Today’s NBA “Daily Targets” breakdown takes a close look at the six games on tap for Monday night and presents you with two studs and two lower-cost options to consider in your daily fantasy basketball lineups at each of the five positions:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Chris Paul vs. UTA ($9,500) – Paul has been dominant to start the season, with at least 35 fantasy points in each of his first three starts. However, while he finished the game Sunday night, he seemed to be in obvious pain in the second half, dealing with a strain in his left foot. If you decide to roll with him tonight, you have to be monitoring the situation closely, as he is currently listed as questionable.
- Deron Williams vs. OKC ($7,000) – With Paul’s injury concerns, and Rondo’s swelling hand, Williams is one of the second-tier of points guards, price-wise, who counts as a top option tonight. He has not blown up for a monster game yet, but he does have at least 29 in both of his first two, and is clearly the focal point of the Brooklyn offense (35 shots in two games). So far, his value has been limited by missed shots, basically, so if his shooting percentage jumps over 40 for even one game, you’ll probably want him in your lineup.
- Jordan Farmar vs. UTA ($3,000) – This is something of a long shot, but he could be a great value play, likely for one night only, if Paul were to sit a game just to help his foot heal. This is especially true because Jordan Crawford, who you might expect to pick up some of the slack for Paul’s scoring, is also dealing with a rib injury that kept him out of Sunday’s game (he is reportedly day-to-day). If both those players miss, Farmar could be a great plug and play – in only 18 minutes last night, he racked up 18.75 fantasy points and proved he could, at the very least, hit a few open shots and distribute the ball to the other playmakers for a few assists.
- Isaiah Canaan @ PHI ($3,800) – This is another situation you need to monitor, because this call only makes sense if Patrick Beverley continues to sit with his hamstring issues. But if he does, Canaan could be more than serviceable in a good matchup against Philly, coming off a 35-minute game against Boston Saturday when first called on to replace the starter. He’s not going to give you Beverley’s production, but he could definitely help you fill out a roster in an attempt to squeeze in a few higher-priced options elsewhere.
- Reggie Jackson @ BKN ($5,900) – He might not play. He is still dealing with his ankle injury, but the team has not seemed to suggest the injury was serious, so when he does return, you should expect the player at basically full-speed. And he did travel with the team to the game, which makes you think he plans on being out there in at least one of the these two back-to-back road games for the Thunder. And if he is out there, and full speed, he’s almost a must-start at this price, as he instantly becomes the #1 option on this team. If he does not play, that opens the door for other players, like Sebastian Telfair ($5,500), to potentially shine, simply because the opportunity will be there (Telfair logged 38 and 39 minutes in the last two contests).
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- James Harden @ PHI ($10,300) – This one is pretty obvious – great player, great matchup, high price-tag. But as if you needed another reason, if Beverley doesn’t play, that will likely mean the ball spends even more time than usual with the ball in his hands. You might worry that his minutes get limited if this turns into a blowout.
- Monta Ellis vs. BOS ($7,200) – You might see that the Celtics are currently rated 30th in defending shooting guards and salivate at the matchup, but this really comes from the fact that the Celtics have no rim-protectors to guard against slashing wings, and that they’ve already faced Harden, who will skew a lot of averages in a two-game sample size. But the Celtics actually do have three very capable perimeter defenders in Rondo, Bradley and now Marcus Smart, which could make this game slow-going for a shooter like Ellis.
- Arron Afflalo vs. SAC ($5,300) – He has 24 points in both of his first two games this season. And he is getting almost 40 minutes per night as the starting off-guard for Denver, so while his ceiling might not be much higher than the mid-twenties in terms of fantasy points, there is no reason to expect that production to fall off any, either.
- J.J. Redick vs. UTA ($4,800) – This call just makes all that much more sense if Crawford and/or Paul are going to be out (or both), because there will be that many more looks available for the guys left standing in this backcourt. His high-water mark on the year is 27 fantasy points, but the opportunities are there with him averaging more than 30 minutes a night. He just hasn’t been shooting well, and you know that won’t continue forever. Last night he had ten three-point attempts, for example – if you knew that was coming every night, well, sign me up.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Rudy Gay @ DEN ($7,500) – The fact that he’s the highest-priced SF out there tonight says there aren’t a lot of top SFs in action, and also that Gay has been getting more minutes and opportunities than really anyone expected coming into the season. He’s out there all the time, logging more than 35 minutes a game, while hoisting more than 15 shots. With consistent rebound numbers and occasional defensive stats to help fill the stat sheet, he has certainly emerged as a top option. When LeBron’s not playing, anyway.
