NBA Core Plays 1/13/20

THE CORE

FANDUEL/YAHOO-SPECIFIC PLAY

Al Horford, Philadelphia 76ers

FanDuel: $6,200, PF DraftKings: $6,800, PF/C Yahoo: $25, PF FantasyDraft: $12,400, F/C

The price tag on Horford continues to be too cheap on FD considering Joel Embiid is still out with that hand injury. In that first game of this recent stretch without Embiid, he was $5,400 and just an absolute no-brainer. The end result was 42.6 FD points and an increase to $6,400 for the next game. He then went on to score another 38.7 FD points in that one, and now the price tag came down to $6,200. Alrighty then.

I wrote about him in this space before that game on Thursday (when he was $5,400) and will say pretty much the same things now that I did then. A CourtIQ query with Embiid OFF shows clear bumps to all of Horford’s rates; the usage specifically goes up to 22.5% (it is about 18% on the season). He has the highest FPPM increase (+0.19) when Embiid is OFF, which ultimately results in him having the highest FPPM rate as well (1.19 FD). And the per-game splits tell the same story too.

27 games WITH Embiid: 28.64 FD points per game

9 games WITHOUT Embiid: 37.12 FD points per game

He was at 32.5 minutes in that game on Thursday against Boston, and he was on pace for about 35.5 minutes on Saturday at Dallas. At a FPPM rate that is pretty easy to peg, we are going to feel great about him anywhere in that 32-35 minute range. I think Horford at $6,200 is an easy cash game play, and he will get a tag on Yahoo as well where he is $25.

(Tournament pivot: Assuming he plays (was a late scratch on Friday and listed as questionable for tonight), I like going up to Domantas Sabonis($8,300) on the other side of this game for a tournament pivot or power forward pairing in a game stack. Philadelphia has been great this season defensively, but they take a big dip in all metrics when Joel Embiid is off of the court. So instead of seeing a bunch of Horford and/or Embiid, Sabonis (and Myles Turner) will see Horford combined with names like Harris, Pelle, Scott, and maybe even O’Quinn. My favorite part about Sabonis tonight is that he saw a massive decrease in price tag. He was above $9,000 for his previous two games, so a dip down to $8,300 leaves him at a spot in which I feel way better about rostering him in tournaments. All of that being said, there is still a lot of stuff to parse through. Will he even play? Will Brogdon play? What will the Projected Ownership look like? Regardless, he is going to be a compelling play assuming he suits up.)

DRAFTKINGS/FANTASYDRAFT-SPECIFIC PLAY

Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers

FanDuel: $10,000, C DraftKings: $8,200, C Yahoo: $41, C FantasyDraft: $14,700, F/C

After sitting out their last game with an illness, Whiteside is listed as probable for tonight on the NBA’s official injury report.

(This seems like a great time to remind everyone that you should never use FD, DK, etc. for your injury information, as the statuses are not designated properly and take longer to update. You should have your RG alerts set up for injury information and frequently be checking the The Situation Room.)

Long known as a volatile fantasy performer because of fluctuating minutes, that hasn’t really been the case for Whiteside with Portland this season due to the (lack of) health of the other frontcourt bodies. All of Nurkic, Collins, and Labissiere continue to be out for them. That has led to Whiteside getting 32-33 minutes in competitive games, with upside for high 30s depending on the matchup, foul trouble, his performance, etc.

So when you put him at that kind of minutes projection, $8,200 on DK is just too cheap for him. On the season, he has been at an absurd 1.41 DK points per minute clip, thanks to a 20.4% usage rate, 23.9% rebound rate, and 8.1% block rate. And I think we can expect that per-minute production to see a tick up tonight as well, thanks to a matchup against a Charlotte team that ranks:

27th in defensive rating 27th in rebound rate 26th in overall team defensive efficiency 24th in defensive efficiency against opposing centers

There are a handful of players in this price range and up that are underpriced on DK. With injury situations to monitor on some other appealing expensive guys like LeBron (AD and Rondo are questionable) and Ingram (Favors, Holiday, Redick are all questionable), my early builds are starting with Whiteside. Per usual, that is subject to change based on how everything shakes out, but he is going to be a great option tonight regardless.

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