Welcome back to our second edition of the NBA Value Index. We made our NBA debut for Tuesday’s short, 5-game slate, and the Index’s start wasn’t too shabby at all.
Normally, this write up will be considered premium content, but this week is a trial run through Friday. After that, the Index will have just one of 5 picks that will not be premium content.
Tonight we have a large 9-game slate with gobs of studs to choose from and one matchup that looks to be a premier contest on paper as OKC travels to Cali to take on the Warriors. While that matchup looks great, for me, it has blowout written all over it. Golden State just got done wiping the floor with Cleveland at full strength while the Thunder’s one-man show Russell Westbrook, is only one man that I feel will have a difficult time keeping up with the Big 4 in the Golden State.
But should that game close, we should expect fireworks for fantasy production on both sides.
If you are just tuning in, the NBA version of the Value Index will feature five picks at each of the main positions using DraftKings pricing. The value part of this series falls to anyone I believe will score 5x or more based on their price. For example, if a $3,500 player scores 20 fantasy points, then said player has narrowly exceeded value.
Now that we have covered everything, let’s get to the picks.
Kyle Lowry – PG – Toronto Raptors – vs. Philadelphia 76ers – $8,500
Analysis: Writing this early is challenging when you aren’t sure what the injury situation will be. The value at point guard for this slate can tilt in so many directions based on injury news. Kyle Lowry feels like the safest option at the moment as he sat out for rest last night, so he should return to action tonight. Because of him resting, and this team playing its 3rd game in 4 nights, has me wondering if DeRozan might sit tonight, boosting Lowry into the stratosphere for value. The Sixers haven’t been that generous to opposing point guards, but they haven’t been great either, allowing 52.3 points per game to the position. Lowry is always a safe bet to reach value and should exceed should a player like DeRozan sit.
Avery Bradley – Boston Celtics – vs. New York Knicks – $5.900
Analysis: Bradley returned from an injury in his last time out and clearly looked a little rusty. Though he had a tough defensive matchup against Charlotte, Bradley shot just 2-for-9 and just 1-for-6 from 3-point land. His price has dipped under $6K and he gets a premium matchup against Courtney Lee. Shooting guards against the Knicks is a thing, having allowed 44.1 fantasy points per game to the position. Bradley has become more than just a shooter this year and is normally good for a handful of rebounds and assists. His defensive prowess also boosts his chance for added points through multiple steal upside. I expect Bradley to continue to improve coming back from injury and you don’t want to miss out at his cheap price when he finally goes nuts and then sees a price increase.
Nicolas Batum – Charlotte Hornets – vs. Portland Trail Blazers – $7,400
Analysis: Batum has really been a DFS monster over the past month and a half, putting Kemba Walker out of play most nights. Now he gets to face his former team, thus one of the many reasons to play him on tonight’s state. Batum always has a safe floor due to his ability to stuff the stat sheet. Just look at his last game where he shot just 2-for-11 from the field, but had 10 boards and 10 assists to help him achieve a 40 burger. Portland is one of the worst teams vs. shooting guards, allowing 43.3 points per game. In what looks to be a close game that could shootout, Batum has a chance to coast to value.
DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings – vs. Indianapolis Pacers – $10,600
Analysis: I’ve learned that in most cases, it’s very much possible to be profitable by fading the studs. This is a 9-game slate and i think you can fade anyone more than $10K and have a great shot at winning a tournament. But sometimes matchups are too good to ignore and this is one of them. Boogie gets to tee off against the Pacers, one of the best teams to target opposing big men against for fantasy. Indy has allowed nearly 50 points per game to the PF position, where Boogie plays the bulk of his minutes. Thaddeus Young and Myles Turner are no match for Boogie in the post. Boogie averages six more points per game at home and is almost a lock each night for 50 fantasy points. His price is cheaper than the likes of Harden, Westbrook and the Glass House, Anthony Davis. Indy plays at an increased pace which favors Boogie’s usage and the Kings overall projected total. It’s hard to bet against Boogie in a pristine matchup.
Mason Plumlee – Portland Trail Blazers – vs. Charlotte Hornets – $5,600
Analysis: Anytime Mason Plumlee is on a slate, he is always a lock in my cash games. Though his recent numbers show some inconsistency, but the Blazers have been blown out in 3 of their last 4 games. Plumlee is another player that can get it done in every statistical category. He plays the minutes and has shown vast improvement over the course of the season. He has 40-point upside and is never priced more than $6,000 on DraftKings. Today he is just $5,600, but we have to hope Portland shows up for this game considered the team’s recent struggles to keep games close. The Hornets are a plum matchup for opposing centers, allowing 51.7 points per game. Cody Zeller is back, but Roy Hibbert still gets minutes. Either way, Plumee shouldn’t have a difficult time in the post racking up fantasy points.