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FantasyAces NBA: Weekly Value Plays

Juan Carlos Blanco

Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for Rotowire.com, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.

RotoWire aims to help you win on Fantasy Aces, as we break down a few value plays for Monday night. The robust 11-game slate is replete with value, and identifying it will allow you to spend on top-tier players to round out your lineup.

There are plenty of the elite in action Monday, including Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, LeBron James and DeMarcus Cousins. As the season heads into its third month, some key injuries have also opened up value and opportunity. With that in mind, I will highlight some selections that come in no higher than $4,400, leaving you plenty of room to fit in some of the elite.

GUARDS

Evan Fournier, ORL vs. NOP ($4,300)- After a late November/early December cold spell, Fournier is back to offering the solid fantasy production we’d gotten accustomed to seeing earlier this season. He’s scored between 25.25 and 30.75 fantasy points in five of his last six, tallying double-digit scoring efforts in each. He now draws a 29th-ranked Pelicans defense that surrenders 107.1 points per game, including 22.3 per game to shooting guards.

Eric Gordon, NOP at ORL ($4,400)- The other side of that matchup also offers some appealing fantasy promise. One of the league’s streakier shooters, Gordon is playing well lately, dropping double-digit points in six straight and eight of his last nine. He’s scored at least 20.25 fantasy points in each game during that span, and topped out at 37.00 in his most recent game, a stellar 26-point, five-assist, two-rebound outing versus the Rockets on Dec. 26 that included six three-pointers. The Magic are also even more generous than New Orleans to opposing twos, surrendering 23.2 points per game over the course of the season and 38.1 over their last ten games to the position.

Ish Smith, PHI at UTA ($3,800)- Smith made a splash in his 2015-16 Sixers debut Saturday, helping lead Philadelphia to only their second victory of the season. The 27-year-old poured in 14 points, five assists, two rebounds, a block and a steal in 31 minutes, netting 25.00 fantasy points. The Jazz are known for their stingy defense but are only middle-of-the-pack against point guards, yielding 42.3 fantasy points to the position over their last 10. Smith doesn’t need to do a whole lot to pay off his sub-$4K price tag and figures to have the ball in his hands plenty, even while splitting time with the likes of Kendall Marshall.

J.J. Redick, LAC at WAS ($4,300)- If his last game is any indication, Redick fully intends to do his part to help fill the scoring void left by Blake Griffin’s absence due to a partially torn quad tendon. The veteran guard dropped 25 points on the Utah Jazz, a performance that netted 32.50 fantasy points and included five three-pointers. Redick has scored between 21.00 and 35.75 fantasy points in eight of his last 10, and now draws a Wizards defense that has been a sieve against opposing shooting guards all season; Washington is giving up 23.4 points per game, as well as 39.0 fantasy points, over their last 10 to the position.

NOTE: If Devin Booker ($3,000) draws the start for the sidelined Eric Bledsoe (torn meniscus) as expected, he becomes an outstanding value play at minimum price.

FORWARDS

Chandler Parsons, DAL vs. MIL ($4,300)- Mavs coach Rick Carlisle recently proclaimed Parsons’ minutes restriction to be a thing of the past, and the small forward has responded with his most productive stretch of the season. Parsons has played at least 28 minutes in five of his last six games, and produced outings with 35.25, 32.75 and 34.75 fantasy points during that span. The latter pair of totals came in his last two games, and he now draws a Bucks defense ranked second-worst in the league in fantasy points surrendered to small forwards over their last five (43.1 per game).

Frank Kaminsky, CHA vs. LAL ($3,600)- Kaminsky took advantage of the extended playing time that Al Jefferson’s recent 11-game absence (calf/suspension) afforded him, and it will be difficult for coach Steve Clifford to keep the talented rookie off the floor despite Big Al’s recent return. Kaminsky still played 26 minutes in Charlotte’s last game against the Grizzlies despite Jefferson being active off the bench, and he netted his third straight double-digit scoring game in the process. He’s scored between 20.00 and 35.75 fantasy points in five of his last 10, and even his low-water mark of 13.50 over that span still represents a return of nearly 4x value at his current price. A matchup against a permeable Lakers frontcourt that has surrendered 44.7 fantasy points to opposing fours over the last 10, and the possibility of extended playing time during a potential blowout, makes Kaminsky even more appealing at his bargain-bin price point.

Taj Gibson, CHI vs. TOR ($4,000)- Gibson is playing more minutes with Joakim Noah (shoulder) sidelined, and the trend should continue Monday against a Raptors frontcourt surrendering 42.1 fantasy points to opposing power forwards over their last five games. Gibson has played 32, 34 and 32 minutes over his last three games, respectively, and also logged 44 minutes in the quadruple-overtime thriller versus the Pistons on Dec. 18. He’s tallied between 22.50 and 31.50 fantasy points in those four contests, and he should be in for another healthy workload Monday.

CENTERS

Andrew Bogut, GSW vs. SAC ($4,150)- Bogut is often an under-the-radar fantasy option that provides solid value at his reasonable price points. Factoring out a five-minute cameo against the Bucks on Dec. 18, Bogut has scored between 19.75 and 33.25 fantasy points in his last six games, managing double-digit boards in three of them. He also doesn’t require a great deal of playing time to offer a nice return, as he’s managed those totals while playing no more than 27 minutes. The Kings' defense has also been a dependable source of fantasy points for opposing centers, surrendering 46.4 fantasy points to them over the course of the season and 48.5 over the last five games.

Bismack Biyombo, TOR at CHI ($4,400)- Biyombo has been a revelation for the Raptors in the wake of Jonas Valanciunas’ extended absence due to a hand injury. His recent production is such that Biyombo remains firmly in play at only $4,400 despite Valanciunas’ expected return Monday. Biyombo is averaging just under 16 rebounds per game over the last five, and he’s scored between 20.25 and 46.50 fantasy points in his last six, supplementing his totals with at least one block in seven consecutive games. With a Bulls defense that has yielded a healthy 53.8 fantasy points to centers over their last five, Biyombo should see enough playing time to return solid value on what remains a very reasonable price tag.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.