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…
Kuzma draws a tough individual match-up tonight against Aaron Gordon — who is a fantastic defender — but he simply has to be my top-overall play tonight with both Brad Beal and Kristaps Porzingis out for Washington. Kuzma put up a truly monster line the last time both these guys missed, and he’s in the midst of maybe his best season as a pro anyways. If we isolate the last month of action, and remove Beal/Porzingis we get a massive 35% usage rate for Kuzma, up from his season rate of 27%. He also sees a per minute rise to 1.17. Overall, he is not super cheap but playing without these two makes him a tough fade and I would consider him a must play in all formats tonight.
Some of the bigger injury news of the day hit when news broke that Klay Thompson would be out, while Steph Curry is questionable to play. Andrew Wiggins is out, as well. Luckily, this is one of the first games of the night so we will have Curry news early enough to build our teams, but I’m not sure if it matters in case of Poole. Obviously no Curry would impact him, but I believe he is a top play for his price even if only Thompson misses. Poole isn’t the highest floor type of guy given how dependent he is on scoring the basketball…but we’ve seen him smash in these situations a few times this season. His minutes and usage will rise with Thompson/Wiggins off the court and Indiana has really struggled to defend players with Poole’s style of play this season. I think he is a must play in cash games, and I’m even fine rostering him at high ownership in tournaments — especially is Curry ends up out.
There are some other strong plays on the Raptors with how their injury situation is shaping up, but it will be tough to avoid Gafford at sub-$4K on DraftKings tonight. I isolated that same month-long sample with Beal/Porzingis off the floor for Gafford which results in him seeing around 1.1 fantasy points per minute. The per minute numbers are never the issue for Gafford, it’s playing time and we are expected him to step into the starting lineup for Zinger tonight. Our Projections have him for mid-20’s in minutes tonight, and if we get confirmation he will start he becomes the top-overall value on Wednesday night.
OwnersBox Top Play
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Kawhi is coming off a huge game, and while this isn’t exactly the Kawhi of old…he’s still a better player than the level at which he’s priced right now. He’s been over a full fantasy point per minute this season when on the floor and draws a strong match-up tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves. We aren’t going to get upper-30’s in minutes here which is partially why he’s priced like he is — but he still grades out as a top value in the 30 minutes that our Projections have him playing tonight. There’s always a chance he sits out, but this is a pace-up spot for the Clippers and I think Leonard is one of the top point per dollar options on Wednesday night.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)