These fantasy basketball picks are highlighted by the return of a superstar!
Bradley Beal got in early foul trouble last night, leading to Rasual Butler having a huge night off the bench in Washington. Kawhi Leonard dominated the 76ers with ease, and Marcin Gortat had his way with Miami over 3+ quarters in a blowout. Late-breaking news regarding Aron Baynes sent players into a scramble to roster the big man, and he paid off big time. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin played just 49 total minutes in a blowout, leading to lower point totals. Tonight’s HUGE slate has some great opportunities, and I can’t wait to dive right in. Remember, studs and duds are determined based off of return on salary, not total points.
Studs: Marcin Gortat (33.50), Kawhi Leonard (49.00), Cory Joseph (29.50), Blake Griffin (37.25)
Duds: Wilson Chandler (21.25), Bradley Beal (12.50), Chris Paul (27.75)
Today’s Top Plays
Kyle Lowry ($16,800) at Sacramento – Lowry is having a tremendous season, averaging 19.5/6.6/5.2, which has been good for 37.2 FP per contest. He has eclipsed 40 FP in 4 of his last five games, and now draws a matchup with the Kings, who are 27th in the NBA at defending opposing PG. With DeMar DeRozan sidelined, Lowry will continue to see big minutes and be the focal point of the offense. Lowry is a triple-double threat at any time, and matchups don’t get much better than this for PG.
Brandon Jennings ($12,700) vs Los Angeles Lakers – The words “Los Angeles Lakers” instantly place the opposing point guard in play for me. When said point guard has the ability that Jennings does, and is the 15th most expensive guard on the board, he becomes an even better target. Jennings has been erratic throughout his career and this season, but Jeremy Lin has been one of the worst on-ball defenders in the game his entire career. Look for Jennings to have his way against the worst team in the NBA vs opposing PG, and at a discounted salary to boot.
Klay Thompson ($13,500) vs Orlando – I’m once again sticking with the theme of picking on opposing team’s glaring weaknesses. Orlando has been the worst team in the NBA at defending the SG position, and Klay is one of the best. His 33.5 FP per game average is nearly good for triple his salary already, and with Stephen Curry listed as “Questionable” for this one, Klay could be poised for a huge night. Plugging in a backup when a star sits isn’t always the ideal strategy (Shaun Livingston), and I believe Klay would be the biggest benefactor if the Warriors decide to rest their superstar. Monitor Curry’s status, and fire up Klay as an elite option if he sits.
Wesley Matthews ($12,650) at Denver - The NBA leader in 3-pointers (52) makes for a great play any time you’re playing on a bonus site like this one. A fast-paced game will fit right into his wheelhouse, as usual. Matthews has at least 34.50 FP in three straight games, and I he will once again be a sneaky source of value and upside in a game with the highest total total of the night (211).
LaMarcus Aldridge ($17,300) at Denver - I’ll kick things off by saying that I believe LMA is the second best power forward in the game behind Anthony Davis. He is remarkably consistent, with at least 30.50 FP in 11 straight games. His 27.4% usage rate is 17th in the NBA, and now he draws an ideal matchup against Kenneth Faried and the abysmal defensive frontcourt in Denver. Fire up LMA as one of the top overall plays tonight.
Kevin Durant ($17,650) at New Orleans - Yes, you saw that correctly. Less than seven weeks after breaking his foot, the best shooter in the NBA is back. While it hasn’t yet been reported if KD will see a minutes restriction tonight, I don’t anticipate we will see one. If KD is given the green light tonight, he gets a Pelicans team that, you guessed it, is last in the NBA vs SF. If Durant plays anywhere near 30 minutes tonight, he should easily pay off a slightly discounted price tag. As it was was Russell Westbrook, take advantage of the discount (although this one isn’t as steep) while you can. Tonight may be the only night we see Durant under $19,000, and the matchup doesn’t get any better.
Paul Millsap ($14,700) vs Boston – Last one, I swear! Tonight is setting up to be a bloodbath for certain teams, as Millsap is yet another player who gets an ideal matchup. The Celtics rank 30th (last, of course) in the NBA against PF, and Millsap has dominated when given great matchups (66.25 vs Utah, 50.00 vs LAL). Look for Millsap to have his way down low against Jared Sullinger and company while exceeding his season averages of 16.7/8.2/2.9.
Jordan Hill ($12,200) at Detroit - I’m sorry to disappoint this late in the article, but Hill only gets the 4th-worst team against opposing centers tonight. Andre Drummond has finally shown some consistency, but still has 7 fouls in his last three games. Hill has the athleticism to give the Pistons fits down low. He averages 13.5/9.5 on the season in just over 31 minutes, and should have no trouble reaching that level tonight. I expect him to find a way to hit the double-double bonus tonight (he has 9 DD in his lat 13 games) in yet another great matchup.