NBA Thoughts – 3/17/17

A huge Friday night in the association is headlines by a ton of value plays. We have a few key injuries tonight that will open minutes for players we’re not use to rostering. In this Thoughts column, I’ll go over the value plays a little more in depth and tell you which ones are my favorites and which ones could be traps. Let’s dig in!

Cheapies

I’m a huge believer in needing 25+ points from every person on your team regardless of their price. Tournaments are all about upside and a $3k player giving you 18 fantasy points is not the definition of ‘upside’. This slate offers a lot of value, many of which could be traps or come with a low floor. I’ll list my favorite value options and talk a little about each.

Marcus Smart – This one seems like a no-brainer but I’ll back this up with numbers. With Thomas off the floor, Smart is the one that benefits when it comes to minutes. He’s seen the most minutes on the team and over 100 minutes at the PG spot. They’re not afraid to let him run the offense and against the Nets that’s a huge advantage. Last three games IT2 was out, Smart saw over 35 minutes in each game. He’s as safe as they come tonight, and offers insane upside at these price levels.

Nikola Mirotic – There is no reason for Mirotic to get benched now. Portis was clearly an experiment that didn’t work, and now with Wade out, they’re going to need Mirotic’s shooting. When his shot is falling, he’s one of the better $4k options in all of basketball. He should see around 30 minutes once again against a Wizards team that gives it up to PF’s. This could be one of those 35 spots from Mirotic and you should gladly take that at $4,300.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – Many are quick to look at his game logs and see that he rarely plays over 25 minutes. Last night’s game he was well on his way to 30 minutes if it wasn’t for foul trouble. Picked up three in the first half, one in his stint in the third quarter which took him out of the game, and finished the fourth. With Booker and Kilpatrick already ruled out, RHJ has seen the most minutes on the court with the absence of these two. It also helps that he’s a fantasy point-per-minute producer. Factor in that the Forward spots are tough on DK tonight and RHJ becomes one of the better plays of the night.

I don’t think you need more than three cheapies for tonight’s slate. For those that want to get cute and fade Mirotic and RHJ, know that the opportunity cost at the forward spots is HUGE tonight. It’s not the best move, and although you might dislike them as players, they make great plays tonight. If you’re still not convinced, then pay up for Boogie or AD if you want to forego punting the Forward spots. There’s nothing outside both options.

As always, hit me up on Twitter (@MLora) with any questions about the slate. I’ll also be in the premium slack chat leading up to lock. Enjoy your Friday night, everyone. Till next time, party animals!