This article breaks down NBA options for tonight by which five players are the best option for your lineup at each position. It will cross over multiple salary tiers and doesn’t necessarily have to be the most expensive players but rather the guys you want to target for your DraftKings lineups!
TOP 5 POINT GUARDS
Steph Curry – $10,400 Chef Curry will be cooking on his home floor and it’s the highest projected point total of the night. George Hill and Rodney Stuckey have both been ruled out and although it could be a 3 quarter night, Curry should have no problem dominating a nonexistent backcourt. The Pacers are average against defending Point Guards but Steph has at least 55 points in 3 straight games. He’s also taken 75 three pointers in the last 10 days. He’s pretty good.
Kyle Lowry – $8,600 The Heat have allowed the 10th most assists to Point Guards over the last 3 weeks and just like the Pacers their entire backcourt is dead. Dragic is out, Wade is questionable, and Lowry is averaging 23/7/4 in his last 4 games to go along with 48% from 3. Just being named an All-Star Starter might add a little juice to his matchup tonight as well.
Isaiah Thomas – $7,800 Thomas is generally a lock for scoring at least 20 points and lately his assists/3 pointers have been trending up as well. He’s also a legitimate threat to drop 30 on any given night and the Bulls happen to be the worst team defending Point Guards over the last 3 weeks. Not only have they given up the most fantasy points but they’re also bottom 5 in points/assists allowed. Isaiah will be out there for 35 minutes and likely slicing up the Bulls at home.
Elfrid Payton – $6,200 Even with Victor Oladipo likely returning to the lineup, Payton still has plenty of value. He’s a better distributor than Oladipo and has had a handful of rebounds/steals in his last 4 games too. The Hornets are bottom 5 in rebounds/assists allowed to Point Guards so if Payton can grab 25 minutes in this one, he should be able to do some damage.
Deron Williams – $6,000 Trusting Deron Williams is usually a terrible decision, just ask Jerry Sloan. But Dirk may be out tonight and despite shooting 42% in his last 4 games, Williams has been semi-reliable in other areas. He’s averaging 15/5/5 in 35 minutes and the Thunder are surprisingly pretty weak defending Point Guards. They also allow the most 3 pointers made to PG’s so if Dirk is out it will likely be Deron hucking up shots. Everyone below is price level is either hurt or will see very minimal usage. Good luck– Taken Voice.
Top 5 Shooting Guards
James Harden – $10,000 Harden had 80 fantasy points in his last game and according to advanced metrics, that’s pretty darn good. The Bucks have allowed the 5th fewest points to Shooting Guards over the last 3 weeks but they’ve also allowed the most steals and 2nd most assists in that span. Harden is still struggling from 3 point range but Dwight Howard is out tonight so scoring will be squarely on the Beard’s beard shoulders for the Rockets.
Klay Thompson – $7.400 Klay benefits from the White Walker backcourt of the Pacers and also playing at home tonight. He’s been pretty average lately but if he starts taking more than five 3’s a game that could change quite quickly. Indiana has given up the 7th most fantasy points to Shooting Guards over the last 3 weeks and the 2nd most rebounds. With the Pacers rolling out scrubs Klay should rain 3’s and rack up steals all night.
Monta Ellis – $6,800 Outside of Paul George he might be the only Pacer left with a pulse. If that wasn’t the case I probably wouldn’t play him but no doubt he’s gonna want to ball out against a former team. The Warriors are two spots below the Pacers defending Shooting Guards and of course play at a ridiculous pace. Someone’s gotta score for the Pacers and Ellis can do it in bunches via transition. It would be nice if he learned how to pass the ball though… Guys that are 6’3” but refuse to play Point Guard/pass EVER are hilarious.
Avery Bradley – $5,700 Avery is one of the few mainstays in Boston’s rotation and despite still bricking 3’s like no one’s business, has put together some nice games recently. He’s a threat to put up rebounds, assists, steals across the board and scored at least 17 points in 3 of his last 4 games. He needs to get around 20 points to really be effective but Chicago allows the 4th most steals to SG so some of those could be in transition. It’s also the 3rd highest projected point total of the night and I’d expect Jimmy Butler to defend Isaiah more than Avery.
Wesley Matthews – $5,000 Dirk is out, Deron is a wildcard, and the Thunder have allowed the 2nd most points to Shooting Guards over the last 3 weeks. Matthews has played 40 minutes in 3 of his last 4 games and had 6 rebounds in 2 of those. If he can drop a couple more 3 pointers along the way his value will really shine. Everyone needs firepower against the fast-paced Thunder and Matthews can launch transition 3’s with the best of em.
Top 5 Small Forwards
Kevin Durant – $9,700 Russell Westbrook is on an absolute assist tear while Durant is gobbling up all the rebounds… and he’s still dropping 30 too. The Mavericks have given up the 2nd most rebounds to Small Forwards over the last 3 weeks and Durant has 33 in his last 4 games. He’s only shooting 31% from 3 over the last 10 days but did have back to back nights with at least 8 attempts. KD has been consistently scoring more than Paul George and that’s worth the $700 to me.
