It’s a 7-gamer on Monday, which means we can be a little more wary of low-multiplier guys and seek more upside chasing outlier performances at high multipliers. As I write this, it looks like the biggest injury news we’re waiting on is Dallas, where most of the starters are listed questionable and a couple of really attractive plays would open up if the starters miss. The main guy I would want if multiple Dallas guys (especially Luka) are out is Jalen Brunson, but there’s certainly room to consider Hardaway, Richardson, and whoever starts at center if Porzingis is out, depending on how the in/out situation plays out. This is also the last game of the night, and there are no other 10pm games, so you’ll need to think about how you want to approach this – you could bet on Luka + more being out and try to be overweight on a position that could pay off in spades, or you could wait to see and trust that you’ll probably have some Kings exposure anyhow that you can pivot over. If we go by position…
Guard looks like the weakest overall position based on the aggregated projections I’m using as I write this, so I think it makes sense to have a broader player pool here, as the difference between the “top” guys and the middle tier is smaller than it is at forward and center today. Expect to see a lot of Utah here, as without MItchell, all of Conley, Clarkson, and Ingles project as strong plays – I think I’d max 2 Jazz here, but I’d be ok if both of them were guards. Tyrese Haliburton looks like a strong play with Fox out, probably the strongest overall guard. Fred VanVleet also projects well, much higher than his teammate Kyle Lowry – in my mind, FVV is the better play generally speaking, but Lowry makes an interesting leverage option off of him at much lower ownership (I’d only run 1 of those 2 guys). These guys are the primary core for me, but beyond them you can mix in the other Sacramento guards in the hopes of them outperforming Haliburton, the Phoenix guards (I’d max 1 here going up against a good defensive Knicks team), Garland, or one of Dozier/Campazzo in Denver with their primary point guards out. TL;DR here – guard is a weaker position here and personally I find that to be an opportunity to embrace variance.
In contrast to the weakness of guard, forward is a very deep position with a lot of guys projecting well, but 3 guys clearly stand out at the top of the projections: Randle, George, and Towns. All have modest multipliers and it’s hard to see them being the top 3 overall scoring guards with how deep forward is, so I’d probably run a max 2 of these guys to make sure I get some variance in my rosters. Porzingis is a strong play and even stronger if he plays while Luka sits, but there aren’t a lot of other guard options in that last game to pivot to if Zinger is out (Barnes, I guess). Past this main core I’d look to Osman, Butler or Adebayo (max 1), Porter, Anunoby or Siakam (max 1, with max 2 Raptors overall), Williamson/Ingram (max 1), Barnes, and Marcus Morris. It’s worth noting here that if you want to play someone like Luka, Ingles, Barrett, or Dozier, you should play them in the guard spot only, as they rate much more favorably vs. the other guard options on the slate than they do against the other forward options.
Unsurprisingly, Jokic is the top projected center today. But, there are a lot of guys who project pretty close with much stronger multipliers. I would not fault anyone for just playing Joker here – but, personally, I think this is an opportunity to gain some ownership leverage on the field by not playing Joker (or shooting for being underweight – he’ll probably be at least 40-50% owned, I’d expect) and going overweight on guys like Randle, Towns, Gobert, Vucevic, and Adebayo here. I also want to note you can play Porzingis at center, but on today’s slate I would not, as if he’s out you have almost no swap options – you could hope and pray that Boban starts and use him, but otherwise you’re going to be stuck with someone like Willie Cauley-Stein or Dwight Powell, neither of whom is likely to step into a 30+ minute role here.