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 Tuesday, January 23, 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.

Guard

Russell Westbrook-$21,200-OKC

I am not going to get cute on this slate and I am locking in the top fantasy player in the NBA in cash games as Westbrook is in such a great spot tonight. The Nets are one of the worst teams in the NBA in defending point guards and this season they rank 26th in fantasy points allowed to the position and 25th in defensive efficiency to the position. Westbrook has taken advantage of those struggles throughout the past three seasons as he is averaging 28 points, 9.4 rebounds, 11.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 60 fantasy points in his past five games against them.

Value Guard

Dejounte Murray-$9,100-SA

With Murray moving into the starting lineup for Tony Parker I don’t see how you don’t play him at this salary. In his 15 starts this season, Murray is averaging 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3,7 assists, and 1.2 steals. Murray also benefits from the injuries that the Spurs are dealing with tonight. With Rudy Gay, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, and Pau Gasol off the court this season, Murray is second on the Spurs in usage at 27.4% behind LaMarcus Aldridge and is averaging 1.17 fantasy points per minute. If that wasn’t enough to get you to play Murray the match-up with the Cavs should. This season the Cavs rank in the bottom ten in fantasy points allowed, defensive efficiency and defensive real plus-minus to point guards this season.

Forward/Center

LaMarcus Aldridge-$15,900-SA

I know Aldridge struggled last game against the Pacers but that should not scare you away from him tonight as LA is going to bounce back. There are two reasons why I think LA bounces back tonight. The first reason is due to all the injuries the Spurs are dealing with right now. The Spurs have already ruled out Rudy Gay, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, and Pau Gasol for tonight’s contest. This season with all four players off the court, Aldridge has a usage rate of 34.7% and is averaging 1.24 fantasy points per game. The second reason why I like LA to bounce back tonight is due to the elite match-up against the Cavs. This season the Cavs rank in the bottom ten in fantasy points allowed to big men and rank in the bottom half in defensive efficiency to the position.

Value Forward/Center

Skal Labissiere-$8,600-SAC

I am going to like Labissiere a lot better tonight if he starts over Zach Randolph but even if Randolph starts I still like Labissiere. Labissiere even off the bench should still play 28 to 30 minutes as he has played at least that amount of minutes in each of his past three games. Labissiere is not just playing consistent minutes but he is also producing in those minutes with averages of 11.33 points, 5.67 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals+blocks. Labissiere has produced at least 18 fantasy points in each of those games and has produced at least 24 fantasy points in three of his past four games. To put the cherry on top for Labissiere the match-up with the Magic is one of the best in the NBA as this season they are allowing the second most fantasy points per game to power forwards.

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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