Welcome to Bales’ NBA Game Theory (2/17)! 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.
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There are several different ways to go on this slate, which is a bit odd with there being only five games. Seth Curry is taking on a massive role for the Brooklyn Nets, and he’s still entirely too cheap. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are both out again, leaving Curry to run the offense against the Washington Wizards tonight. Reggie Jackson’s caught fire in recent games, and he’s been locked into big minutes for the Los Angeles Clippers. He’s a focal point of their offense, and he gets an elite matchup against the Houston Rockets tonight. If you can get to the top of guard, Luka Doncic is an outstanding option. He finally cooled off in his last game, but he’s locked into a massive role, and Doncic can be considered in all leagues against the New Orleans Pelicans. You can also consider Luke Kennard, Kyle Lowry, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope here.
Terry Rozier’s one of the more interesting options on this five-game slate. He’s flashed tremendous upside in recent games, and he’s an outstanding scorer for the Charlotte Hornets. He gets a plus matchup against the Miami Heat, who’ve struggled against scoring SGs throughout the season. Terance Mann is coming off of a bad game, but he’s found plenty of success recently. Ownership is shifting toward Kennard at the moment, as he’s significantly cheaper. I think Mann can be considered in cash games, but if he’s going overlooked, that makes him an elite tournament option. Jrue Holiday gets an interesting matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, and he’s a high upside option. He certainly comes with risk in this matchup, making him a GPP-only option. Jalen Brunson, Raul Neto, and Kevin Porter Jr. can all be considered at guard as well.
There are a few elite expensive options at forward tonight. Giannis Antetokounmpo can always be considered in close games. He gets a matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers, and he could be looking to make a statement with so much buzz around Joel Embiid at the moment. Jimmy Butler is another solid option at forward. He’s entirely too cheap for a matchup against the Charlotte Hornets, making him one of the top options on the slate. It isn’t likely that we see his price tag this low again, as it looks as if he’s finally healthy. Kyle Kuzma is only slightly more expensive than Butler, and he’s taking on a massive role with Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis out. The offense is running through him, and he gets a good matchup against the Brooklyn Nets tonight. Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris, James Johnson, and Jordan Nwora are all interesting options for varying price tags at forward tonight.
PJ Washington gets a terrible matchup against the Miami Heat tonight. With that being said, he’s a high-upside player that comes with a surprisingly low price tag. He’s averaging roughly 1 FP per minute against them this season, and Washington’s been playing bigger minutes in recent games. Rui Hachimura is an interesting option tonight, as he’s dealing with an injury. Thomas Bryant is also questionable tonight, which would affect Hachimura’s status. He could go a bit overlooked with Daniel Gafford returning, but Hachimura could play 20-25 minutes tonight, making him a high upside option for his price tag. Bruce Brown’s been a boom or bust option for the Brooklyn Nets, and he could play solid minutes once again tonight. I slightly prefer him in GPPs rather than cash games, but he can be used in both if he’s starting. You can also use Tobias Harris, PJ Tucker, Maxi Kleber, and Deni Avdija in GPPs tonight.
Joel Embiid is always going to be an elite option until James Harden is healthy. He “struggled” in his last game, but he looked fine on a per-minute basis. The Bucks have also struggled against scoring centers in recent games, and the offense will continue to completely run through Embiid. Andre Drummond is still a bit too cheap. He isn’t locked into big minutes, but he’s playing 20-25 each night. He’s flashed with the Brooklyn Nets so far, and we’ve always known that Drummond is an outstanding per-minute option. Ivica Zubac is taking on a significantly larger role for the Los Angeles Clippers in recent games, and if he gets 30+ minutes tonight, he’s entirely too cheap. There’s always some concern that he won’t see the bigger minutes, but Zubac can be considered in all leagues. Bam Adebayo also gets an elite matchup here, as the Charlotte Hornets have struggled against centers throughout the season. He can be considered in all leagues.
Montrezl Harrell’s seen his role grow quite a bit since joining the Charlotte Hornets. He’s actually playing alongside Mason Plumlee, which is a bit odd. Regardless, they both can be considered tonight, although I prefer Harrell to Plumlee. Christian Wood gets a great matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, who’ve been bleeding points to opposing centers. I don’t expect Zubac to be able to guard him, making him a great option on this slate. Jonas Valanciunas, Isaiah Hartenstein, and LaMarcus Aldridge are other options that can be considered at center.
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