The Core Four
Anthony Davis– This about as clear-cut as it gets. Davis is at home against Orlando who has absolutely nobody who can guard him. His price has gone down because of his poor start, which shows the algorithms that are making the salaries are exploitable if you know what you are doing. Davis will absolutely put this team on his back and make sure they get this win. If you do not play him you are absolutely not winning any money today unless you find some low owned guys who hit it big for you.
Evan Fournier– It is hard to ignore someone as cheap as Fournier who gets to play as much as he does. I have followed Fournier’s career since he played overseas and all he needs is playing time to get it done in the statistical department. He will cool off to some extent based on how he has played the last two games, but he should be fine if Orlando can keep it close.
Paul George– George had a awful game against Utah (which was expected). Indiana has not won a game yet and Detroit is undefeated. George will start to try and carry the load to keep the ship from sinking. His matchup against Marcus Morris is solid because Morris does not have the quickness to keep up with George.
Kosta Koufos– No Demarcus Cousins tonight so Koufos should absorb the bulk of those minutes. This matchup is absolutely horrible against Marc Gasol and Memphis (who got the 50 piece last night in Golden State), but Koufos played in Memphis last year so he knows a little bit about how the Memphis defense works. I would not expect a ton from him tonight but it is a great place to relive some salary.
Andre Drummond– If you do not want to play Koufos absolutely go with Drummond. This matchup has another monster double double written all over it. The only reason kept him out of the core four is that I can see him getting into foul trouble with all the Paul George drives to the basket. But for someone who basically gets all the rebounds when he is on the floor, he has a solid floor compared to last year where he could not get enough shot attempts.
Nicola Mirotic– Chicago needs Mirotic in this game because of how slow the game will be at times. He will be tooling up any power forward Charlotte uses. His shooting ability gives him so much upside every day that it is hard to not play him. The pace of the game might get people to not play Chicago players, but I am not worried about it at all.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope– Monta Ellis will be guarding him. Caldwell-Pope gets to play so much for all you guys that love the minute’s factor. His ownership level will not be high and will give you a leg up on others. The offense will flow from the perimeter tonight, but not Reggie Jackson. Marcus Morris has to deal with Paul George so that leaves Caldwell-Pope as the guy to try and get something going. So many green light that you can really create some separation with Kentavious.
Emmanuel Mudiay- He was absolutely awful against Oklahoma City and had to deal with Westbrook. This game is in Hollywood against D’Angelo Russell who has his own problems. Mudiay should have no issue not turning the ball over like he has the first week so you can add a few points to his score. I think the bright lights give Mudiay a solid bump because his game fits that persona really well.
Kennith Faried– Joffrey and Jokic could both be out leaving the Denver frontcourt extremely thin. The game will not be a blowout so he will get a ton of minutes unlike the last two games where he has been benched in the 4th quarter.
Julius Randle– Just the fact that he will get easy baskets because of his matchup with Faried makes him a solid play. Faried will also start to wear down as the game goes on because of his play style and will give Randle more looks deep in the post.
Jimmy Butler– This is an easy play. Butler thrives in games that are slowed down like the way Charlotte plays. If you think about how little effort it takes for Butler to have a good game, it makes sense to play him with confidence.
Dwayne Wade– His Production has been very consistent and his minutes are hovering at around 30 minutes a game. Bazemore gives him a chance to rest on defense and should give Wade the chance to attack a team without a true shot blocker in the middle. Plus the pace Atlanta plays at gives Wade so much more upside compared to his normal matchups with slower eastern conference teams.
Kyle Lowry– This matchup should light up Lowry’s eyes. No rim protection for Dallas so it should be easy for Lowry to get easy baskets. Lowry is one of those guys who need to get going in the first quarter for him to be worth your time, but that will happen tonight. Toronto is not that good and Dallas should be able to keep it close giving Lowry so much opportunity.
Nicholas Batum– Batum is a guy who so far this season will score a ton of fantasy points in a five-minute window and go radio silent for an entire quarter. Chicago will be focused on stopping Walker and Jefferson, which could leave some open looks for Batum. Butler might be guarding him at times so this makes a great tournament play.
Rudy Gay– With no Cousins you have to expect Gay to get up plenty of shots. Memphis will guard him tight and make him work so do not expect any type of explosion from Gay.
Zach Randolph– The ball will be going into Randolph a lot tonight after that blowout against Golden State. Hard to picture a world where Randolph does not get a double double.
Eric Gordon– All the action will be going to Davis so I hardly expect Gordon to get anything going.
Willie Cauley-Stein– His skills do not match up well with Memphis. I think that Cousins on the floor gives him more chances to show off his talent, but next to Kosta Koufos I can see Cauley-Stein being bottled up buy the physicality of Memphis.
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.