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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, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for 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 that can help you build your lineups. There is value to be had and identifying it will allow you to spend on top-tier players to round out your lineup.

On a night where the likes of James Harden, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Paul George and John Wall are in play, below are some selections that come in no higher than $4,800, leaving plenty of room to fit in some of the elite options.


Will Barton, DEN vs. HOU ($4,800): Barton continues to generate far better numbers than the two players who’ve taken the floor as starting shooting guards for the Nuggets ahead of him, Gary Harris and Randy Foye. Due to the abundant minutes that Barton plays, the “starter” and “reserve” designations are a moot point. The 24-year old has played at least 30 minutes in six of his last seven games, scoring at least 25.50 fantasy points in all but one of those contests. That sample size includes games when Barton has totaled 30.75, 32.00, 33.00 and 38.75 fantasy points, which is roughly 7x-9x value. The matchup is also in his favor Monday, as the Rockets are surrendering an average of 36.9 fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards over their last five.

Wesley Matthews, DAL vs. PHX ($4,550): Matthews has scored in double figures in six of his last seven, and has generated impressive fantasy point totals of 26.25, 28.75, 29.50, 31.25 and a whopping 54.00 in five of those contests. He also draws a favorable matchup Monday, as the Suns have given up an average of 40.4 fantasy points to the shooting guard position over their last 10 games. Matthews may also see an uptick in opportunity again if backcourt mate Deron Williams (illness) misses another start. With the latter out of the lineup Saturday, Matthews scored 28 actual points.

Raymond Felton, DAL vs. PHX ($4,000): Felton provides the best combination of cost, favorable recent performances and expected playing time Monday among the plethora of value guards around $4,000. Additionally, he would stand to be the direct beneficiary if Williams (illness) is forced to miss another game. Felton produced a triple-double in Williams’ stead Saturday, amassing 40.25 fantasy points in 38 minutes. While a repeat performance is unlikely, it’s notable that Felton has been steady as they come before that remarkable effort. The veteran guard had amassed fantasy point totals of 26.75, 20.00, 22.25, 31.50, 29.75 and 27.00 over the preceding six games, respectively. He’s also played between 30 and 39 minutes in six of his last seven, lending credence to the fact that he’ll be on the court sufficiently to return solid value irrespective of Williams’ status.

Kent Bazemore, ATL vs. MIA ($4,000): Bazemore continues to come off the bench but receive more than enough minutes to return solid value on a $4K price tag. He’s played at least 22 minutes in nine of his last 10 games and has scored at least 21.75 fantasy points in six of them. While Bazemore could conceivably run into some Luol Deng defense Monday, the Heat has fallen to the middle of pack overall in terms of defense against the small forward position.


Luis Scola, TOR at IND ($3,700): Scola has been a solid value play for much of the season, but he has really outperformed his modest price recently. The 35-year-old has managed three consecutive double-digit scoring games, and posted 27.50, 25.00 and 30.25 fantasy points over that span. He’s averaging 16.7 actual points and 7.0 boards in 30.0 minutes per game during the run, while shooting an impressive 61.5 percent (24-for-39) from the floor. The Pacers have played relatively well against power forwards this season, but they have been vulnerable as of late. Indiana has surrendered an average of 45.7 fantasy points to the position over the last five games, further setting the stage for Scola to continue his recent trend of solid production.

Mirza Teletovic, PHO at DAL ($3,850): After a slow start to his Suns tenure, the veteran forward has really picked up the pace since mid-November. Teletovic has scored double-digit actual points in 12 of 17 games since that point, including six of his last eight. With former starter Markieff Morris’ descent into the doghouse, Teletovic has also received increased opportunity, and he has largely capitalized. He is coming off a recent four-game stretch with fantasy point totals of 23.50, 31.00, 23.75 and 23.50, respectively, and he averaged 27 minutes per game over that span. While current starter Jon Leuer ($4,400) also represents excellent value, Teletovic comes with a $550 discount while receiving more than enough minutes to return excellent value.

Otto Porter, WAS at MEM ($4,400): With Bradley Beal out for at least two weeks with a lower leg injury, there’s no better time to jump on Porter. The third-year pro’s price won’t remain this low for long if Saturday’s performance was an accurate glimpse of what his production might be while Beal is out. The 23-year-old exploded for 43.00 fantasy points against the Mavericks on the strength of 28 actual points (a career-high), six rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal. It’s notable that Porter had been coming on prior to that outstanding performance, with fantasy point tallies of 32.75, 41.50, 22.75 and 29.75, over the preceding four games, respectively. The Grizzlies are known for their overall defensive prowess, but do check in as vulnerable to the small forward position, surrendering an average of 35.8 fantasy points to opposing threes this season, and 38.3 over their last 10.

Ersan Ilyasova, DET vs. LAC ($4,000): The veteran forward has flipped a switch over the last four games, scoring at least 31.75 fantasy points in three of those contests. He’s coming off back-to-back performances of 15 and 20 actual points, and appears to finally be hitting his stride in the Pistons’ offense. He is priced extremely reasonably given his recent production, and represents a cost-effective way to nab a starter that has been returning 6x-8x value recently.


Ian Mahinmi, IND vs. TOR ($4,300): Mahinmi continues to provide solid production relative to his price tag, as he manages to usually post strong rebounding numbers even on nights when his scoring may be limited. He’s also demonstrated the ability to return significant value on his modest price, with fantasy-point tallies of 28.25, 28.75, 34.25 and 42.00 in four of his last eight games. Mahinmi's averaged 7.8 rebounds per game over that span, including three games with at least 10. He draws a Raptors defense Monday that has surrendered an average of 44.8 fantasy points per game to opposing centers, a matchup that could pave the way for the Pacers’ big man to return excellent value.

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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.