- Chandler Parsons vs. BOS ($6,500) – The second-priciest SF available, Parsons has a solid matchup with the Celtics, but more importantly, he has what looks like a solid role on the Mavs, getting more than 30 minutes of run every night, and, at least over the last two nights, looking like a legitimate scoring option, good for over 30 fantasy points in both contests.
- Perry Jones @ BKN ($6,400) – His price has more than doubled since last Thursday, and he has certainly made it onto the radar of just about every fantasy player out there, picking up the scoring slack for the Thunder with all their stars sidelined. He has a good matchup here, but you should at least look to see if Jackson is returning to action before pulling the trigger here, because while that won’t affect his minutes, it could limit shot opportunities somewhat.
- Mirza Teletovic vs. OKC ($4,900) – You wish he were getting more minutes, instead of hovering around the 25/night mark so far. But he is making the most of the time he is getting, looking like the go-to scorer when the bench is playing together. Because he has been rebounding consistently as well, right now it looks like his floor is somewhere in the low-twenties, which is a great feeling of security from a low-priced player.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Anthony Davis @ MEM ($11,500) – Is there anything to say? He’s averaging almost 70 fantasy points a night through two. He’s playing almost the whole game, averaging 15 boards and 6 blocks and 2.5 steals, all while also serving as his team’s primary offensive weapon. Memphis has the size to present some problems on the boards, theoretically, but Gasol and Randolph better come with their A games if they want that to prove true against this guy.
- Blake Griffin vs. UTA ($10,100) – Utah has been involved in some high-scoring games, and if the Clips are going to be running the floor and scoring buckets, Griffin is bound to be involved. But he is a player who I would say is likely hurt if Chris Paul doesn’t play or is limited, just because the stellar point guard does such a great job setting him up, in transition or otherwise. This is not a situation where the loss of one superstar simply means more opportunities for the other, so keep an eye on that status.
- Terrance Jones @ PHI ($6,300) – It’s not easy to identify truly inexpensive options at this position tonight, but if you are looking to save some money, compared to using the very top guys, Jones could be a nice option. He has got the job to himself in Houston, and just being out there a bunch with such an effective team leads to good things (as evidenced by his two double-doubles already on the year).
- Nerlens Noel vs. HOU (5,600) – Beyond this point on the PF list, the opportunity just really isn’t there. Noel does not have a great match-up, and he has not had great production thus far, but at least he getting the minutes, and he has shown that – on occasion – he’s capable of a big game (14/10 @ MIL on Friday).
- DeMarcus Cousins @ DEN ($9,700) – 34/17 with three blocks. That’s his upside. But his downside is not much worse than a double-double and 30 fantasy points, so even though you’re spending, you’re almost guaranteed to get something good in return, and maybe great. The Kings just don’t have enough guys scoring and rebounding for Cousins’ opportunities to suddenly dry up.
- Marc Gasol vs. NO ($7,700) – Maybe he’s not the first guy that jumps into mind when you think “stud centers,” but from a fantasy perspective, he ought to at least be in the conversation. With at least 33 fantasy points in every game so far, he does a little of everything, so his scoring and rebounding (which get him close to a double-double every night), then also get augmented by some assists, blocks and steals on almost a nightly basis.
- Steven Adams @ BKN ($4,200) – He is the starting center for the Thunder (despite Perkins’ anomalous scoring outburst in the last game), and as the starting center, he is getting you right around 30 minutes and 20 fantasy points every night. Not a lot more you can ask for at this price point.
- Spencer Hawes vs. UTA ($4,200) – The Clips could be looking for scoring, he has been known to be able to get his shot from the elbows with very little help, and Doc has been getting him into the lineup more than many people assumed would happen coming into the season. Playing him comes with risk, but it could work.