Breaking Down Who Is Actually a Great-Value Play on Jan. 8
With nine games in Wednesday action and several injuries to consider, we’ve got plenty of value plays to choose from. Here are the notable injuries heading into tonight:
Shawn Marion – Out
Deron Williams, Brook Lopez – Out
Al Horford – Out
Ryan Anderson – Out
Eric Bledsoe – Out
Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry – Out
Patrick Beverly, Omer Asik – Out
Nikola Vucevic – Out
Chris Paul, J.J. Redick – Out
Rajon Rondo – Out
Manu Ginobili (hamstring) – Not officially ruled out, but said he “doesn’t care about missing one game” after feeling tightness in his hamstring last night against Memphis. Knowing Gregg Popovich’s caution when it comes to long-term health, it’s doubtful Ginobili plays tonight.
Nick Young (back) – He said he won’t miss time after last night’s game versus Dallas. Obviously it isn’t always up to the player and his status is still unsure for tonight, but given all the injuries the Lakers have, I’d expect Young to suit up.
Chandler Parsons (knee) – Didn’t participate in shootaround and is a gametime decision. The Rockets have great depth at the 3 and are 14.5-point favorites as it is. It’s not pressing for Parsons to play, but this really is 50/50 at this point.
We have plenty of players that appear to be great-value plays tonight, but some aren’t as good as you think. Let’s dissect the situation.
(Salaries are from DraftKings)
Marco Belinelli – $3,900 – In case you’ve been in the dark on the San Antonio Spurs, Belinelli has been starting at the 2 over Danny Green. Belinelli has put up at least 24 FPTS in five of his last 10 games, but his low-production nights came when his minutes were limited when the Spurs blew out their opponent. San Antonio is a 5.5-point favorite against Dallas tonight. But another reason why Belinelli might see increased minutes is that Ginobili will likely sit this one out. This means Belinelli, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green are the only three players that sit the shooting guard and small forward role.
Darren Collison – $5,300 – So why Collison over Jamal Crawford? Collison is more likely to contribute in multiple categories. In the last three contests, Collison has put up 34.2 FPTS by averaging 18.3 points, 5.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals. Meanwhile, Crawford has recorded 30.6 FPTS with 18 points, 5.7 assists, 1.3 rebounds and 0.7 steals. Granted it’s a small sample size, but historically Collison has been a balanced fantasy producer. The Clippers are 10.5-point favorites and the Celtics are playing some of their worst basketball of the season, but LA has a limited backcourt and he should get solid playing time regardless.
Terrence Jones – $4,800 – The Lakers have arguably the worst frontcourt defense in the NBA and are 30th in FPTS allowed to power forwards. It’s actually getting to the point that you should consider starting every solid power forward against the Lakers. It doesn’t matter if it’s Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Robert Sacre, Ryan Kelly or Chris Kaman – they can’t defend. Tonight, it’s Terrence Jones’ turn, who is averaging 32.4 FPTS in the last six games. That’s better than someone with a $4,800 salary. Add the opponent factor and that Parsons may not play, the stars are aligning for Jones. If you’re thinking Dwight Howard will want to go off against his former team, don’t use that logic. He put up 15 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and one block while committing four turnovers in the first meeting. He’s also only put up 28.3 FPTS in his last three games.
Gerald Green – $5,000 – Once again, Eric Bledsoe is out, which means Green gets the start at the 2. Green had an off game last night (22.75 FPTS), but that came at the Chicago Bulls and went against Jimmy Butler. The Minnesota Timberwolves are a much better matchup. The T-Wolves run the second-most possessions per game, are last in defensive field-goal percentage and give up the fourth-most points to shooting guards. Kevin Martin is a shooter, not a defender. The over/under is 214 and Green should have his FPTS reach the mid-to-upper 30s.
Shaun Livingston – $3,900 – Deron Williams is out again, which means Livingston gets the start. He logged an average of 34 minutes in his last three games and put up 21.75 FPTS. But Livingston only took 26 shots in those three games and made 10 of them. He’s much more of a defensive-oriented player and is deferring more to Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce for the offensive-perimeter duties. The Warriors allow the 10th in points allowed and fourth in defensive field-goal percentage. They’ve also won 10 straight and are playing very well on both ends of the floor. The only incentive to play Livingston is that Golden State is 29th in turnovers and he gets steals, but with a potential blowout and the rest of the Brooklyn backcourt healthy (minus Williams), this could easily be a dud game for Livingston.
Entire Orlando Frontcourt – With Nikola Vucevic out, you are probably looking for a play to make on Orlando. But I’m not sure if there’s one to make. While Vucevic has been coming in and out of the lineup, we’ve seen no consistency with who starts or who gets the most minutes in his absence. Jason Maxiell had one 43-minute game, but only had six points and six rebounds. Andrew Nicholson got six minutes in one start and picked up no stats, but then had 20 minutes off the bench with 12 points and six boards. While this has been happening, we’ve seen no significant increase to Glen Davis ($5,500) or Tobias Harris’ ($5,700) numbers. Going against the Trail Blazers as a 12.5-point underdog, there’s a great chance for a blowout. Then, you really have no idea how the minutes will play out. So, whether it’s Nicholson or Maxiell starting at the 5 for Orlando, I’d just leave it alone.
Pero Antic – $3,500 – In case you’ve primarily been just focusing on Paul Millsap with Al Horford’s injury, Antic is the new man at the 5 for Atlanta. The main difference between Antic and Horford is that Antic will stretch the floor and shoot the three. Going against Indiana, this could go well for the Hawks given that they’d want Roy Hibbert away from the rim. However, this doesn’t mean Antic’s stats will do well. It’s more likely that Millsap will benefit and that Teague will use the pick and pop with Antic and get to the rim. Furthermore, Antic is still only playing roughly 22 minutes per game with Horford out and has only grabbed double-digit rebounds once. Save Antic for a more likable matchup.
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