Big changes during the off-season led to many fantasy basketball fans shunning the great LeBron James. Not a good move. To me, he remains the King of Fantasy Hoops. Why? For starters, he can almost always be added to your DraftKings' Fantasy Basketball squads for less than James Harden's salary.
He's also more reliable than other high-salary cost players. This is especially true with the changes Cleveland made before the trade deadline. The changes ensure LeBron's involvement from virtually the first tip to the last second. That makes James a must add for almost every DraftKings contest.
Check out today's, Friday, Feb. 23.
Feb. 23 – DraftKings Fantasy Hoops Team
PG – Jordan Clarkson, $5,000, Cleveland at Memphis – The Cleveland Cavaliers finally lost a game after making the trades for Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill, and Rodney Hood. Washington beat Cleveland 110 to 103 in the Cavs' last game.
One of the reasons appears to be because Cavaliers' coach Tyronn Lue decided to play George Hill for over 30 minutes. Clarkson, who's usually instant offense, only played a bit over 16 minutes. Clarkson should get over 20 minutes in tonight's battle versus the Memphis Grizzlies.
My hope is that Lue was mixing things up just to see what might happen. Now that he knows keeping Jordan on the bench too long isn't the best move, he should switch back to playing the young guard more.
SG – Tyler Johnson, $4,800, Miami at New Orleans – Even though Dwayne Wade is back, Tyler Johnson continues to play close to 30 minutes per game. He's averaging 11.5 points, 3.6 boards, and 2.5 assists per. There's a good chance he does much better than that on Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans plays fast. Johnson can play fast.
Not only that, but Miami is looking to move Tyler Johnson's contract. Johnson's contract in the final two years pays him $18.9 million and $19.6 million. That's a lot of dough to shell out for a player who figures to be on your bench once your starting shooting guard, Dion Waiters, returns from injury. To move a contract that large, Miami must make Johnson's contract attractive to would-be buyers. That means allowing Johnson to show his best stuff from now until the end of the season.
My hope is that they allow TJ to go off against the running, gunning, New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. I fully expect Johnson to post over 30 fantasy points. If he does, the $4,800 salary will have constituted great NBA fantasy value.
SF – Kelly Oubre Jr., $4,500, Washington vs Charlotte – Although Oubre Jr. doesn't start for the Washington Wizards, he does play over 30 minutes per game. I love how Oubre Jr. has built his averages to 12 points and 5 boards per. The Wizards battle Charlotte on Friday night.
Charlotte dominated the Wizards 133 to 109 in the last. Oubre Jr. did score 16 points. He also grabbed 5 boards. Lately, he's played well. He hasn't been spectacular. There's a chance he could be spectacular on Friday night. Adding Oubre Jr. means that I'm hoping for some luck. Who knows? I might get it!
PF – LeBron James, $11,200, Cleveland at Memphis – Like I wrote above, LeBron is a must add to any NBA DraftKings Fantasy Team. One thing to note is that the Cavaliers did play the Washington Wizards on Feb. 22. That means tonight's game is a back-to-back. LeBron played 26 minutes last night. Will he be too tired to carry the load versus the Grizzlies? I don't believe so.
The Cavaliers lost yesterday. The King doesn't like to lose, period. He hates losing two in a row. I think Cleveland bounces back with a masterful performance on Friday night. He could post a triple-double versus the Grizzlies.
C – DeAndre Jordan, $8,300, L.A. Clippers at Phoenix – The last time the Clippers battled the Suns, DeAndre went off for 20 boards and 12 points. He only played 30 minutes, which is what I expect him to play tonight. Overall, DeAndre averages 11.9 points, 15 boards, a block, and an assist per game.
He could got for 16 to 20 points, over 20 rebounds, and at least 2 blocks tonight. The reason is becuase the Suns simply have nobody on their squad that can play with DeAndre Jordan. Also, small forward Danilo Gallinari is listed as questionable. The Clippers' center figures to pick up a few inside looks with Danilo not able to spread the defense.
G – Cory Joseph, $4,900, Indiana vs Atlanta – Cory Joseph should start and play at least 30 minutes versus the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 23. Darren Collison is out for at least another couple of weeks. Joseph has started at point-guard. He's played primarily when Victor Oladipo is on the court. He was fantastic versus the Brooklyn Nets in Indiana's last. Joseph scored 15 points. He grabbed 11 boards. He had 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 3 assists.
If he comes close to that versus the Hawks in a home game on Friday night, I'll be happy. My guess, is that Joseph's been told to just play basketball. Don't worry about being a traditional point-guard, racking up assists, because that's not your game. The philosophy worked against the Nets the other night.
F – Nikola Mirotic, $6,600, New Orleans vs Miami – I expect a double-double from New Orleans' best bench player. After arriving in a trade with the Chicago Bulls, Mirotic hit the ground running in the Big Easy. He's playing around 28 to 30 minutes on most nights. Versus Miami, Mirotic might play more because the Heat have a decent front line.
While Anthony Davis must man the middle with DeMarcus Cousins out for the season, Mirotic can step back and shoot the jumper. Heck, Mirotic has the ability to either post-up, or shoot the 3. I'm expecting a monster game, which is why the 6′ 10″ power forward from Podgorica, Montenegro is the third highest salaried player on my DraftKings' squad.
UTIL – Stanley Johnson, $4,700, Boston at Detroit – The former University of Arizona Wildcat has played well in Detroit's last couple of games. First, he's played close to 30 minutes in each. Second, he's scored in double-figures in each of the last two Detroit games. Andrew Drummond and Blake Griffin will get most of the looks in the post. But, Johnson should be okay for around 24 fantasy points if he just plays his normal game.
If, for some lucky reason, he has a huge game versus the Boston Celtics, I could cash a decent DraftKings contest ticket.