These fantasy basketball picks will lead your lineups onto the leaderboard tonight!
Last night saw some HUGE scores across the industry, led by Russell Westbrook‘s ridiculous 84 FP despite the return of Kevin Durant. Greg Monroe (57.75) destroyed the Nuggets frontcourt as expected, while Elfrid Payton (17.25) struggled against the Lakers once again. Klay Thompson (47.50) showed up on the big stage, and Khris Middleton (19.25) couldn’t maintain his recent surge in production. Tobias Harris (49.75) had another huge game, while Kevin Martin (21.5) was adequate, but didn’t produce as much as expected. Tonight’s slate of games brings us plenty of fantasy goodness, so let’s get going.
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
Jose Juan Barea ($8,100) vs Portland – Barea has played great with Rajon Rondo out, besting 22 FP in three straight contests. I’m going back to the well tonight with the cheap PG options. He draws a matchup against offensive-minded Damian Lillard, and should have ample opportunity to reach value in a game with the second-highest total on the night at 205.5.
Tim Frazier ($5,000) vs Charlotte –You may need a strong stomach for this one, but Frazier played some great basketball in his NBA debut last night. After news broke that Michael Carter-Williams wouldn’t play, Jakarr Sampson drew the start at PG, and was dreadful. Frazier stepped in to post a solid 5/5/11 line, and with MCW doubtful for tonight’s contest, he makes for a very interesting minimum salary play that will help you roster some studs at other positions.
Brian Roberts ($7,200) at Philadelphia –Noticing a trend? I’m all-in on the value PG options tonight. The top PG option is Stephen Curry, but on the road at the Knicks in a game where GS is favored by 14 and on his 4th game in 5 nights isn’t the time for me to be paying over 20K for Curry. ANYWAY, back to Roberts. He isn’t a great scorer, but what he does provide is minutes and opportunity. He has played at least 33 minutes in 4 of his last 5 games, and only needs around 22 FP to reach value.
Nicolas Batum ($11,600) at Dallas - Batum is a SF, but due to DraftDay’s unique multi-position eligibility, you can roster him at SG tonight. He is a player who was really struggling earlier in the season due to a wrist injury, but he has turned it around with 33.50 and 36.75 FP in his last two contests. I mentioned the high total in this one, and Batum is more than capable of hitting value without a great shooting night, which makes him a solid cash game target.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,050) vs Boston - Now is the time to jump on the “Alphabet” train before his price skyrockets. Coming off of a monster 27/15/4 line last night, he has now reached at least 35 FP in 3 straight games, and 27+ in 6 straight. He is a nightmare defensively due to his length, and he can truly do it all. If his shot is falling, he has a tremendous ceiling.
Gerald Henderson ($8,800) at Philadelphia - I was on the wrong side of the MKG/Henderson decision last game, so let’s give it another shot. Henderson’s usage rate jumps an astronomical 8.4% from 19% to 27.4% without Kemba Walker on the floor, which is a number that I overlooked last time out. I’m here to rectify the situation and roster the cheaper player with a significantly higher usage rate.
Anthony Davis ($21,000) vs Chicago - I talked earlier about wanting to roster some studs, and I’m starting with the best player in the NBA. There, I said it. Anthony Davis had a defining moment last night with an incredibly athletic game-winning 3 against the Thunder to cap off a 41/10/3/2 game. The Bulls defense may seem tough on paper, but Davis is beyond matchup-proof. Confidence will be riding high tonight and I expect him to step up once again with the Pelicans fighting for their playoff lives every night.
DeMarcus Cousins ($19,550) vs Utah - Speaking of incredible young talent, the best Center in the NBA is back in action tonight. DMC has at least 50 FP in 8 of his last 13 games, and is more than capable of a 60 FP game at any time. With Darren Collison OUT this evening, Cousins and Rudy Gay will be relied on to provide additional scoring, and he is always up to the task. Utah is one of the best rebounding teams in the league, and I look forward to this matchup for Boogie.
Tyson Chandler ($13,900) vs Portland - Chandler is playing great basketball since the injury to Rajon Rondo, and has averaged 18.5 points and 16.5 rebounds over his last two games. Portland is an average team on the boards, but Chandler doesn’t have much help in the rebounding department for Dallas, as he averages more than twice as many rebounds per game than any other Maverick (Dirk is second at 5.9). He makes for a great mid-range play with upside tonight.
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!