Welcome into the Tuesday edition of Fantasy Basketball Top Plays and Fades! We have just a four game slate tonight with multiple teams on back to back situations.
Tonight’s slate is a pretty interesting one. On DraftKings, there are only two players that are over $10,000 and on FanDuel there’s only four. That alone can skew some things and four of the eight teams are coming into the second leg of back to back spots. These are all things that will need weighed today and as always on such a short slate, Fade plays are relative. If you enter 20 entry max contests, a fade might still be around 10-15 percent of said player since the pool is limited. Let’s get going with our Fantasy Basketball Top Plays!
Fantasy Basketball Top Plays – Point Guard
Top Play – Kyle Lowry, Raptors
I would much rather Kawhi Leonard be out to stick with this pick but there’s a very solid chance Lowry goes off regardless. The Kings have struggled on the second end of a back to back all year and have to travel to one of the better teams in the East home court. It’s fair to be concerned about a blowout but if that happens, Lowry is going to be one of the reasons why the game gets out of control.
So far on the season, the Kings have given up the fifth most DK points to the position and the fifth most assists. If there is a legitimate criticism of Lowry, it’s he doesn’t score enough. Still, with a team that already gives up a massive amount of assists and Lowry being behind only Russell Westbrook in assists seem like a pretty solid mix. If Kawhi plays, Lowry could be the assist man on plenty of his baskets. If he doesn’t, Lowry just runs more of the offense.
Honorable Mention – Derrick Rose, Wolves
Fade – Dennis Smith Jr., Mavericks
We’re finally going to see Smith back in the Mavericks lineup but it’s going to be tough for me to play him in my lineup. Yes, the matchup is fantastic on paper. The Clippers have given up the eighth most DK points to point guards and that includes the sixth most real points. Still, I’m not convinced Smith is going to have a major role on this team and I’m not willing to see I’m wrong.
We’ll be talking more about it in a minute, but rookie phenom Luka Doncic has taken over, period. I’m actually a little bit surprised Smith is back in the lineup because the trade winds have been swirling. Between that and how many games he’s missed lately, I don’t think banking on him for big minutes would be smart. Even though the price looks appealing, I’m not sure it’s a great idea to plug him in if he plays just 20 minutes.
Honorable Mention – De’Aaron Fox, Kings
Fantasy Basketball Top Plays – Shooting Guard
Top Play – Luka Doncic, Mavericks
It’s probably getting redundant and I try to not always write him up, but it’s hard to avoid Doncic on this slate. He is coming of his first career triple double yesterday and now he gets a Clippers team that plays at a very fast pace, which should only help create more chances to score fantasy points. When these teams met the first time(without Smith), Doncic posted a line of 32/5/4 and brings that same type of upside tonight.
Since December started, Doncic has recorded a 32.2 percent usage rate and 1.35 FPPM while running the offense. The rookie has come into his own and this is just the perfect spot for him to fill the stat sheet yet again. His price tag only came up $500 on DK and he’s going to be a very popular option since there’s only four games and he went for 50+ DK just about 24 hours ago.
Honorable Mention – Devin Booker, Suns
Fade – CJ McCollum, Blazers
It’s a pretty grim position on FD tonight since there are only four games and the options at the top are expensive/limited. If you’re looking in the mid-range, it’s going to be tempting to play McCollum tonight and I myself might have a couple of share in a multi-entry GPP. That should be where you draw the line and McCollum should not be a core play whatsoever.
It’s been a tough season fantasy wise for McCollum because he’s been so average so far. Oklahoma City is quietly pretty bad against shooting guards this season, giving up the sixth most DK points but it’s only based off the 14th most real points. If McCollum isn’t scoring a bunch of real points, the odds of him turning in a solid fantasy game are not very good. The price is going to taunt me all day because he should stand out, but he won’t at the end of the night.
Honorable Mention – Andrew Wiggins, Wolves
Fantasy Basketball Top Plays – Small Forward
Top Play – TJ Warren, Suns
We need some type of value on this slate and an underpriced TJ Warren is a good place to start. He’s under $6,000 on DK and $6,500 FD, which should just not happen. Deandre Ayton looks highly doubtful to play, but that doesn’t really have a huge effect on Warren positively or negatively. He also averages almost 32 minutes a night and provided the Suns can keep this game close, he’ll likely be closer to the 36-38 minute mark. With that time on the court, I’d take my chances on a lot of players but Warren draws a nice matchup as well.
