Happy Saturday Karma Nation! Today I decided to walk through the cores I’ll be running tonight. Good luck!
AP Core Discussion
James Harden, PG/SG, 13,400 – C’mon, do I really have to say much about this play? We all know Harden is elite. The question is at what price point do we pivot? Honestly, his floor in this matchup feels like 65+, which is right around 5x. 80 points would be 6x, which he is very capable of hitting in this matchup. I don’t think tonight is the night to start fading this guy.
Blake Griffin, PF/C, 9,000 – When Griffin is ON and Drummond is OFF the court this season, he owns a 37% usage rate and averages 1.44 fantasy points per minute. These figures are an average through 350 minutes this season. That means they include good and bad matchups. The Pistons have one of the best matchups on the board tonight putting Blake in one of the most elite spots on this slate.
[Roster construction note] – I can almost guarantee you every sharp cash lineup will start like this; James Harden, Blake Griffin, & Zaza. The next play I’ll mention, Kyle Lowry, is a pivot one could make for GPPs if they want to pair James/Lowry or play Blake/Lowry and pivot off Harden.
Kyle Lowry, PG, 7,400 (GPP Pivot) – With Kawhi Leonard OFF the court this season, Kyle Lowry owns a 24.4% usage rate and averages 1.33 fantasy points per minute. When Leonard is out for rest purposes, we also tend to see Lowry’s minutes on the court increase. Given the poor matchup against a slow Grizzlies team and the dynamics of this slate, Lowry should go under owned tonight. Due note; in cash and single entry GPPs, I have Griffin ranked well ahead of Lowry.
Zaza Pachulia, C, 3,300 -Drum went down late in the first quarter last night and Zaza went on to log a total of 28 minutes. I wouldn’t expect much from Zaza offensively. However, Zaza should be able to grab enough boards and other peripheral stats to pay off his cheap 3,300 price tag.
Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, 4,300 (GPP Value Pivot) – Jaylen Brown sees a moderate usage and fantasy point per minute bump when Gordan Hayward is OFF the court. When Hayward is OUT, I think Brown is much more involved offensively with the second unit. We also should see a moderate increase in time on the court. Lastly, a fast-paced matchup against a team that does not play defense is ideal for Jaylen’s skill set. Jaylen makes for an elite GPP value play tonight.
[Spot to monitor] Bucks AT Orlando -> Aaron Gordon is Questionable. Gordon left last nights game early and is questionable tonight. [IF HE GETS RULED OUT] Many could overlook this stop and just assume the game blows out, which it very well could. However, the Magic have been competitive at home as of late. Of course, Nikola Vucevic would be a guy we could upgrade in this situation. He would make for a solid to elite GPP consideration. However, I love playing shooting guards against this Bucks team. When Vucevic is ON and Gordon is OFF the court, Evan Fournier sees a +4% usage rate and averages +.07 fantasy points per minute. This is a modest increase, but Fournier has also been shooting the ball well as of late. For cash/single entry, I wouldn’t mind playing Jonathan Isaac at 3,700. Having another player under 4k in my build would make it easier to fit in Harden and Griffin. Terrence Ross is another person I’d upgrade and if you are playing large field GPPs, you could give Mo Bamba a look.
Note-> As I was writing the above content, I just saw Gordon was ruled out. My thoughts remain the same; Jonathan Isaac for salary relief, Evan Fournier or Terrence Ross as a solid to elite midrange play, and Nikola Vucevic as a GPP stud pivot.
Nikola Vucevic, C, 8,600 [GPP Pivot] – As I stated above, with Gordon out, I believe we see a pretty significant in Vucevic’s ceiling. He’ll have more opportunities for rebounds and raw scoring. This matchup isn’t ideal but if they can keep this game close through three quarters he could put up a monster score tonight.
[Roster Construction Note] In some of the deep field GPPs I’ll be entering tonight, I believe I am going to fade Harden (Harden will be in my single entry and core build). We have multiple studs & 2nd tier players who will be benefiting from injuries tonight; Blake Griffin, Kyle Lowry, & Nikola Vucevic to highlight the few we have discussed. You could also take the route of pairing two of these studs with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is 2,700 less than Harden. This extra salary would allow you to fit two of these elite 2nd tier plays into your build.
Justin Holiday, SG/SF, 3,800 [Salary Relief] – Holiday logged almost 36 minutes and had an efficient outing against the Celtics. Boston has traditionally been very elite against Wings but Holiday played well in this matchup. I don’t mind plugging him in at his cheap salary. If he logs another 35+ minutes, I feel very confident in him getting at least 20 DraftKings points.
Ante Zizic, C, 4,600 – After a very slow start, Zizic was able to get there during garbage time against the Jazz. Zizic got all the garbage time minutes last night and I don’t see why he won’t tonight when this game blows out.