Welcome to Bales’ NBA Game Theory (2/8)! 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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|Portland Guards||J. Winslow||B. Griffin||MIL/LAL|
|D. Mitchell||P. Mills||J. Hayes||MIN/SAC|
|D. Bembry||W. Carter||A. Sengun||LAC/MEM|
|J. Morant||J. Johnson||N. Jokic||IND/ATL|
|L. Doncic||B. Ingram||I. Jackson||HOU/NO|
This is such a weird slate as we continue toward the trade deadline. Keep an eye on news moving forward as well. You’re starting guard with the Portland Blazers options. CJ McCollum was traded this morning after Norman Powell and Robert Covington were traded the other night. Anfernee Simons will take on a massive role in the offense. He’s an elite option, and he can be considered as a more expensive option. Ben McLemore and CJ Elleby are expected to find 30+ minutes each tonight. They’re both under $4k, and they each come with tremendous upside. Both of them can be considered in all leagues. Tyrese Haliburton was traded from the Sacramento Kings, locking Davion Mitchell into big minutes. De’Aaron Fox could return tonight, but Mitchell is still cheap enough to be considered in all leagues regardless. If you’re spending up, Luka Doncic is likely the top option. The only other player I’d consider here at the moment is Dennis Smith Jr. but there isn’t much reason to use him over the other Portland guys.
There are a plethora of GPP options at guard tonight. It’s starting with Ja Morant, who isn’t going to come cheap. He’s attacking the basket at an elite level in recent games, and I’m not scared of the Los Angeles Clippers frontcourt. He’s somewhat in a dead spot for his price tag on this slate, and he may go a bit overlooked. The Brooklyn Nets will be without several options tonight, and DeAndre’ Bembry and Cam Thomas are elite options tonight. Thomas’ caught fire in recent games, while Bembry is priced under $4k. Both of these players can be considered in cash games, but they’re slightly better suited for tournaments on this slate. On most other slates, that wouldn’t be the case. You can also consider Trae Young, Devonte’ Graham, Cole Anthony, and any of the healthy Minnesota Wolves guards tonight.
Arguably the highest owned player on this slate will be Justise Winslow. He’s expected to play big minutes for the Portland Blazers, who are without several players tonight. He’s the minimum price, and it’s difficult to shy away from him tonight. You can also consider the Brooklyn Nets options here, specifically Patty Mills. He’ll take over the Brooklyn offense, and he comes with tremendous scoring potential. He posted 30.75 DK points in his only game against the Boston Celtics this season, and Mills is guard and forward eligible on this slate. It’s important to note that you can use a few players I outlined at guard here as well. Finally, Brandon Ingram is an elite option if you can spend up. He’s looked elite without Josh Hart in the lineup this season, and Hart was traded this morning. Ingram gets an elite matchup against the Houston Rockets, and he can be considered in all leagues.
Wendell Carter Jr. is an interesting option on this slate. He gets a good matchup against a depleted Portland Blazers team, and he comes with double-double potential. Carter’s a great option in GPPs on this slate. James Johnson is another solid option for the Brooklyn Nets. He boasts elite upside when given the minutes, and he’s expected to find extra minutes on this slate. Johnson isn’t the safest play, but he’s priced under $4k tonight. He’s an elite GPP pivot at power forward tonight. If you can get to Giannis Antetokounmpo, he’s a solid play. This could is one of the best games on the slate, and it’ll be a nationally televised game. On the other side, LeBron James is an elite option. These two players could look to show out on the national stage, and they’re two of the best in the NBA. You can also consider Jarren Jackson Jr., Al Horford, and Chris Duarte here.
There are two very clear options at center tonight. Blake Griffin and Jaxson Hayes are both far too cheap. They’ll both see extended minutes because of injuries throughout their rotations. Both options are playing at a higher level in recent games. Hayes gets an elite matchup against the Houston Rockets, while Griffin will face off against the Boston Celtics. Both are power forward eligible as well, adding to their value.
Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are the two most expensive center options on this slate. They both come with elite upside, and either can always be considered at this point. They’re best suited for tournaments, although I wouldn’t try to talk you out of Jokic in cash games. If Isaiah Jackson is active (and starting), he’ll make an outstanding option with Domantas Sabonis out of the lineup. He comes with tremendous upside, although Jackson does come with some risk as well. Alperen Sengun’s been playing bigger minutes in recent games, and he gets a good matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans tonight. Sengun comes with some risk, but he’s a great salary relief option. You can also consider Christian Wood, Jonas Valanciunas, Bobby Portis, Jusuf Nurkic, and Karl-Anthony Towns as well. It’s a loaded slate tonight.
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