Welcome to Bales’ NBA Game Theory (1/15)! In this article, I’ll outline my favorite cash game and GPP options at each of the positions. I’ll utilize our Projections Portal when making decisions about what types of leagues specific players are best suited for. You can get all of my Core Plays along with our Cheat Sheets, projections, and Premium Discord channels with our Premium NBA Package.
|S. Dinwiddie||D. Hunter||N. Jokic||NO/BKN|
|A. Simons||J. Randle||J. Landale||POR/WAS|
|D. Garland||E. Mobley||N. Vucevic||LAL/DEN|
|L. Ball||J. Hart||L. James||CHI/BOS|
|J. Harden||D. DeRozan||J. Allen||LAC/SA|
There are several ways you can go in cash games tonight. Spencer Dinwiddie’s taken on a significantly larger role in the Washington Wizards offense with Bradley Beal out. He comes with triple-double upside, and Dinwiddie gets a great matchup against the Portland Blazers tonight. On the other side, Anfernee Simons is expected to return for Portland. He’ll benefit from the game environment, and he flashed before missing a bit of time. Simons should return as the focal point of the offense with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Norman Powell all out. He’s been good enough that people in Portland are questioning whether the Blazers should move forward with him as their focal point, although that’s unlikely to happen. If you can get to his price, James Harden is an outstanding option. He’s posted 60+ DK points in each of his last two games, and Kyrie Irving isn’t playing tonight. You can also consider Coby White, Ben McLemore, and Devonte’ Graham here.
Darius Garland is one of the most interesting plays on this slate. He’s scored 50+ DK points in each of his last two games, scoring 30+ points in one and triple-doubling in the other. He can contribute in multiple facets, and he comes with plenty of upside due to his three-point shooting. The Oklahoma City Thunder have struggled to defend beyond the arc against guards, and Garland comes with plenty of upside. Lonzo Ball’s struggled at times recently, but he could see a larger role with Zach LaVine out. Ball also gets a solid matchup against the Boston Celtics, who will be without Marcus Smart tonight. Reggie Jackson is a boom or bust option, but he gets a plus matchup against the San Antonio Spurs. He should strictly be used in bigger GPPs, as he comes with quite a bit of risk. Dejounte Murray, Trae Young, and Ayo Dosunmu can all be considered here as well.
Forward starts with D’Andre Hunter tonight. He returned two games ago, scoring 30 and 21.75 DK points in 30 and 24 minutes. He’s expected to play 30+ minutes once again tonight, and Hunter is the minimum price. It’s an egregious misprice, and he can be used in all leagues tonight. Julius Randle is finally cheap enough that we can start considering him in cash games. It’s been a while since he’s been priced under $10k, and he gets a solid matchup against the Atlanta Hawks tonight. Although Randle’s been a disappointment throughout the season, he’s cheap enough for all leagues tonight. DeMar DeRozan is another expensive option that I’d be willing to consider here. He’ll take on a larger role in the Chicago Bulls offense with Zach LaVine out. He’s a versatile forward, who will benefit from a matchup against the Boston Celtics. Kyle Kuzma, Troy Brown, Kevin Durant, and Alec Burks can also be considered in cash games at forward.
Evan Mobley is in a great spot against the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight. They’ve struggled against centers throughout the season, and Mobley plays plenty of minutes at center when Jarrett Allen is off of the floor. Still, this game could play into Mobley’s strengths, and he’s a bit too cheap for how many minutes he’s getting. Josh Hart’s cool off recently, but he’s another forward that has found plenty of minutes in recent games. He’s a versatile option with triple-double upside. Hart gets a solid matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, and he boasts more than enough potential to exceed value at his current price tag. Al Horford’s been ice cold in recent games, but it’s caused his price tag to drop far too low now. He’s expected to play around 30 minutes tonight, and Horford comes with tremendous upside if he’s getting that time. You can also consider Jayson Tatum, Nicolas Batum, Josh Giddey, and Nassir Little here.
With Jakob Poeltl unlikely to suit up tonight, Jock Landale will be the chalk at center. He’s averaging over 1 FP per minute throughout the season, and he’ll be locked into significantly bigger minutes. Landale’s still near the minimum price, and he’s a second free square with Hunter. Nikola Jokic is always in play, although he’s cooled off in recent games. Still, he’ll face off against the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been using LeBron James at center. Speaking of which, James can also be considered here, although he may be slightly better suited for GPPs. Regardless, both of these expensive options can be considered in cash games if you’re looking to go that route. Jusuf Nurkic can also be considered here because of a matchup against the Washington Wizards.
Jarrett Allen is an elite GPP option once again tonight. He gets an elite matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who struggle against rebounding centers. That’s where Allen is at his best, giving him tremendous upside in this matchup. Nikola Vucevic is another Chicago Bulls player that could see more opportunities with Zach LaVine out. He’s a versatile center with the ability to contribute in multiple categories. Although I don’t necessarily love the matchup against the Boston Celtics, I’m also not shying away from it. Jonas Valanciunas and Ivica Zubac can be considered at center in GPPs tonight.
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