By: Eric Romoff

Thursday has given us a five-game slate in the NBA and there are several players who are popping in the initial look at the model. Brooklyn enters the night as our only team on a back-to-back and is already known to be without Kyrie Irving as they head back to Barclays Center. Of our five games, the matchup between Memphis and Minnesota is far and away the best game environment as it carries a 231 total and should remain close throughout. I’ll be looking to get a lot of exposure to guys in that game as both teams should see a nice boost to their productivity. Apart from that, there is no shortage of value guys who are getting starting run with their teammates ruled out with injury or COVID. Portland is the team that certainly has the longest list of guys who are unavailable but the Clippers and Brooklyn are also expected to be without several of their frontline and rotation players. It’s going to be expensive to get into the top end of the board tonight so I’ll be choosing my spots wisely and mostly focusing my attention on the mid-range players who are in favorable matchups. 

Blue Chip 

Steph Curry | PG | Golden State Warriors 

Jock MKT Projection – 42.56 (7th) 

Max IPO Bid – $11.85

Break-Even Rank – 8.3

Steph Curry is the last stop on the list of “elite” options available tonight. It looks like we’re going to need roughly 45 points, or more, to secure a spot in the top five tonight and Curry is one of the small handful of guys who has that near their median projection. Steph has been a bit hot and cold of late and that has worked to temper his projection and drive down his IPO price, to the point where it’s ripe for exploitation tonight. His opponent tonight in the Bucks remains one of the premier matchups for point guards and is particularly prone to allowing 3PM and assists. Good thing they’re not facing off against one of the all-time greats in those categories … oh, wait. Adding to Curry’s benefit is that Milwaukee has already ruled out one of the league’s best perimeter defenders in Jrue Holiday, boosting Steph’s three-point chances but also making the kick-out dime to Klay Thompson all the more likely to net Curry an assist. The short-slate does make Steph’s price a bit risky as paying nearly $12.00 for the player projected to finish seventh is a pretty narrow margin of error. I am, however, banking on this best-case matchup yielding closer to a ceiling game from Curry and think the risk is worth the potential for a top-three reward. 

Mid Cap 

Ben McLemore | SG/SF | Portland Trail Blazers

Jock MKT Projection – 27.09 (25th) 

Max IPO Bid – $5.90

Break-Even Rank – 28.63

As I mentioned up top, Portland is absolutely decimated heading into tonight’s game and we will see several rotation guys getting season-highs in minutes. The Blazers backcourt has been particularly impacted as Damien Lillard, CJ McCollum, Anfernee Simons and Norman Powell are all scratched from tonight’s matchup. While multiple guys stand to benefit from the additional run, nobody is better suited to fill this void than Ben McLemore. McLemore has already been starting in place of Norman Powell but sees plenty of minutes at guard and should have the most usage out of all the fill-ins stepping up for Portland. Furthering the decision for McLemore is his projected price. He’s likely to settle in below the $6.00 mark tonight while the likes of Dennis Smith Jr. and Nasir Little carry a price tag north of $8.00. If McLemore gets anywhere near the production of his last time out against Brooklyn, he’ll bring significant returns to his investors on JockMKT. I’ve got him projected for around 25 minutes so he should have plenty of opportunity to do just that tonight against the Nuggets. 

Penny Stock

Day’Ron Sharpe | C | Brooklyn Nets

Jock MKT Projection – 33.93 (17th) 

Max IPO Bid – $7.75

Break-Even Rank – 18.00

Well, that escalated quickly. In the short time between writing the introduction to this piece and finishing it up, the Brooklyn Nets have decided to rule out almost all of their starting lineup. This clears the way for another Day’Ron Sharpe night as he is coming in off back-to-back outings of greater than 22 minutes and over 30 fantasy points on Jock MKT. Sharpe has shot up from carrying a 17-point projection and a fair market value in the $3.00 range to a projection of nearly 34 fantasy points. I don’t think we’ll find Sharpe continuing to deliver 1.3 fantasy points per minute in his expanded role but he can still deliver value tonight. While the Thunder aren’t the best matchup for opposing bigs, they are allowing the most rebounds and the most blocks to the center position, and by a considerable margin. This is due in large part to the Thunder frontcourt largely consisting of players that are small, or old, or bad, or, more likely: small and old and bad. We are approaching a point where Sharpe’s IPO price gets to be a bridge too far but keep an eye on him. If he flies under the radar he could still be a significant value tonight. 

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