Only five games tonight, meaning Zach LaVine qualifies as an elite tier play tonight, even though he’s not, respectfully. Speaking of LaVine, more on him shortly! Let’s get it.
👍 Kyrie Irving, PG, Brooklyn Nets
Duh. This is more obvious than saying peanut butter is amazing with a banana. Kevin Durant is out and is set to miss four games with a weeklong quarantine. We saw what Irving did last season when the Nets were a one-person show. Expect a return to that version of Irving when Durant is off the floor more often than not. The Nets face the Utah Jazz tonight, and opposite of him, Mike Conley isn’t a bad option if you’re looking to save a few dollars.
👎 Zach LaVine, SG, Chicago Bulls
He’s one dollar cheaper than Paul George on Yahoo and is more costly than CJ McCollum in all three DFS slates we discuss here. He’s also pricier than Donovan Mitchell, for justified reasons, but Mitchell is probably in for a big night against the defensively challenged Nets. LaVine faces Portland, by all means, not a great defensive backcourt with Damian Lillard and McCollum, so LaVine might give you your money’s worth, but he’s less of a sure thing than other guards mentioned previously.
👍 Keldon Johnson, SF, PF, San Antonio Spurs
Between Johnson, DeJounte Murray, DeMar DeRozan, and Lonnie Walker, the Spurs have a collection of intriguing fantasy options every night they take the floor. LaMarcus Aldridge has been out with a knee injury and is questionable for tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers. Johnson’s been a mostly reliable sleeper option at forward in his absence, posting 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game this season. Since New Year’s Day, he’s recorded 48 points, 17 rebounds, and four steals against the Jazz and Lakers, highlighting his abilities even against two of the NBA’s better defenses. At forward, also consider Joe Harris in Durant’s absence, especially on DK & FD where Johnson is steeper in price than you’d like.
👍 Enes Kanter, C, Portland Trail Blazers
You’re scrambling around for those last few dudes to complete your roster. You need someone very cheap to preserve your lineup that may already include a few names we discussed, along with nightly favorites like Nikola Jokic. You’re down to those last two spots. Give one to Kanter. The Blazers center is very inexpensive, and he’s back to his near double-double ways, averaging 12.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in just over 21 minutes of play. He’s also coming off a 24-point, 12-rebound explosion against the Golden State Warriors. Starting center Jusuf Nurkic has experienced an unhealthy amount of foul trouble this season, only logging 24 minutes per game, with fewer points (9.0) and rebounds (7.3) than his much cheaper backup. Give Kanter some run; he’s earned it.