Welcome back to another edition of Seeking Value in the FantasyDraft Locker Room. Tonight, the slate balloons up to ten games, which is about the perfect sized slate in my opinion. There are a lot of good games to target, so whittling down the list took some time.
I’ve decided I really like putting four plays out there. I’m going to try to put two guards and two forwards or centers on a daily basis to make sure we have an even number of both.
With all that said, let’s get on to my four favorites.
Bobby Portis – PF – Chicago Bulls – $9,800
I’m not sure if any single one player won more at the trade deadline than Bobby Portis. With Taj Gibson now shipped to Oklahoma City, it should be the Portis show from here on out. We’ve seen the upside of Portis over the past two years. Going into the All-Star Break, he was stringing together some nice outings while it seemed as if Gibson was struggling.
The only downside here is that we’ve also seen Portis set up for good situations in the past and have him completely crash and burn in the process. I’m thinking that this time can be different, and for one thing, the matchup here works to his advantage, taking on a Suns team that plays at a pace that suits Portis’ game very well.
The Suns are a bottom ten team at defending the power forward position, and they also have one of the worst defensive efficiencies in the league. Chicago should be able to control this game, but I expect it to be close as the Bulls adjust to the acquisitions and departures from the team at the trade deadline.
I’m putting Portis’ floor tonight at around 25 points, but I think he’s got huge upside here. It wouldn’t shock me to see he and Jimmy Butler lead the way in terms of fantasy points tonight for the Bulls.
Seth Curry – PG – Dallas Mavericks – $8,800
Seth Curry isn’t expected to hit the starting lineup with Deron Williams departing into the great unknown of free agency, but I think he stands to benefit quite a bit coming off the bench. Williams was playing around 30 minutes a night when healthy, so I think there are plenty of minutes to go around with him gone.
Minnesota doesn’t play at a very fast pace, but they do seem to still allow opposing teams to have big outings. The team definitely took a hit with Zach LaVine losing his season to the ACL injury. They play good offensive basketball, especially the starting five, but they are horrible on the defensive side of the ball.
At his price on FantasyDraft, Curry needs to get roughly 26 points to make value, something I could see him doing easily tonight. I think his upside probably falls into the mid-30’s, which makes him a great value play for the price.
I think Yogi Ferrell is going to be the more popular play of the two tonight, and I will fully admit that I will have ownership stakes in him as well, but I think I’ll take the small discount in price and potential ownership gap and put my eggs in the Curry basket tonight.
Khris Middleton – SG – Milwaukee Bucks – $8,700
It’s unknown at the time of this writing if Khris Middleton will move into the starting lineup tonight. I’d almost prefer if he didn’t. He is looking every bit of the player he was in the 2015-16 season, and he is priced like someone who has never achieved a level of success in the NBA.
I’m expecting him to see between 24-26 minutes tonight, and even though Utah is a tough opponent, I think he’s a good bet to average at least a point per minute. The benefit to him being on the second unit will be playing against a little lower quality opposition.
He seems to work well with Malcolm Brogdon and Greg Monroe, and he’s a gritty player who can rack up points in a variety of manners. I think he’s a good bet for 26-30 fantasy points tonight, but I would hesitate throwing him in your cash game lineups.
We’ve already seen him put up one monster game at his price this year, and even though that opponent was Brooklyn, I think we could still see him come through against a tough Utah squad. It’s also possible that we see the matchup scare players off and we get him at low ownership.
T.J. Warren – SF – Phoenix Suns – $9,100
P.J. Tucker has been moved to the Toronto Raptors, clearing minutes in the mid-20’s to be given to players like Warren. We saw Warren put together some big games earlier in this year when Tucker was hurt, and we could see that happen again.
The opposition leaves something to be desired, as you’d expect Warren to be matched up with Butler, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they tried to put Butler on Booker to reduce his scoring. That would leave Warren with Dwayne Wade, who at this point in his career isn’t exactly setting the world on fire with his defense.
The spread is about 6 points, and I think it is likely that this game stays close enough with the Bulls trying to adjust to their new rotation. Warren needs to get around 27 fantasy points to hit value, something that I think he is more than capable of putting together. Typically, I focus more on point guards and centers in my lineups, but I think I’d make an exception for Warren tonight.