What’s up everyone and welcome to Ben’s Building Blocks! If you’ve never read my content before, welcome. To those that have, welcome back. I truly appreciate everyone that reads and supports during NBA season. This article is designed for me to highlight the top plays of the day. Obviously, things can change rapidly in the NBA with injury news close to lock, so I would be sure to subscribe to our premium package for access to our Final Thoughts cheat sheet, our premium discord channel and my core plays. Our Core Plays product gives you the ability to tail all of our analysts in your contests each night. We do the work for you, and you simply plug and play with our premium Core Plays. With that being said, let’s hop into the plays…
The King should be rested and ready for a full workload tonight against the Atlanta Hawks. He sat out the Lakers last game, after logging 40 minutes in back to back games. One of those games came against this Hawks team — a game in which James dropped a huge 47-10-9 line. He’s averaging monster per minute numbers without Anthony Davis on the floor — and should be needed for big minutes tonight in what’s expected to be a close game. There are several strong spend-ups on a slate this size, but James continues to feel too cheap for his post-Davis role. Our projections still consider him a top-value at this price point and he’s my favorite option on Friday night.
Johnson is one of our top projected values against the Detroit Pistons, and will be one of the highest-owned players on tonight’s big slate. He actually averages over 40 fantasy points per game with no Devin Vassell this season, but continues to be underpriced across the industry. Detroit is a strong spot as well, with them struggling to defend wing scoring in recent weeks. The Pistons are a bottom-three defensive team over the course of the season and Johnson clearly leads the team in usage rate. If the game is close, I don’t see how Johnson doesn’t post a nice game for his price tag. He’s not a must in tournaments at this ownership, but should be used in cash game formats.
Note: The Heat have been the worst/most annoying team with injury news all season. Some players, like Tyler Herro, just received a mid-day downgrade to Questionable. Stay tuned to Discord/Final Thoughts for updated decisions.
I’m struggling to find any value I really like on Friday night. Currently, Josh Richardson is popping as the highest-owned player on the slate due to his $3,800 price tag. I think he’s fine for cash game formats, but other than that Naji Marshall at $5,000 is the cheapest player I really like tonight. New Orleans is still without Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, which is key for Marshall. He’s averaging over 30 fantasy points per game with them off the floor this season — and sees the second-highest usage rate increase on the team at 3%. Overall, I think he’s the best mid-tier option on the slate tonight.
OwnersBox Top Play
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I love this spot for the Unicorn against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He sees the biggest usage rate increase on the Wizards with Brad Beal off the floor, and is in a smash match-up. OKC is one of the worst rebounding teams in basketball, and we know that he will take on more of an offensive role tonight. I don’t think they have anyone capable of stopping him, and we have him projected for under 7% ownership tonight. We’ve seen a nice ceiling from him a few times this season — and pairing him with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be a fruitful move in large-field tournaments.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)