Sked’s Favorite Plays at Each Position 1/17

It’s a monstrous lineup of NBA contests for Jan 17. Out of the 12 games, 11 of the 12 have the favored team only by seven points or fewer. The other game is the Miami Heat -10.5 at the Philadelphia 76ers, but the last time these two met, the Heat were 10-point favorites in Phili, but lost 114-110.

The other exciting aspect is that 10 of the 12 games have an over/under of at least 200 or more. One of the two that is under 200 is Chicago at Washington (185.5), but many of the Chicago players are still undervalued from the Luol Deng trade and Trevor Ariza is a game-time decision with the flu. The other one is Charlotte at Orlando (189.5), but Nikola Vucevic is still out and Aaron Afflalo returns to action.

There are also other storylines. Rajon Rondo returns for the first time since tearing his ACL last season, although he’s expected to be limited to 18-to-20 minutes against the Lakers. Nick Young has been suspended for tonight due to his altercation with Alex Len of the Suns, and the Lakers have signed Manny Harris to a 10-day contract. Gordon Hayward is a game-time decision versus the Pistons, which will greatly reflect people wanting to play Alec Burks. The list goes on.

There’s no doubt the winners in tonight’s daily fantasy are going to put up ridiculously high numbers.  With that, here’s a list of my favorite plays tonight. I’ll break it down by position and give a low, middle and high-salary player.

(All salaries are via DraftKings)

Point Guard

D.J. Augustin $4,200 OK, I’m not saying this just because Augustin had over 40 FPTS against the Magic on Wednesday. The triple OT clearly boosted his production by logging 40 minutes. Augustin is a legit play because Tom Thibodeau has been giving him just under 30 minutes per game off the bench and is averaging 10.8 points and a team-high 6.4 assists. He’s putting up 26.4 FPTS in his last 10 games and doesn’t correlate highly to specific matchups (Washington is 11lth in FPTS allowed to PGs). Considering that he’s only $4,200, always gets solid minutes and has a decent ceiling of potential, he’s worthy of a value play.

Darren Collison $5,500 I still don’t understand why Collison is this low. When Chris Paul went down in the middle of the Mavericks game, Collison still posted 29.75 FPTS. Since, he’s put up at least 31 FPTS in every contest, averaging 36.6 FPTS. The Knicks are 3-6 on the second of a back-to-back and are particularly atrocious on defense. New York is also a bad team at defending the pick-and-roll, which means lob city should be in full effect at Madison Square Garden.

Ty Lawson $8,100 – Since head coach Brian Shaw condensed his rotation, Lawson has logged 38.8 minutes in his last nine games. Plus, had the Nuggets not blown out a couple of their opponents, he’d be over the 40-minute mark. Lawson is two assists shy against the Magic from having a double-double in every game in the month of January. Other than the Orlando contest where he was limited to 30 minutes, he’s had over 40 FPTS each time during this stretch. Denver is running the floor like they used to under George Karl, except Lawson is logging a ton of minutes. Plus, the Cavaliers give up the second-most FPTS to PGs.

Shooting Guard

Randy Foye $4,500 – For a lot of the same reasons to Lawson, Foye gets a lot of playing time and is shooting lights out since the Nuggets started running the floor more frequently. Over the last seven games, where Denver has won six of them, Foye is posting 30.4 FPTS. That includes his 11.75 FPTS outing in a loss against his former team in the Utah Jazz, where he fouled out  and only played 18 minutes. If you take away the Utah game, Foye’s been getting just under 35 minutes per game, which is a lot for someone who is only $4,500. Foye also only averages 2.4 fouls per game, so the Utah game is an unusual scenario for him.

Gordon Hayward $6,300 – After missing today’s shootaround, Hayward (hip) is officially a game-time decision, who has missed Utah’s last three games. Hayward’s salary is lower since he’s been out and $6,300 is way too low for him. Not only is he averaging 34.8 FPTS on the season, this is someone who has put up 67.75, 55.25 and 49.75 FPTS outings in his last seven games. Luckily the Jazz are at the Pistons and this game tips at 7:35 E.T. Hopefully, news breaks on him before 7:00 if he plays and if his minutes will be limited. If Hayward starts and has the full green light, he must be played.

Dwyane Wade $6,900 – Wade didn’t play against the 76ers the first time around. He had an off game versus the Wizards, but Wade has been solid for pretty much the entire season. He’s averaging 36 FPTS on the season and I imagine there will be a huge sense of urgency given that the Heat have lost three straight. Oh, and in case you somehow didn’t know, Philadelphia has by far the worst fantasy defense all around and gives up the second-most FPTS to SGs.

