With guys like Russell Westbrook and James Harden dropping 60+ fantasy point games, they will be staples in the lineups for many of us. But... To grab those players, value is crucial in NBA, just like any other DFS sport. Value opens up through injuries, site pricing, and rotational changes. We are staying on top of that for you here, talking about the best value at each position.
As far as backcourt injuries go, we are fairly light for this time of year. Kyle Lowry remains out, which means DeMar DeRozan sees monster usage, and Cory Joseph picks up heavier minutes. Toronto laid an egg against Washington in the last game, and I do expect a better performance. Joseph's price has risen a bit on FanDuel, to $5,000. He is $5,200 on DraftKings, where I am off of him as well. Jordan Clarkson I rather go up about $1,500 and use D'Angelo Russell on FanDuel ($6,400), or Derrick Rose at the same price. Russell is priced up a bit more on DraftKings, at $6,900. He gets a premium matchup against Isaiah Thomas, who is the worst defending point guard in the NBA. Jordan Clarkson has seen more consistent minutes since the Lou Williams trade, playing 29, 27, and 34 minutes in the last three games. He has scored 22+ in each. T.J. McConnell is another cheaper point guard to look at this evening. Derrick Rose is another poor defender, and McConnell has averaged 7-5-7 with 1.5 steals per game against New York this season (two games).
Dion Waiters is questionable for tonight's game, which means Josh Richardson will see a tick up in minutes, while Wayne Ellington will follow. However, given the blowout nature of last game, I wouldn't expect Ellington to play more minutes than Richardson. The Magic are middle of the road against opposing shooting guards, and are bottom ten in fantasy points allowed to the position in the last ten games.
Wesley Matthews is also ruled out, and when that happens, both Harrison Barnes and Seth Curry see a small bump in usage. Nerlens Noel is expected to start at center, with Dirk Nowitzki and Barnes moving to the three and the four. It is not a particularly attractive matchup against Memphis, but Curry still catches my eye. If you have followed the trend here, the mid-range outweighs the true deeper values on the slate. That might mean sacrificing an expensive stud, but so be it.
Small forward has some decent values tonight, and one starts with Brandon Ingram. He is playing heavy minutes since the trade, averaging 38 in three games. In that span he is averaging 14-4-2. He certainly needs all the minutes he can get to have fantasy relevance right now, but I will take it. If you have the extra cash, going with T.J. Warren isn't a bad idea. Warren is another one playing heavy minutes, averaging -- minutes over the last four games. In that span, he is averaging ----. In tournaments, I don't mind firing away with Khris Middleton, who is averaging 27 minutes in the last three games, and coming off of a big game against Denver. Ownership should be on the rise with him, getting a premium player at a cheaper price.
Derrick Favors has started to get more consistent minutes, averaging 26 since the break. In that span, he is averaging 12 and 7, with 1.8 blocks per game. Utah has the best fantasy matchup on paper, so firing away is never a bad idea. Brooklyn ranks 28th in rebounding, and allow the most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards. James Johnson's price has come down after that hot stretch. He bounced back last game, shooting 54% from the field, all after some horrid shooting performances. With all the injuries in Miami, Johnson should continue to see 25+ minutes.
Jahlil Okafor and Richaun Holmes have been holding down the fort in the center since the Noel trade, and Joel Embiid injury. Anytime Okafor has been in foul trouble, Holmes has come in and been a solid producer. The only game Okafor has produced, was against this Knicks team a few games ago. Both are in a good spot, yet remain tournament only. I much rather use a Pau Gasol, who is averaging 16 and 7 since coming back from injury, and has been extremely efficient since coming off the bench. I am more looking at him for $5,400 on DraftKings.