These fantasy basketball picks will help cure your case of the Mondays!
Saturday evening was not a good time to be an elite point guard. Many players were let down by lackluster performances from Kemba Walker, Damian Lillard, and Chris Paul. James Harden continued to dominate as he does, and DeMarre Carroll put up a dud against the same team for the second night in a row. We are back at it tonight with some great action to dissect! Remember, studs and duds are determined based off of return on salary, not total points.
Studs: James Harden (58.50). Al Horford (35.50)
Duds: Kemba Walker (17.25), Damian Lillard (25.50), Patrick Beverley (20.25), DeMarre Carroll (15), Jason Thompson (25.25)
Today’s Top Plays
Rajon Rondo ($14,950) at Philadelphia– Rondo is one of the most frustrating players in the NBA, but is also one of the most talented. He is a tremendous passer and one of the best rebounding guards in the league. Rondo has scored 2 or less points in 5 of his last 8 games, which is concerning. However, his peripheral statistics are as good as any other PG in the game, averaging 7.6 rebounds and 10.8 assists. This game has the second highest total of the night at 206.5, and Rondo provides you with elite upside at a discount.
Brandon Knight ($13,050) at Phoenix– Knight is another volatile player, but he excels in the open court. He has the ability to attack the basket, and is a great finisher at the rim. The Suns don’t have a defensive presence down low that can alter Knight’s drive or shot, and for those reasons, he makes for a great play tonight. His usage rate of 25.1% is good for 11th among PG in the NBA. Speaking of high totals, this one clocks in at 209.5, which is the highest on the “Knight”.
C.J. Watson ($9,300) vs Los Angeles Lakers – We all know about the Lakers’ struggles with opposing PG this season (among other things), and Watson is in a prime position to cash in. His price is phenomenal for a starting PG who has 81 FP in 91 minutes over his last three games. He has been far more productive than Donald Sloan, and should be a safe bet for 30 minutes and 25+ FP. He is a cash game staple tonight.
Cory Joseph ($8,100) at Portland- Make sure that Tony Parker is OUT before inserting Joseph into your lineups, but if Parker sits once again, Joseph makes for a great play. The Blazers are 19th in the NBA against opposing PG, and Damian Lillard is an average defender at best. Joseph comes at a huge discount, and has 30+ FP upside in this up-tempo matchup. The Spurs will need to score in bunches to keep pace, and Joseph is a more than adequate fill-in for Parker.
LeBron James ($20,450) vs Charlotte -After “The King” missed a potential showdown with Kevin Durant and the Thunder, he came back rejuvenated the following day, posting a 41/5/5 line against the Pelicans. A potential matchup with defensive specialist Michael Kidd-Gilchrist may seem less than ideal, but when the best player on the planet gets it going, nobody can stop him but himself. The Cavs are finally hitting their stride, and I fully expect LeBron to be the highest scorer on the evening.
Kawhi Leonard ($14,050) at Portland - This price is simply too low for a player of Kawhi’s talent and upside. There is an outside chance that Gregg Popovich sits some of his starters on a back-to-back tonight, but Kawhi makes for a great play either way. He put up an insane line last night, with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals and 6 blocks. This kid can do it all, and the Spurs may rely heavily on him tonight in a tough game against Portland. The value and potential upside here are tremendous.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,150) at Phoenix – This kid is tremendous with the way he can disrupt passing lanes and be a matchup nightmare for opposing players. He is averaging just 27 minutes per game, but the Bucks have unleashed him at times when he gets it going. He doesn’t need to score in bunches to pay off his price tag, with at least 5 rebounds in 8 of his last 9 games. This fast-paced game suits his style very well, and I’m looking for him to be aggressive for the same reasons I mentioned with Brandon Knight above.
Robert Covington ($9,600) vs Boston - If you haven’t been on the proverbial “Covington Train” recently, you have been missing out. This kid has been phenomenal, scoring at least 20 real points in 4 of his last 5 games. Tonight he gets the ideal matchup against Jared Sullinger’s (lack of) defense down low. The Celtics rank 29th in the NBA against PF, and Covington is as hot as any right now. Enjoy the discount while it lasts.
Jonas Valanciunas ($11,250) vs Orlando- The Magic are a travesty on defense down low. They currently sit at 29th against opposing big men, and that number isn’t likely to improve tonight. “Big Val” had his double-double streak snapped at 3 last time out against the Knicks, but still posted a solid 8/13 line. With double-double bonuses to be had, he makes for a great cash game center with solid 40 FP upside.