Well, the NBA All Star break is over, and this means that the prized pools will be smaller going forward. Prize pools will pickup during March Madness, but I would expect them to come back down to their normal expected amount again for the next few weeks. Tonight is a rather small slate as opposed to what we've been seeing, but certainly enough here to differentiate from the pack. I want to reiterate something that I know I mentioned in the past regarding lineup construction before diving into the slate here. When you are building a lineup, you should always be targeting your must plays first and lock them in. Whether this is 1 guy or even 5-6 guys, you should be looking for your top options first and build around them. Do not let injury news allow other players to impact your core just because you have salary leftover. I see too often people mention on Twitter how they loved their lineup early in the day, but right before lock, they changed everything. Over time, this is not a recipe for success, and your not building yourself principles to trust. I understand there are exceptions to this, but I see this behavior far often than necessary. Build your lineups, trust your projections, adjust slightly to injury news, and whatever you do, DO NOT BLOW UP YOUR LINEUP MINUTES BEFORE LOCK. Now that I got that off my chest, here's my favorite options for tonight.
Josh Hawkinson - Forward, Washington State. (FD Price $8,600, DK Price $8,900)
Hawkinson is one of the best big men in the country, not just in the PAC12, but he plays for a very bad team. This is one of the main reasons you here almost nothing about him. You may be thinking how could you target anyone from a team that hasn't won in a game in their last 11. Well I always trust the nations number one source for projected outcomes and that Las Vegas. They see this has a three point game for WSU, and there is only one way this game is close. Hawkinson must have a very strong showing, and he is certainly capable of this. Stanford has had some games where they've given up gaudy numbers to bigs, and this could certainly be another one here. I expect Hawkinson to bounce back from one of his worst games of the year, and his price is actually nice at this spot.
Melo Trimble - Guard, Maryland. (FD Price $7,800, DK Price $7,800)
You can certainly expect to see Trimble on your opponents lineups tonight. Minnesota has been a DFS target all season, and with no Diamond Stone tonight, the usage will be going up for the remaining starters. Trimble virtually never leaves the court, and is one of the safest players on the entire slate tonight. His upside is somewhat limited because he is not near the scorer other top guards are in the league, but his peripherals along with his scoring are very nice. For those counting at home Trimble is an impressive 4-27 from the field in his last thee games, so he is due to get back on track. He is not this poor of a shooter, and you should certainly expect him to reach over his season average of 14 real points per game tonight, along with decent peripherals.
Tyrone Wallace - Guard, California. (FD Price $7,700, DK Price $8,300)
The main reason California has an opportunity to make some noise in the tournament is not primarily because of their two stud freshman, but actually Wallace who is the true catalyst on this team. He recently returned from injury and has played off the bench, but has still looked good doing so. Tonight, they get the fast paced Huskies, and Wallace should have ample opportunity to pad his peripherals. I wouldn't be surprised if gets back into the starting lineup tonight being how important this game is as well. Jabari bird has looked good recently, but this is not Bird's team. Expect Wallace to get over 30 minutes tonight for the first time since returning from injury and put together a solid all around game to get to value tonight.
Jordan Murphy - Forward, Minnesota. (FD Price $6,500, DK Price $6,400)
This might not be a pick everyone likes or agrees with, but I am actually a fan of Jordan Murphy's game. He is only a freshman and struggles severely with foul issues, but when he's at home, he's a bit better at controlling his foul issues. This match-up doesn't scream "play me" for Murphy, but his price is so nice here. You can certainly expect Minnesota to want to get up for this one, as a win over Maryland would really look good on a bad resume this season for Minnesota. Even just competing with a team like Maryland, can provide some confidence to this team whos year is virtually over already. If Murphy can stay out of foul trouble to allow himself in the high 20s for minutes, I think he certainly gets to value here.
Jake Layman - Forward, Maryland. (FD Price $6,300, DK Price $6,800)
Playing the right guys on Minnesota will be key tonight, and I think your safest options are Trimble and Layman. I want to be clear though that Carter and Sulaimon are certainly in play as well, but I cannot just stack this entire team tonight and expect to take down a GPP. Carter and Sulaimon have big GPP upside but also can fall through. I also cannot play Dodd. He has had opportunities to start this year and not done much with it. Layman offers a good floor for this price and I like his usage to go up nicely with no Stone. We all know that Minnesota can be true fantasy gold and Layman is one of the safest for value of the night on Fanduel.
Derek Willis - Forward, Kentucky. (FD Price $6,000, DK Price $5,900)
Just the same way with key guys on Maryland being necessary to win big tonight, the same can be said for Kentucky. I have a serious problem with Ulis and Murray's price on Fanduel though, but there are others who are safe bets for minutes. Do not let lack of minutes fool you from Willis's last game as he dealt with foul trouble. Tennessee is another team that can give up loads of fantasy points to players especially on the inside. While Willis is primarily a jump shooter, he certainly does crash the boards as well. I like him tonight to bounce back as Kentucky should win easily.
Jonah Bolden - Forward, UCLA. (FD Price $5,800, DK Price $5,000)
Playing Bolden tonight goes against my disciplined ways, but I do feel there are spots where you need to climb the price ladder with player. Now, if he was 7K, he's an easy fade, but in this 5K range, this price is still a bit low. He has become the leading front court member for UCLA over Welsh and Parker, and barring foul trouble is a safe bet for 30 minutes. He has played well since getting the starting job, and this price is still too low for his upside. This is certainly not an ideal match-up, but there aren't many good cheap options tonight, and Bolden still provides good value for his tag.