Welcome to Bales’ NBA Game Theory (2/24)! 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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|Phoenix Gs||D. Sabonis||N. Jokic||ATK/CHI|
|Rajon Rondo||D. Hunter||T. Watford||DEN/SAC|
|D. Russell||J. Hart||D. Ayton||MEM/MIN|
|W. Barton||M. Bridges||C. Capela||PHX/OKC|
|T. Young||J. Tatum||K. Towns||GS/POR|
With Chris Paul and Cameron Payne both out, you’re starting cash games with the Phoenix Suns guards. Devin Booker will take on a massive role in their offense, and he’s already been an outstanding option for his current price tag. The starter between Aaron Holiday (likely starter) and Elfrid Payton will make one of the best salary relief options on the slate. Holiday is expected to take over after Phoenix traded for him, and he’ll make an elite per-dollar option. Another salary relief option at guard is Rajon Rondo. Darius Garland and Caris LeVert have already been ruled out for tonight. Rondo’s expected to play bigger minutes, and he’s entirely too cheap. Trae Young is an outstanding option if you can spend up at point guard. He’s been playing at a high level, and he gets a great matchup against the Chicago Bulls. Chicago was struggling against point guards prior to the All-Star Break, and they will still be without Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. You can consider Gary Payton, Patrick Beverley, and Ja Morant in cash games as well.
D’Angelo Russell’s a player that tends to go overlooked in the Minnesota Wolves offense. He’s a player that benefits from pace-up games, and he gets a good matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. I prefer Patrick Beverley for a lower price in cash games, but Russell’s an interesting option in GPPs. Will Barton gets a matchup against the Sacramento Kings, who’ve consistently struggled against shooting guards throughout the season. Although Barton hasn’t been the most consistent option through the year, he’s a bit too cheap for the upside he possesses in this game. On the other side, De’Aaron Fox is taking on a larger role without Tyrese Haliburton in the Sacramento Kings lineup. The Denver Nuggets have struggled defensively in the paint, and they’ve struggled against scoring point guards. This is an ideal matchup for Fox, who makes an outstanding tournament option. Stephen Curry, Cade Cunningham, Anfernee Simons, and Zach LaVine are all interesting options on this slate.
Forward is a bit more open tonight, although it may start with Domantas Sabonis. He hasn’t completely taken over for the Sacramento Kings, but he’s coming off of an outstanding game before the Break. This will be his opportunity to put in a massive game against arguably the best in the NBA, and Sabonis is only $9k. De’Andre Hunter is an interesting option, as he’s surprisingly cheap. With John Collins out, Hunter is locked into big minutes against the Chicago Bulls, who have struggled against forwards this season. Danilo Gallinari has been playing bigger minutes, and he can be considered here as well. I simply prefer Hunter to Gallinari. Jayson Tatum gets a great matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, who’ve struggled defensively and will still be without key defenders tonight. If this game stays close, Tatum boasts elite upside. There is the risk of a blowout, though. Seth Curry and James Johnson are two more options in this game that can be considered.
I went back and forth on Josh Hart in cash games or not, and I slightly prefer him in GPPs. For what it’s worth, he can be considered in cash games if you need him. He’s taking on a larger role in the Portland Blazers offense, and Jusuf Nurkic will be out tonight. Hart should be a focal point. Similar to Hart, Mikal Bridges is in a spot to play a bigger role in the Phoenix Suns offense. He’s been playing in recent games, and Bridges comes with plenty of upside in this matchup. Evan Mobley gets a matchup against the Detroit Pistons tonight. A key factor here is that he can make his case for rookie of the year against Cade Cunningham. Both should be vying for a massive game, giving each of them plenty of upside. Marvin Bagley, Justise Winslow, and Cam Thomas can be considered in tournaments tonight.
There are three centers I’m considering in cash games for their prices tonight. If you can spend up, Nikola Jokic is always an elite option. He comes with triple-double potential, and he gets an elite matchup against the Sacramento Kings tonight. Clint Capela is still priced under $6k without John Collins. He was struggling before the Break, but I’m expecting him to get back to form in a plus matchup. Finally, you can use Trendon Watford in all leagues. He’s expected to take on a larger role with Jusuf Nurkic out, and he scored 30.5 DK points in only 23 minutes the other night. Watford is arguably the best play on the entire slate. He can be used in all leagues tonight.
Deandre Ayton is one of the most interesting players on this slate. He’s been elite without Chris Paul on the floor this season, and he gets an elite matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. If this game stays close, Ayton comes with tremendous upside. Karl-Anthony Towns is another interesting option. He gets a matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies, who don’t have anyone that can guard him one-on-one. Towns comes with tremendous upside, but Minnesota has plenty of players that can find success, adding some risk to Towns. LaMarcus Aldridge, Jarrett Allen, and Isaiah Roby are all interesting tournament options on this slate.
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