Welcome to Bales’ NBA Game Theory (2/25)! 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.
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|D. Booker||L. James||J. Embiid||HOU/ORL|
|L. Walker||W. Carter||M. Harrell||NO/PHX|
|F. VanVleet||K. Kuzma||D. Ayton||PHI/MIN|
|T. Haliburton||M. Bridges||J. Poeltl||TOR/CHA|
|L. Doncic||P. Siakam||C. Wood||SA/WAS|
Devin Booker is taking on a larger role for the Phoenix Suns without Chris Paul. Cameron Payne and Aaron Holiday are both out tonight as well. Booker will continue to see plenty of opportunities, and he’s coming off of a 60 DK point performance with only 25 actual points. Lonnie Walker is taking on a bigger role with Derrick White out of San Antonio. Walker’s played 26+ minutes in each of his last three games, scoring 29+ DK points in each of his last two. He’s grossly mispriced tonight. Luka Doncic is another elite high-priced option. He’s been on an absolute tear in recent games, scoring 75+ DK points in 3 of his last 4 games, including an 84.25 DK point performance. Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Gary Trent Jr., and Devin Vassell can all be considered here tonight as well.
Trent is the obvious option for the Toronto Raptors, but Fred VanVleet is an interesting GPP play tonight. The Charlotte Hornets have performed well against the point guard this season, but OG Anunoby’s already been ruled out. It’s VanVleet’s birthday, so he has that narrative working as well. He’ll go a bit overlooked in this good of a game. Tyrese Haliburton is another interesting option. He’s been playing extremely well for the Indiana Pacers since the trade, and he’s going to go overlooked with Malcolm Brogdon returning tonight. Brogdon could be limited, though, and Haliburton comes with more than enough upside to be considered on this slate. Dejounte Murray’s been playing at a high level without Derrick White in the lineup, and he gets a great matchup against the Washington Wizards. I prefer Doncic over him in cash games, but he’s a great tournament option. You can also consider Russell Westbrook, Eric Bledsoe, and Buddy Hield are all high-upside options in GPPs tonight.
With Anthony Davis already ruled out, LeBron James will make an outstanding option. He could see minutes at center against the Los Angeles Clippers, who’ve struggled against centers throughout the season. If you can get to James’ price tag, he’s an outstanding option. Wendell Carter Jr. is splitting his time between power forward and center, which are two positions that the Houston Rockets have struggled against this season. He was playing well before the All-Star Break, and he comes with plenty of upside in this matchup tonight. Pascal Siakam is another player that I’m interested in. The Charlotte Hornets have struggled quite a bit against bigs throughout the season, and the Toronto Raptors will be without OG Anunoby tonight. Siakam’s averaging a triple-double against Charlotte this season, and he’s an elite option in all leagues tonight. If you need to save some salary here, Rui Hachimura, Franz Wagner, and Jaxson Hayes make solid options.
Kyle Kuzma is coming off of a bad game, but he’s looked outstanding with Kristaps Porzingis, Bradley Beal, and Spencer Dinwiddie. Normally, I’d put him in the cash game pool here, and I think you can consider him there, but he isn’t needed with better options around his price tag. Miles and Mikal Bridges are both solid options on this slate as well. Miles gets a plus matchup against the Toronto Raptors, who’ve struggled against forwards at times throughout the season. Mikal is taking on a larger role in the offense with Chris Paul injured. He doesn’t get an elite matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, but Bridges comes with more than enough upside for his price tag. Cameron Johnson is another Phoenix player that is benefitting from injuries, and he’s a great option. If you’re in a pinch and need salary relief in cash games, I suppose he can be considered if starting. Scottie Barnes, Chuma Okeke, Jae’Sean Tate, and Keldon Johnson can be considered here as well.
If you truly want to use Joel Embiid here, you can. He likely won’t make my cash game lineup because I have no clue how the Philadelphia 76ers plan on using him and James Harden together, but I do think he’ll be viable. Instead, I prefer Montrezl Harrell, who is entirely too cheap for his current role for the Charlotte Hornets. He’s taking on a big role in their rotation, and the Toronto Raptors aren’t a big team that will give him trouble tonight. These are likely the two that I’m leaning toward in cash games, although that may change by game time.
Deandre Ayton burned quite a few people last night in an elite matchup, and he gets another great matchup tonight. He’s a player that I’m willing to go back to in GPPs, although I don’t quite like him in cash games. Still, Ayton comes with more than enough upside to be considered on this slate. Jakob Poeltl gets a great matchup against the Washington Wizards, who’ve struggled against centers in recent games. He comes with plenty of double-double potential in this matchup, and Poeltl comes with quiet upside. Christian Wood makes a great option against the Orlando Magic. He’s playing in an outstanding game environment, and he’s still a bit too cheap. Other centers you can consider tonight include Ivica Zubac and Karl-Anthony Towns.
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