrell Arthur who played 17 minutes last night. If this is the case, Chandler is my guy. His price is a tad high for my taste but we’ve all seen the kind of production he’s capable of when given the time. He is a safe pick for me at a position that does not offer a whole lot of upside. Consider Andrew Wiggins if your budget can allow it.
Terrence Ross: $3,800
My punt of the night. Ross’ minutes have been somewhat sporadic over the course of the season, but in an uptempo game that is sure to feature a few fast-break dunks, I fully expect Ross to be finishing a couple of those runs. It also doesn’t hurt that DeMarre Carroll has not been playing well as of late, possibly forcing coach Dwane Casey to give more minutes to Ross at the three. I expect the high-flyer to be low owned tonight and be a key to a winning lineup.
Nikola Jokic: $10,200
Power forward is more often than not my least favorite position to pick and I’m sure I’m not alone. Regardless, I have to spend up somewhere and even though his price has climbed at an incredible rate, Nikola Jokic is still reliable for 40 FDP tonight. While I’m not sure he can hit 45-50, I do think you need to have him active if you hope to win considering the other options at power forward and it’s as simple as that.
Gorgui Dieng: $5,400
I’m playing this one safe, but if you want to take a chance on Kenneth Faried be my guest. Dieng is reliable, good for 25+ FDP, and that’s all I’m looking for with my second PF. It’s not a sexy pick, but he has a safe floor who could even surprise us with a 20/10 line! (Coming from a season-long Dieng owner).
Karl-Anthony Towns: $10,000
KAT is my centerpiece tonight. Some may opt to go with Tyson Chandler ($5,700) who is far less expensive to maybe go with Lowry and Bledsoe or to get to DeRozan, but I’m not interested in that. Towns offers the biggest upside on the entire slate and could definitely hit 60 FDP, which – on such a small slate – is impossible to win without. Jokic has been an offensive juggernaut as of late but does not possess the defensive abilities needed to slow down all-around Towns. Rhyming aside, Towns was a lock for me as soon as I saw this slate and should be for you as well.
Good luck out there, players!