In addition to the new cheat sheets that I put together to help you guys break down the NBA slates and target certain players, I will continue to pump out my Core Four for my personal lineups so that you still have a firm idea of where my lineup is centered around.
As opposed to last night’s 11-game mega slate, we have a more quiet 5-game Thursday night slate in the association. There have already been a rash of injuries, with Justice Winslow, Rajon Rondo, George Hill, and Derrick Favors all ruled out, and expect more value to continue to open up allowing you to build around some studs.
Here are my Core Four for 11/17:
James Harden | $11,700
Harden, in my opinion, is by far and away both the safest play on the slate and also the play with the highest ceiling. We saw a somewhat unusual outing from Harden last night against the Thunder in which he registered 13 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 6 turnovers. He scored 40.9 Fanduel points and it was the first time since October 30th that he failed to eclipse 50 Fanduel points. Pat Beverley is also scheduled to return to the floor tonight, which many think could put a dent in Harden’s assist totals, but coach Mike D’Antoni has been adamant about Harden being in charge of the offense. He matches up with the Portland Trail Blazers tonight which has a slate-high over/under of 222 tonight. The Rockets are only favored by 4.5, implying that this will be a close game and with an implied team total of 113.25, it’s safe to assume that Harden will be the biggest part of the scoring tonight.
Hassan Whiteside | $8,900
While Harden may be the best play on the slate, Whiteside is my favorite. He’s finally seeing consistent minutes in the mid to upper-30s and is quickly establishing himself as one of the best centers in the league. He’s recorded a double-double in nine of his last ten games, with his latest being a 19 point, 25 rebound game against the Hawks. Over his last four games, Whiteside is averaging 19.3 points, 19 rebounds, and 2 blocks per contest. The Bucks happen to be the third worst team in the entire league when it comes to defending opposing centers, allowing an average of 48.7 FD points to the position. If anyone has the potential to shatter that number, it’s Hassan Whiteside.
Carmelo Anthony | $7,900
How many times am I going to have to roster Melo because Fanduel refuses to price him appropriately? Well, tonight makes one more. Melo has scored at least 22 points in three consecutive games and has failed to score below 32 FD points just once in his last seven outings, and the only time he didn’t reach that was because he was ejected after only playing 12 minutes against the Celtics. He’s consistently seeing 35+ minutes in the game and while a lot of his usage is transferring to Kristaps Porzingis now, the matchup with the Wizards cannot be ignored. The Wizards have been notoriously bad at defending the wing positions, allowing an average of 37.4 FD points to opposing small forwards on the season. Look for Melo to keep up his recent offensive dominance again tonight, even on the second leg of a back-to-back.
Jerian Grant | $4,000
With the other three building blocks being rather expensive, it’s necessary to find value. Oh, Rajon Rondo is doubtful? Well, here’s your value! In his first start with the Bulls in Rondo’s last absence, Grant played 30 minutes and posted 18 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals without a single turnover to accumulate 34.6 Fanduel points. While the Utah Jazz are only allowing 38.1 Fanduel points to opposing point guards on the season, the absence of George Hill gives Grant a bit more leverage. Dante Exum is not a bad defender, but he is also not an elite defender and he’s able to push the offense a bit more, upping the pace of the game, catering to Grant’s style of play. If you’re in need of a prime value play tonight, look no further than Jerian Grant.