These fantasy basketball picks will lead your team to victory on tonight’s HUGE slate!
Last night was a great night, as DeMarcus Cousins (57.25), D.J. Augustin (54), and Stephen Curry (47.25) were the top scorers on the night. Robert Covington (34.25) had another great game, while Brandon Bass (15.5) struggled against the Knicks. Jason Smith (27.75) was efficient once again, and Tyler Johnson (8) was non-existent for the Heat. Speaking of the Heat, Hassan Whiteside (33) had another solid outing, while Klay Thompson (18.25) played just 24 minutes in an easy win against the Kings. Tonight we have a HUGE slate of action, and I’m ready to kick things off.
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 ($19,400) at New Orleans – Any time Kevin Durant sits out (he is doubtful for tonight), Westbrook becomes the top option on the night. He has a ridiculous 43.6% usage rate without the reigning MVP on the court, and he showed his upside with a 25/11/14 line that was goof for 72 FP against Orlando last time out. This one is a no-brainer. If Durant sits, you’re playing Westbrook.
D.J. Augustin ($10,350) at Indiana – Augustin did it again last night, and now has 3 games of 51 or more FP in his last 5, with another 40 FP game as well. He will be very highly owned at this price, but that isn’t going to deter me. He makes for a tremendous value play with his upside tonight.
J.J. Barea ($7,350) at Golden State – With Rajon Rondo out, Barea and Devin Harris will be carrying the load. Barea played 29 minutes with Rondo out last game, posting a solid 24 FP. Harris left the game with just two minutes left after Nikola Pekovic fell on his leg awkwardly. He is officially “Questionable” for tonight, and even if he can go, Barea makes for the better play of the two. Fire him up as a top value play in the game with the highest total on the night at 217.
Jordan Clarkson ($6,700) at Milwaukee - Another player who has a chance to destroy his salary threshold tonight is Clarkson. He has played at least 37 minutes in 3 straight games, posting 26, 34.25, and 28 FP in those contests. He needs right around 21 FP to reach value, and he should have no trouble reaching that level in 35+ minutes despite the tough matchup against Brandon Knight.
James Harden ($20,500) vs Chicago - As we all know, Harden is the engine that keeps the Rockets’ offense going with Dwight Howard on the shelf, as evidence by his 32.4% usage rate without D12 on the court. Tonight’s contest is listed at a 204.5 total with just a 3.5 point spread in favor of the Rockets. Harden will be relied on heavily once again, and should easily come near his season average of 48.3 FP per game. He is always a contender for highest scorer on the night, and has legitimate 60+ FP upside.
Jared Sullinger ($11,700) vs Denver - The Denver frontcourt has been a simple target, and tonight will be more of the same. Sully has been inconsistent this season, but has shown flashes of brilliance at times. Tonight he comes in at a solid discount from the top plays at PF, and he has similar 40 FP upside. Take the discount and let Sully battle it out with Kenneth Faried and company’s weak interior defense.
Chandler Parsons ($11,550) at Golden State - Parsons has been playing well, averaging 31.5 FP per game over his last 3, and I’m looking to get additional exposure to this high total. Parsons comes in at a much cheaper price than Monta Ellis or Dirk Nowitzki, and can be utilized in all formats in this fast-paced game.
Ed Davis ($9,100) at Milwaukee - While many others will be flocking to Tarik Black, I’m taking my chances with Davis. Black is foul-prone, and Davis has shown many times that he is capable of producing on a nightly basis. The Bucks interior has struggled mightily at times this season, and they continue to be banged up. I expect a nice bump in minutes and production from Davis with Jordan Hill out.
Brook Lopez ($12,150) at Toronto - Lopez is reportedly being showcased for a trade, and he has taken advantage of the opportunity, with games of 30.5, 60, and 32.75 FP in his last three. Toronto is an average team on the boards, and Jonas Valanciunas will have his hands full with Lopez tonight. I expect a big game from him, and he is a nice pivot from the much more popular Hassan Whiteside tonight with similar upside.
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!