These fantasy basketball picks will lead your lineups into the money tonight!
Tonight is looking like a slate that is devoid of elite plays, but loaded with value plays. I’ll be looking to highlight many of the values for you, as well as the few studs I feel comfortable paying up for tonight. Don’t forget that tonight’s slate begins at 6 P.M. Eastern, which is standard for a Sunday, but an hour earlier than the usual slate. Let’s get to it.
These plays are intended to help you gain a solid return on salary (at least 2.5X, with the ideal level being 3x or higher) with each player you roster. Sometimes I will highlight a minimum salary player, and the intent is to maximize the number of roster spots where you have potential to hit 3X salary. Keep in mind that a minimum-priced player on DraftDay is even more valuable than a minimum-salary player elsewhere, due to the large gap in pricing with a $100,000 cap. Another key to remember is that in DFS, late injury news can be HUGE when deciding your final rosters. Just because someone was a great play in the morning doesn’t necessarily mean that better options won’t arise throughout the day. Monitor Twitter closely before locking in your lineups.
Today’s Top Plays
Russell Westbrook ($21,350) vs Denver – Kevin Durant’s status is uncertain for tonight, but if he is out, there is no scenario where I would fade Westbrook on this slate. There are very few top-end options to pay for, and Westbrook is the no-brainer play if KD doesn’t suit up. In his last 8 games, he has reached 72, 60.75, 84, 39.50, 44, 47, 58.25, and 54 FP. His floor is tremendous at nearly 40 FP, and it is even higher without Durant. OKC is a big favorite in this one, but the game also boasts the highest total on the slate at 211.
Mo Williams ($10,500) at Dallas – Williams exploded onto the scene as the starting PG for Charlotte, posting an impressive 24/12/4 line against the Thunder last night. Tonight he draws a much easier matchup against the backcourt of Rajon Rondo, JJ Barea and Devin Harris. Mo seems to be the instant spark this stagnant Hornets offense needed. Take advantage of this discounted price tag while you can.
Avery Bradley ($9,950) at Los Angeles Lakers – A player who always seems to be overlooked, Bradley flashed his upside last time out against Sacramento, with a monster 49 FP performance. There are more shots to go around with Jared Sullinger now out for the season. If Isaiah Thomas ($10,850) is active, then Bradley’s ownership will go down even more, but I think it boosts his appeal because the defense will need to worry about both options. I think either one makes for a fine play against a Lakers team that struggles against every position, especially in the backcourt.
Ty Lawson ($16,550) at Oklahoma City - After sitting out last game because of disciplinary action, Lawson is expected to be back to his usual role as the facilitator for the Nuggets. Last time he sat out due to discipline, he posted a MONSTER 31/12/3 line that was good for 60.25 FP in his return. While I don’t expect that type of performance tonight, he certainly has the motivation tonight against Westbrook and company, who he has had some success against this season, averaging just under 21 points and 10 assists per game in 3 previous matchups.
Isaiah Canaan ($5,000) at Orlando - Tim Frazier is moving to the bench to make room for Canaan, and the 76ers are excited about their new acquisition. I expect them to unleash him in a big way tonight, and he is more than worth the risk at minimum salary against a fellow rookie in Elfrid Payton.
Al-Faroq Aminu ($7,600) vs Charlotte - Aminu has excelled when given substantial minutes this season, and with Chandler Parsons already ruled OUT for tonight’s contest, Aminu is once again in line for a big performance. In 6 games this season where he has played 28+ minutes, he is averaging 30.875 FP per contest, including 39.25 against Houston last time out. The matchup against Charlotte isn’t ideal, but Aminu’s energy makes him a must-play in an expanded role, regardless of opponent. He will be in every one of my lineups tonight.
Nerlens Noel ($11,650) at Orlando - Noel’s production is largely dependent on rebounds, steals and blocks, but that makes him the perfect play tonight. Orlando is not only 25th in the NBA in rebounding differential, but they allow the 5th most blocks per game (5.5) and turn the ball over 14.3 times per game, which ranks 22nd in the league. Any points Noel scores will be an added bonus, and I love him as a GPP play in this spot.
Danilo Gallinari ($7,250) at Oklahoma City - If you’re looking for a GPP lottery ticket, look no further. Green has shown tremendous upside at times, but has also managed to completely disappear at times. He has a usage rate of 31% with no Dragic or Thomas, and depending on whether he draws the start tonight or not, his upside is tremendous against a Minnesota team that struggles to defend any position.
Jusuf Nurkic ($10,600) at Oklahoma City - Nurkic has been a frustrating player to roster, due to his foul trouble and Brian Shaw’s inconsistencies with rotations. With that being said, Enes Kanter has never been known as a great defender, and Al Jefferson had a nice 20/12 game against him last night. While Nurkic isn’t quite the force that Big Al is, I still expect him to be heavily involved now that the Thunder have gone big with Ibaka and Kanter down low.
You can find me on Twitter @BigItaly42 and I’d love to help you out with any questions you have about determining salary, finding value, or any lineup construction tips!