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DraftKings NBA: Value Plays for the Week

Dave Loughran

Dave Loughran

Dave “Loughy” Loughran is a successful Daily Fantasy Sports player who is also no stranger to the seasonal fantasy world. While educated at Temple University, he always managed to prepare his fantasy content before, during and after class. A stat junkie, Loughy digs deep, unearthing statistical gems to help fantasy enthusiasts thicken their pockets. Dave appears on the Shane Dennis show on KFH FM Radio Wichita every Thursday at 7:25ET to provide his weekly fantasy football analysis. Follow him on Twitter @Loughy_D.

DraftKings.com Value Plays for the Week

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POINT GUARD

Nick Calathes, PG, MEM ($4,200): Calathes’ price has risen since he exploded for 22 points and 36.75 DKPTs (DraftKings Points) against Milwaukee in a spot start for the ailing Mike Conley, and he’ll still retain value at $4,200 for as long as he’s getting the nod at starting point guard. Over his last two games, Calathes has totaled 30 points, eight rebounds, six assists, five steals, and 61 DKPTs through 69 minutes of work. He’ll likely log in the neighborhood of thirty minutes again Wednesday and should meet little resistance in his attempts to hit value (24 DKPTs) at home against the aging Jose Calderon and the Dallas Mavericks, who rank 27th in defensive efficiency at the point guard position.

A Look Ahead: Conley will have his ankle re-evaluated within the next few days, yet that does not necessarily indicate an immediate return to the court for the seven-year veteran. Calathes, for the foreseeable future, will assume starting duties at the point for Memphis, whom will face the Cavaliers on Sunday. The Cavs have surrendered the second most fantasy points (42.8 FPPG) and assists (9.5 APG) to opposing point guards this season, which bodes well for the rookie Florida product in the case that he’s on the floor for tipoff come this weekend.

Notable Mention: Greivis Vasquez, PG/SG, TOR ($4,800) (If Kyle Lowry is inactive)

SHOOTING GUARD

Avery Bradley, PG/SG, BOS ($4,200): Bradley returned to the hardwood against the Magic on Super Bowl Sunday following a five game absence, tallying 17 points and 24 DKPTs in 33 minutes of action. He didn’t seem the slightest bit hindered by the ailing ankle that sidelined him in previous contests, and he should be able to demonstrate this once again Wednesday in Philadelphia, as the presence of Rajon Rondo should allow him to get much better looks now that he’s playing off the ball more. The 76ers have coughed up the second most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season at north of 38 FPPG allowed, while ranking 29th in defensive efficiency at the position. Look for Bradley to turn in a serviceable performance this evening en route to what should easily exceed 25 fantasy points by game’s end. $4,200 is a more than fair price to pay when the matchup is as favorable as the one he’ll receive Wednesday.

A Look Ahead: A Healthy Rondo is the best thing that could’ve happened to Bradley, as Rondo will be manning the backcourt with one of the league’s most elite passers going forward. Expect his shooting percentage to rise along with his point totals in the coming weeks.

Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, MIA ($7,100): Wade isn’t priced in value territory per se, yet his salary is more than exploitable Wednesday in a road tilt with the Clippers. His fantasy production has been hindered by aging knees and general soreness, which has subsequently depressed his price tag on DraftKings. However, Wade has looked rejuvenated over his previous two starts, with a total of 52 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and 83.5 DraftKings Points through 71 minutes of work, while shooting a phenomenal 67% from the field in that span (23-34 FG). Wade already torched L.A.C. earlier this season to the tune of 29 points on 13-22 shooting (59FG%), while chipping in seven assists and three steals for 49 DKPTs on the night, and will look to do so again Wednesday, given that he feels healthy enough to take the court. He makes for a solid mid-range play at only $7,100 this evening in what should be a closely contested, high scoring affair at the Staples Center.

A Look Ahead: Wade remains one of the better daily fantasy producers in the game when he is healthy. Unfortunately, the latter hasn’t been the case for the better half of the season thus far. His salary has remained relatively low on DraftKings though, likely due to his erratic production and multiple DNPs, so monitor his status and continue to plug him in as long as he’s a bargain.

Notable Mention: Tim Hardaway, SG, NYK ($4,500); Manny Harris, SG, LAL ($3,000)

SMALL FORWARD

Jeff Green, SG/SF, BOS ($6,300): Green finished with modest, yet serviceable numbers in a meeting with the Sixers last week, tallying 18 points on 5-13 shooting (2-3 3Pt), with six rebounds, four assists, and 31 DKPTs in 38 minutes played. He’ll head to the City of Brotherly Love to face the league’s worst defensive squad again this evening, and he’ll do so alongside Rajon Rondo ($7,600), who should continue to inject a level of offensive efficiency into the Celtics that hadn’t been there before. Green could benefit greatly from Rondo’s elite playmaking abilities against the 76ers, who play at a faster pace than any other team. In addition to their lightning fast style of play, the Sixers have managed to surrender the most fantasy points (42.3), assists (4.6), and blocks (1.2) to small forwards, while allowing the second most points (21.7), and rebounds (9.0) to the position this season. Green has suffered through a nasty shooting slump of late, knocking down only 25% of his shots over the last four games. However, he has attempted exactly 13 field goals in each of those contests, and will find no better remedy than a meeting with Philadelphia. Look for him to get back on track Wednesday in what should be a relatively high scoring contest between two teams whose sights are set on the upcoming draft.

A Look Ahead: It will be interesting to see if Green can piece together a more impressive second half to his underwhelming 2013-14 campaign now that Rondo is back in basketball shape. With that being said, he remains nothing more than a matchup based play until we can see a consistent uptick in fantasy production going forward.

