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NBA Core Plays – January 7, 2019

Oh baby it is time for another day of NBA Basketball.

Today, we have 8 games to go through and here they are.



  • SA (109.0) @ DET (105.0)
  • BKN (105.3) @ BOS (114.8)
  • DEN (106.8) @ HOU (108.3)
  • UTA (108.3) @ MIL (113.8)
  • MEM (104.3) @ NO (109.8)
  • LAL (109.7) @ DAL (106.5)
  • NY (104.5) @ POR (116.5)
  • ORL (107.8) @ SAC (113.3)


I highlighted the 4 games with the highest projected score totals to help make things a little easier.


BKN @ BOS gives us the return of Kyrie Irving vs a high scoring Nets Squad.


UTA @ MIL will likely be dominated by the Greek Freak (MIL) who is having an MVP type season.


NY @ POR has plenty of value including Enes Kanter (NY) who I believe may pick up a start.


The game I really like though is ORL @ SAC and you’ll see why.


But I want don’t want to spoil the surprise yet.


I still have to go through every position and give you my Value and Top-Tier picks.


So without further ado, here we go.


Point Guard


Top-Tier: Kyrie Irving (PG, BOS) – I am picking Kyrie Irving as my Top-Tier PG in his first game back from an eye injury. I know, risky right? Well Kyrie is the heart and soul of this offense and as he goes the team goes. I am sure Brad Stevens liked seeing the emergence of Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier and Daniel Theis while Irving was out. But Irving is back, and Brooklyn is ranked 26th in DVP vs PGs which makes for a very easy matchup. Also, Irving had scored 50+ fantasy points in 3 of his last 4 games before the eye injury. Roster Kyrie with no worries besides his high ass price, if you are worried about that then look at my value pick.


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Value: Shabazz Napier (PG/SG, BKN) – I am pretty sure this Shabazz’s middle name is value because this price point he is at is too nice. Napier has cracked the rotation and played over 23 minutes off the bench in each of the Nets last 4 games. Now if you look at Spencer Dinwiddie’s numbers you will see why Shabazz is getting so much time. Dinwiddie started off the year scorching but ever since his 37-point game vs CHA he has been ice cold. Dinwiddie over his last 5 games is averaging 20.5 fantasy points while Napier is averaging 26.5 fantast points over his last 5. Napier even saw 1 more minute than Dinwiddie in their last game vs CHI. I love his price and his value and everything about Shabazz, he is damn near a must start.


Shooting Guard


Top-Tier: Buddy Hield (SG/SF, SAC) – Buddy has been going off on the offensive end over his last 3 games. And he is doing this vs POR, DEN & GS which are 3 of the better teams in the West, so don’t sleep on the kid. Hield is averaging 29.3 PPG with 6 three-pointers per game over his last 3. That means he has made a total of 18 three-pointers over his last 3 games! I mean Buddy has always had a great shooting stroke but what he is doing this year is next level. Take away two games vs LAL & LAC and Hield would be riding a scoring streak of 20+ points in 11 straight games.


Value: Gary Harris (SG, DEN) – Gary Harris will likely regain his starting spot for Denver tonight as they matchup vs James Harden and the Rockets. Harris is coming off a hip injury and finally looked 100% healthy on Saturday vs CHA where he went off for 17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal. I like Harris tonight because of the matchup vs HOU who runs a nice pace and should make this one a high scoring game. Harris is projected for about 26.2 fantasy points tonight, but I reckon it should be higher due to him hopping into the starting lineup and likely playing north of 30 minutes.


Small Forward


Top-Tier: Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF/PF, MIL) – The Greek Freak is in absolute beast mode right now. He just dropped 43 points and 18 rebounds on Saturday vs TOR. He put up 90.5 fantasy points combined vs ATL & DET while only playing 45 minutes total in both of those games. That over 2 fantasy points per minute which is absolutely nutty. I mean look at this, over his last 4 games when Giannis plays > 30 minutes he has scored at least 64.5 fantasy points or higher. The Greek Freak knows his team needs him now more than ever with the Bucks only 1 game out of First Place in the East. Also, who the hell is going to guard him on Utah? If Utah thinks Derrick Favors will be able to keep a body on Giannis then they must have never seen him play.
Screen Shot 2019-01-07 at 1.25.35 PM


Value: Davis Bertans (SF/PF, SA) – With Rudy Gay OUT tonight look for Bertans to soak up a lot of his minutes. The Latvian is a deadeye from 3-point range shooting 47.5% this year from behind the arc. Last time Rudy Gay was OUT, Bertans saw 31 minutes of court time and gave us one of his best fantasy performances of the year. Jakob Poeltl is likely to pick up the start but don’t worry he only played 20 minutes in his last start. Bertans is someone who is so cheap right now that you can roster him to help make room for guys like Giannis (Above).


Power Forward


Top-Tier: Anthony Davis (PF/C, NO) – Anthony Davis is easily the most dominant big man in the game right now and has been putting up stats to back this up. First there was the 80.25 fantasy points vs CHA, then the 84.25 fantasy points vs DAL and finally the 82.5 fantasy points vs BKN. These performances have all been in the last month roughly which means one thing. Anthony Davis is trying to go super beast mode in order to win games for his team. The Pelicans are only 3 games back from the 8th seeded Lakers but still have a lot of work to do especially with MEM coming up today. In one game this year vs MEM, Davis went off for 25 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks and 2 steals. I am expecting a much larger offensive explosion from Davis tonight.


Value: Nemanja Bjelica (SF/PF, SAC) – Not sure how this guy keeps getting cheaper after he balls out but hey I’ll take it. Bjelica actually dropped in price on DraftKings even though he went off for 32.25 fantasy points last game vs GS. He’s actually had 30+ fantasy points in 5 of his last 6 games which makes for a nice value play at either SF or PF. Look at this too, in one game this year vs ORL Bjelica went off for 39 fantasy points. His value looks impeccable and he is playing in the final game of the night. Love Bjelica tonight.

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Top-Tier: Nikola Jokic (C, DEN) – He has been a man on a mission over his last 4 games averaging 26.75 PPG, 11.75 RPG, 9 APG, 1.5 BPG, 2 SPG. Yea I guess you could say this man has been doing it all with almost a triple-double every night. Not bad for the guy playing Center to have more assists per game than anyone on the team. I mean obviously Nikola is no usual center and he shows this off almost every game by taking 3-pointers and throwing amazing dimes. I might consider playing him over Anthony Davis tonight.


Value: Jakob Poeltl (C, SA) – This is a huge flier play as Poeltl will likely pick up a spot start tonight with Rudy Gay being ruled OUT. Poeltl will likely be tasked with keeping Andre Drummond under control which could mean a lot more minutes for Poeltl than he saw last time he started vs BOS. Since BOS doesn’t really have a traditional center it makes sense. But Detroit runs with Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin which are both big men who like to play down low, so I expect to see more from Poeltl. At this price you are never going to get a cheaper center who is actually starting. Run with him and tweet me when he gets a double-double.


Thank you all for reading another edition of the NBA Core Plays!


My name is G.R. Bunch aka the Daily Fantasy Hitman.
Find me on Twitter @DailyHitman

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