Welcome, to the Judge’s Verdict. We have a very tricky 10-game NBA slate, and I have a way too expensive date with Chipotle tonight – so let’s get right down to business.
Here are some of my top tournament plays for today’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.
Lonzo Ball (6.8, 7.7)
This is obviously easier to stomach on FD, but I am fine with Lonzo in tournaments on either site. LeBron is out and Kuzma is questionable for the Lakers, so Lonzo should be featured prominently tonight on both ends. He has been inconsistent and benched for (gasp) KCP the last two games because the Lakers wanted to space on the court. However, Lonzo possesses rare upside that most other PGs cannot match due to his ability to stuff the stat sheet. Everyone is going to play Rozier tonight (and that makes sense in cash), however, just keep in mind that Rozier had 6 steals and blocks last game. So, Lonzo is a nice pivot in tournaments against the disgusting Knicks.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (6.1, 6.2)
We live in a salary cap world, and I am a salary cap girl…or so I say on the show. I am perplexed with what’s going on with THJ lately. He looks disinterested and passive on the court, and the Knicks are an absolute mess. However, his price has been in a free fall (rightfully, so). He still is going to play big minutes (38 last game), and I want exposure in this game against the Lakers. It is rare to find that 6K guy with massive upside. So, I am going to play lineups with both Lonzo/THJ and hope the pace allows fantasy points to flow freely in this game.
Brandon Ingram (6.9, 6.8)
I promise this will be the last player in the Lakers game that I will discuss. However, Ingram might be my favorite play on the entire slate. If Kuzma is out, then this play becomes truly glorious. But even if Kuzma does play (and we probably will not know before lock), Ingram is going to stuff the stat sheet tonight. Everything is trending in the right direction for Ingram, as he’s averaging 40 minutes, 19 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and 1.5 blocks in the last two games. Those are all-star worthy numbers, and he does have that kind of talent. My main concern with Ingram is effort/being passive, and with the Lakers so banged up – he does not have the luxury to be passive right now. The Knicks defense consists essentially of a free layup line, so Ingram is going to be able to score at ease tonight from all over the court. His full talent will be on display.
Jason Tatum (6.1, 6.3)
I am sensing a theme with tonight’s picks. All immensely talented guys who have underperformed and been inconsistent this year. However, all of them are taking on an increased role tonight and are priced down due to the various issues they’ve all had this year. Tatum may be the most perplexing guy of them all. He is an 8K talent, who has taken a back seat now that the Cetlics are clearly Kyrie’s team. However, with Kyrie out, Tatum once again will have a chance to display his offensive skills. There’s not a lot of stats we can point to that would indicate Tatum is an elite play tonight, but eventually, talent has to prevail at some point. And at this price, we just need Tatum to be average tonight to hit 30 fantasy points. These are exactly the types of guys I want to target in tournaments.
Deandre Ayton (8.0, 7.8)
Ayton has turned a corner in recent games. He’s been significantly better on both ends of the court. It has been impressive to see his confidence grow. He’s just in an ideal spot tonight against Gortat and the Clippers (Doc, please don’t start Boban). He’s played over 30 minutes in eight straight games, taken at least 12 shots in the last four games, had double-digit rebounds in the last three games, and scored 18, 25, and 33 points in the last three games. In other words, he’s been on a terror. And I do not think this is a fluke. I am perplexed at his failure to block shots (zero blocks in his last four games), which does limit his upside a bit on FD – but he actually has been active getting steals lately! I see his projected ownership being very low (especially on DK), so Ayton can put us in a prime position to win some big money tonight.
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 it. You can find me on twitter @DanielAGreen1. Also, be sure to check out my NBA DFS podcast DG Courtroom every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the NBA season.