Danny Green, SG/SF, SAS ($3,700): Green is one of the most volatile fantasy options you’ll come across on most nights, yet the absence of Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili eliminates much of the risk that would accompany playing him when the Spurs roll out a healthy lineup. Green, who missed ten games to a broken hand, played a solid 30 minutes in his return to action on Monday against the Pelicans, finishing with seven points on 1-7 shooting (1-5 3Pt), with seven rebounds, two assists, one block, one steal, and 23.25 DKPTs. Despite an expectedly rusty shooting performance in his return, Green still managed to exceed value of his current salary (21 DKPTs) by more than two points, and shouldn’t struggle to do so Wednesday in the case that he earns similar minutes. The problem with Green, however, is that Gregg Popovich is the most unpredictable and frustrating coach in terms of how he manages his rotation. That being said, there are enough injuries to key players in San Antonio right now to envision him giving Green, who is one of his more trusted and experienced players, ample floor time this evening in a road tilt with the Wizards. The potential upside here is enough to take a flier on the 26 year old New York native on a team where there is already a shortage of capable healthy guards.

A Look Ahead: Green’s value hinges on the recovery time of both Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili. He is capable of playing both the two and the three, which allows for more playing time on a nightly basis, but his considerable bust potential makes him a liability when San Antonio gets healthy again. For now, however, Green is certainly in play at only $3,700 and will continue to be an option until either his price goes up, the Spurs get bodies back on the court, or his minutes consistently decline.

Notable Mention: Courtney Lee, SG/SF, MEM ($4,000); Wesley Johnson, SG/SF, LAL ($3,900)

POWER FORWARD

Jared Sullinger, PF/C, BOS ($5,900): If you played Sullinger in the Boston frontcourt lottery lately, you’ve likely done quite well for yourself from a win/loss perspective. Over his last two starts, Sullinger is averaging 22.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 45 DKPPG, while shooting 48% on a combined 40 field goal attempts. He’ll face a Philadelphia club Wednesday that’s he’s only one week removed from dismantling with a monster 24 point/17 rebound double-double through 35 minutes of work. The Sixers’ frontcourt is dead last in defensive efficiency, and has allowed opposing power forwards to tally the most fantasy points (51.4 FPPG), steals (2.6), and blocks (2.6) over the last two weeks. Sullinger looks to have regained his stride, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, as he should be licking his chops for a dream date with the 76ers Wednesday. His $5,900 price tag would typically be too steep for comfort, but Philadelphia’s up-tempo play and porous defense is enough to justify spending on him Wednesday. Moreover, Sullinger’s ability to knock down the three ball is amplified Wednesday with the Sixers coughing up more buckets from downtown than any other team this season.

A Look Ahead: Sullinger is receiving heavy minutes in the C’s frontcourt once again, yet it is virtually impossible to predict whether these figures will hold up. He does possess the most upside from the group of big men in Boston though, and is well worth remaining on your radar, as consistency is the key to daily fantasy basketball success.

Ryan Kelly, PF, LAL ($3,400): Kelly was disappointing last night, as he managed only 6 points and 15.5 DKPTs in 20 minutes against Minnesota with both Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill on the shelf. Coach Mike D’Antoni went small, so the 6-11 rookie was left without much of a role even with the Lakers’ frontcourt being decimated by injuries. That being said, it would be surprising to see him log anywhere under 30 minutes Wednesday, but he’s worth the risk at $3,400 regardless. Less than 20 DKPTs will be enough to hit value, which stands to be an easily attainable 19 fantasy points.

A Look Ahead: If Kelly plays well Wednesday, he’ll likely pick up a significant amount of minutes left by the injured Pau Gasol and even Jordan Hill in future outings. D’Antoni is unpredictable, but he’ll be forced to assign at least 25 MPG to Kelly for as long as Los Angeles has to play with multiple casualties to their frontcourt.

Notable Mention: James Johnson, SF/PF, MEM ($3,800); Brandon Bass, PF/C, BOS ($4,500)

CENTER

Anderson Varejao, PF/C, CLE, ($6,400): Varejao makes for one of the best overall plays Wednesday regardless of salary, but only if his minutes limit is lifted. He’s a steal at only $6,400 when given his full allotment of minutes, especially Wednesday against a Lakers squad that has allowed the most fantasy points (50.3), rebounds (16.3), and assists (3.3) to opposing centers this season, with more points surrendered in the paint than any other team. In his only other meeting with L.A.L. this year, Varejao recorded a Goliath double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds for 50 DKPTs in 37 minutes on the hardwood. He’s a high-energy player that is capable of accumulating statistics in several categories, and he should thrive in a juicy home matchup with the depleted Lakers frontcourt.

A Look Ahead: Varejao is a routinely solid play due to his ability to rack up peripheral stats consistently. He should continue to be viewed as an excellent option on DraftKings so long as his salary remains exploitable.

J.J. Hickson, PF/C, DEN ($6,100): Hickson has come on strong of late, with per game averages of 17.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 43 DKPTs over his last two starts. His playing time has been surprisingly consistent as well, as he’s logged 30+ MPG in nine of his last ten contests. He’ll face the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, who are ranked dead last in defensive efficiency at the center position, and have coughed up the third most fantasy points (46.9), points (21) and assists (2.7) to opposing big men this season. Hickson should easily pay off his modest $6,100 price tag in what should be a track meet inside the Pepsi Center this evening.

A Look Ahead: Hickson has proven that he is capable of producing favorable fantasy totals when given the minutes. His price should remain somewhat consistent on DraftKings, which makes him an intriguing option going forward.

Notable Mention: Robert Sacre, C, LAL ($3,000)
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