One of my biggest fears when selecting players for my lineup is getting caught on either side of a blowout. For instance, last season, per Golden State of Mind, Stephen Curry famously missed 17 fourth quarters because the Warriors had built such massive leads through three quarters.
Every day, we see lopsided contests in which the best players end up resting for most—if not all—of the fourth quarter. Heck, per Team Rankings, the Spurs and Warriors both carry an average scoring margin of at least 13 points. The Sixers have an average scoring margin of minus-14.9 points in home games!
There is a natural inkling to shy away from the big names in games with high Las Vegas spreads. On Saturday, however, I'm willing to make an exception for...
Russell Westbrook ($10,500) vs. Lakers
OK, OK, OK, so he's not exactly a "value" play. But have you watched the Lakers lately? They stink out loud. Per Basketball-Reference.com, in their last five games, they've allowed an average of 112 points. They're also trotting out a backcourt that features exactly zero impact defenders.
Per RotoGrinders, they're allowing over 51 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards this season, the worst mark in the league. Angry Russell Westbrook is coming home after a tough loss to Cleveland and will be attacking the rim with almost no resistance.
Best-case scenario: The Lakers keep the game close, and Russ is forced to play eight minutes in the fourth to ensure victory. Worst-case scenario: Russ and Kevin Durant dominate, the Thunder have 100 points through three quarters, and he still eclipses value.
Gary Neal ($4,200) vs. Hornets
I wrote about Neal on Wednesday when he suited up against his former team, the San Antonio Spurs. I loved his value because his role has increased while Bradley Beal rests. Unfortunately, the Spurs had other plans, Neal suffered through a 3-of-10 shooting night and failed to top 15 fantasy points. Whoops.
Saturday night, however, in a home game against another of his former clubs, Neal should knock down some three-pointers and exceed value. The Hornets have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards over the last three weeks, per RotoGrinders.
Blake Griffin ($8,800) at Rockets
After a blood bath Friday night against the Spurs, Blake should be smiling wide. He gets to face off against Terrence Jones and Houston's defense that allows about 18 more points per game than San Antonio's.
Griffin dominated Houston in their last meeting, scoring 35 points and grabbing 11 boards back in November. Assuming he's not too beat up from Friday's battle down low, he'll likely throw up a similar line tonight.
This is one to keep a close eye on. Monitor Twitter, DraftKings, and RotoGrinders right up until tipoff because there could be some late scratches that open up a lot of value in the nation's capital.
The Wizards struggle to stop pretty much everybody. Per RotoGrinders, the team allows the eighth-most total fantasy points per game. Batum missed Thursday's game, and Lin and Walker both went nuts in an overtime win at home against Toronto. However, Batum will likely be back as he was merely ill Wednesday. He's a great play if he starts.
PJ Hairston, per Basketball-Reference.com, could also miss Saturday's game with a sore foot. I'd expect Lin to step back into the starting lineup if Hairston does miss the game. If so, he's a must-start.
Marcin Gortat ($6,300) vs. Hornets
The Hornets just gave up 46.5 fantasy points to Bismack Biyombo. Gortat should easily match that output, especially with nobody else to help him grab boards on the block. Gortat is averaging a double-double and nearly 33 minutes over his last five games.
Other Value Plays:
- Courtney Lee ($4,500) vs. Pacers
- Dion Waiters ($4,100) vs. Lakers
- Robin Lopez ($3,900) vs. Bulls
- Zach Randolph ($5,900) vs. Pacers
- C.J. Miles ($5,400) at Grizzlies
Enter the DraftKings $35K Sharpshooter contest this weekend. Use the promo code BLEACHER REPORT when you sign up.