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Jeremy Lin – Tonight is a night to keep it cheap at both guard positions. Due to a number of significant injuries, there are a lot of solid value options. Nicolas Batum is out tonight, which will open up more opportunity and minutes for Jeremy Lin. He tends to dominate when one of the Charlotte Hornets’ starters are not suiting up. He did not look great against the Golden State Warriors, but tonight will be a much different story. He gets a great matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who love to push the pace and ignore defense. Lin should be able to score at will, and he is my top option at the guard positions despite his low price tag.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: With Batum out and Lamb questionable, Lin makes arguably the best play on the slate.
Jeremy Lamb – Jeremy Lamb has been upgraded to questionable tonight against the Phoenix Suns. Generally when a player is doubtful, an upgrade to questionable indicates that they will play. If Lamb sits out, it makes Lin that much stronger of a play. However, if Lamb plays, he can be used alongside of Lin because he is such a great value play. In his last game, he scored over 30 fantasy points in 30 minutes on the court. He should see similar results tonight, or better, as the Suns are terrible defensively and will provide plenty of fantasy production opportunities to the young Hornets’ guard.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: If Lamb plays, he’ll make a good option with Batum out.
LeBron James – LeBron James has been underwhelming so far this season when it comes to fantasy production. When a few of the Cavaliers’ other scoring options are out, James performs well, but generally he is right around 35-45 fantasy points per night. Due to that, his price has come down. Regardless of his mediocrity so far this season, he is still King James. The Washington Wizards are one of the worst teams in the league against the opposing small forward position, and James will take advantage of that. In his last two games, he only played around 30 minutes, but he should see closer to 35 tonight in a game that John Wall should be able to keep close.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: I don’t dislike LeBron tonight, but I’ll likely save a bit of money and use Paul George here.
David West – Both Tony Parker and LaMarcus Aldridge are out tonight against the Utah Jazz. Aldridge’s absence will lead to David West drawing the start. He should play over 25 minutes, and his price tag is under $4,000. West is not the explosive player he once was anymore, but he can still get the job done. Against the Denver Nuggets, West played over 25 minutes, and he posted almost 35 fantasy points. He has good upside, but I would not trust him in 50/50 contests.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: West has good upside, and he should be consistent with Ridge out tonight. I like him most in GPPs, but I don’t think he’s the worst cash game play.
Andre Drummond – Andre Drummond is the best center on the board… as usual. Tonight, he plays the Boston Celtics.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: Drummond… Celtics… Yes, please.
Jeff Withey – Jeff Withey can be used in all formats. Justin and I have an eye for talent. Withey is slowly turning into what Rudy Gobert was for the Utah Jazz. He is a decent shooting center with a great ability to rebound and block shots. In his last three games, he has one double-double, two games over 10 rebounds, and 11 total blocked shots. He is scoring over 30 fantasy points per game on a regular basis, and there is no reason to avoid him. His price tag is going to come up to around $6,000 within the next week or so, so take advantage of his cheap price while you can.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: Withey isn’t quite the next Gobert, but wow has he been good. Get him in your lineups.
Kemba Walker – I agree that you can go cheap at guard tonight because there are around 10,000 options that make sense, but you could also spend up for Walker. He has been on fire over the last 10 days, as he’s averaging 26.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 2.5 steals per game. He gets a great matchup against the Suns, who have been one of the worst defenses in the NBA since the injury to Eric Bledsoe. He isn’t priced all that high yet, and Walker makes a great play in all leagues.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: If you want to pay up for a guard, Walker is a great option.
Norris Cole – Cole is another extremely cheap option at guard, and he makes a great play. Over the last three games, he has played 30+ minutes in each game, and he has scored 44.0, 29.25, and 32.0 fantasy points in those three contests. Tonight, he gets a great matchup against the Mavs, who he recently dominated for 16 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals in his last game. It looks like his minutes will be guaranteed for at least a few games, and he makes a great play in all leagues tonight.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: Cole is a great value play tonight.
Paul George – PG13 is one of the best plays in the NBA when he’s on fire. He has scored 50+ fantasy points in three consecutive contests, and he’s averaging 31.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.7 steals per game over that span. Tonight, he gets a great matchup against the Magic, who like to push the pace, and tend to turn games into shootouts. They have trouble stopping scorers, and that’s exactly what George has been for the Pacers this season. He has dominated Orlando in their only matchup this year, and PG13 can be used in all leagues while he’s on fire.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: I’ll be paying the extra little bit of money to get James tonight.
Serge Ibaka – It looks like Ibaka will be asked to become a bigger part of the offense with Kevin Durant out, as he took 17 shots in his last game. In that game, he scored 25 points with 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 blocks, and 1 steal. He’s going to play huge minutes tonight, and he gets a decent matchup against the Grizzlies, who have struggled on defense at times this season. I don’t fully trust Ibaka, but he should be fairly safe without KD in the lineup. He’s best suited for GPPs, as his price tag is a bit low tonight, but he also isn’t the worst cash game play either.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: KD has been upgraded to questionable tonight, but Ibaka will make a good play if he’s out.
Brook Lopez – Lopez flopped in his last game, but he was on fire before that. Even with the struggles in that game, he’s averaging 24.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 1.5 steals per game over the last 10 days. He gets a tough matchup against the Raptors, but Lopez is fairly matchup proof. He’s going to be a bigger part of the offense with Jack out, and he has the ability to contribute in each of the five categories. He’s a great play in all leagues tonight, although I will likely be using Drummond a bit more than him tonight.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: I also like Lopez, but I’ll likely be paying up for Dummond, as well.
Zaza Pachulia – For his price, Pachulia could be my favorite center on the slate. He is on a consistent streak right now, as he as scored 34.5, 34.0, 36.25, 36.25, 36.25, and 38.75 fantasy points in his last six games. He is still priced low, which is confusing, but I’ll be taking advantage of it. He gets a great matchup against the Pelicans, who have been one of the worst teams in the NBA against centers this season. Pachulia has easily been exceeding value, and he makes a great option in all leagues tonight.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: Zaza is a great play for his price tag tonight.
Both Writers Will Gladly Respond to Questions and Comments on Twitter at @BalesSJustin and @thedominatordfs.