The NBA Core Four

Welcome to the Core Four where we share four core plays for FantasyDraft that you are going to want to target for your NBA DFS contests on Monday, November 13, 2017.

In this article, I will be giving you four players to target in your cash game lineups for FantasyDraft. They will consist of two guards with one of the guards being a value play and two forwards/centers with one of those players being a value play as well.


Will Barton-$12,700-DEN

Lonzo Ball for a couple hundred more in salary is my top player on this slate but everyone and their mom is going to be on him tonight. Instead of writing up a player that is going to be talked about a lot tonight I wanted to give you a player that may fly under the radar tonight who is also an excellent play in Barton. The reason why Barton is a great play tonight is due to the fact that Gary Harris is not expected to play. With Harris out of the lineup, Barton usually starts and plays big minutes. Last season in the 17 games that Harris missed Barton averaged 31.6 minutes per game which was five more than his averages with Harris in the lineup. On Saturday with Harris out, Barton played 37 minutes and had a huge game. Barton had 26 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals+blocks on his way to 50.25 fantasy points. That game was the third game in his past four games that Barton produced at least 38 fantasy points. With the Trail Blazers being average at best in allowing fantasy points to wing players I like Barton to continue his great play in this one.

Value Guard

J.R. Smith-$7,000-CLE

Smith is not normally a player I like to target as he is very inconsistent but tonight he is on my radar. There are several reasons why Smith is on my radar tonight. The first reason is due to Smith’s salary. Smith is dirt cheap at only $7,000 in salary for the minutes that Smith is playing. Smith is playing huge minutes for the Cavs right now as he has played at least 32 minutes in five of his past six games. Smith is also producing as of late which is the second reason why Smith is on my radar tonight. In his past four games, Smith is averaging 14 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.3 steals. Smith has produced at least 18 fantasy points in each of those games and is averaging 23.4 fantasy points in those games. The last reason why Smith is on my radar tonight is due to the match-up with the Knicks. Smith has played well against his former team recently as he has produced at least 17 fantasy points in each of their past three meetings including a 21.3 fantasy point performance earlier in the season.


Kristaps Porzingis-$16,500-NY

There are a lot of stud players on this large slate but one stands out as the cream of the crop for me and that is Porzingis. There are three reasons why Porzingis is my top stud on this slate. The first reason is due to the way Porzingis is playing. We all knew that Porzingis was going to see a big uptick in usage this season but few thought Porzingis would lead the league in usage or rank second in the NBA in points per game but here we are. Porzingis has a usage rate 36.0% this season and has scored at least 28 points in all but two games this season for an average of 30.4 points. Porzingis is also adding in solid rebounding totals with 7.3 a game and is one of the league leaders in blocks per game at 2.3. The second reason why Porzingis is my top stud is the match-up with the Cavs. The Cavs are the worst defensive team in the NBA this season as they rank dead last in defensive efficiency. When these two teams met earlier in the season Porzingis killed the Cavs with 32 points and 12 rebounds on his way to 54 fantasy points. The Cavs have only gotten worst since that game especially down low with the loss of Tristan Thompson. The last reason why I want to play Porzingis is his salary. Most of the stud players on this slate are over $19,000 in salary while Porzingis is under $17,000 in salary.

Value Forward/Center

Derrick Favors-$9,000-UTA

In case you missed it Rudy Gobert is out for a couple of weeks after what looked like a cheap shot by Dion Waiters to Gobert’s legs. With Gobert out the Jazz are going to call on Favors to hold down the fort down low for them. Favors looked up to the task on Saturday as he played 35 minutes while producing a double-double with 24 and 12 on his way to 46 fantasy points. The match-up is also in favor of Favors tonight (That one is for Ricky) as Karl-Anthony Towns is a horrible defensive player. This season Karl-Anthony Towns ranks 85th out of 99 centers with a defensive net rating of 112.1.

Zach Qualtieri

Zach Qualtieri

Zach is an accomplished fantasy player who has had success in multiple sports across multiple platforms. Zach specializes in cash games where he can often be found playing $25 H2Hs but has also had a lot of success in GPPs as an 11-time winner of a large field GPP. When not talking about fantasy sports, Zach enjoys hanging out with his son. If you have any questions about fantasy or sports in general Zach can be found on Twitter @zachsgotmoxy.

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