We’ve got a huge slate of games to go through here on Wednesday night. Below are my top tournament (GPP) targets at each position on FanDuel.
Top Play: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
With Kevin Durant back in the mix for the Thunder, most fantasy players will start to shy away from Russell Westbrook. There is some logic behind this, as Westbrook seems overpriced now and will see less usage with Durant active. However, Westbrook still has explosive fantasy upside any time he takes the court. In addition, this will be one of the lowest ownership levels you can get him at all year. As a tournament play, this makes a lot of sense if you can afford the hefty salary.
Value Play: Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies
Conley is having a fine season for Memphis, and his consistency makes him a nice fantasy asset. He carries a bit more upside tonight, as the Grizzlies have a favorable matchup against a fast-paced Houston squad. Jason Terry is going to remain the starting point guard for Houston, which is also a positive for Conley. It sounds like Patrick Beverley is going to play tonight, but his minutes will be limited. That is good news as well, as Beverley is easily the best defensive player the Rockets have. If this game stays close, Conley could be in for one of his better games of the year.
Top Play: DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
There are question marks surrounding the highest-priced shooting guards today, as James Harden has a very tough matchup and Eric Bledsoe is a little banged up. Perhaps DeRozan is the proper pivot in this spot, as he has a date with J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers. This should be a fun contest, as it has just a one point spread and should feature some offense. The Raptors are at home, and I expect the backcourt to carry the team with the power forward spot a mess and starting center Jonas Valanciunas injured. Fire up DeRozan as a fine play at shooting guard, while Kyle Lowry is in play at the point as well.
Value Play: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics
When he has been inserted into the starting lineup, Avery Bradley has been one of the biggest surprises of the early season. Marcus Smart is out of commission right now, which means Bradley should be in the lineup for the foreseeable future. He is coming off a 25 point game against the Hawks last night in which he made 10-of-17 shots, and he has been looking to score much more often this season. He is a great play tonight in a much more favorable matchup against the winless Sixers.
Top Play: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard has played like an MVP candidate in the early going. He was absolutely fantastic on Monday against the Suns, and he has almost single-handedly led the Spurs to victory in some games this season. Until his price rises to come close to the Kevin Durant/LeBron James level, Leonard is the guy I want on my rosters at the small forward position. A matchup against a poor Dallas team certainly isn’t enough to chase me away.
Value Play: Evan Turner, Boston Celtics
One of the other beneficiaries of Marcus Smart’s absence is Evan Turner. He is the top reserve at both guard spots for Boston, and he will now push for a comfortable 26-30 minute role on a nightly basis. His production is a little more hit-or-miss than some other guys, which is what makes him much more interesting as a tournament play than a cash game option. Tonight’s matchup against Philadelphia is the perfect spot to take the unpredictable Turner for a test drive. There’s plenty of risk/reward opportunity here.
Top Play: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
He has been letting daily fantasy owners down at times this year, but perhaps we are starting to see the consistency from Anthony Davis. He has been fantastic over the two games that he has played since returning from injury, logging 39 minutes in each one and putting up solid lines of 20-and-18 and 32-and-19 over those two games, with six total blocks mixed in on top of that. In other words, he is back. A rematch against the same Suns team that he dominated on Sunday should keep the good times rolling, and Davis has as much upside for tournaments as anyone else in the player pool.
Value Play: Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
He has probably been priced out of the true “value” threshold for daily fantasy purposes, but Porzingis remains a fine bargain given his current price levels compared to his recent production. He is growing by leaps and bounds as a player, and he was fantastic on Monday even in a game where the Knicks played poorly as a team. He has totaled 44 points, 28 rebounds, and 8 blocks over his last two games, and his minutes are rising into the mid-30s. The minutes are an especially encouraging sign, and the sky is the limit for the rising star.
Top Play: Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
There are question marks surrounding the top tier of centers tonight, as DeMarcus Cousins, Hassan Whiteside, Ruby Gobert, and others are all dealing with injuries that make them uncertain for tonight’s games. As usual, Drummond represents the safest option of the bunch. He has double-doubles in every game this season except for one, and that is because he only managed eight points in that game. He is averaging 17.6 rebounds per contest, and this should be a fun contest with the Heat. If Hassan Whiteside is out, the intrigue of the matchup goes down a bit, but the matchup gets much better.
Value Play: Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards
Gortat is coming off his best game of the season against the Pacers, and he is the safest bet for production amongst the value centers. This is generally a position where I like to spend on a top option, but with all the injury uncertainty out there today, it could pay off to go a bit cheaper with a guy like Gortat. He isn’t flashy, but his minutes are secure and I don’t mind the matchup against an aging Al Jefferson.