These are some of the principles I follow when building lineups:
1. Always target players graced with new opportunity or on a hot streak. Those players’ prices will likely not reflect their value.
2. Play $1 5-man leagues (with payout to two spots) for days. In the past I’ve recommended 50/50s and head-to-heads, but with everyone selling “guaranteed” 50/50 lineups, I’ve found 5-mans to be more lucrative. I’ve also won 5-mans with scores that wouldn’t have sniffed cash in a 50/50. Get the leagues that payout to first and second places. That 40% payout is nearly as good as 50/50s but you have to beat less competition.
3. My picks tend to lean toward the boom-or-bust end of the spectrum. I’m better at tournaments than cash games, so I will go through droughts then have a big day. Still, the following player list should be building blocks good for both tournaments and cash games. (And they’ll probably work pretty well at FanDuel too).
4. Check the late news. This is being posted at 3:30 p.m. and won’t be updated if players are a late scratch due to injury or rest. There are several teams playing on the back end of back-to-back games so expect late scratches tonight.
5. A couple players might be good options in the late games. I recommend filling lineups for all of the different time stamps (early, late, all-day, turbo) because it will help diversify your player base increasing your chances of picking a winning lineup.
These are my top value players from the 6 p.m. NBA games tonight. I’ll give you at least one per position. These are players I’ll use in my lineups.
This format isn’t set in stone. it’s just what we have today. The final format is up in the air as are the number of sports we’ll write about — I’ve been dipping into all of them, NBA, NHL, PGA, soccer, NCAA hoops and MMA.
Mo Williams, $4,800, and Isaiah Canaan, $4,500 — Both players are benefiting because of injuries to starters.
Avery Bradley, $5,100, and Gerald Henderson, $5,800 — Bradley is coming off a 51-point game. We can’t expect that again, but his expectations are currently higher than his salary.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, $4,500, and Danilo Gallinari, $4,400 — Mbah a Moute has one of the best SF matchups of the night against Orlando and he’s a lock for more than 30 minutes.
Serge Ibaka, $6,600 — This is all you get at PF, sorry. His price doesn’t look like a value, but he has 41 rebounds in his last three games and has a killer matchup against the Nuggets tonight. He’s in all of my lineups today and should far outperform that $6.6K. He is one of the players on the second night of a back-to-back. If he doesn’t play I’ll probably diversify my lineups using Nerlens Noel, $5,600, Brandon Bass, $5,200, or Ed Davis, $5,200.
Enes Kanter, $5,200 — He’s not a great scorer, but he’s a lock for 10 rebounds. He only needs 10 points and 10 rebounds to pay off this salary at Draft Kings, where rebounds are worth more than points (1.25 points to 1 point) and players get a bonus (1.5 points) if they double-double. He should get 10-10 easily if his new Oklahoma City team gives him another 32 minutes on the floor. Tyler Zeller, $4,900, is another option.
Good luck tonight and every night.
[UPDATE: This post was updated Feb. 23 to correct the date in the headline.]