NBA Plays of the Day 2/9: All Hail the King
Happy Friday everyone! The trade deadline is officially over and we’re definitely going to feel the affects of it tonight. After their fire sale yesterday, the Cavs will dress a G-League team and LeBron against the Hawks tonight, while we also have Jimmy Butler and Blake Griffin taking on their former clubs.
Between an overwhelming amount of value plays and revenge narratives, we’re looking at a very eventful slate, so let’s get to it:
*FanDuel and DraftKings prices listed respectively
Kyrie Irving ($8,000 / $7,900)
It’s always nice when we get a stud that’s clearly mis-priced. Aside from his three games he sat due to injury, Irving has eclipsed value at this price tag in 6 of his last 7 games. Over that span, he’s carried a 29.9% usage rate and a 64.7% and a 28.5% assist rate.
His matchup, Corey Joseph, ranks 88th out of 99 eligible point guards in DRPM at -1.80 and should be absolutely no match for Kyrie.
Jamal Murray ($6,700 / $6,300)
Murray is typically more of a GPP play due to his low floor, but we all know what his ceiling is and at this price, that’s awfully enticing. He’s posted at least 31 FDP in 5 of his last 6 games and has seen at least 32 minutes in 5 of 6 as well. With Emmanuel Mudiay out of the picture and Devin Harris inactive, Murray could see a small boost as well.
A matchup with Chris Paul is never something to target in DFS, but with a 221.5 over/under, Murray should have no problem getting his tonight.
Other options: Chris Paul (smash spot, but a secondary stud), Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox (if active), Jerian Grant, Rajon Rondo (GPP)
Lou Williams ($6,800 / $7,600)
This price tag is just criminal. I know he’s been “struggling” compared to how scorching he was a few weeks ago, but since Jan. 1st, Williams has averaged a 31.7% usage rate. He’s scored or exceed 20 raw points in 9 of his last 11 games and only needs 34 FDP to reach 5x, something he can do in points alone.
Now that the Pistons have lost Avery Bradley, there’s one less strong perimeter defender to slow down the 6th man. Not to mention, he’s facing off against his former co-star Blake Griffin. Expect him to carry the offense tonight.
JR Smith ($4,400 / $4,800)
As expected, I do have to put some Cavs value in here for tonight. After selling off Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye and Derrick Rose yesterday, the Cavs will certainly lack firepower tonight. With Kevin Love still out, Smith finds himself as the default #2 option.
He’s a cash game lock and a shoe-in for 20 FGA attempts tonight. He should eclipse value based off of volume alone.
Other options: James Harden (strong pivot off of LeBron), Jrue Holiday, Donovan Mitchell, Will Barton, Gary Harris, Alec Burks
LeBron James ($11,500 / $12,100)
Fun fact, with the 6 players traded yesterday and Kevin Love off of the court, LeBron sports a 45.3% usage rating. Not that you needed any persuading to play him, but a 2-point spread against one of the worst teams in the East is a cherry on top. Lock him in.
Taurean Prince ($4,500 / $4,900)
Prince can be really frustrating to roster, but a 50-point ceiling at this price tag is way too hard to come by.
The Cavs are the worst team in the league in terms of defending the small forward position, allowing 43.46 FDP per game to the position. In Prince’s last game against the Cavs, he posted 39.4 FDP with a 24-point, 7-rebound, and 6-assist performance. He’s a fine value tonight.
Other options: Jimmy Butler (revenge narrative), Danilo Gallinari, Jayson Tatum, Royce O’Neale
Blake Griffin ($9,200 / $9,100)
If you’ve seen my Twitter bio, then you know that I’m a revenge-narrative enthusiast. Less than a year after Griffin committed to the Clippers mission, they dealt him to the Pistons. Since the trade, he has posted a 30.1% usage rate, a 27.5% assist rate and a 12.2% rebound rate. He’s looked happy and at home with this team, leading fast breaks and throwing lobs to Andre Drummond.
You can expect him to come out with a chip on his shoulder tonight and the likes of Montrezl Harrell and Tobias Harris should not slow him down.
Jeff Green ($3,900 / $4,500)
Once again, trust the Cavs in cash tonight. Jeff Green may not be starting, but will be tasked with anchoring the second unit with LeBron off of the court (if he doesn’t play 48 minutes). With the traded players off the court, Green holds a 18.9% usage rate.
The Hawks also rank 7th worst in the NBA against the PF position, allowing an average of 48.3 fantasy points per game to the position. He’s a free square on FanDuel and makes affording LeBron a cake walk.
Other options: Ben Simmons (if Embiid sits), Dario Saric, Zach Randolph, Lauri Markkanen (favorite GPP play), Taj Gibson, Trey Lyles
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,400 / $9,300)
Of the high-priced centers, KAT is my favorite due to recent performance and current price. His salary has not yet caught up to his average of 47.1 FDP per game over his last two games.
The Bulls rank in the bottom half of the league against centers and with all of the attention on Jimmy Butler, KAT is a great GPP pivot.
Hassan Whiteside ($7,600 / $7,400)
Whiteside is by far and away my favorite center. With Kelly Olynyk out last game, Whiteside finally saw over 30 minutes of playing time and posted 16 points and 17 boards.
While he’s failed to register a block in the last three games, he recorded 6 of them the last time he squared off with the Bucks. He also posted 27 points and 14 rebounds in that contest. While meeting Giannis at the rim usually doesn’t end well for opposing bigs, it does provide more shot blocking and rebounding opprotunities.
I expect Whiteside to have another mammoth game for a very reasonable price tag tonight.
Other options: Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Al Horford, Tristan Thompson, Greg Monroe