The Timberwolves have allowed the fifth most DK points to the small forward and he just hit 31 DK points in this very same matchup a couple of days ago. Warren is one of the secondary scoring sources behind Booker and should be leaned on tonight. This is a player that is typically around $600-$800 more expensive and it’s going to be hard to turn away from the value, especially on FD where you have to play two small forwards.
Honorable Mention – Paul George, Thunder
Fade – Harrison Barnes, Mavs
If you’re playing FD, it seems like one of the better paths to the position is playing George and Warren(or maybe Kelly Orube from the Suns as well). One player that I really don’t want to play unless it’s just for cash is Barnes. During the same time period that we talked about for Doncic, Barnes has a nice usage rate at 25.4 percent. However, that hasn’t translated to fantasy success because he’s also averaging 0.85 FPPM during that stretch and is barely worth his mid-range price tag.
The Clippers can be vulnerable to wing players and are missing key components to their team but yet, I’m going to struggle to hit the submit button with Barnes in any lineup. We usually view a player like Barnes as safe, but he proved yesterday that’s not exactly true. Even though he played 31 minutes, he mustered just 8/3/1 with two turnovers, which is terrible even at his current price. I wouldn’t expect that outcome again, but he’ll be a pass for me.
Honorable Mention – Kawhi Leonard, Raptors(blowout concerns)
Fantasy Basketball Top Plays – Power Forward
Top Play – Tobias Harris, Clippers
This is the kind of spot that injuries almost force your hand as far as who you want to play. The Clippers are down Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams tonight, leaving some gaping holes in their offense. Williams might come off the bench but he carries a usage rate over 32 percent. Gallinari is over 24 percent and we saw the upside that Harris is capable of in his first game without his team mates. He flirted with a triple double and went for over 60 DK points. While that is on the outer edge, the price is still very reasonable for the situation.
The matchup is nice in and of itself since Dallas is not the best defensive squad and while I do worry the rebounding total might be a little lower for Harris since DeAndre Jordan is on the other side, all the offense is going to be running through him. Harris is a safer play when Gallo and Williams are both active. He turns into a borderline elite fantasy player when they are out, based on a very small sample size.
Honorable Mention – Jerami Grant, Thunder
Fade – Serge Ibaka, Raptors
I’m already fully prepared for the Ibaka troll game. I haven’t been able to get this man right almost at all this year and despite what is a beautiful spot for him, I’m not all that excited. Ibaka draws the Kings on a back to back and this game carries some serious blowout concern. On top of that, Kawhi Leonard *should* be back in the lineup, limiting what Ibaka is needed for as it is. The Kings have given up the eighth most points to centers, which is where Ibaka plays. This wouldn’t be the first time Ibaka couldn’t handle a great spot.
In his past six games, Ibaka has faced four of the better matchups a center could ask for. He’s faced Atlanta, Phoenix, Brooklyn and Washington. His highest score in those situations came against the Suns, and it was just 30.7 FD points. While the price is more than fair, I just have visions of Ibaka putting up another very average line and myself being annoyed that I played him.
Honorable Mention – Al-Farouq Aminu, Blazers
Fantasy Basketball Top Plays – Center
Top Play – Karl Anthony-Towns, Wolves
I do have some concerns that the Suns can’t keep this game close for the second time. Frankly, I’m mildly surprised any night they manage to pull that feat off. Towns gets one of the most generous matchups on the board as the Suns have given up the second most DK points on the season to centers. That includes the second most points, fourth most rebounds and the most steals. The package gets even better since Deandre Ayton is likely out, just like he was this past game when KAT went for 60+ DK.
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Through the course of the season with Jimmy Butler off the floor, Towns is averaging a 29 percent usage rate and 1.50 FPPM. Even if he gets limited run in a blowout, he’s still worth the price and could get four quarters worth of production. The slate does include Russell Westbrook, but I personally think Kat might be the number on play on the entire slate when weighing all the factors.
Honorable Mention – DeAndre Jordan, Mavs(especially on DK)
Fade – None
Usually center is a pretty loaded position but that’s really not the case tonight. I firmly believe that KAT and Jordan are some of the better plays overall, but after that it gets pretty murky. Jusuf Nurkic and Steven Adams are coming off a game yesterday and both are in the top 20 in paint touches. Maybe one of them has a nice game but they could just limit the ceiling on each other.
Ayton is likely out and even Willie Cauley-Stein isn’t my favorite, but I’m not sure is a full fade. If you’re playing cash, KAT is the priority and DJ makes a nice utility on DK. Every other center deserves some GPP consideration if you multi enter. After that, you pretty much run into the backups for every team.
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