NBA Thoughts 1/24/17

Just a 5-game slate on this Tuesday, but plenty of healthy totals out there and it should be a fun slate of NBA basketball. I’ll go over a few of my favorite DraftKings plays here:

Elfrid Payton, $6,400 — Meeks is out, Fournier is almost certainly out, and Augustin is banged up and possibly out. Payton will play as much as possible in a game Vegas expects to be close. He’s the perimeter catalyst for the Magic, and while there’s the possibility that he shoots poorly, even if that happens he’ll still be in line to get plenty of assists, steals and a handful of rebounds. Payton has found his groove of late though, with over 36 FP’s in five of his last six games, and there’s no reason to expect that the Bulls will slow down his offense tonight. He makes for a strong pivot away from the Wall/IT2 plays, both of whom will likely be popular.

CJ Watson, $3,700 — There are several intriguing higher-end options on today’s slate, and if we’re going to be able to afford them, we’ll need to find some savings elsewhere. It can be dangerous to roster cheap wing players, even if they are projected to get heavy minutes, due to the possibility that they will sit in the corner and wait for the occasional open three, and do nothing else. However, Watson is not a typical Three and D player, and while Payton will most certainly do the majority of the perimeter playmaking, Watson should have the ball in his hands enough to do some playmaking of his own. If Augustin’s sprained ankle prevents him from playing, Watson becomes an even stronger play, as he will likely take on the ball-handling duties while Payton is resting.

Terrence Ross, $4,200 The Raptors will need to find a way to replace Derozan’s 35 minutes, 27.9 points and 21.3 FGA’s in tonight’s game versus the Spurs. Ross is a prime candidate to pick up the slack. The man loves to shoot the basketball. He’ll likely see at least 30 minutes and plenty of shot attempts. With Powell likely to start, Ross should avoid the Kawhi treatment for much of the game. Ross is on the streaky side, and there’s some risk in rostering him, but the added minutes and opportunities should be there for him.

Karl-Anthony Towns, $10,500 — Towns is on fire right now. Coach Thibs has been running the offense more and more through Towns, ala Jokic in Denver, as evidenced by his twelve assists over the last two games. Given the success the Wolves have had with this approach, and even with Rubio expected back tonight, they would be stupid to not continue to use Towns as the focal point of everything they do going forward. Towns is also locked into very heavy minutes, surpassing 40 over his past three games. The Suns play at the third highest pace in the league, which will only help Towns rack up points in every category. Towns is a monster and a guy we definitely want in our lineups right now in plus matchups.

DeAndre Jordan, $8,100 — Jordan took one shot last night and still ended up with 34 FP’s. He’s absolutely dominating both on the glass and defensively in the paint right now. The Sixers are without Embiid tonight, which leaves the middle open for Jordan to do whatever he wants. He’s way too athletic for Okafor, too physical for Noel, and there’s no way that either of them will be able to handle him. Jordan may go slightly under-owned given his price tag and the other solid center options, which makes him an even stronger option. I like him for a big double-double tonight with multiple blocks.