These fantasy basketball picks include Black Friday-esque discounts at key positions!
Wednesday was yet another day where the stars shined brighter than most. DeMarcus Cousins had a huge game once again, James Harden continued to take advantage of higher usage, and Ty Lawson remained hot. Even Blake Griffin posted a decent number in a down game. Remember, studs and duds are determined based off of return on salary, not total points.
Studs: DeMarcus Cousins (61.00), James Harden (52.50), Ty Lawson (46.75), Damian Lillard (40.50), Josh Smith (36.50), Lou Williams (33.75), Omri Casspi (23.75),
Duds: Blake Griffin (32.50), Gorgui Dieng (23.00)
Today’s Top Plays
Stephen Curry ($19,450) at Charlotte – Curry has simply been unstoppable over his last two games. In just 61 minutes, he has posted 68 points (including 14 3-pointers), 15 assists, 11 rebounds, and just 3 turnovers and a total of 121.50 FP. His usage rate of 29.5 is just 11th in the NBA, but he has put this team on his shoulders this week. A matchup with defensively-inept Kemba Walker and Charlotte’s 28th ranked defense against opposing PG has Curry lined up for another huge game.
Russell Westbrook ($12,750) vs New York – Listen, I’ll try to put this as delicately as possible. PLAY RUSSELL WESTBROOK IN EVERY LINEUP. His price is far, far too low, and he has been cleared to start with no minutes restriction tonight. He should be in 100% of lineups at this price. Rest assured, this will be the only game where you can roster him at this price. No further analysis needed here. If you don’t play Westbrook at this discount, your chances of winning are slim.
Eric Bledsoe ($13,550) at Denver – Bledsoe is coming off of an impressive 21/10 game against these same Nuggets on Wednesday, and is once again in a great spot. If Isaiah Thomas sits out once again, Bledsoe gets an even bigger bump. The Nuggets love to run the court and play at a high pace, and Bledsoe is one of the best in the game in the open court. This game has a huge total, and you’re going to need some exposure. Bledsoe is one of my favorites in this one (see below).
Jose Calderon ($5,950) at Oklahoma City – Here is another play that is a tremendous value. Calderon was electric in his last game, hitting 7 three pointers en route to a 46 FP performance. While you may never see him shoot that well again, Calderon is a terrific passer, and is near minimum salary. Obviously a matchup with Westbrook is less than ideal, but it should play into Calderon’s strength, and that is distributing the ball. I anticipate he will rack up a ton of assists in this one, and any scoring he does will be a bonus at a discount tag.
James Harden ($20,050) vs Los Angeles Clippers - Harden has eclipsed 50 FP in 3 straight games without Beverley or Howard in the lineup. His usage rate of 31.7% is third in the NBA, and that number only increases without any support on offense. Harden is an elite option, despite the hefty price tag.
Markieff Morris ($12,600) at Denver - “Chief Kieff” may be my favorite player in the NBA to roster on a given night. He is tremendously talented, and is a rare breed of PF that can truly do it all. Against these same Nuggets (who rank 22nd against PF) two days ago, he posted 15 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 blocks, and 3 steals in 36 minutes. That was one of the most complete stat lines you’ll see all season, and Morris is more than capable of doing it again. This price tag is phenomenal for a player of his skill level in an ideal matchup against a soft Denver frontcourt.
Anthony Davis ($20,700) at Atlanta - “The Brow” had a down game against Sacramento, and reports have come out that he was sick. All of that is irrelevant. Monty Williams has FINALLY come out and say that Davis must take at least 20 shots per game, and that spells disaster for Atlanta. Paul Millsap is not a good defender, and is giving up at least 2 inches to the best big man in the game. Al Horford doesn’t have the skillset necessary to contend with Davis either. He should have a field day in this one, and easily hit his season average of 51.5 FP and has a great chance to exceed that number.
Corey Brewer ($8,750) at Los Angeles Lakers – The Timberwolves may be without Mo Williams once again, and with Zach LaVine struggling, Brewer saw some action at PG against Milwaukee. Brewer posted 30 FP in that one. The Lakers are inept at defending any position, ranking 30th against PG and 21st against SG and SF. Brewer comes in as a great value play in a good matchup. I don’t love his skillset, but nearly any player that is all but assured of 30+ minutes of play against the Lakers is in consideration for me at this price.
Dirk Nowitzki ($12,600) at Toronto - I’m not a fan of Black Friday shopping, but Dirk may be the best deal you’ll find all day at this price. The Raptors have been tremendous on defense this season, but if there is one shot in the NBA that no player can defend, it is Dirk’s patented fadeaway. The likes of Amir Johnson, James Johnson, and Tyler “Psycho T” Hansborough stand no chance at slowing down the future Hall-of-Famer. He has eclipsed 40 FP in two straight games, and I expect more of the same in a game that Vegas has pegged as a shootout.
Andre Drummond ($12,900) vs Milwaukee - The Bucks are one of the worst teams at defending down low, and Drummond will be looking to exploit this weakness for the second time this week. He posted 23/10 against them on Tuesday, and if he can stay out of foul trouble, I expect more of the same from Mr. Drummond. He is a tremendous rebounder, and has at least 10 in 7 straight games, as well as 11 of 12. The risk is built in to his price tag as far as foul trouble goes, but only he can prevent himself from having a huge night tonight.