NBA Top Plays: Sunday 5/16

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Point Guard

Trae Young - Atlanta Hawks (vs. Houston Rockets)

Trae Young is probable for Sunday’s match-up with the Houston Rockets. Augustin is no match for Young assuming Young is available to play. Houston’s advantages are at the PF and C positions tonight. Jae’Sean Tate, Kenyon Martin, and Kelly Olynyk all have solid matchups. Assuming Collins and Capela in fact have the tougher matchups, Atlanta will need to rely on Trae Young to carry the squad. Young has averaged 45.9 fantasy points over his last five games. He’s shooting 50% from the field but just 17% from beyond the arc. If Young improves on these numbers from three-point land, I see a massive ceiling for the Hawks starting point guard who just came off one of his worst outings of his season. Once again, assuming he’s healthy, Young is in the perfect spot for a bounce-back game after a 28.0 fantasy point effort against the Orlando Magic on May 13th. Make sure that you are checking the confirmed lineups for this matchup as Clint Capela and Bojan Bogdanovic are also game-time decisions, both of these players are seemingly more at risk of missing tonight‘s game than Young. I do expect Trae to play tonight.

Other PG Option: Collin Sexton

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Point Guard

Nickeil Walker-Alexander - New Orleans Pelicans (vs. Los Angeles Lakers)

The New Orleans Pelicans will be without Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, Steven Adams, and (possibly) James Johnson. Who’s left? Good question. Alexander-Walker will run the point tonight with Eric Bledsoe by his side. Hernangomez will face Andre Drummond and Marshall will start at the SF position. I don’t think New Orleans can keep this game close. The Lakers are favored by -8 with a 223 O/U. With that said, I did expect this line to be much higher (upwards of 12 points). If New Orleans keeps this game close, it will be on the back of Walker-Alexander. The Lakers officially have Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, and LeBron James back and healthy (although LeBron is questionable at the moment). LeBron James’s status for tonight’s matchup is crucial information. At this point of the season, it is imperative to check confirmed lineups prior to starting your daily fantasy lineup construction. If Lebron sits, you roster Anthony Davis, simple as that.

Other SG Option: Duncan Robinson

Small Forward

Bruce Brown - Brooklyn Nets (vs. Cleveland Cavaliers)

Bruce Brown becomes a solid option with Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant all back and healthy. After rostering Brown on last night’s slate, I realized the benefit of playing with such an amazing starting lineup. The reason I like Brown is similar to the reason I like Blake Griffin. Both players are cheap options (while starting) with three of the best players in the world. The Cavaliers will have to make decisions and often those decisions result in leaving role players such as Blake Griffin, Bruce Brown, Joe Harris (who's out tonight), or any other lower-salary role player, wide open or mismatched. Invest in either Blake Griffin or Bruce Brown for value tonight (not both). Remember, Joe Harris will be out, leaving more usage for these two necessary role players.

Other SF Option: Hamidou Diallo & Michael Porter Jr.

Power Forward

Blake Griffin - Brooklyn Nets (vs. Cleveland Cavaliers)

The Cleveland Cavaliers will face the Brooklyn Nets as -13 point underdogs with a 225 O/U. The Nets will not have Joe Harris and the Cavaliers will be without Kevin Love and Isaiah Hartenstein. Dean Wade will replace Love in the starting lineup but must match up against Kevin Durant which will not be an easy task. Jarrett Allen will play the five and has significant advantages against Blake Griffin but remember Jeff Green is always available off the bench for the Brooklyn Nets. Green is a shut-down defender. James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant are all healthy. Bruce Brown is coming off of a great game last night benefiting from being on the court with these three superstars. I have no doubt in my mind that Brooklyn wins this game all things considered. Griffin was held without a field goal in his last game against the Chicago Bulls. Griffin becomes a sneaky play tonight for many reasons. No player wants to go 0 for 6 and come back in his next game with a poor performance again. Also, Griffin is still averaging 23.4 minutes per game over his last five. At a salary of $4,600 on DraftKings, he’s worth the risk tonight. Last night, I played Bruce Brown for similar reasons. When you play on the court with James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving, you’re bound to benefit statistically. Brown benefited last night, Griffin will benefit tonight. Remember, the Cleveland Cavaliers allow their opponents to shoot high percentages from three-point land. The Cavaliers also allow their opponents to high steal/block totals. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the perfect daily fantasy target and the Nets draw this favorable matchup tonight. Blake Griffin’s salary is way too low, look for him to perform well against a Cavaliers team who has lost 12 of their last 13 games. Griffin should have something to prove tonight.

Other PF Option: Dean Wade & John Collins

Center

Bam Adebayo - Miami Heat (vs. Detroit Pistons)

The Miami Heat are coming off of a back-to-back after playing the Milwaukee Bucks last night. The Heat lost by 14 points without Jimmy Butler. Butler should be out again tonight, allowing for Nemanja Bjelica to take his starting spot. Last game he played 21 minutes scoring 11 points with four assists and four rebounds. Nunn was the true beneficiary of Butler‘s absence totaling 31 points, three assists, and six rebounds. It’s hard to say what the Heat are going to do on a back to back but I will say with Nunn officially healthy, he becomes a viable option against the Detroit Pistons who will be starting Hayes at guard. The Miami Heat will be shifting their offensive usage towards Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Bam with Butler confirmed out again for tonight. With Nunn benefiting last night, I believe Bam will be the beneficiary tonight. Bam will match up against Mason Plumlee. The 6’9 255 lbs, Plumlee will have a tough matchup tonight. While he is very talented, he is a much larger center (meaning slower) and I do believe he will have problems with the speed and agility of Bam Adebayo. Although Kendrick Nunn is a viable play, I truly believe Bam becomes the main beneficiary of Butler‘s absence tonight and carries a massive ceiling against a Detroit team that is allowing 111 points per game, 44.4 rebounds per game, and 10.0 offensive rebounds per game. Detroit Pistons also allow 8.0 steals per game and 5.8 blocks per game. Miami's Center should rack up a solid amount of FP tonight against a Detroit team that simply does not impress me (at the moment).

Other C Option: Blake Griffin & Jarrett Allen

Bargain Bin

PG Nickeil Walker-Alexander

SG Duncan Robinson

SF Nemanja Bjelica

PF Kenyon Martin

C Blake Griffin

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