Small Forward  

Manu Ginobili $4,200 – If you’re looking for a low-salary safe play for a 50/50 entry, here’s your guy. Ginobili can be a small forward or shooting guard pending which site you play on, but there’s greater depth at SG tonight. While his minutes really haven’t changed much, Ginobili has been starting at the 2 for the injured Danny Green while Marco Belinelli comes off the bench. Ginobili is averaging 30.7 FPTS in his last 10 games, but what could make him particularly beneficial is that Tony Parker may not play, who has been battling a leg injury. Even so, Ginobili’s minutes and FPTS production should easily overachieve his $4,200 salary with a spread of SAS -5 and an over/under of 212.

Luol Deng $6,100 Luol Deng’s minutes are up, but his salary isn’t. The newly acquired Cavalier has played 38.5 minutes in his last two games and has therefore put up 35 shot attempts and 83.75 FPTS combined. As mentioned before, the Nuggets are playing at a very fast tempo, which gives Deng more opportunities. DraftKings should bump his salary soon, but take advantage in this favorable matchup.

DeMar DeRozan $7,600 – Like Ginobili, DeRozan is starting at the 2, but can be played at the 3 on DraftKings. DeRozan is putting up 41.8 FPTS in his last eight games. This is particularly impressive since he faced the Pacers twice (first in FPTS allowed to SGs), Heat (fifth) and Pistons (ninth) during this stretch. DeRozan is obviously the primary offensive shooter, but his rebounding and assists numbers are up too. DeRozan faces the Timberwolves at home, where Minnesota gives up the fifth-most FPTS to SGs. The Raptors are -1 and the over/under is 206.

Power Forward 

Shawn Marion $4,500 – Marion’s salary went down significantly after his shoulder injury. He had been around $6,000 but after missing four games, only getting 15 minutes versus the Lakers and had a bad game against the Knicks, he’s down to $4,500. It is a little bit random when Marion takes on a bigger offensive role, but he’s averaging 26.8 FPTS on the year and is capable of having some big games. The Suns are below average against SFs and PFs in terms of FPTS allowed. Dallas is 1.5 and the over/under is 210.5.

Jared Sullinger $5,800 – It’ll be interesting to see Rondo tonight and there are some interesting variables to consider, but there’s one thing we know as of late. Sullinger has been a rebounding machine and the Lakers allow the most FPTS to power forwards and centers. Sullinger had a monster 62 FPTS against the Raptors on Wednesday. Not only has he had a double-double fives time in January, he’s also pulled down at least 10 boards this month when his minutes haven’t been limited because of getting blown out or getting in foul trouble.

Spencer Hawes $6,900 – Hawes is playing like he was to start the season, averaging 41.75 FPTS in his last three games. He’s getting it done in terms of points and rebounds, but that includes averaging six assists over that stretch and is averaging 4.5 dimes in January. The Heat are the worst rebounding team in the league and usually give up a lot of FPTS to the best offensive threat in the post. That’s Hawes in this case, who the Heat struggled to contain both down low and on the perimeter in their first matchup. Hawes went for 24 points, nine rebounds and two assists.


DeAndre Jordan $6,200 – DeAndre Jordan’s salary has oddly plummeted from $7,100 to $6,200. Jordan is averaging 34.2 FPTS on the season and 40 FPTS in the last six games. Both Amare Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin are out with injuries tonight. The Knicks typically have a solid frontcourt D, but with the injuries and Tyson Chandler likely to defend Blake Griffin, Jordan could easily go over 40 FPTS.

Anderson Varejao $6,500 –  Varejao is putting up 36.9 FPTS in his last 10 games, including a 56.75 game versus the Magic (no Vucevic), 50 against the Lakers and 41.5 versus the 76ers in just 26 minutes. Varejao has a high correlation to his competition. Again, Denver is playing smaller lineups and using their speed for the transition game. The Nuggets have given up the ninth most FPTS to centers in the last 15 games

Al Jefferson $8,000 – The Magic have been awful defending the post without Nikola Vucevic. Orlando is 26th in FPTS allowed to centers in the last 15 games compared to 13th on the season. Jefferson has been on a terror as of late, putting up FPTS totals of 45.5, 51.5 and 38.25 (vs Chicago) in his last three games. He also racked up over 40 FPTS in three other games in his last 10.

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View all posts by Nick Juskewycz
Nick Juskewycz

About the Author

Sked Nick is a Daily Fantasy Sports enthusiast and a former Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Most of his time is dedicated to the sports world in front of several televisions, monitors and a projector. This involves researching, writing, watching games or simply keeping up to date on news.He graduated with honors from Bowling Green State University with a degree in sport management and journalism. Furthermore, Nick was a radio play-by-play and color commentator for Bowling Green football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball. He also has experience working with the BGSU athletic department.Follow @NickJuskewycz

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