Welcome to the NBA Rundown for FanDuel contests on Monday, January 11, 2021.
Our favorite players at each position in the various price points can be found below for tonight’s eight-game slate.
Malcolm Brogdon ($8,400)– Brogdon is a player that I have written up a lot lately and until his salary rises, I am going to continue to write him up. Brogdon in my eyes is just underpriced for the way he is playing. In his past four games, Brogdon is averaging 27.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and two steals. Brogdon has at least 40 fantasy points in each of those games with three 50 fantasy point outings. Brogdon’s 51.65 fantasy points in these past four games would actually be the most on the slate if he kept this pace up throughout the season. Yes, even over players like Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Brogdon is not just putting up huge numbers right now but I love his match-up as well. The Kings have really struggled against point guards this season ranking in the bottom ten in terms of defensive efficiency and in the bottom five in fantasy points allowed per game to the position.
Trey Burke ($4,500)– There are a bunch of great options in the $4,000 to $4,500 range of point guards with Burke being my favorite of the bunch. Burke is my favorite for a couple of reasons. The first of those reasons is he should be one of the lower if not the lowest owned player out of the group as he is not expected to start while the other players are. The second reason is the way Burke looked for the short-handed Mavs in their last game. In that game, Burke was their offense off the bench scoring 29 points while adding in four assists on his way to 37 fantasy points in 21 minutes of action. With Tim Hardaway Jr. moving to the starting lineup, Burke should continue as the high usage guy with the Mavs second unit and I like him to score another 20 plus points while producing 30 plus fantasy points in this game.
Isaiah Joe ($3,900)– I am not going to lie before Saturday I had no clue who Joe was. I still don’t know much about Joe but I don’t need to know much about him to know he is a solid value play on this slate. The reason why Joe is a solid value play tonight is the fact that the 76ers still are extremely short-handed for tonight’s game. While the 76ers most likely will get Joel Embiid back tonight that will leave them with eight players instead of just seven players which will mean Joe will still get a ton of minutes as he did against the Nuggets. In that game against the Nuggets, Joe played 44 minutes and had 22.8 fantasy points. That kind of minutes and production should be what we see from Joe again tonight.
Bradley Beal ($10,100)– Beal is one of the most expensive players on this slate and is in a horrible match-up against the Suns. While I normally avoid expensive players in bad match-ups I cannot do that with Beal tonight. The reason why I cannot personally avoid Beal tonight is due to the fact that Russell Westbrook is out. With Westbrook out the offense is going to run through Beal and he will see an elite usage rate. This season when not sharing the court with Westbrook, Beal has a usage rate of 38.8% and is averaging 1.54 fantasy points per minute. If we also take Thomas Bryant off the court who tore his ACL in the Wizards’ last game we will see another boost for Beal in both usage and production. In the 40 minutes, Beal has not shared the court with both Westbrook and Bryant this season, Beal has a usage rate of 43.2% and is averaging 1.76 fantasy points per minute.
Tyrese Maxey ($5,200)– If you roster Maxey tonight expecting another 60 fantasy point performance you have lost your mind. Maxey is not likely to put up a 39/7/6 stat line again in this game. With that being said we should see Maxey play a ton of minutes again as once again the 76ers are extremely short-handed. I also think we see Maxey easily pay off his salary as Maxey was able to produce 19 fantasy points in two of his three games prior to the 76ers losing most of their players and in those two games, Maxey only played 20 minutes.
Damyean Dotson ($5,200)– Darius Garland has been ruled out once again for the Cavs and that makes Dotson an excellent value play. If Collin Sexton were to be also ruled out, Dotson would be one of my top value plays. In the past two games with both of those players out, Dotson has played at least 35 minutes and is averaging 15 points, two rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Dotson has at least 28 fantasy points in those games. If we look at his numbers for the season with both of those players off the court we will also see solid numbers from Dotson with a usage rate of 20.8% and an averaging of 0.85 fantasy points per minute.
