Yesterday I came to two conclusions when it comes to daily fantasy basketball. Number one: always go with your first instinct. Habitually, I will set my lineup, then over-think the situation, revisit my lineup and end up changing the original to one that scores significantly less points. There will be no more of that. The second conclusion I came to, and it is a lot less broad than the first, is that Jonas Valanciunas is on the rise. I know he played the Heat minus Chris Bosh, but he showed versatility in his upgraded post moves, and was relentless on the offensive glass. For that reason, I have officially added him on my players to watch list. When a player gets added to the list, it means I immediately start considering them in daily when they have a nice match up. Guess what? The Raptors get a Al Jefferson-less Bobcat team on Wednesday. Something tells me that JV will have a starting spot in my daily fantasy rotation.
All that being said, here is a list of three players I love tonight and three that I won’t be using. All prices listed are according to Draftkings: my favorite fantasy basketball daily site.
Players I Love:
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Kevin Durant – $11,500 – By far the most highly priced player on Draftkings tomorrow (Wednesday) night, I think KD will absolutely be worth it. Dallas, coming into Tuesday, was allowing the third most points in the league at 107.0 per game. Even in a victory, the Mavericks allowed the lowly (2-3) Lakers to 104 points. Durant is coming off a 33 point, 10 rebound game vs Phoenix in Russell Westbrook’s 2013-14 debut. With his partner in crime back in town, Durant’s looks against Dallas should at least come semi-uncontested. Let’s face it though, Dallas has no one who we can reasonably expect to hold him down, so the potential for a 40+ point game clearly exists. I just can’t see not using him at home against a Dallas team on the second night of a back-to-back.
Blake Griffin – $9,300 – Orlando still is waiting on the return of their starting PF Tobias Harris. Reports are it will be a while before we see him. Also, the team is still without backup PF Glen “Big Baby” Davis. Therefore, Griffin will get a combination of Andrew Nicholson (who has been a nice surprise so far), Jason Maxiell and Nikola Vucevic trying to shut him down. Brook Lopez just burned Orlando to the tune of 21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks. Blake may not get the blocks, but he should outdo the rebound total. In a game sure to have one of the higher over/unders of the day (I’m writing this the night before), I feel really confident in saying we’re going to get a 20/10 type game from Griffin. Don’t forget, he is one of the better big man passers also, so the assists will be an added bonus. Let’s just hope the Clippers don’t absolutely blow the Magic out on the road.
Jonas Valanciunas – $5,500 – As I mentioned in the opening, Valanciunas will be in my daily lineup on Wednesday. He has the potential to put up Roy Hibbert/Tim Duncan type numbers but will be almost $2,000 cheaper. With that extra money, you should be able to find a way to get Durant into your lineups. The combo of those two should win readers plenty of money by the time the last whistle has sounded on Wednesday.
Players I Won’t Use:
Jrue Holiday – $7,700 – Holiday has been semi disappointing this season (as many predicted after the team change). Clearly, this is Anthony Davis’ team. The three point dud on Tuesday was more of an outlier than a trend, but the Pelicans get the Grizzlies on Wednesday. Mike Conley is one of the best on ball defending point guards in the league. It smells to me like one of those games where he may take more shots than he has points. While he’s going to produce a combination of points, assists, steals and threes, so are the only point guards in the same price range. Go with Conley instead if you have to choose.
Joakim Noah – $7,100 – Speaking of tough tasks, Noah and the Bulls get the Pacers and their #1 rated defense. Not only are the Pacers 4-0, but they allow a league best 85.5 PPG. Roy Hibbert and David West play excellent defense in the post. Noah isn’t much of a scorer but having to deal with such a big body like Hibbert may hurt his rebounding prowess. I don’t expect a double-double from Noah, which for that price, makes him unusable.
Jameer Nelson – $6,200 – Nelson has been sneaky good so far this season averaging 12.8 PPG, 2.3 3PM, 4.0 REB, 6.3 AST and 1.3 STL. Those across-the-board numbers translate nicely to daily fantasy basketball……..usually. Chris Paul comes to town Wednesday scaring me away from Nelson. Not only is Paul a beast on the offensive side of the court, but I worry he will slow down the older, less athletic point guard. In order to have a chance at beating the Clippers, I think the Magic will have to allow the more athletic Oladipo do most of the ball handling. For that reason, I will be avoiding Nelson even at the decent cost.