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…
It appears there will be plenty of value on tonight’s slate thanks to the Toronto Raptors — making it fairly easy to afford any star-level player we want. Typically, we would be flocking to Giannis Antetokounmpo in this spot but I actually think he will come in a touch lower-owned on DK tonight due to his monstrous price tag. As I noted, there is value to fit him in, so jamming him in with the cheap Raptors is definitely a good move in tournaments. Curry, however, is more affordable and been coming on as of late. Klay Thompson is expected to miss tonight’s game, and his usage rate spikes around 5% with him off the floor. This is a really good individual match-up. and Curry has been logging massive minutes in close games.
Detroit is still missing Cade Cunningham tonight, and Cory Joseph is also listed as questionable to play. Killian Hayes started over Joseph in their last game, and he’s a fine play in all formats in his own right — but the focus here is on Ivey. The promising rookie sees a huge 9% usage rate bump with Cade off the floor — and averages over a 31% usage rate playing without him. Those are not rates typical for a $6K player, so we are still getting him at a really good discount. Factor in that the defensive match-up is not as bad either with these Raptors injuries and it’s clear why you want Ivey tonight. Overall, we will be jamming in multiple Raptors players, so correlating with Ivey makes sense anyways.
Malachi Flynn + Thad Young
I’ve alluded to it a few times, but Toronto will be playing without Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Precious Achiuwa and Gary Trent tonight. These key guys being out opens up so many minutes for the supporting cast, and most of them are still priced like the aforementioned starters are playing. It’s unclear whether or not Flynn will start, but he logged over 20 minutes in the Raptors last game and is in play regardless. Thad Young did start in the last game, and should continue to do so tonight. These two are projected to be the highest-owned players on the slate per our Projections Portal, but with all these guys out I’m comfortable eating the chalk in all formats.
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I talked about the cheaper Raptors guys above, but Barnes is another player we will be all-in on tonight. Trent has actually had the highest usage rate sans Siakam/FVV this season, so him also being out really opens things up. Barnes has been horrific shooting the ball as of late, but you’d assume that will turn around at some point. He basically plays point guard with FVV off the floor, and will once again have the ball in his hands a ton tonight. If his shot is falling, he can really smash and it’s a super tough fade at his expected OWN%.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)