Welcome to Bales’ NBA Game Theory (2/3)! 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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I’m likely looking to spend up at guard in cash tonight. Devin Booker’s found plenty of success in recent games, and he gets an elite matchup against the Atlanta Hawks tonight. They feature one of the worst defenses in the NBA against shooting guards, and Booker should find plenty of success in this matchup. Stephen Curry isn’t going to come cheap, but he gets a great matchup against the Sacramento Kings tonight. Right below him, Dejounte Murray is an interesting option if you don’t trust Curry in cash games. If you need to save a bit of salary, Reggie Jackson’s coming off of two solid games, and he’s still surprisingly cheap. He gets an elite matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, who’ve struggled against point guards this season. If Murray is out, Derrick White can be considered in all leagues. You can also consider the Minnesota Wolves options here, depending on who’s playing. If D’Angelo Russell is out, Patrick Beverley will be an elite option. If he’s also out, Jaylen Nowell is an elite salary relief option.
Since there are so many great high-priced options on this slate, Trae Young should be considered in tournaments tonight. He gets a plus matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who’ve struggled against point guards throughout the season. Young comes with tremendous upside, although he’s a bit risky with a back injury. Gary Trent Jr.’s been playing at an elite level, and his price tag doesn’t represent that. He gets a tougher matchup against the Chicago Bulls, although they’ve struggled at times defensively in recent games. Klay Thompson is another interesting option here. He’ll likely go a bit overlooked because of his lack of elite minutes, but he gets a good matchup against the Sacramento Kings. He’s a boom or bust option. Other players to consider here are Chris Paul, Malik Monk, Russell Westbrook, Amir Coffey, and Fred VanVleet. Keep in mind, there are several players questionable tonight, and this slate will likely change quite a bit by lock.
Forward is absolutely terrible on this slate. Keldon Johnson is likely a player I’m willing to take a stand on. He gets a tough matchup against the Miami Heat, but he’s far too cheap on this price tag. Another option I’m considering here for the San Antonio Spurs is Devin Vassell. He’s still extremely cheap, and he’s been locked into solid minutes. Keep in mind, both of these players are relatively risky because of the matchup, but they can be considered in all leagues. DeMar DeRozan is another interesting option here, as the Toronto Raptors have struggled at times against power forwards. This is a revenge game for DeRozan, and he’s an interesting option tonight. Keep in mind, I’d prefer him in GPPs if both forward positions weren’t so bad tonight. You can also consider Jimmy Butler and Anthony Edwards (if D’Angelo Russell is out) here.
I’m looking to the Golden State Warriors in tournaments on this slate. Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter Jr. both come with tremendous upside for their price tags. They’ll go a bit overlooked with Curry and Thompson both playing, but the Kings have struggled at times against forwards in recent games. Thad Young is an interesting option here as well. The San Antonio Spurs rotation is a bit of an unknown at this point, and Young could play bigger minutes with Jock Landale and Jakob Poeltl out. He’s extremely risky, but he comes with tremendous upside for his price tag. Other players to consider in GPPs at forward include Zach LaVine, Jae Crowder, Marcus Morris, and O.G. Anunoby.
I’m starting center at the moment with Drew Eubanks. With Landale and Poeltl out, Eubanks is the only true big on the roster. He should draw the start and play 20-25 minutes. If that’s the case, he’s far too cheap, even for this matchup. Eubanks is an elite salary relief option. Karl-Anthony Towns is taking on a massive role in the Minnesota Wolves offense, and he’s in play. He’ll lose a bit of value if D’Angelo Russell plays, but he’ll be an elite option if Russell and Patrick Beverley are both out. Pascal Siakam is surprisingly cheap tonight, and he gets an interesting matchup against the Chicago Bulls. He spends some time at power forward, and they’ve struggled against power forwards throughout the season. Still, he’ll see most of his minutes at center. The big key here is that Siakam is power forward eligible on DraftKings.
Bam Adebayo is an option that I’d consider in cash games, but I prefer him in GPPs at the moment. He’s coming off of a massive game but several pieces in the Miami Heat rotation are returning tonight. He should have no issues finding success in this matchup, and Adebayo’s currently on the bring of a cash game option for me. Anthony Davis will make an outstanding play here if he’s playing. This is the second half of a back-to-back, so he might sit. It’s an elite matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, though, and he’ll shift into cash game consideration if LeBron James is out. You can also consider Richaun Holmes, Kevon Looney, and Nikola Vucevic here.
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