Welcome back to this solid 9-game slate. These are my favorite because we have the opportunity to go in several different directions in both our cash game and tournament builds. The big news of the day is what happens in the Brooklyn backcourt. Jeremy Lin will be out and we have to figure out where to allocate his 25% USG rate and 27 MPG. Vazquez was already ruled out for this game and if Foye gets ruled out later today, it makes Isaiah Whitehead the 80% chalk play of the day at just $3,600. That said, let’s get right into the player pool.
Isaiah Whitehead- $3,600
This may be the obvious play, but it’s worth leading the article off with because it’s not one you want to miss in cash and probably tournaments if we find out that Vazquez and Foye are both missing this game. Some plays you just have to plug in and move on; this is one of those plays. I’d expect near 40 minutes for Whitehead with Sean Kilpatrick getting some run handling the ball behind him. Although he’s been horrible in a back-up role, the good news is he has no problem getting up shots with a 23.7 USG rate thus far on the year. The spread is closer than expected too at -6.5 for Charlotte. He’s a lock in cash games if we get the injury news on Foye and I would have heavy exposure in tournaments.
J.J Barea- $4,800
The other big injury news on the day is Deron Williams being “Questionable at best” with a groin injury. As with the Brooklyn news, this leaves 34 minutes and a 21.7% USG rate on the table if Williams misses this game. Barea was an easy plug and play last year when Williams missed time and there’s no reason for us to deviate in a great match-up against Portland and Damian Lillard. He’s already playing well this season averaging 14.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 5.0 APG and 1 SPG in 31.5 MPG and very well may approach close to 40 minutes if Williams can’t go. This game comes with a solid Vegas total too at 206 with a close -1.5 spread for Portland. Again, don’t try and get cute here; lock him in your cash games if we get the Williams news and have heavy exposure in tournaments.
Patty Mills- $3,800
And the third reserve PG filling in for the starter news of the day leads us to Patty Mills against the Jazz. It’s not a great spot against the Jazz or match-up against George Hill, but he’s still a viable cash punt that won’t kill your roster. He did well as the starter in the blow-out against the Pelicans, posting 18-5 for 28.25 FDP in 24 minutes. There should be closer to 30 minute upside here in a tight game against the Jazz. I would not touch him in tournaments, but I’d feel pretty good about him getting to a floor of 18 FDP tonight. For $3,800, that’s perfectly acceptable if you need the extra punt in addition to Whitehead.
Sean Kilapatrick- $4,400
While Whitehead is essentially a pure volume punt at next to near minimum salary, Kilapatrick is the guy we can expect to soak up a ton of the usage left behind by Lin. He’s 2nd on the team in Usage behind Brook and ahead of Lin among rotational players at 25.6% and has been incredibly effective scoring the ball coming off the bench with a 62% TS and just 11% TOV rate. He also showed us some rebounding upside grabbing 10 rebounds in 28 minutes against Detroit.
He does become a worse in tournaments if we get the news that Foye will play. His minutes upside in this one is directly correlated to the Nets needing him to take 8-10 MPG at PG behind Whitehead. His floor tonight would still be perfectly fine in cash games no matter the injury news.
T.J Warren- $6,300
For no reason at all, T.J Warren was less than 20% owned 2 nights ago in cash games and even less in tournaments. Which is great news for us because it gives us an easier path to making money. Warren is a talented scorer and has quickly carved out a massive role here in Phoenix. I, like everyone else, thought this team was going to be all about Booker, Bledsoe and Knight and how Phoenix would keep all three happy, but Warren currently leads the team in PPG at 22.4, shot attempts at 17.8, minutes at 36 per game, steals at 1.8 and is tied for 2nd in rebounds at 6.2 and 2nd on the team in efficiency at 56.7% TS. Simply put, he’s been by far their best and most effective player and he’s still priced like an above average glue guy. It’s a fantastic match-up against New Orleans who don’t play any defense either in what should be an up-tempo game, which suits Warren well.
The one worry with Warren is that the three guards decide to take the reins back from Warren and relegate him to a more reserve role. Even if you think that’s a big concern of happening, Warren is still far too cheap in a match-up he should see 35+minutes in an up-tempo/no defense game. He’s a great cash play and could be one of the more overlooked tournament plays of the night if Tuesday’s slate was any indication.