De’Andre Hunter ($6,300)– Like Malcolm Brogdon, Hunter is another player that I write up a lot as his salary doesn’t match his production. Hunter is still under $7,000 in salary which is crazy when you look at his stats over the past eight games since Danilo Gallinari went down. Hunter has played at least 30 minutes in each of those eight games and is averaging 17.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals+blocks, and 32.64 fantasy points. The match-up against the short-handed 76ers also bodes well for Hunter as at full strength the 76ers were a positive match-up for small forwards ranking 21st in defensive efficiency and fantasy points allowed per game to small forwards and those numbers are expected to dip until they get back at full strength.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,800)– The Mavs are another team that is short-handed due to Covid protocols and Hardaway Jr. is the biggest benefactor of the group. With Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson out, Hardaway played 40 minutes in the Mavs’ last game. In that game Hardaway who never met a shot, he didn’t like scored 36 points while also adding in five rebounds and two assists on his way to 41 fantasy points. Tonight I am expecting Hardaway to play big minutes once again and there really is no reason to believe he doesn’t have another big game as Hardaway has averaged 0.92 fantasy points per minute this season.
Julius Randle ($9,400)– I honestly never thought I would ever roster Randle at this salary but here I am writing Randle up for the second time in less than a week at this salary. Randle really has been that good this season with averages of 23.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 7.1 assists while ranking second in the NBA in minutes per game with 37.8. While those stats are all good and dandy they are not actually the reason why I am writing up Randle for the second time. The reason why I like Randle so much tonight is due to the match-up against the Hornets. The Hornets are one of if not the premier match-up for power forwards in the NBA. This season the Hornets rank 21st in team rebounding rate while ranking next to last in both defensive efficiency and fantasy points allowed per game to power forwards.
Chris Boucher ($7,200)– I personally don’t love Boucher as much as the industry does as he simply doesn’t play enough minutes for me. Boucher has not played 30 minutes in a game yet this season and has only played three games over 25 minutes. With that being said it truly is only a matter of time before the Raptors start playing Boucher a lot of minutes and when that happens if he is not in your lineups you are going to be playing from behind. The reason I say that is the fact that Boucher is averaging 1.44 fantasy points per minute this season.
James Johnson ($4,200)– Johnson is a risky play tonight as we don’t really know how many minutes he is going to play but he is a risk I am willing to take tonight especially if Maxi Kleber is indeed out for the Mavs. If Kleber is out we should see Johnson play minutes in the mid-20s even if Kristaps Porzingis returns from injury as Porzingis would be on a minutes restriction. In the Mavs’ last game when Johnson played 26 minutes he was excellent with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, a block, and two steals on his way to 29.5 fantasy points. While I know that was one game that is actually the level of production we have come to expect from Johnson this season when given the minutes as he has played over 15 minutes in four games this season including the last game and has produced at least 25 fantasy points in three of those four games.
Myles Turner ($7,400)- Turner has been the best defensive center in the NBA this season as he is averaging 4.11 blocks and 1.44 steals per game. Those defensive stats give Turner a really high floor and are exactly why I want to roster him tonight as the Kings get their shot blocked a lot. The Kings are actually allowing 5.8 blocks per game which is the sixth-worst mark in the NBA. The Kings not only get their shot blocked a lot but they also struggle defensively against centers. This season the Kings have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game and have the fourth-worst defensive efficiency against centers.
Robin Lopez ($3,500)– In this article, I normally tell you which players that I am going to be rostering but with Lopez, I am going to do the opposite and tell you why you shouldn’t roster Lopez. Lopez is likely to be the chalk at the site minimum salary with Thomas Bryant out for the year but this is chalk I don’t want to eat. While Lopez should start he is still only going to play minutes in the low to mid 20’s as Mortiz Wagner should split time with him. That is just not enough minutes for me to roster Lopez who is only averaging 0.81 fantasy points per minute this season. Now I might have been able to make a case for Lopez if the Suns were some great match-up but while the Suns are not a bad match-up for centers they are not a great match-up either as they have been middle of the pack this season in team rebounding rate as well as fantasy points allowed per game to centers.