A wise man once told me, “the choices we make define who we are.” What a powerful statement. Just think about that for a second. If we are put in the same situation and react differently, that actually defines us as a person. You and me are no different than just a split second reaction to the same situation.
This also applies to the world of fantasy basketball. I know, weak transition, but what can you do? Anyways, faced with a 12 game slate tonight, the players we decide to lock into our lineups will not only define our personality, but also our bankroll. On large nights, we have to analyze these decisions a little more closely. Tonight I’ll give you a philosopher’s choice at a few positions so you can make your own decision. I have pegged all these players as solid plays, and will give you the background, so you can make your own decision.
Without further ado, here are the guys I like tonight. All prices are based on my favorite daily site (Draftkings).
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The Point Guard Debacle:
Michael Carter-Williams – $8,200 – As the most expensive of the bunch, he really has to put up some solid numbers to be worthwhile. He’s averaging four more fantasy points per game (41.3) than the next guy on the list (Kyrie averages 37.3). There are negatives here however. MCW averages much better numbers on the road: 19.4 PPG compared 15.9 at home. Also, his numbers have regressed plenty from December to January. On the opposite side, MCW averages over 19 PPG, 6 REB and 7.5 AST in games vs. conference opponents. Question is do you think he’s worth the extra money opposed to the others?
Kyrie Irving – $8,000 – Portland ranks 28th over the course of the season in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards. Guess what? Over the last 15 days, they rank in that exact same spot (28th). Translation: they aren’t very stout defensively against the player handling the ball. Irving has only had one monster, Kyrie type night since returning from injury on 1/5. He pulled that off against the 26th ranked Utah point guard defense over the past 15 days. Portland is worse. Just beware the addition of Deng could be keeping his scoring numbers down the past few days.
Kemba Walker- $7,900 – Everyone loves players against Philadelphia. Why wouldn’t you? I wrote about just how terrible they’ve been in this article for FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues. He’s definitely a solid play, I won’t deny that, but Philadelphia has been improving their point guard defense. Sure, for the season they rank dead last, but that’s because MCW had to adjust to the league. Carter-Williams is still a 6’6, long and athletic point guard. Over the past 15 days, Detroit, Charlotte, Portland, Phoenix and Utah have all allowed more fantasy points to the position. Also, Kemba is on the second night of a back-to-back where he had a monster performance in the first game. Hard to duplicate that line night in and night out. If you use Kemba, just realize his match-up is good but not the best of the night in terms of PGs.
Goran Dragic – $7,700 – Dragic has been absolute magic since Eric Bledsoe went down to injury. The great thing about him is he qualifies at SG also so you can use one of the other PGs along with him. The Lakers are a bottom third defense against the PG over the last 15 days and bottom four overall PG defense for the season. Not much downside to Dragic tonight except for the fact that there’s a slim blowout possibility with the game being in Phoenix. Also, Dragic almost always seems to produce the majority of his fantasy points in the first half. If neither of those both you, start him.
Isaiah Thomas – $7,600 – Always consider saving a few bucks and using IT2. Coming off a terrible game, the “Pizza Guy” is due. Minnesota allows the ninth most fantasy points per game to the point guard position. Sacramento has yet to face the Wolves this year so there is no prior data. Isaiah is averaging over 34 FP per game in his last 5 games despite the recent dud. The problem with Sacramento is there are games where the ball hogs (DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Marcus Thornton to name a few) dominate the ball. Hopefully tonight is not one of those games.
Ricky Rubio – $6,800 – Points and shooting percentage aside, Rubio is a nice cheaper option. If you want to rely on steals, rebounds and assists (all things MCW does along with scoring) to produce your fantasy points, then Rubio is your guy. He’s only averaging 31.8 FP per game this season. That means if you are striving for 300 points on any given night, you will come up short using Rubio. On average, Rubio produces 10.6% of the points you need for 300 points but costs 13.6% of the cap. Having said that, Sacramento is a bottom two PG defense for the season. If there’s any night to use him, it’s tonight.
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Kendall Marshall – $6,100 – Bargain option whose appeal comes from his passing. Coming off a 16 assist game last night, Marshall gets a Phoenix team struggling against the position lately without Bledsoe. Marshall’s numbers are better at home, but due to his cheap price, it makes him mighty enticing. A double-double comes with a bonus on DraftKings and he is one of the better bets on the list to accomplish that feat.
Darren Collison – $5,700 – No CP3 continues to mean BIG things for Collison. He has averaged over 36.5 fantasy points over the last four games and gets Dallas at home tonight. Dallas isn’t the worst point guard defense there is but are bottom half for both the season and over the L-15. Intriguing option for those who decide to spend elsewhere.
Other Few I Love:
Eric Gordon – $5,700 – No Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday means the scoring has to come from somewhere. While Anthony Davis has his hands full tonight with Dwight Howard, Gordon will be facing a below average wing defense. Easily the best scorer left healthy on the time besides Davis, this could mean big things. Remember Gordon once averaged 22+ points a game on the Clippers for a full season as the #1 scoring option. Tonight, that role is his once again. Free Eric Gordon in your lineups tonight.
Miles Plumlee – $5,300 – Averaging over a double-double against the Lakers in two games this season, the price makes him a no-brainer. The exact numbers are 11 PPG, 13 REB and 1 BLK, which in fantasy points translates to 29.25. If you can get that type of score once again from one of your cheap players, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Josh McRoberts – $4,100 – Or as I call him, “Mini-Batum,” is an excellent play tonight. Philadelphia’s defense is terrible against every position and McRoberts accumulates numbers in unique ways. With plenty of opportunities to score and rebound in a high-scoring affair, McBob should be able to accumulate his fair share of points, rebounds and assists. In his own weird way, he averages 23.6 fantasy points for the season. Add a couple added opportunities in there against a horrible defense, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he approached or surpassed 30 FP.
If you have any further questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @RSandersFR.