Written by: Dennis Vilimek- Staff Writing Intern (@)
With a nine game slate tonight, there are plenty of players to choose from. It is important to seek the right mixture of top players, mid-priced players, and value picks. I have chosen a top play from each of these categories for tonight, and it is easy to build a solid lineup around them.
| Damian Lillard (FD: $8,900 DK: $9,000)
This is Lillard’s third game coming off of an ankle injury, and his minutes have not been limited at all. This game should remain relatively close throughout, and both the Blazers and Lakers are prone to giving up a lot of points. I always consider Lillard to be a safe play, and his price is low considering he is capable of putting up 60 fantasy points on any given night. He is also facing a Lakers team with a poor defense that he has consistently been great against. In his last four games against the Lakers, Lillard is averaging 29 points and nearly 9 assists. He hasn’t really shown signs of rust after returning from his injury, as he scored 21 and 20 points in his two games back so far. I expect Lillard to score over 30 points tonight, and he is a very good and affordable player to build a lineup around.
| Doug McDermott (FD: $4,000 DK: $4,400)
With Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade both sitting tonight, the Bulls will be counting on other players for offense. Doug McDermott should step in and be one of the Bull’s top options tonight, and he is a talented scorer. He has found a rhythm offensively and is averaging thirteen points per game in his last five games. In this same stretch, he has been averaging over 30 minutes even with Wade and Butler on the floor. Without those two going tonight, McDermott should get all the minutes he can handle and his usage rate should be very high. Even if this game turns out to be a blowout, I still think Doug sees over 30 minutes and will be able to get off at least fifteen shots. He has also shown that he is capable of grabbing rebounds, as he recorded a double-double against the Raptors on Saturday. McDermott is a very good value play and he is too cheap for me to pass up tonight.
| Pau Gasol (FD: $6,400 DK: $5,600)
With the news of LaMarcus Aldridge sitting, some people may consider playing David Lee or Dewayne Dedmon. Both players are better plays than usual tonight, but Pau Gasol benefits the most. He becomes a very good mid-priced player tonight, but he is obviously a better play on DraftKings due to the lower price. The last time Aldridge sat was against the Celtics in December, and Pau had one of his best all-around games of the season with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists. This was not just a fluke, as Pau surpassed his season averages in every category in the two other games that Aldridge didn’t play. Gasol has been great this year when he gets 30+ minutes, and that should be the case tonight. He should be a safe play with a high ceiling.