By: Eric Romoff
It is all coming together on this Friday. We’ve got another sweet-spot slate with eight games on deck and fortunately not a single one of them is a back-to-back. Seven of the eight games carry very high totals, the exception being a 205.5 total for Miami vs. Orlando, and every single one of these games looks like it will be one-sided with spreads ranging from -8 to -14. Whenever the schedule sets up in this fashion, with the pace and game-script being mostly a constant across the board, I tend to look at players who are particularly efficient in the way they accumulate their points and zero in on players whose projections on Jock MKT aren’t quite as high as the consensus rankings that are widely available. Part of the reason I love this size of slate is that it allows you to take a balanced approach to your portfolio and that is exactly my strategy as we head into the IPO period on Jock MKT.
Trae Young | PG | Atlanta Hawks
Jock MKT projection – 45.44 (6th)
Max IPO Bid – $11.85
Break-even Rank – 8.3
Process of elimination is largely the method by which we get to Trae Young tonight. Most of the players below him in projected points have been riddled with inconsistency this season and would need to deliver a ceiling game in order to get to their projected totals. The three players above him: Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis and LeBron James, all carry a significantly higher price tag and the Lakers pair will be competing with each other for usage in tonight’s game. On such a star-studded slate, it’s likely to take a 60+ point performance in order to finish in the top spot and Trae is one of only four players on the board to have surpassed that output more than once in the last 15 games. Over his last 10 games, Trae has surpassed his 45.44 projection in eight of them and has delivered a total ROI of 423% to his investors. Tonight he faces off against a Denver team that is a fairly neutral matchup on paper but does allow the fourth-most assists and 6th-most rebounds to opposing point guards. Trae has shown an ability to score effectively regardless of circumstance but it is the nights where he stuffs the stat sheet with secondary statistics where he can break the slate. I’m projecting Trae to flirt with a triple-double this time out and I’m more than happy to bid aggressively to add his production to my portfolio.
Brandon Ingram | SF | New Orleans Pelicans
Jock MKT Projection – 36.96 (20th)
Max IPO Bid – $8.10
Break-Even Rank – 17.6
This is one of those spots where it looks like the Jock MKT projection is lagging behind the reality of Ingram’s on-court production as of late. He has surpassed his current projection of 36.96 in seven of his last eight games, the one miss being 36.5 points, and is averaging 45.5 fantasy points over that stretch. Obviously, he has been an incredibly valuable asset during this recent run, bringing a total return of 502% on his average IPO price of $7.28. Despite his improved performance of late, we’re likely to get Ingram for right around his average IPO price tonight at a projection that is roughly seven points lower than it should be. His is another matchup that is fairly neutral to his position as he faces off against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. What is working in his favor is the Bucks have allowed the most made threes to opposing small forwards this season. Ingram isn’t a prolific shooter from distance by any means but he takes enough shots from behind the arc that a couple extra makes would give him really nice upside tonight. From what I can tell, projected points more than anything is what influences IPO price so I’m expecting to acquire Ingram shares on the cheap tonight — but I’m certainly setting my max IPO bid high given the gap between his recent performance and his projection.
Dewayne Dedmon | C | Miami Heat
Jock MKT Projection – 30.26 (39th)
Max IPO Bid – $5.35
Break-Even Rank – 31.94
It could be as simple as additional playing time, it could be “Heat Culture,” but however you need to square it in your mind the simple fact remains — Dewayne Dedmon is in the middle of the late-career resurgence that many players find at their stop in Miami. Dedmon himself has been a bit up and down of late, alternating between totals around 40 points with scores of 21 and 12 points over his last four games. What has been determinate in that variance has been Dedmon’s ability to secure rebounds. He broke double-digits in both of his “up” games but averaged just seven in the spots where he busted. More than any other tier of player, the strength of an individual matchup determines the output for these penny-stock players. Tonight Dedmon draws an Orlando team that was already allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers and was particularly weak on the boards, where they give up 16.5 rebounds per game to the 5s they face. Now it looks like Orlando is at risk of another game without seven-footer Mo Bamba and we could easily see Dedmon put up a similar line to the 11-rebound performance an under-sized Clint Capela put up against Orlando with Bamba unavailable last Wednesday. As is the case with all penny-stock investments, this pick certainly has a history of volatility but I’m confident that the things working in Dedmon’s favor will yield a positive return tonight.