NBA Top Plays for Wednesday, February 8th

By Will Colello

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Point Guard

John Wall $20,600

While Wall may not see 40 minutes against the Nets, he won’t have to. This is the best match-up in the NBA, and Wall will demolish them while on the court. He will get to the rim at ease and should be able to get a ton of assists. Brooklyn plays at the fastest pace in the league and gives up the league-worst FPPG to point guards. There are a lot of ways to pay down tonight, and this is written the night before. I am sure more injury news will break, and paying up at a few spots will be no problem. Wall is definitely one of the guys you should consider paying up for, as his floor is extremely solid and the ceiling unquestioned if this one somehow stays close. His price is in the mid-20k’s and will need about 55 to get it done for you. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see that number tonight and could imagine higher if this is a single digit game. Wall is a fantastic option in both cash games and tournaments. The Wizards are a team we will target a bunch tonight, and Wall is the head of the beast.

Darren Collison $9,400

DeMarcus Cousins decided to get a technical foul with 1 second remaining in the last game, and it was his 16th technical. A 1 game suspension comes along with your 16th tech, which will force him to miss the match-up with the Celtics. While Cousins would have been one of my favorite plays of tonight, we can look elsewhere. Without both Cousins and Gay on the court, there will be a ton of usage up for grabs. Collison is one of those guys who is fine with grabbing that usage, and we saw it last year multiple times. Isaiah Thomas is not a scary defender, and Collison will have his way with him. I’m sure it will go both ways, but I think Collison is the way to go. He is way too cheap, and I do expect him to see a monstrous usage bump. With both Cousins and Gay off the floor, Collison has a 29% usage, which is easily the highest on the team. Collison makes for a solid target in all formats, and he will likely be one of my highest owned players of the slate. No way he doesn’t hit value at a little over 9k.

Shooting Guard

Bradley Beal $14,200

Beal led the Wizards last time out vs the Cavs, finishing with almost 60 fantasy points on 41 points, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists. While we probably shouldn’t expect an encore, I would expect a very solid game. Beal is one of the best shooters in the NBA, and this Nets team gives up the most open 3’s in the NBA. Wall has also let Beal run point guard a lot of the time, and he has done a great job. We have seen the assists rise, and that will also help his upside a ton. Sean Kilpatrick and Isaiah Whitehead are both horrible defenders, and Beal will be able to get wherever he wants, whenever he wants. He makes for an extremely safe cash game option, and the upside is obviously there. With that being said, the price is a little bit higher than we’re used to, and you will have to decide if he’s worth it. He has the ability to hit 50 real life points, which you can’t say for too many.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope $10,750

It seems like Caldwell-Pope can never stay relevant, as injuries have kept him off the court for much of his career. However, he has been very good while he’s on the court. Stan Van Gundy has a lot of trust in KCP, and we saw that last year as he averaged 38 minutes in the last 2 months of the season. He is back to occasionally seeing those minutes, and certainly could tonight after playing a pretty easy game last time out. The Lakers don’t have too much in terms of defenders, and KCP should be able to get open at will. His price is very fair, and I see no reason to avoid him in any format. Along with the Wizards, the Pistons are a team I will have a lot of exposure to. All of their starters have a lot of upside, along with Tobias Harris. As for KCP, you can play him everywhere.

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Small Forward

Wilson Chandler $11,800

This one is pretty cut and dry. Danilo Gallinari is going to miss at least a few more games, and Wilson Chandler will be a great play until then. Wilson Chandler may actually think he’s one of the best players in the league, and I’m perfectly fine with that. He is going to shoot another 15 times and grab 6-10 rebounds. The Hawks are a pretty average defensive team, and this game should stay pretty close. Nikola Jokic really is one of the best players in this league, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him single-handedly keep these Nuggets in this game. Chandler will likely just ride his coattails to value, and could easily exceed it early if the game stays close. Chandler can be deployed in all formats and will be one of my highest owned players in tournaments.

