These fantasy basketball picks are what you NEED to succeed on tonight’s short slate!
Joe Johnson and Gerald Green put up duds, while Luke Ridnour and DeAndre Jordan may have made the difference for you in GPPs (both were under 2% owned in the Rose Ruckus). Remember, studs and duds are determined based off of return on salary, not total points.
Studs: Jared Sullinger (31.75), Damian Lillard (40.75), Luke Ridnour (19.25), DeAndre Jordan (38.50), LeBron James (40.75), Tyreke Evans (30.75)
Duds: Joe Johnson (13.50), Gerald Green (9)
Today’s Top Plays
Kobe Bryant ($15,700) at Atlanta – Kobe Bryant has the highest usage rate in the NBA (38.9%). He is facing a Hawks team that is 29th in the NBA against opposing SG. The game also has the highest Vegas total on the night. If you’re paying up for a guard, it HAS to be Kobe. He may chuck up 30 shots and struggle to make 40%, but if the Lakers have any chance at keeping this one close, it will be because of Kobe. Atlanta is a -10 favorite, but have shown weaknesses on defense, allowing nearly 103 points per game. I’ll be rostering Kobe in every single lineup on a short slate.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9,250) vs New York– On tonight’s short slate, I’m paying for studs, which means I need some value plays. The “Greek Freak” fits that bill. He is finally getting consistent playing time (29 per game over his past 3), and has been producing at a high level. His skill set fits perfectly into this matchup, because he is a nightmare for any player to defend because of his length. Don’t expect a huge performance, but 25-30 FP is certainly a possibility, and more than worth his price tag.
Thabo Sefolosha ($7,100) vs Los Angeles Lakers – Thabo has never been a statsheet stuffer in his time in the NBA, but he fits the salary cap relief bill perfectly. He can contribute to your DFS teams even when he isn’t scoring, and in a game with the highest total of the night, I’m looking to punt with the defensive specialist. He is averaging just over 25 FP per game over his past two games, and with DeMarre Carroll out again, he should see 30+ minutes in a solid matchup.
Kyle Korver ($10,650) vs Los Angeles Lakers – Noticing a trend? I’m looking to load up on players from the Atlanta/LAL game wherever possible. Korver is one of the best shooters in the game, and has developed into a solid all-around player. His last game was an anomaly, so you can throw that out the window. Mike Budenholzer emptied the bench in a blowout in order to give his starters some rest. Korver should be well rested to fire away at a Lakers defense that is among the worst in the NBA.
Anthony Davis ($21,300) at Sacramento - Let me make this one easy for you: On a short slate like this one, if you don’t play “The Brow” and he has a monster game like he did last night (31/11/3/3/3), you lose your opportunity to win a big GPP. It really is this simple: Davis has been the best player in the NBA this season, and will see the likes of Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins on defense tonight. Neither has a chance to stop him. Fade Davis at your own peril.
Paul Millsap ($14,800) vs Los Angeles Lakers –Another Hawks player, you say? Don’t mind if I do. The Lakers have been well known as one of the worst interior defenses in the league for quite some time. Millsap is capable of enormous nights, as evidenced by his line against Utah (30/17/3/2/2 for 66.25 FP). If this game stays close, Millsap should see around 35 minutes in a phenomenal matchup. Price considered, he is my top option on the night. There are only two things that can slow down Millsap tonight: himself or a blowout. I’m all in.
Ryan Anderson ($11,650) at Sacramento – Anderson is deadly from deep, and Jason Thompson stands zero chance of slowing him down. If you can’t afford some of the big guns tonight, Anderson is a solid pivot. He should be in line for a 30+ FP performance, and if the Kings decide to double team Davis, Anderson will make them pay.
DeMarcus Cousins ($17,500) vs New Orleans – I know, I know. This is an easy play. However, on a 4 game slate, you need to choose your studs carefully. Cousins is the 3rd most expensive player on the board tonight, but his upside is as high as any. If Rudy Gay is unable to play tonight, Cousins becomes an elite option. Cousins is averaging 41.3 FP per game, and his usage rate is sky-high at 33.3% (second behind only Kobe Bryant). If Gay can’t go, expect that number to rise en route to a monster game for Run DMC. He is also PF-eligible due to the unique multi-eligibility available for your rosters.
Samuel Dalembert ($7,100) at Milwaukee - If you’re looking for some salary relief down low, Dalembert makes sense. Known primarily as a tremendous defender, Dalembert has elite shot-blocking ability (5 games this season with 2+) and is a solid rebounder. Milwaukee ranks 29th in the NBA against centers. Dalembert will likely only see around 20 minutes on the court, but could easily pay off this price tag against a team that struggles on defense in the frontcourt.