By: Eric Romoff
The NBA rolling out a three-game micro-slate on Tuesdays, a tradition unlike any other. Given the short slate, we don’t have to navigate the back-to-back waters and all three games are within a couple points of each other with game totals of 217 (PHI/UTA), 220 (SAS/LAC) and 220.5 (GSW/BKN). With those constants in place, we’ll shift gears to injury news and individual matchups as our primary driving factors for where to invest in Jock MKT. As has been the case for most of the season, we head into tonight already knowing that several players will be unavailable for the 76ers and the Clippers but there are a few other role players already ruled out that open up minutes off-the-radar players. There aren’t many defensive matchups that jump off the page for our three-game, the most notable of the lot being San Antonio and Philadelphia allowing the second and third most points respectively to the Power Forward position. On the whole, I like to do a bit more speculating with penny stocks on these short-slates as a performance north of pedestrian can often find itself inside the top-20 of payout positions when the night is done.
Tobias Harris | PF | Philadelphia 76ers
Jock MKT Projection – 35.96 (9th)
Max IPO Bid -$10.35
Break-Even Rank – 10.3
These short slates are tricky for blue-chip players as most of them carry significant price tags at IPO and need to finish within the top five to avoid returning a loss on the night. That is not the case for Tobias Harris. He has settled in as only the ninth-highest fair market value. He may not have the upside to finish as the #1 overall player on the board tonight but a median performance from Harris should land him inside the top five and his low mark on the season would leave him right around break-even on the $10.35 bid I’m recommending. While his season on the whole has had its ups and downs, Harris steps into a significant role in the Philadelphia game plan with Joel Embiid sidelined as he is tonight. Harris is a pretty steady contributor of secondary stats, averaging 9.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, but it is his scoring that will determine where he lands in the Jock MKT rankings tonight. He has surpassed the 40 fantasy-point mark in all of his games where he’s scored more than 20 real-life points and I expect Harris to be the primary scoring option for the 76ers tonight. His opponent in the Jazz are an average matchup against Power Forwards but do allow them to score 22.27 points per game. That puts Harris right where we need him to turn a profit tonight on Jock MKT.
Drew Eubanks | C | San Antonio Spurs
Jock MKT Projection – 28.47 (14th)
Max IPO Bid -$7.80
Break-Even Rank – 15.4
The San Antonio Spurs have been without starting center Jakob Poeltl since he entered the league’s health and safety protocol on November 3rd and that has opened up significant playing time for Drew Eubanks. In the six games since that point for the Spurs Eubanks is averaging 22.2 minutes, 10.2 points, 6.5 boards and 2.3 assists and he’s returned nearly 45% profit on the year. Eubanks is pretty steady when it comes to his rebounding and assist contribution night in and night out, it is his scoring that will determine the outcome on the night. Games where he is fed the ball down low and takes an aggressive line to the hoop have resulted in his best scoring performances; including his high water mark games against Sacramento and OKC where he got there with 7-8 from the field and 10-13 from the charity stripe respectively. Given that tonight’s opponent in the Clippers is allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing centers and their own center, Ivica Zubac, has shown a propensity for getting into foul trouble of late, I like Eubanks to get into double-digits tonight and bring a nice return for his investors on the short slate.
Kevon Looney | C | Golden State Warriors
Jock MKT Projection – 20.76 (34th)
Max IPO Bid -$4.35
Break-Even Rank – 29.9
This one is a bit of a dart throw. Kevon Looney certainly seems to have taken a step forward in the 2021 season as he has shifted to play the five while sophomore James Wiseman is out with a knee injury. He has seen a nice uptick in all of his counting stats relative to last year, and flashed the upside that made him a first-round pick a few years ago with a huge outing against the Timberwolves a few nights ago. While his season average for fantasy points has been floating around 18 per, against the Wolves he scored 11 real-life points, secured 17 rebounds, handed out 1 assist, and contributed 3 stocks en route to a 37.75-point fantasy day. While I don’t think we see another ceiling game this time out against the Nets, the absence of big-man Nicolas Claxton leaves Looney facing some combination of Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge tonight. These are both matchups that he has the athleticism to take full advantage of and I project Looney to turn in a 25+ point effort against the Nets tonight. The nature of these smaller slates inflates the IPO price of all available players but I think Looney carries the upside needed to absorb the risks presented by the short slate.