Good morning and welcome to another edition of the FantasyDraft “Core 4”, brought to you by DFSDatalytics.com! We have ourselves a big 10–game slate tonight, with a double-header on ESPN. This slate is littered with injury news, so make sure to monitor who’s in and out and what positions you can take advantage of. Good luck tonight!
Karl-Anthony Towns ($19,500)
There are not many players that are playing as well as Karl-Anthony Towns recently. Towns is not in the top-10 in PPG, but he’s been very consistent lately as he’s had 20 points in 21 consecutive games. Only Boston Celtic’s Isaiah Thomas (who the Timberwolves play tonight) has had a longer streak this season. Minnesota is doing whatever they can to make the eighth seed in the Western Conference right now and they are playing well against some of the best opponents in the league. They are only 3.5 games back! Their lead dog Mr. Towns is the main reason for the recent play. Over the last 10 games Towns has a double-double in nine of those games and is averaging a ridiculous 26.3 PPG and 15.5 RPG.
When looking at the top players on tonight’s slate, none of them honestly stuck out to me besides Towns. His matchup against Boston is one that he can dominate. Boston is 26th in DvP vs C’s this season allowing 51.8 FantasyDraft points per game. They also are 27th in rebounding differential this season and 25th in points allowed in the paint in their last three games. The price on Towns no doubt is high as he is $19,500 on FantasyDraft tonight, but the matchup and recent play like the next player I’ll mention is just too good to pass up. In his one game against Boston earlier this year, Towns had 27 points and 18 rebounds while he shot 57.9% from the field. He also accumulated three assists and two steals. Hello!
Ricky Rubio ($14,000)
After the last Timberwolves game, I told myself that I would never roster Karl-Anthony Towns without pairing him with Ricky Rubio. These two correlate so well on the court and are definitely peaking at the same time. Rubio is coming off a career-high 19 assists against the Washington Wizards. The 19 assists also broke a Timberwolves record for most in one game. Along with the 19 assists, Rubio also had 22 points for a season-high 62.2 FantasyDraft points! Since the All-Star break, Rubio has averaged 14.9 PPG and 11.8 APG on his way to an average of 43.2 FantasyDraft points per game. Rubio has failed to score less than 34.5 FantasyDraft during that stretch and has a great chance to keep that streak alive tonight.
Not only does Towns have a great matchup, but Rubio does as well. The Boston Celtics are 20th in DvP vs PG’s giving up 47.3 FantasyDraft points per game this season. Rubio will be going up against Isaiah Thomas tonight who is the worst defensive point guard in the league. Thomas is 89th out of 89 point guards in defensive real plus-minus with -4.81 and quite frankly, it’s not even close. The next closest starter is Derrick Rose who has a defensive real plus-minus of -2.87. With Andrew Wiggins being guarded by one of the best wing defenders in the league in Avery Bradley, that will benefit the Rubio and Towns stack. The matchup is fantastic. The recent play is even better. Lock and load the Spaniard.
Thaddeus Young ($8,500)
Thaddeus Young turned out to be a pretty chalky play last night on that five-game slate. He let a lot of people down as he only accumulated 15.0 FantasyDraft points. Not many will go back to the well tonight, especially on a much bigger slate. Getting Young at a low ownership makes him even more intriguing tonight! He is the same price ($8,500) as he was last night and is presented with another good matchup tonight. LaVoy Allen missed last night’s game and Young played 37 minutes! Scoring only 15.0 FantasyDraft points in 37 minutes is #notgood. However, the minute’s security at this price is too good to pass up. In three of Young’s last four games, he has played over 30 minutes. Can’t beat that for me.
Indiana is firmly in the playoff hunt as they are currently the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. As I mentioned earlier, LaVoy Allen was out last night. He’s also questionable once again tonight, but I don’t think that will cut into Young’s playing time if he plays. Allen has missed four of his last seven games and one game he played three minutes. We have seen the upside that Young can provide, especially at the increase in minutes. Over his last four games, Young is averaging 11.3 PPG and 5.5 RPG. He has only produced four double-doubles on the season, but with the increase in minutes don’t be surprised when he has a double-double. When it’s all said and done, 35-plus minutes for Young at this price is a bargain.
Devin Booker ($12,600)
My last pick of the “Core 4” is one of Karl-Anthony Towns’ best friends so this seems fitting. Devin Booker has received the most minutes on this Phoenix Suns team who has elected to go as young as possible lately. Not only is Booker receiving minutes, but he’s been very productive with those minutes! He is averaging 28.0 PPG on an average of 21.3 FGA’s in his last four games. The field goal attempts are what I like the most. He has no fear of getting his shots up and in a game with the second highest projected total, it’s time to jump on board. During that stretch of four games Booker is averaging 39.3 FantasyDraft points per game which at his price tag of $12,600, will look nice in your lineup tonight.
Not only does Booker play in the second highest projected total, but his individual matchup is elite tonight. The Sacramento Kings are 28th in DvP vs SG’s this season allowing 43.0 FantasyDraft points per game. The thing about this matchup between the Suns and Kings is they are both the bottom feeders of the league right now. Combined, they have a record of 48-86! Both teams will be playing their young stars and in my opinion Devin Booker is the best of the bunch and that will be showcased tonight. Two games ago, Booker had 36 points and a game-winner against the slow-paced Dallas Mavericks. That proved there is no reason to doubt he can do it again tonight even though the Kings are 27th in pace.
With those four players locked into your rosters, you’ll be left with $11,350/per player remaining to fill out the rest of your lineup. That will provide plenty of flexibility. Good luck with all your contests today!