Hopefully you used yesterday’s picks to win cash.
I’m changing up the format today. I will provide value plays as usual and some matchup plays as well. In many cases, the plays overlap and you might consider that a sweet spot.
Consider that tip No. 1 for today.
Tip No. 2: The usual caveats apply, check news reports and starting lineups prior to roster lock. This is written in the late morning/early afternoon. We won’t have much clarity until much closer to tipoff time. You can’t survive if you have a 0 on the board from any player.
Tip 3) Yesterday, winning lineups in my tournaments had one, maybe two sleepers in them. That meant balanced lineups ruled. I’m not sure we can count on the same tonight with Eric Bledsoe, Chris Paul, Steph Curry, DeAndre Jordan and Hassan Whiteside in play. I feel like we have to pick the right studs and a couple sleepers to make everything fit. But I was wrong yesterday. I diversified lineups a little better today.
Value plays and matchup plays for Monday, March 2
Value plays: Mario Chalmers, $4,500, Greivis Vazquez, $4,200
Matchup plays: Chris Paul, $9,900, Tyreke Evans, $7,700 and Chalmers (or Goran Dragic, $6,500).
Chalmers doesn’t really stand out as a great play unless Dragic sits. He missed Monday morning’s shootaround with back spasms. He is questionable. I’m treating my lineups as though Dragic is not playing and have Chalmers almost everywhere.
Vazquez should start for Kyle Lowry, who is out today. Again, check the lineups to see if he is starting in place of Lowry. It also means we should consider a slight upgrade for the 76ers starting point guard. Ish Smith, $3,000, started the second half last night over Isaiah Canaan, $3,900. If Smith starts I may get him in some lineups.
Paul is on most of my rosters.
Value plays: Lou Williams, $4,300, Jamal Crawford, $5,500, J.J. Redick, $4,500, Markel Brown, $4,000
Matchup plays: DeMar DeRozan, $7,000, Williams, Klay Thompson, $7,700, Crawford, Redick, Dwayne Wade, $6,900, Monta Ellis, $7,000, Eric Bledsoe, $8,600
Brown was my top value play until we got word about Lowry. I expect Williams to get extra opportunities to score.
Crawford is a safer play and has more upside than Redick, but he is the sixth man and Redick is the starter. Thompson is overpriced but gets a good matchup against the Nets.
Wade and Bledsoe face off in what Las Vegas thinks should be the closest game of the night and one of the highest scoring games.
Ellis hasn’t been playing up to his price but he gets New Orleans, which has allowed the fourth-most points to opposing shooting guards in the last three weeks.
Kevin Martin isn’t on the list. He’s a game-time decision. He was pitiful last game, shooting just 28%. The last time he shot 28%, he followed it up with a 67% game, 28 real points and 35 fantasy points.
Value plays: Andre Iguodala, $3,900, Luc Richad Mbah a Moute, $4,300, Dante Cunningham, $3,400, Michael Beasley, $3,200, Matt Barnes, $4,300, Jerami Grant, $3,000
Matchup plays: Barnes, Andrew Wiggins, $6,400, Luol Deng, $6,000, Beasley, Mbah a Moute, Iguodala, Grant
As you can see, a lot of the value plays also get good matchups. It helps that Wiggins’ $6,400 is the highest price on the board.
Beasley is interesting because he only has a 10-day contract. He got 25 minutes last game and we have to figure he’s going to get some time on the floor as the team decides if they want to extend him. At $3,200 he needs 18-20 fantasy points to pay off his salary. That’s not a lot for a player who gets 25 minutes.
I have Iguodala in a few lineups. He’s been scoring about 25 points a game which puts him right at value.
Value plays: Kevin Garnett, $3,400, David Lee, $4,200, Marreese Speights, $3,200, Harrison Barnes, $4,400, Amir Johnson, $4,000, Patrick Patterson, $3,900
Matchup plays: Johnson, Patterson, Draymond Green, $6,800, Lee, Speights, Garnett, Barnes
Again, most of the value plays show up in the matchup plays. Because of injury, Green tops the price list. There’s word of Andrew Bogut resting tonight, which could mean extra work for Green, Lee and Speights. I’m paying up for Green in most lineups.
Garnett bought a bunch of Timberwolves tickets and gave them away to fans. I’m not sure if he’s starting but he put up a tantalizing line before being ejected last game and gets to face the Clippers, who have given up the fifth most fantasy points to power forwards in the last three weeks.
I don’t trust Johnson or Patterson, but the 76ers have given up the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards this season and both players are priced so they could easily provide value.
He’s not on the list, but Nerlens Noel, $6,200 is in one of my more important lineups tonight. He’s been one of the players most consistently on the ceiling board.
Value plays: DeAndre Jordan, $8,900, Omer Asik, $4,900, Alexis Ajinca, $4,900, Nikola Pekovic, $5,500, Jonas Valanciunas, $5,200, Gorgui Dieng, $5,100, Mason Plumlee, $4,200, Brook Lopez, $5,900, Alex Len, $5,600, Spencer Hawes, $3,600, Festus Ezeli, $3,000, Andrew Bogut, $4,200
Matchup plays: Valanciunas, Jordan, Hawes, Ezuli, Bogut
Jordan may be high priced, but he’s probably underpriced by about $1,000 and gets a Timberwolves team that has allowed the third most fantasy points per game to centers this season. Pekovic is questionable, so be cautious there. Dieng may start in his place alongside Garnett. That could be an interesting pair and a potential defensive upgrade against Jordan and the Clippers. Hawes is a center but has been starting at power forward with Blake Griffin out. He hasn’t done much with the starting opportunity, but has a good matchup whether he’s playing center, power forward or small forward tonight. Unless, of course, that Dieng-Garnett duo can rectify the Timberwolves struggles against opposing bigs.
Bogut was supposed to sit last game, but because Ezeli was suspended Bogut played. If Bogut sits, it should mean extra work for Ezeli and the power forwards mentioned above. Smarter people than me — @rotogrinders writers and on-air talents, specifically — were talking about the situation on Twitter this morning. They pictured a small Golden State lineup with Green at center and Ezeli coming off the bench.
Hassan Whiteside is out there begging to be started. He costs $8,200 and doesn’t have a particularly great matchup, but I kinda want to start him because of the chance of a triple-double with blocks.
Good luck today and every day.