NBA Good vs. Bad Value Plays 2/7
Despite there being a ridiculous amount of value plays in the TNT Thursday games last night, there are even more in tonight’s action. Since there are so many with 10 games and multiple top salaries who are worth playing, we need to figure out who the best low-tier and mid-tier salary guys are.
Let’s get into it.
(Salaries via DraftKings)
Danny Granger $3,900 – With Lance Stephenson out with a back injury, Danny Granger gets the start. He should see a huge bump in minutes since the Pacers are pretty thin at the 2 and 3 behind him, Stephenson and Paul George. He doesn’t put up the fantasy numbers that Stephenson can and certainly isn’t a triple-double threat. However, Granger’s as good of a scorer and a better shooter. he also has a huge height advantage at 6’9″ going against Wesley Matthews at 6’5″. Granger might only be averaging .74 FPTS per minute, but that includes Granger’s slow start in finding his role as a sixth man. He’s doing better from an efficiency standpoint and getting at $3,900 as a starter is a great situation.
Steve Blake $4,800 – The Lakers situation changes every time. It’s easier just to say who’s healthy and expected to play: Steve Nash, Kendall Marshall, Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, Jordan Hill, Shawne Williams, Robert Sacre and Chris Kaman. Steve Blake is a game-time decision with a thing bruise, but given that the Lakers would be down to Nash, Marshall and Johnson as the only guys capable of playing the guard positions, the Lakers will likely do everything they can to play him. If he does go, Blake should get big minutes. Blake’s role isn’t easy to predict though. He played as much point guard as Nash against Minnesota, and he only took two shots. However, given that all the Lakers SG’s are out, including Jodie Meeks and Nick Young, it’s likely Blake will take on more of a scoring role, much like he did against Cleveland. Obviously make sure Blake is playing before the early tip against the poor-defensive Philadelphia 76ers, but he should easily surpass his production for a $4,800 salary.
Wesley Johnson $5,100 – No one has seen a bigger increase in minutes the past two games than Wesley Johnson. He’s playing 27.2 minutes on the season, but played 38 at Minnesota and 41 at Cleveland. Johnson put up 31.75 and 37.25 FPTS in those games respectively. LA will need him at SF and SG a lot tonight. Johnson is also the best defender (and maybe the only decent one) on the Lakers and going against the 76ers that lead the NBA in turnovers is a good sign. It should be another good night for Johnson.
Andray Blatche $5,100 – Kevin Garnett is getting a rest. This doesn’t necessarily mean Andray Blatche will start, but since the Pistons have significant size in their frontcourt, the Nets can’t afford to go small. I have a hunch that Blatche will start and get a lot of minutes. He’s averaging 1.09 FPTS per minute, which is a fantastic rate for someone with a $5,100 salary expected to have increased minutes.
Steve Nash $5,000 – While Steve Nash will get the start tonight, the Lakers are bringing him back slowly. He got 25 minutes versus the Timberwolves when he was only expected to play the first 6-8 minutes of each half. He rested the next night at Cleveland, despite almost being forced to dress late and come into the game when the Lakers were down to four players. I can’t see Nash playing big minutes tonight, especially if Blake suits up. Going against the 76ers is nice and he could get more than the 23.25 FPTS he had in Minnesota, but there’s little upside to playing him. He’s more of a 50/50 play, but you might as well go with Blake.
Ryan Kelly $4,300 – With Pau Gasol out, I’ve liked Ryan Kelly for his ability to stretch the floor at the 4. However, with Hill back and Williams back into the equation, there’s a better chance Kelly’s minutes could be limited. For someone that doesn’t get a lot of rebounds and defensive stats, there’s decent risk here. But, he’ll probably match his $4,300 salary regardless.
Brian Roberts (if Tyreke Evans is out) $4,200 – Roberts finally had a legitimate fantasy game of 34.75 FPTS. While some may write this off as a fluke, it’s more that he’s gotten increased minutes with Tyreke Evans out and taken more shots. Evans is a GTD. Minnesota is one of the worst teams in FPTS allowed to PGs. For $4,200, he’s worth consideration.
Amar’e Stoudemire $3,000 – Amar’e Stoudemire is finally getting more minutes now that he’s healthy and most of the other Knicks’ big men aren’t. Given that the Nuggets will run up and down the court, they will need Stoudemire off the bench for at least 20-25 minutes. Stoudemire is actually averaging .89 FPTS per minute
Kendall Marshall $5,800 (if Steve Blake plays) – Assuming Nash and Blake play, who knows how much playing time Kendall Marshall will get. He’s certainly taken a back seat to the rest of the guys in the last two games, despite providing great fantasy production as a starter. He’s not worth $5,800.
Robert Sacre $3,800 – With all the Lakers big men ready to go (except Pau Gasol), this is too risky. Even when he played 31 minutes versus the Timberwolves, he only managed 24.5 FPTS. He’s limited offensively and is a subpar rebounder.
Earl Watson $3,000 -Mo Williams is not with the team for personal reasons, so Earl Watson will back up Damian Lillard. But against Indiana, I wouldn’t expect much. Wait for a better matchup.
Marvin Williams $4,400 -Marvin Williams brought great fantasy numbers the last three games given his low salary (35.75, 29, 37.5). But Derrick Favors and Jeremy Evans return tonight. His minutes will go down, lose a lot of touches and rebounding opportunities.
Ronny Turiaf $3,900 – He’s nothing more than a defender and a body that takes up space. Kevin Love is doing the best he can to make up for the absence of Nikola Pekovic. The Timberwolves have enough depth that Turiaf doesn’t have to do too much.
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