Welcome to Bales’ NBA Game Theory (1/21)! 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.
|J. Clarkson||G. Antetokounmpo||N. Jokic||BKN/SA|
|J. Suggs||J. Ingles||R. Gobert||HOU/GS|
|K. Irving||J. Butler||P. Siakam||CHI/MIL|
|L. Ball||J. Jackson||B. Adebayo||OKC/CHA|
|J. Morant||L. James||J. Embiid||MEM/DEN|
This slate is wide open with there being 11 games. Ja Morant is locked into massive minutes with Desmond Bane, Tyus Jones, Dillon Brooks, and Kyle Anderson out. Morant scored 67 DK points in his last game, and his price tag doesn’t represent his new role. Jordan Clarkson and Jalen Suggs are two cheaper options on this slate. Clarkson will see a bigger role with Donovan Mitchell out, while Suggs returned to 30+ minutes in his last game. They’re both too cheap for their potential. Dejounte Murray’s a triple-double threat in a great matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. He isn’t going to come cheap tonight, but he’s a great option in all leagues. Other guards to consider in cash games include Mike Conley, Gabe Vincent, Cole Anthony, and Fred VanVleet.
Kyrie Irving is one of the more interesting GPP options on this slate. He’s performed well in limited games without Kevin Durant, and it looks as if Irving could continue to get back into the swing of things. He gets a great matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, who have struggled against scoring point guards this season. LaMelo Ball is another high-upside option on this slate. He’s coming off of a triple-double, and he’s surprisingly cheap on this slate. Terry Rozier is another great guard in this game, as the Oklahoma City Thunder have struggled against shooting guards throughout the season. Rozier comes with tremendous scoring potential, and he can add peripheral stats as well. He’s a high upside option tonight. Trae Young, Jordan Poole, and Ayo Dosunmu can all be considered here as well.
If you can get to the top of forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo is an elite option. He gets a great matchup against the Chicago Bulls, who’ve struggled against power forwards throughout the season. The only major concern for Antetokounmpo is a blowout, although he’d likely be responsible for it if that were to happen. Joe Ingles and Bojan Bogdanovic are both great options for the Utah Jazz. They’ll both benefit from Donovan Mitchell being out, and they come with varying price tags. They’re each coming off of a solid game, and they get a plus matchup against the Detroit Pistons tonight. Royce O’Neale can also be considered here, although I believe he comes with a bit more risk. LeBron James gets a great matchup against the Orlando Magic, and he’s another high-priced option that can be considered. He’s also eligible at arguably the worst position on this slate, small forward. You can also consider Aaron Wiggins, John Konchar, and De’Andre Hunter here if you need to save some salary.
Jimmy Butler is one of my favorite plays on the slate. He gets an elite matchup against the Atlanta Hawks with Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro out. Butler was ejected from his last game, and he could be looking to make a statement tonight. Even if that isn’t his mindset, he’s a versatile player with the ability to dominate this Hawks defense. Jaren Jackson Jr. is another great option, as he comes with an elite ceiling. He isn’t the safest option on the slate, as he struggles with fouls at times. With that being said, he performed extremely well when on the floor, and if he can limit his fouls, he boasts the potential to break the slate. Other forwards to consider on this slate include DeMar DeRozan, Kessler Edwards, Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, and Max Strus.
Center’s a position I’m looking to spend up at on this slate. At the top, Nikola Jokic continues to be the best player in the NBA. He’s coming off of a 93 DK point performance, and he isn’t even $13k at this point. DraftKings simply refuses to price him up that high, and we can keep using him. Rudy Gobert’s performed extremely well in recent games, and he’s an elite option again tonight. The Detroit Pistons don’t have the size to compete with him, and he should get anything he wants tonight. If Clint Capela’s ruled out tonight, Bam Adebayo is entirely too cheap. The Atlanta Hawks have struggled against centers without Capela, and Adebayo is back to his full role. If Capela is in, Adebayo is better suited for GPPs on this slate.
Joel Embiid is one of the most interesting players on this slate. He’s making his case for MVP with Nikola Jokic as arguably the favorite. Jokic posted a 49/14/10 triple-double against the Los Angeles Clippers the other night, and Embiid gets a matchup against them tonight. If he wants to continue the MVP conversation, he could look to make a statement in this game after scoring 50 points against the Orlando Magic in his last game. Pascal Siakam splits time between power forward and center for the Toronto Raptors. He gets a great matchup against the Washington Wizards, who’ve struggled against both power forwards and centers. Siakam also loves attacking in the specific zones (in the paint – non-RA & mid-range) that Washington struggles with. Nikola Vucevic, P.J. Tucker, Brandon Clarke, Steven Adams, and Montrezl Harrell all come with enough upside to be considered in all leagues tonight.
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