Carmelo Anthony – $8,300 Carmelo responded to a lukewarm Top 5 review with a 51 point fantasy performance against the Jazz. At least 20 field goal attempts in back to back games along with at least 7 assists/rebounds. The Clippers are 5th worst against defending 3 pointers by a Small Forward so it may be a night where Melo goes deep often.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – $7,200 Gordon Hayward is hot but Giannis is quite literally a rebounding machine. Double-Double in 5 of his last 6 games and he’s been efficient scoring the ball as well. The Greek Freak is bound to swat some shots and throw in some steals too, so it doesn’t hurt that the Rockets give up the 3rd most fantasy points to Small Forwards. With Howard out the middle is open in Houston so let’s watch the Freak fly.
Tobias Harris – $6,300 He’s playing the team that gives up the most fantasy points to Small Forwards and had a double-double in 2 of the last 3 games. Harris doesn’t set the world on fire but he’s consistent and getting big minutes too. The Hornets also allow the most 3 pointers made by a SF in addition to the most points so Tobias should be licking his chops right now.
Derrick Williams – $4,500 Williams has received at least 25 minutes in 3 of his last 4 games and is averaging 15/6 in that span. The Clippers are middle of the pack overall defending Small Forwards but Williams can score as evidenced by his 31 point game against Brooklyn. He’s getting to the free throw line consistently and seems comfortable in his role. That 25 minutes could lead to a very valuable 20-25 fantasy points tonight.
Top 5 Power Forwards
Draymond Green – $9,100 Fresh off an injury and an All-Star game snub, Green should be good to go tonight. You never know the bag of tricks Green is gonna whip out but it’s always something. The Pacers are bottom 5 in allowing rebounds, assists, and steals to Power Forwards which Green will enjoy. He’s riskier than the other Warriors at such a high price… but then again he could have a triple-double tonight.
Kristaps Porzingis – $7,300 Strangely the Clippers have allowed the most rebounds to Power Forwards over the last 3 weeks, looks like they really miss Blake. Kristaps hasn’t reached 20 points in 4 straight games but is averaging 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists. Aldridge likely won’t play a lot versus the Lakers and Bosh has been struggling without healthy guards. It’s a New York kind of night.
Thaddeus Young – $6,600 The Jazz are one of the best teams in the NBA defending Power Forwards but Derrick Favors is still injured and Thaddeus Young is one of the Nets only options for anything. He’s hovering around a double-double for January and is getting more consistent shot attempts than Serge and Taj. He’s a reliable 25-30 fantasy points if you have already paid up elsewhere.
Julius Randle – $5,600 At least 11 rebounds in back to back games and at least 10 field goal attempts in 4 straight. No doubt the Lakers will get their doors blown off by the Spurs tonight but either way Randle will still get minutes. Essentially the entire game is garbage time for the Lakers and hopefully the Spurs best big men won’t play that much. NEED to see Julius cross Big Boban out of his shoes.
Trey Lyles – $5,000 Despite having Brook Lopez in the middle the Nets have still allowed the 9th most points to Power Forwards over the last 3 weeks. Lyles has filled in for Derrick Favors nicely and will continue to see 30+ minutes with him out. He’s raw but he hits 3 pointers and really should be getting double-digit rebounds everytime he plays. A solid night from Lyles could net 30 fantasy points and save you some serious dough.
Top 5 Centers
DeAndre Jordan – $7,500 The Knicks are bottom 5 in blocks and points allowed to opposing Centers. Despite his subpar performance against the Cavs, Jordan still had a double-double with 13 rebounds. Robin Lopez won’t scare him and Godzingis likely won’t be in the paint to meet him. DJ should feast with a double-double and a handful of blocks tonight.
Nikola Vucevic – $7,500 Nikola has thrown up a double-double in 4 of his last 5 games and is playing a Hornets team without Al Jefferson. Lately he’s been adding a few assists and blocks as well but it’s the higher number of field goal attempts that makes him worthy here. He shouldn’t have a problem collecting rebounds tonight and scoring 20+ points is very attainable.
Greg Monroe – $7,000 Monroe is in line for a monster night and maybe the best of all the Centers. Dwight Howard is out and that means it’s time for Monster Monroe to FEAST on the glass. He’s had a double-double in 6 games straight and consistently getting at least 15 field goal attempts. This game has the 2nd highest projected point total and Monroe’s 50% shooting percentage will contribute greatly to that.
Jonas Valanciunas – $6,200 Jonas is loving that Hassan Whiteside is out and Bosh won’t be guarding that paint either. He’s had at least 9 rebounds in 4 straight games and has steadily increased his field goal attempts. At his best he could grab 40 fantasy points but low 30’s is more likely tonight. Most of the guys below his price are either hurt or offensively challenged, so Jonas could provide some cheap pop at Center.
Frank Kaminsky – $4,800 FRANK THE TANK IS BACK! Not like he ever left, as he dropped 31 fantasy points against the Thunder Wednesday night. Cody Zeller also got hurt which means The Tank is officially a starter baby! He’s averaging 15/6 with 2 three pointers over his last 4 games and is very involved offensively when he’s in the game. Let’s ride The Tank until he crashes and burns fam, it’s a cheap trip.
Update: Spencer Hawes will start on Friday instead of Kaminsky. Both are solid value options tonight.