Matt Barnes $8,700

Matt Barnes is a guy that I, among many others, have been targeting as a cheap option at SF lately. He has done a terrific job, hitting 25 fantasy points in 3 straight games. His big minute increase has mostly been due to Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi being out. Both of those guys will be out once again tonight, and DeMarcus Cousins will also be out. This could force Barnes to play about 35 minutes tonight, and his usage should be pretty high. He will also be needed for more rebounds, as Cousins gets the bulk of those. He might not be a very good offensive player, but nobody really is on that team. After Collison and Lawson, everyone is going to be a little uncomfortable-looking with the ball. Barnes has been priced up a little bit, but this match-up is great, and I love him in all formats. I know it may seem unlikely, but Barnes could easily hit 35 tonight. He will be covered by Jaylen Brown and Jae Crowder, who are both pretty average this year.

Power Forward

Kevin Love $15,800

Love had himself a night against the Wizards, finishing with 39 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. He definitely shut up the Carmelo rumors and proved that he can be the man. This match-up with the Pacers is a nice one, and he has the best match-up out of the big 3. Thaddeus Young is currently questionable to play, which means Love will see the defense of either a hobbled Thad Young or Lavoy Allen. Both sound pretty good to me, and I love the potential Love has here. LeBron and Irving have consistently looked for Love, and he usually lets you know how the night will go in the 1st quarter. He takes the most shots in the 1st quarter for the Cavs and will get fed all game if he is hot. He might be a little more expensive than we’re used to, but you just have to stomach it and trust that he’s worth it. Love can be played in all formats, though I am more likely to play him in tournaments. The next guy we talk about may be a little safer for his price.

Markieff Morris $13,250

I promise this will be the last time I will try to tell you why you should play someone against the Nets. We have been targeting players against the Nets all season, and it consistently works out. This is a proven method and one that is very solid for cash games. The Nets often seem to find a way back into games, and you will often see them within 10 in the 3rd or 4th quarter. That forces the opposing team to play their starters, and the upside becomes huge. Morris is a guy who has been playing phenomenal lately, and I expect nothing less here. I’m not going to run through the box scores here, but they have been extraordinary. Morris has historically been a very inconsistent, sporadic type of fantasy player, and it looks like he is only now coming on. I am confident in targeting him in all formats, and I see him going way under-owned compared to the other Wizards.

Center

Andre Drummond $17,600

Drummond was in serious foul trouble from minute 2 against the 76ers and still finished with 16 points and 17 rebounds. This is a very similar match-up, as I think the likes of Mozgov and Tarik Black will help Drummond. Those are guys who rarely venture away from the paint, which will let Drummond just sit there and wait for rebounds. The Pistons have also done more to get Drummond involved on offense, posting him up at the block a pretty healthy amount of times. They might not be the most efficient possessions, but it keeps Drummond involved, and he seems to play much better when he is getting fed the ball. Foul trouble is not predictable, so we just have to hope for the best there. He has been a lot better this season, and that sour taste could leave him a little too low owned. This is one of the best match-ups in the league for centers, and I expect Drummond to take full advantage. While he may be a little risky, there are other ways you can go in cash games. Let’s take a look at a few of those guys.

Myles Turner $12,000

Myles Turner is a guy that will very rarely sink your team, and that is always something you can take solace in at center. This game against the Cavs figures to be a close and high-scoring one, which plays well into Turners’ game. Tristan Thompson is a pretty good on ball defender but helps a lot on the drive, which leaves his responsibility wide open. Turner will be that responsibility, and you definitely don’t want to leave him open. Turner can score from anywhere on the court, which is where I think Thompson will struggle most. With Teague and George constantly penetrating the lane, Thompson will have the urge to stay down low and help. That will let Turner leak into the mid-range, and the wide open shot should be there. It will certainly be interesting to see how this one plays out, but I definitely expect Turner to have a solid game. He can be played in both cash games and tournaments, and is an elite option in both. As a bonus, his price WAY too low on DraftDay. You have to look to take advantage of that.

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