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FantasyAces NBA: Weekend 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 this weekend that can help you build your lineups. There are a host of appealing values on Super Bowl weekend, and we’ll highlight several priced no higher than $4,750, leaving you plenty of room to fit in a few superstars.


Rodney Hood, UTA vs. MIL (Fri.) at PHO (Sat.) ($4,700)- Hood’s price has only risen a mere $50 since last week, when he validated his presence as a designated value play with 29.25 fantasy points against the Timberwolves. He had 26.75 in his next contest against the Bulls, before a hiccup versus the Nuggets on Wednesday when only scored 9.75 fantasy points. However, given Hood’s recent track record, role in the offense and matchups over the weekend, that outlier performance can safely be dismissed. The second-year guard scored between 21.75 and 44.00 fantasy points in the eight games prior, and draws Bucks and Suns defenses this weekend ranked in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points allowed to shooting guards this season. The two units have been even more generous over the past five games, surrendering 42.8 and 42.2 fantasy points per game to the position that rank them fifth-and-sixth-worst, respectively, over that span.

Evan Turner, BOS at CLE (Fri.) vs. SAC (Sun.) ($3,900)- Whenever a player secures some consistent playing time in coach Brad Stevens’ rotations and produces, it’s prudent to take note, particularly when said player remains priced under $4K. Such is the case with Turner, whose positional versatility and multi-category production has allowed him to score between 22 and 29 minutes in nine of the last 10 contests. He’s also scored between 20.75 and 36.50 fantasy points in eight of those games, including 36.50 and 31.00 in his last two, respectively. Given the Cavs’ more aggressive offensive style under coach Tyronn Lue, and the Kings’ breakneck pace of play, the Celtics will need to up their own tempo in both games. Turner’s ability to jump in at either guard spot or even small forward essentially guarantees his presence on the floor for appreciable stretches, allowing him the opportunity to continue returning outstanding value.

Arron Afflalo, NYK vs. MEM (Fri.) vs. DEN (Sun.) ($4,400)- Afflalo has hit his stride with the Knicks, tallying 12 double-digit scoring performances in his past 14 games. He’s been even more consistent of late, scoring between 23.00 and 34.25 fantasy points in five of his last six contests. He’s been a decent source of production in some secondary categories as well, and has managed multiple threes in six of his last 10. His Sunday matchup versus the Nuggets will place him in a fast-paced affair and pair him against Denver’s bottom-10 defense against shooting guards, furthering his appeal.

Devin Booker, PHO vs. UTA (Sat.) ($4,350)- Booker continues to roll along in Eric Bledsoe’s absence, having scored between 23.75 and 33.25 fantasy points in nine straight games. The 19-year-old has been particularly proficient from long-range, draining multiple threes in seven of those contests, and putting up at least 15 shots seven times as well. He’s become an indispensable source of scoring for a fast-paced Suns offense and has received a glowing endorsement from interim coach Earl Watson. His minutes have been locked in the mid-30s or higher in eight of the last nine games, and his very reasonable price has allowed him to return 5x-7x value on a consistent basis lately.

Derrick Rose, CHI at DEN (Fri.), at MIN (Sat.) ($4,750)- Rose is another player whose price has only crept up slightly over the last week, yet he continues to return solid value nearly every time he takes the court. His appeal will be even greater if Jimmy Butler misses any further time this weekend with the knee tendinitis that already sidelined him for Chicago’s tilt against the Kings this past Wednesday. Rose scored 39.00 fantasy points without his backcourt mate in that game, even as Butler’s replacement E'Twaun Moore had a breakout performance of his own. Rose had scored between 24.00 and 36.25 fantasy points in seven of the eight games prior that contest as well, with an injury-shortened 13-minute outing against Heat being the sole exception. Regardless of Butler’s status, Rose will draw two highly appealing matchups this weekend, as both Denver and Minnesota figure to force the Bulls to increase their pace of play.


Kent Bazemore, ATL vs. IND (Fri.), at ORL (Sun.) ($4,250)- Bazemore is a somewhat forgotten man for DFS purposes, yet he continues to deliver on his very modest price. He’ll rarely give you top-end production, but his cost is far from prohibitive and certainly helps open up things elsewhere on your roster. He has scored between 17.75 and 33.75 fantasy points in the last 10, even amassing a quick 20.75 fantasy points in just 18 minutes in the Hawks’ decimation of the Sixers on Wednesday before the starters headed to the bench. His playing time is otherwise locked in, and Atlanta should be embroiled in two competitive matchups over the weekend that will keep him on the court for more than enough time to return solid value.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, CHA vs. MIA (Fri.), vs. WAS (Sat.) ($4,400)- Kidd-Gilchrist’s return from a shoulder injury that was expected to keep him out at least three additional months has been nothing short of remarkable. His price will undoubtedly continue rising if his performances persist, making this weekend a perfect time to take the plunge on the talented forward. Kidd-Gilchrist has scored 21.25, 39.50 and 26.25 fantasy points in his first three games, respectively, while facing no minutes restrictions whatsoever. His Saturday matchup is particularly enticing as well, with the Wizards ranking as the most generous defense in both points and fantasy points allowed to small forwards this season.

Stanley Johnson, DET at IND (Sat.) ($3,800)- Johnson’s coming-out party on Thursday was something to behold, with the rookie supplying a whopping 44.75 fantasy points in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s (groin) absence. KCP is confirmed out until after the All-Star break, meaning that Johnson gets a terrific opportunity for an encore performance against some questionable Monta Ellis defense on Saturday. He’d already been coming on in his role as a reserve at the three, scoring between 22.25 and 27.50 fantasy points in three of the previous four contests, but his price has remained nicely parked under $4K. With the upside he demonstrated Thursday, Johnson shapes up as a “set it and forget it” pick against the Pacers.


Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. CHI (Fri.), at NYK (Sun.) ($4,700)- If you need to save a few more dollars at center this weekend, Gorgui Dieng ($4,350) is a highly appealing alternative. However, if you’ve got the cash, look no further than Jokic, provided he continues playing through his shoulder strain. Foul trouble limited the big man to 29 minutes on Wednesday, yet he still posted a solid 25.50 fantasy points in a tough matchup against the Twin Towers of the Jazz frontcourt. Five of the six games prior to that contest served to demonstrate Jokic’s considerable upside, as he scored between 36.00 and 50.50 fantasy points in those outings. Friday, he’ll draw a favorable matchup against a Bulls defense surrendering 48.9 fantasy points per game to centers this season (sixth-most in the league), and that could become even more enticing if Pau Gasol is forced to miss the contest with his hand injury. His tilt with Robin Lopez and the Knicks on Sunday should prove a bit more challenging, but the talented Jokic has already demonstrated his ability to navigate treacherous waters down low (in the form of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors) and still return solid 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.