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 Wednesday, January 31, 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.


Kyrie Irving-$16,400-BOS

Kyrie Irving is not likely to win the Player of the Month award for January but he made one hell of a case too. In his ten games this month, Irving has averaged 25.2 points, 6 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. In those games, Irving produced at least 37 fantasy points nine times and is averaging 42.95 fantasy points in those games. Not only is is Irving playing at an elite level but he finds himself in an elite match-up against the Knicks. This season the Knicks rank 19th or worst in fantasy points allowed per game to point guards, defensive efficiency to the position, and defensive real plus-minus to the position. Irving has produced at least 35 fantasy points in both his games against the Knicks this season and there is no doubt in my mind that he hits that mark with ease in this one.

Value Guard

Nik Stauskas-$7,200-BKN

This may be a gut call but I love Sauce Castillo tonight against his former team. Stauskas has been the player on the Nets that has benefited with Caris LeVert being out. In the two games that LeVert has missed, Stauskas has played at least 25 minutes and is playing well in those minutes. Stauskas has scored in double-figures in both games while adding in six rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and two steals. With this being the second game of a back-to-back I don’t see LeVert making his return tonight and we also could see D’Angelo Russell sit out which would mean even more minutes and usage for Stauskas. Now the 76ers are not the best match-up for Stauskas as they do defend the three-point line well but for how good they are at defending the three they are as equally bad in allowing fantasy points to shooting guards ranking 22nd in that department which helps make up for what may be a lack of threes from Stauskas tonight.


Bobby Portis-$11,400-CHI

I am not the biggest fan of eating the chalk but tonight I am perfectly fine with eating the Bobby Portis chalk as Portis is going to be chalk for good reason. The Bulls have already ruled out Lauri Markkanen for tonight’s game and I just don’t see Nikola Mirotic playing as he is not only dealing with an injury but was by all account traded yesterday before the deal fell through at the last minute. With both of those players out, Portis should start and play heavy minutes. Portis should not only play a lot tonight but he has produced with both Markkanen and Mirotic off the court this season. Portis has played 340.1 minutes with both players off the court this season and in those minutes he has a usage rate of 27.4% and is averaging 1.08 fantasy points per minute. If you break his stats down to per 36 minutes which is the number of minutes he may threaten tonight he is averaging 21.91 points, 9.63 rebounds, and 40.57 fantasy points. That is elite production for a player over $15,000 in salary let alone a player as cheap as Portis is.

Value Forward/Center

Frank Kaminsky-$8,900-CHA

If you look at Frank the Tanks game logs over the past couple of games you may be scared to play him but don’t be. While his game logs are ugly you have to throw them out the window tonight as Marvin Williams is out for the Hornets. With Williams and Cody Zeller both out, Kaminsky should start and play big minutes in a very positive match-up against the Hawks. The Hawks may be the worst team in the NBA and they really struggle on the defensive end of the court. This season the Hawks are allowing 108 points per game, have the fifth-worst defensive efficiency and are allowing the tenth most fantasy points per game to power forwards. The Hawks also don’t rebound the ball well or defend the three-point line well and Kaminsky has shown that he has the ability to shoot the basketball. This may be a bold call but I like Kaminsky to produce at least 25 fantasy points tonight which would easily make him one of the better points per dollar plays on this slate.

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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