Kawhi Leonard- $8,300
Kawhi is my favorite play in tournaments today and I’m strongly considering getting him in my cash game build. This game is going to be one that people will automatically skip and not give a second thought and you’ll be able to get everyone in the single digits on ownership. That’s a huge edge on a guy like Kawhi who’s quickly become match-up proof this season and is posting 1.42 FDP per minute this season.
A few quick numbers:
28.4 PPG—4.2 RPG—3.8 APG—3.0 SPG—17.6 FGA—-32.2 MPG—45.8 DKP
36.9 PER— 65% TS—51% Free Throw rate (up 20% so far from last year) —23.4% AST rate (up 10% from last year) — 32.8% USG—-7.7% TOV
Kawhi’s line 3 days ago:
30 Points– 2 assists–7 rebounds– 2 steals– 2 turnovers– 36 minutes—47.25 FDP
The spread also suggests a close game with the Spurs at -4, which bodes well for a 35+ minute Kawhi game. There’s also a solid revenge game narrative here with the Spurs losing by 15 at home just 3 days ago to Utah.
The negatives here are pretty obvious; these are 2 of the best defensive teams in the NBA that play at 2 of the slowest paces. That’s reflected in the Vegas total at 186.5, which is 12.5 points lower than the second lowest on the slate.
I think we can throw the total out here in relation to Kawhi though because his usage is through the roof and we should see a 35+ minute game from him tonight. There will plenty of rebound and steal opportunities for him and he gets by far the best match-up on the Jazz against old Joe Johnson defensively. It’s certainly a calculated risk in cash games because he’s going to be 5% owned, but I’ll take my chances with the well-rested MVP through 5 games.
Anthony Davis- $10,900
This is a great spot to get back on the Anthony Davis train after he let a lot of people down against Memphis on Tuesday. That was a spot that was doomed to fail from the start though with the B-B, Memphis physicality, and playing at a much slower pace than the Pelicans want to be at. The Suns are essentially the exact opposite of the Grizzlies; no defense, they like to run and Jared Dudley, Alex Len and Tyson Chandler are the guys they’re going to try and “stop” Davis with.
This is another spot where we don’t want to get cute with roster construction in cash games especially. Davis will continue to have astronomical usage for the Pelicans and he gets to play in a no defense/up-tempo match-up with a high total (212.5) and close spread (NO -3.5).
Larry Nance -$4,000
Nance has stepped up the past 2 games with Mozgov and produced 30 FDP in just 28 minutes. While his 6 steal game was fluky against the Pacers, I do think he’s someone who can continue to produce in this new role off the bench. The biggest upside here for me is if this game does in fact blow-out, Nance should be getting a majority of the 4th quarter minutes and will be able to put up a good amount of shots. It’s a solid floor with great upside for a $4k punt that likely goes overlooked with him playing in the sole late game. I don’t mind him in cash, but he’s better in tournaments as I think there are better spots with Whitehead, Kilpatrick and Mills all looking like safer and more viable punts on the day.
Draymond Green- $7,800
Draymond has been one of my favorite cash plays in the early part of the year as he’s been incredibly consistent through 5 games, posting between 35.25-40 FDP in 4 games with one 55 FDP game against the Spurs. That’s with him struggling from the field too, only posting a 45% TS compared to a 54% and 58% the previous 2 seasons.
This match-up against the Lakers is exactly the kind that Draymond thrives in where there should be a lot of turnover and transition opportunities to take advantage of. He’s also done well against Randle averaging 1.18 FDP/minute in 4 match-ups last season.
There’s some concern of a blow-out here, but the Warriors are coming into this game playing their 3rd game in 4 nights and the Lakers have done a much better job at staying competitive in game through the 4th quarter thus far. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of Durant, Curry or Thompson sit in this one, which would only boost Green further.
Green is just too cheap for the consistency he’s shown this season while still having that upside you want in tournaments.
Definitely is a fun slate tonight and one you will need to be watching the news for to get the right value guys in your line-up. There’s a lot of value at PG tonight and I have no problem punting with the 3 main value guys and getting to spend up nicely everywhere else.
Please feel free to send me any questions @AsmusSports on twitter. Good luck!