Each week, RotoWire will provide value plays for your daily fantasy basketball lineups on FantasyDraft. Users have a salary cap of $100,000 to select a lineup comprised of three guards, three forwards/centers and two utility players.
FantasyDraft is running NBA contests each and every day after the league resumes play on Thursday following the All-Star Break. There are 50/50s, guaranteed tournaments and more available options in the lobby, so be sure to check it out. With contests at every entry fee level, there are a ton of options to choose from.
The target for each player to reach value is 2.5x the playerís salary. If a player costs $10,000 against the cap, expected value is 25 fantasy points.
Kyrie Irving ($14,200)
Irving has looked healthy and explosive over his last eight appearances, averaging 26.9 points and 6.0 assists per game to raise his season marks to 19.0 and 4.5, respectively. The 2011 first overall pick has seen his price rise to $14,200 as a result of his strong play, but that value still represents a bargain for a player who averaged 52.5 fantasy points per game in his final three contests before the All-Star break.
Derrick Rose ($12,900)
Rose has stepped up offensively since teammate Jimmy Butler suffered a knee injury Feb. 5, averaging 40.8 fantasy points per game since that date. The 2011 NBA MVP should relish the chance to once again serve as Chicagoís focal point on that end, and he makes for a high-upside play over the next few weeks as Butler works his way back. A player with Roseís current upside in points and assists is rarely available for such a reasonable price.
Wesley Johnson ($8,600)
Johnsonís all-around ability allowed him to average 24.7 fantasy points per game over his final five appearances before the All-Star break, easily outpacing his expected value of 21.5 fantasy points per game. The former Syracuse star provides a much-needed combination of spacing and defense for a Clippers team that requires those skills to succeed in going small during Blake Griffinís absence. Griffin isnít due back for another month, giving Johnson some staying power as an impact player in Los Angeles.
Bradley Beal ($12,400)
After injury worries limited Beal to fewer than 30 minutes of playing time in nine straight appearances, the shooting guard finally reached that mark again in three of his last four games. He unsurprisingly topped 30.0 fantasy points in each of those four contests and should be ready to resume playing his regular mid-30ís allotment now that heís had another week to get healthier. A healthy Beal performing up to his usual standards is an absolute steal at below the average player price.
Al Jefferson (knee), Day-to-Day
There hasn't been much word on Jefferson's status since he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Dec. 31, but his recent indication that he would've liked to play before the All-Star break indicates that he can't be far from a return. Expect Cody Zeller to go back to a reserve role, with Spencer Hawes reduced to minuscule minutes upon Jefferson's return.
Jimmy Butler (knee), Out 3-to-4 Weeks
Butler isn't expected back for another 3-to-4 weeks due to a left knee sprain. While E'Twaun Moore should see increased minutes in his absence, Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol are the most likely candidates to fill the scoring void left by Butler's absence.
Tony Parker (ankle), Day-to-Day
Parker missed San Antonioís final game before the All-Star break with an ankle injury, but it sounds like the veteranís absence was mostly the result of extra precautions being taken by head coach Gregg Popovich. Expect Parker to be back in the lineup when play resumes, thus pushing both Patty Mills and Ray McCallum back to distant bench roles.
Nikola Mirotic (appendectomy, hematoma), Out Indefinitely
Mirotic has had to deal with a hematoma on top of his appendectomy, and head coach Fred Hoiberg has indicated that he will be out for weeks after having lost 15 pounds following surgical procedures for both issues. An early return would only lead to Mirotic playing below his regular playing weight, meaning Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott will consistently see increased minutes in the near future as Mirotic tries to work his way back.
Blake Griffin (hand), Out 3-to-5 Weeks
Griffin isnít projected to be back until mid-March as he is still battling a hand injury sustained while punching a Clippers team employee. This means at least a few more weeks of Wesley Johnson playing at a serviceable clip, including four extra games stemming from a team-imposed suspension that Griffin will have to serve upon rejoining the lineup.
Trey Burke (flu), Day-to-Day
Burke missed Utahís final three games before the All-Star break with a case of the flu, but he should be good to go after having a full week to recover. Raul Neto should still start at point guard for the Jazz, but Burke will see heavy backcourt minutes off the bench with Alec Burks still not nearing a return.