Welcome, to the Judge’s Verdict. We have a very tricky 6 game slate tonight, and we are waiting for some key injury news with Towns and Wiggins both questionable for Minnesota. I’d be shocked if Towns plays, but I am a mere mortal and do not have the IQ of these NASA scientist NBA coaches/GMs. So, be watching for news until lock.
Here are some of my top tournament plays for tonight’s slate.
Note: The numbers in parenthesis refer to the salaries of that particular player. The first number is the FanDuel (“FD”) salary, while the second number is the DraftKings (“DK”) salary.
Frank Jackson (4.8, 4.2)
Jrue Holiday is out for the Pelicans, and last game they started Elf and Frank Jackson together in the backcourt against the Raptors. This made zero sense, as this puny combo was taken advantage of all game long on the defensive end. However, the Pelicans do not have a ton of options, they don’t want to win games, and Frank Jackson (and Kenrich Williams) were the only two Pelicans who played at maximum effort. So, I would expect Jackson to get the start again today. He was impressive against a stingy Toronto team with 20 points and 6 rebounds on 20 shots! The downside was he had zero assists because he was playing off the ball most of the night with Elf at the point. However, tonight the matchup is Atlanta – this game should be all steals, blocks, layups, dunks, 3s. In other words, this game is fantasy gold, so Frank is a cheap way to get exposure to this game.
James Harden (12.2, 11.3)
We live in a salary cap world, and we need to spend our money somewhere tonight. Harden is the only star I trust with Towns likely out, the Warriors 16 pt favorites over Phoenix, and Giannis being monitored carefully each game with his minutes. There is some nice value tonight, so it’s very easy to plug Harden in and move on. In his 3 games against Dallas this season, Harden averages 30 pts, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, and 4 steals. Sign me up for anything close to that tonight.
Kenrich Williams (5.2, 4.9)
Honestly, you could argue he was the best player on the court in the game against Toronto. Watching the game, his energy popped off the screen. He was everywhere on both ends of the court. Again, the Pelicans don’t want to win games, so he only played 28 minutes (has played 28+ in 5 straight games) but he had 9 pts, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals. His game is so versatile, as he can play the 1-4 spots on the floor. He is a perfect fit for the Pelicans warp speed offense, and even without a high usage, he still stuffs the stat sheet due to his aggressive play. I would like this play a tad more if AD is out, but against the Hawks – I think I want to use a ton of Jackson/Williams combos in my tournament lineups.
Taj Gibson (4.8, 4.1)
This time of year, I want guys who are going to play with effort. Yesterday, Gibson’s enigmatic teammate Jeff Teague (in a smash spot) pouted all game and refused to look at the basket. He had a nervous breakdown during the game. It was cringeworthy. I expect Towns to be out, and Gibson should get the start in his place. The one thing we know about Taj is that he is going to play his heart out. Against an awful Knicks team, he should be able to get an easy double double playing 26-28 minutes. He had 15 pts and 13 rebounds yesterday against Washington in only 23 minutes, and without Towns – he will be forced in to a bigger role tonight. He’ll be popular, but this will be one piece of chalk I gladly eat.
Note: If for some shocking reason Towns does play, then I would want to limit my exposure to Gibson. But since it’s an 8pm ET game, I am not sure we get this news before lock.
Clint Capela (8.0, 7.0)
This is what I wrote last Houston slate:
I have been rostering Clint every slate that Faried is out (he’s out again tonight), and slowly he’s starting to regain his form since coming back from injury. The minutes have been great (33+) in 6 out of the last 7 games. The usage is awful, but his rebounds and activity on the defensive end has been trending in the right direction.
Well, that night Clint got us 18 pts, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals against Philly in only 29 minutes (due to a blowout). So, he came through for us. Tonight, against a tanking and depleted Dallas frontcourt, I expect him to come through once again. Plus, I love the correlation of Harden/Clint, and 4-5 of Harden’s assists will most likely be lobs to Capela. Center is not ideal tonight, so Clint is my top play on a very uncertain slate.
Alright, the Judge’s Verdict is in and it is final. Good luck tonight!
If you have any comments/feedback, I’d love to hear from you. You can find me on twitter @DanielAGreen1 and Instagram @DGCourtroom. Also, be sure to check out my lineup lock show on Instagram Live: The Final Verdict, Monday through Friday at 5pm ET