HIGH FIVE/low five
Daily Fantasy can be quite the grind! Let us do the grinding for you with “High Five/Low Five”. Each day we help put you in the money by presenting you with FIVE of the “top-tier” plays, as well as a quick list of FIVE “value plays”. Houston Rockets’ SG James Harden flies high as Tuesday’s top Daily Fantasy Basketball play.
Let’s rip it up.
Point Guard: Damian Lillard, POR ($7,900): Damian Lillard is the second-lowest priced PG among the top level players, and has arguably the best matchup. That my friend is what we call fantasy gold. There are a few expected high scoring contests tonight, but this evening’s tilt against the Denver Nuggets is projected to be the highest, and with just a three point spread, it should be a close game. All those factors alone would make Lillard a great play, so when you add in that LaMarcus Aldridge will again be out, Lillard goes from great play to near must play. In the last three games, all without Aldridge, Lillard has bested 40 FPs and averaged just a tick over 30 actual points per game. Similar production should be expected as his floor, with possibly a 50 FP ceiling. I will be rostering Lillard in all my cash games, as should you.
Shooting Guard: James Harden, HOU ($9,200): James Harden has been on fire since the All-Star break, with three straight games over 40 FPs, and an average of nearly 50 FPs. The price is high, but he’s been producing, and with enough value across the board at some other positions, Harden can be afforded and should produce against the Sacramento Kings. Making Harden even more appealing is that fact that it should be a high scoring game and the Kings’ defense ranks just 28th vs. SGs. Harden should be the top-scoring SG on the night, and hit right around his value threshold of 46 FPs, with a chance to do even more damage than that.
Small Forward: Paul George, IND ($8,700): Paul George is another player that has been lighting it up since the All-Star break, averaging over 45 FPs in the three games since. Tonight, he’ll look to continue his great play when he faces a Los Angeles Lakers squad that has been among the leagues worst at defending the SF position. There is of course a certain measure of risk in playing George tonight given that this game will probably be over by the end of the third quarter. However, some of that risk should be mitigated a bit, due to the fact that the Pacers will be playing at a little bit quicker pace than usual. If you can’t stomach the price or the blowout risk, I think Rudy Gay, SAC ($8,000) also makes a fine play against a Houston Rockets team that he’s torched this year in every game in which he’s played over six minutes.
Power Forward: Tobias Harris, ORL ($6,700): It’s a hard thing to not recommend Kevin Love, but if there is one night that I think you can get away with it, it’s tonight. There is a lot of depth at PF tonight, so people are going to be spending big at the other positions, which I think will affect Kevin Love’s ownership percentage negatively. That is to say, even if he does go off, it’s not going to affect you like it would on a night when he’s owned on over 60 percent of rosters. Which bring us to today’s pick, Tobias Harris. For starters, Tobias Harris is the man at the PF position on the Orlando Magic, with Glen Davis having recently been shown the door. Second, he only needs 33.5 FPs to reach value and has been averaging more than that since the return from the All-Star break. Third, he’ll be matched up against a Washington Wizards frontcourt that will be without their usual starter, Nene Hilario. All that considered, there are still a few nice value plays below even Tobias Harris’ price point and they should be heavily thought about, especially with how they’ll allow you to spend up at the other positions. If you are going to spend up, Harris would be the ceiling for me and I’ll expect about 35-40 FPs from him for the money.
Center: Joakim Noah, CHI ($9,100): I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the top three options at the center position, but with Noah taking on an Atlanta Hawks’ frontcourt that literally has about two bodies — neither of which are pretty imposing — he’ll be my pick to click. One thing that does temper my expectations a bit, and will probably cause me to pick and choose between Dwight Howard and DeMarcus Cousins, is the fact that this game will be pretty low scoring. Also, despite the spread of just two points, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulls blow the Hawks out. Either way, I’m expecting about 40 FPs from Noah tonight, with a much higher upside if the game remains close. I think it’s really close between him, Howard, and Cousins and would fault no one for taking one of the other two.