Youngsters get a chance to show out during this portion of the year. Coaches lean a bit less on the veterans and give prospects a chance to play through mistakes. As exciting as it can be, the games can be a bit of an eyesore with skyrocketing turnovers. Regardless, opportunity is the name of the game, and there should be some under-the-radar values over the next few weeks. As always, listen to the On the Daily podcast for any and all NBA advice throughout the week.
Russell Westbrook @ DAL – $11,600 on FD, $11,300 on DK
You can never hope to stop Russ, but tinkering down his shot total is a good start. Last season’s MVP hasn’t taken more than 20 shots in five straight games and hasn’t hit more than 43 percent of his looks in any of those outings. That is a recipe for fantasy nightmares, but Westbrook has still shown effectiveness. He scored over 50 DK points in three of those outings and now gets to face a sub-par defense. It shouldn’t take long for him to bump up his efficiency or shot total, might as well grab him at a discount before that happens.
Tomas Satoransky vs GSW – $6,900 on FD, $5,900 on DK
There is legitimacy in the claim that Satoransky could be a starting point guard in the NBA. He does all of the little things that are necessary to win, and it has translated to the standings where the Wizards are 9-3 since John Wall went down with a knee injury. Over the past six games, he’s posted more than 30 DK points in five contests and now gets to play in the highest implied total of the night at 226.5. He’s a safe play for cash with his ability to set a floor with his rebounding and assist totals.
Nic Batum @ BOS – $7,000 on FD, $6,400 on DK
Batum has probably build up a reputation as an overpriced starter after signing his deal in the summer of 2016, but he can still bring it. Over the past five games, he’s averaged 5.6 rebounds and 8.6 assists, which is a figure only two players are averaging this year (LeBron James and Westbrook). That level of playmaking and aggressiveness takes a load off of his offense, even though he steadied at his season norm in that department. His price hasn’t risen high enough to scare you off the combination of intriguing ceiling and floor.
Dillon Brooks vs PHO – $4,400 on FD, $4,500 on DK
Brooks should have plenty of opportunity to play in this one. The Grizzlies will be without Tyreke Evans, Chandler Parson, Deyonta Davis, and Wayne Selden, giving Brooks a bit more leeway in jacking it up. Brooks doesn’t typically contribute the peripheral numbers that provide a major ceiling, but he should get up enough shots to generate interest. He’s only shot above his season’s field goal percentage twice over the past 10 games, and he makes for a solid play with regression due at the same time as this projected uptick in volume.
Taurean Prince vs IND – $5,200 on FD, $5,700 on DK
Prince has settled in as a quality starter and appears to be a decent piece of the Hawks future. His numbers won’t jump off the page, but they’re strong enough at a position of need that he should be an attractive piece moving forward. With the Hawks gearing more to next season, they’ve given Prince a bit more responsibility on offense. He’s gone over his field goal attempt average on the season in six of the past seven games. That volume and a bump in efficiency – he’s hit over 40 percent of his looks in just one game over that span – should allow him to be a nice value.
Davis Bertans vs NO – $4,100 on FD, $3,900 on DK
Pau Gasol is set to miss tonight’s matchup against the Pelicans, giving Bertans a chance to get more minutes. He’s played more than 20 minutes in five of his past 10 games and has put up more than 20 DK points in each contest. Returning value at this price is a near guarantee, especially when you factor in some extra offensive possessions from Gasol’s absence.
Anthony Davis @ SA – $12,500 on FD, $11,700 on DK
Can you say MVP? Davis has ramped up his play over the past couple of weeks, shifting into “Westbrook Mode” with teammate DeMarcus Cousins out for the rest of the season. He’s scored more than 38 points in seven of his past 10 games and is averaging 12.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 2.4 blocks during that time. The all-encompassing effort has vaulted the Pelicans into the fifth spot for the playoffs, which puts them in strong position to make the postseason. Davis has taken 24 or more shots in seven of the past 10 games and has hit over 60 DK points in six of those outings. The ceiling is boundless when he’s playing like this and makes it nearly impossible to win matchups if you are pitted against him.
Jakob Poeltl @ ORL – $4,400 on FD, $3,800 on DK
The bench has proven to be the best part of the Toronto Raptors this season. The depth has been invaluable as they’ve vaulted to the top of the Eastern Conference, and a major reason for that dominance has been Poeltl. The second-year forward has been a steady producer, and like Bertans, could be putting up even bigger numbers if not for the depth at the position on their respective teams. His efficiency has translated to three straight games of over 20 DK points, and there’s a good chance he gets to play major minutes if the Raptors jump on the Magic early.
DeAndre Jordan vs HOU – $8,400 on FD, $7,600 on DK
Jordan is consistently a monster on the boards and on the scoreboard. He’s put up over 40 DK points in four of the past five games and has the revenge-game narrative after the “tunnel” controversy last month. He didn’t play in that matchup but posted 15 points and 20 rebounds in the first game before the two in December. He generally outperforms his value, giving you a quality piece to use in your lineups.