The schedule is somewhat light today with only 4 games on the back of the huge 14 game Friday slate to welcome back the NBA from the all-star break. The Wizards have the ultra rare third game in three nights to deal with. They do get a soft spot against a Miami team that has a ton of injuries, so they may even be able to pull off a victory here. The Golden State and Los Angeles Clippers matchup has the highest total by a wide margin at 223 with the other games all being slightly above 200. Atlanta is a 9 point favorite over Milwaukee in the game with the largest spread, while Minnesota is favored by 2 over the Knicks in the other game. Let’s take a look at each game and some of the top fantasy options to look for on each team.
Washington Wizards @ Miami Heat
Line: Heat -1.5
We have a lot of things to think about with this game. The Wizards are playing for the third night in a row, which means they may or may not be 100%. They play a very fast up tempo style and are facing a Heat squad that likes to slow it down, so we have a huge contrast in styles. The Wizards are trying to figure out how to work new addition Markieff Morris into their rotation. The Heat already have enough problems with their own rotation. They will Welcome back Hassan Whiteside from suspension, which is a nice boost, but they are without Chris Bosh. Dwyane Wade missed the Friday night game and is still listed as questionable for Saturday. That could mean a lot of shuffling of the minutes for the Heat players. Loul Deng and Josh McRoberts are two of the guys we saw benefit the most last night. McRoberts is off his minutes restriction and Deng turned back the clock to throw up a monster game. Along with Goran Dragic and Whiteside, I would look at all of those guys with cheap prices and increased roles if Bosh and Wade are out again. For the Wizards, John Wall has been and will continue to lead the attack. Marcin Gortat and Bradley Beal are the only other two guys I would use and both are risky in this matchup with a slow paced defense minded squad on the third game of back-to-back-to-back. The Wizards are in a negative pace scenario, while the Heat are paced up and injured. The paced up team rolling out a bunch of cheap options in this one is where I would look for fantasy purposes.
- Josh McRoberts ($3500)
- Loul Deng ($5000)
- John Wall ($9300)
- Marcin Gortat ($6400)
Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks
Line: Hawks -9
These two teams played a few weeks back and it ended in a 108-101 Bucks victory in overtime at Milwaukee. They switch the venue to Atlanta for this one and the Hawks are now a big favorite. This has a lot to do with Milwaukee not playing well. They have only won 3 of their last 11 games. On the flip side, Atlanta has only won 5 of their last 13 games overall too, so neither team is hot right now. The last matchup featured a lot of points, but it did go to overtime, so be mindful of that when you see all the big numbers put up. Paul Millsap was a monster in that game before fouling out in regulation. He should be in a good spot here to repeat that effort. Monroe was good in the last meeting, but Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetekounmpo were the two who did the most damage for the Bucks. Both of those guys have been seeing big minutes in the last few games and putting up big scores, so they would be the top targets for Milwaukee. Both Teague and Schroeder have played very well recently for the Hawks, so I would look at them and Millsap as the main weapons for a Hawks team that should put up a bunch of points and win this game comfortably.
- Jabari Parker ($5400)
- Giannis Antetekounmpo ($7000)
- Paul Millsap ($7800)
- Jeff Teague ($6000)
New York Knicks @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Line: Timberwolves -3
After losing 5 in a row, the Timberwolves have won 3 of their last 5 games. They have been playing at a higher pace and the scores have routinely topped the 210 totals. The Knicks have lost 11 of their last 12. Most of their totals have fallen short of 200 with them allowing over 100, but scoring just under it. Both teams rely heavily on their best players to do much of the damage. For the Timberwolves, that means rookie Karl-Anthony Towns. He has been a monster over the last few weeks, especially with Pekovic and Garnett out. He and Gorgui Dieng have seen a ton of minutes and both are consistently producing double doubles. The Wolves have decided to go young with Rubio, Lavine, Wiggins, and the two bigs recently. It has paid off for them with a couple victories. The Knicks rely heavily on their frontcourt as well. They have a stud rookie in Kristaps Porzingis who is rounding back into his earlier season form. He is back up to about 34 minutes a game in the last two weeks and is putting up between 36 and 45 points in each of those last four contests. Melo has also been putting up between 40-50 in his last few games, so it’s easy to know where to look if you want some exposure to the Knicks.
- Carmelo Anthony ($8600)
- Kristaps Porzingis ($7300)
- Gorgui Dieng ($6700)
- Zach Lavine ($5300)
Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Clippers
Line: Warriors -6
This is a very interesting game here. The Warriors are traveling to LA after getting blasted by the Portland Trailblazers last night. The Clippers have won 8 of their last 10 games, so both teams are playing well right now. The point guard matchup here is the most intriguing. Chris Paul has been spectacular lately. He is scoring more and also racking up a bunch of assists ans steals. Damian Lillard just torched this team last night for 51 points, so I really like this spot for Paul who has averaged 64 fantasy points over his last two games. DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford are the other two guys who have done really well lately for the Clippers. Jordan’s interior presence and Crawford’s ability to score should have both guys at or above expected value in this one. For the Warriors, I’m not really in love with anyone to target here. Steph is likely the top scorer, but I do not love the matchup and he is getting very pricey. Klay Thompson really only contributes in one category and Draymond Green is so expensive that it is tough for him to provide upside either. I guess Bogut is a good bet to play a few more minutes and try to contain DeAndre, but that’s about the best I can see as far as sure things for value. This game does have the highest total on the day by a double digit amount of points, so that is the direction I would be looking to go.
- Chris Paul ($9400)
- DeAndre Jordan ($7400)
- Andrew Bogut ($4400)
- Steph Curry ($10800)