The Core Four
Eric Bledsoe– Last night against the same Portland team Bledsoe was able to get to the line a lot to generate points. Brandon Knight stole some possessions with steals that lead to breakaways, and Phoenix pulled away in the 4th quarter causing the game to somewhat go into autopilot. This game will be much closer tonight with Portland at home and Bledsoe will collect some of his usual non-point scoring stats.
Festus Ezeli– You might as well allocate the fewest amount of dollars to Center tonight due to the lack of quality plays at the position. Ezeli has solid upside if he can get a few dunks. The rebounds will be there like always when he gets good playing time. Expect this game to be closer compared to the blowout Tuesday.
Otto Porter– Porter will be needed to guard Carmelo Anthony tonight making him a lock to play 35 minutes at least. Porter will also be a beneficiary of the matchup against Anthony because Carmelo is not 100% right now and not much a defensive player anyways. Combine that with Anthony not being very quick to begin with and it seems like an easy play tonight.
Derrick Favors– Favors is a man among boys (Coach Brett Brown even said this yesterday when Favors was playing against his Philadelphia team). Favors gets way too many possessions in the post and at the top of the key, along with his free throw attempts, to be ignored at his cheap price.
Blake Griffin– It is going to be hard to not have some exposure to Griffin every night until his price is in the Clayton Kershaw range of so expensive you have to actually consider not playing him. Griffin is the primary scoring option for the Clippers and nobody can slow him down on that team.
Al-Farouq Aminu– Aminu surprisingly gets a lot of drives to the basket on penetration kicks from Lillard and CJ McCollum. The matchup against PJ Tucker is not the best, but he has a solid size advantage on Tucker and is more athletic. Those two things give him the ability to get extra rebounds, steals, and blocks.
Eric Gordon– Once again he the only guard on the team. Gordon will break out soon enough because the team is kind of struggling out of the gate. Jrue Holiday is on a minute count; Tyreke Evans and Norris Cole are not even playing (for awhile). Basically Nate Robinson and Eric Gordon are the main guys getting minutes at the guard spots that can actually be relevant for fantasy purposes. Gordon should get plenty of looks. You really cannot go wrong with guards who are cheap to roster who have the ball a lot in their hands. Their floor is so high it is easy to build around.
Stephen Curry– Just like Griffin, He is hard to not have some exposure to. He can still get his points even in blowouts like they have gotten in their first two games. Nobody on New Orleans can guard him in any way. If you are not spending your money at point guard tonight you will probably not be making any money so keep that in mind as your build your rosters.
Markieff Morris– I can see him having the exact same game tonight like he did last night against Portland. His physicality against Portlands big men is noticeable and rebounds come relatively easy for because of it. He was not even that aggressive so I would be shocked if he did not score more than last night.
CJ McCollum– He is in play every night until his cost catches up with his production. Bledsoe will not be defending him as hard on the back to back so he will have some more open looks. I would highly recommend you play either McCollum and/or Gordon on every roster you create because I cannot picture a world where one of them does not have a good game tonight.
John Wall– For some reason Wall will not be owned at the rate he should be tonight. He has a great matchup with Calderon, and is playing so well to start the season. His jump shot looks as good as it has ever been so he is basically unstoppable. If New York can actually keep this game close he will have a sold double double.
Chris Paul– Any chance to play Rondo lights up Paul’s eyes. At one point Paul and Rondo were the alpha dog point guards in the league and now Rondo has fallen off a cliff and Paul enjoys that. The main thing to consider with Paul is how much scoring is he going to do with all these other guys on the team trying to score the ball. He is transforming his game into Detroit Pistons Isaiah Thomas, deferring to teammates early and taking over late in the game. The thing is will this game actually be close? If the bench plays well with a big lead Doc Rivers will leave him on the bench knowing he can get his Point Guard some rest.
Rudy Gay– Lance Stephenson and Wesley Johnson will be the primary defenders on Gay tonight. Gay will probably try to take Lance on and start to get the ball more to Cousins with Johnson. Gay has been kind of quiet so far and I can see a solid game tonight.
TJ Warren– A nice hedge if Portland gets blown out again and the 4th quarter becomes garbage time. Warren is a good scorer when given the minutes and if you are trying to keep your downside to absolute minimum Warren is a great play.
Marreese Speights– He will get minutes one way or another with no Bogut. All it takes is 20 minutes for Speights to be in play any night. He is a black hole when he is on the court and will get his shots up. Combine that with Golden States team defense that lets the help side defenders rack up blocks and steals, Speights makes a great play to save even more money to get the point guards you want tonight.
CJ Miles– All he is doing is hitting shots, so he has to cool off at some point.
Paul George– Gobert effect. Utah will be keying in on George to keep him from scoring.
Carmelo Anthony– No lift on his jump shot and being guarded by Otto Porter. No reason to spend on Melo today.
Expensive Centers not named DeMarcus Cousins– If you are looking to spend here it will make it tough to take two great point guards. You can make Center you savings position and get good production anyways from the cheaper guys.
Klay Thompson– He is basically the poster boy for my fades section in the column. He left last nights game with back stiffness and does not get the usage worth paying for his cost anyways. If you play Thompson tonight you are behind the curve in a big way.
Final Notes: I do not collaborate with Mike when writing this article every day. For all I know he could be leaning towards using everyone I say to fade. This article is intended to be another viewpoint. Always use the RotoMinds projections and Optimal Linueps as a primary source and use The Eye Test as another look on everything.