Bales' NBA Game Theory (1/25) » DFS Karma
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Welcome to Bales’ NBA Game Theory (1/25)! 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.



Guards Forwards
Centers Game Stacks
J. Alvarado G. Temple J. Hayes SA/HOU
N. Alexander-Walker H. Jones N. Jokic MIN/POR
P. Beverley J. Brown C. Wood CHA/TOR
T. Maxey A. Edwards J. Embiid LAL/BKN
J. Harden P. Siakam J. Poeltl SAC/BOS

If you don’t already play 3 max entry contests daily, try using the teams provided in the stacks above to maximize upside and correlation in your NBA lineups.




It’s clear that you’re attacking the New Orleans Pelicans in cash games. Devonte’ Graham, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, and Jonas Valanciunas have all been ruled out. Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jose Alvarado are both projecting for big minutes tonight. They’re also both averaging slightly under 1 FP per minute this season. Both are elite options on this slate. James Harden gets an elite matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, who’ve struggled against point guards this season. The Brooklyn Nets will also be without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Dejounte Murray’s another higher-priced player with elite upside. He’ll face off against the Houston Rockets, who’ve struggled defensively throughout the season. Murray can be used in all leagues. Other guards that can be considered here include Derrick White, C.J. McCollum, and Patty Mills.


With such clear options on this slate (at this point), it opens up a lot of elite plays for tournaments. Patrick Beverley would normally be an elite cash game option at his current price tag, but he won’t be needed with the other value. Instead, we can use him in GPPs. If he’s out, D’Angelo Russell will make a significantly better play, as he takes over the offense. Both of these players are GPP-viable, though. Tyrese Maxey’s performed well without Seth Curry in the lineup this season, and that should be the case again tonight. He also gets a plus matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans backups. The only major concern is a blowout, which is why he’s more of a tournament option. Fred VanVleet’s been more inconsistent in recent games, but the game environment against the Charlotte Hornets is a reason to consider him in GPPs on this slate. Tyrese Haliburton, Kevin Porter Jr., Marcus Smart, and Cade Cunningham can be considered in GPPs tonight. It’s important to note that Haliburton can be shifted into the cash game conversation if De’Aaron Fox is ruled out.



Forward is a bit more open, but you’re also looking at the New Orleans Pelicans for salary relief options. Herbert Jones and Garrett Temple are both expected to be locked into bigger minutes. Jones is a bit safer, as he could see the larger role in the offense. Temple is entirely too cheap, though, and he comes with guard or forward eligibility on this slate. Both are elite options. Pascal Siakam is taking on a massive role for the Toronto Raptors, and he gets an elite matchup against the Charlotte Hornets. They’ve struggled against centers throughout the season, and Siakam is playing plenty of minutes at center with Khem Birch out. I’d also consider Keldon Johnson and Furkan Korkmaz at this spot in cash games, although they come with some risk at this point.


There are a few outstanding tournament options at forward tonight. The Boston Celtics get an elite matchup against the Sacramento Kings, and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are both interesting options. Although the Kings are significantly worse against guards (shift to Brown), both of these studs can be considered in GPPs. Anthony Edwards gets an elite matchup against the Portland Blazers, who’ve struggled against small forwards this season. If Patrick Beverley is in, Edwards will be one of my favorite GPP options. I do believe he is a great play without Beverley, though. Kristaps Porzingis is another option that’s a bit too cheap. He comes with plenty of upside for a price tag under $8k at this point. P.J. Washington, Kessler Edwards, Scottie Barnes, Nassir Little, and OG Anunoby can be used in GPPs as well.



Once again, the New Orleans Pelicans are the team to attack for value here. Jaxson Hayes has been playing well, and he should see a larger role tonight. He’s near the minimum price on this slate, and he’s an elite option. If Guillermo Hernangomez draws the start, he’ll make a great option here as well. Nikola Jokic continues to be an elite play, but it may be difficult to get him and James Harden in your lineup, even with all of the value. Regardless, he’s a player that needs to be considered for cash games. Jakob Poeltl’s a solid mid-price option, as he’s caught fire in recent games. He also gets an elite matchup against the Houston Rockets, who’ve struggled against centers this season. All of these players are elite options tonight.


Joel Embiid is playing at an elite level, as he’s making a case (similar to Jokic) for MVP of the NBA. He’s found plenty of success in recent games, and Embiid gets an elite matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans backups. Once again, we’re only really worried about a blowout here. Christian Wood’s been playing at a high level in recent games as well. He gets an elite matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, who’ve struggled with scoring and rebounding centers. Wood can contribute in both of those ways, and he’s a great option on this slate. Karl-Anthony Towns, Richaun Holmes, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Williams are also tournament options on this slate.


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