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 Friday, January 12, 2018.

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.


Chris Paul-$18,700-HOU

I really don’t see how you fade Chris Paul tonight with James Harden still out. With Harden out, Paul does everything for the Rockets. This season when Harden is not on the court, Paul is averaging 25.66 points, 6.86 rebounds, 12.73 assists, 2.74 steals, and 59.49 fantasy points per 36 minutes. Not only does Paul play better with Harden off the court but the match-up is as elite as it gets. This season the Suns rank in the bottom three in fantasy points allowed per game and defensive efficiency to point guards. Paul is going to have his fifth straight game with at least 48 fantasy points once again tonight and I would not be shocked one bit if he put up another 70 plus fantasy point outing in this one.

Value Guard

Tyler Ulis-$7,500-PHO

If you are looking for a dirt cheap guard on this slate I don’t mind the point guard on the other side of the Rockets-Suns game as Tyler Ulis plays better with Devin Booker in the Suns’ lineup. This season in the 31 games that Booker and Ulis have played together, Ulis is averaging 7.5 points, 4.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 18.3 fantasy points. In the ten games that Booker missed, Ulis dropped down to just 14.9 fantasy points per game. Ulis is also starting to play heavy minutes for the Suns as he has played at least 30 minutes in back-to-back games and has produced at least 21 fantasy points in each of those games. I expect that trend to continue once again tonight and for Ulis to easily pay off his dirt cheap salary.


Jimmy Butler-$16,900-MIN

Butler is another must play for me as I think he is too cheap for his salary with the way he is playing. Butler should be in the at least a thousand dollars more in salary as Butler has been his old self since December 1st. In those 21 games, Butler is averaging 25.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.1 steals. Butler has produced at least 39 fantasy points in 18 of those games and is averaging just shy of 46 fantasy points in those games. Tonight against a Knicks team that has allowed the 11th most fantasy points per game to small forwards over the past four weeks I fully expect Butler to reach that level of production once again.

Value Forward/Center

Dragan Bender-$8,200-PHO

With Marquese Chriss ruled out for tonight’s game Dragan Bender is expected to pick up the start in his place and that has to put him on your radar. In his last game which Chriss left early with an injury, Bender played 39 minutes and had a huge game with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal on his way to 43.5 fantasy points. Now tonight I don’t expect him to reach that level of production once again but I do expect him to produce in the 24 to 26 fantasy point range which would pay off his salary.

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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