There is one early game tomorrow starting at five o’clock between the Rockets and Trailblazers. Most of the major tournaments tip off at 7pm eastern, so we are going to concentrate on that slate. The crown jewel of this slate is the 232 total in the Thunder and Warriors game. This one should be very highly owned for fantasy purposes. We have a half dozen other games with totals over 200 as well, with Lakers/Spurs and Cavs/Pelicans as the only two with spreads that scream blowout risk. While we have many options, it is very tough to envision winning anything without exposure to the game with a total over 20 points higher than the rest. Let’s take a look at each game and how it should play out for fantasy purposes.

Detroit Pistons @ Indiana Pacers

Over/Under: 205
Line: Pacers -3

I think this is a sneakier game for fantasy than most people give it credit for potentially being. Both of these teams are playing around .500 ball lately and both have done so with scores for them and their opponents reaching into the 100s. Detroit is without the services of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at the moment, which only makes guys like Stanley Johnson, Marcus Morris, and Brandon Jennings a tad more interesting. Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond tend to do most of the heavy lifting for the Pistons and on paper the better matchup belongs to Drummond. On the flip side, it looks like the Pacers may be welcoming back Ian Mahinmi this weekend. That would kill the value for Jordan Hill at his price, and would also hurt the upside for a guy like Myles Turner. Turner has been good with the extra minutes and will likely remain a starter, but he has underperformed his salary in recent games and had worse numbers with Mahinmi healthy a few games back. Paul George and George Hill have been the upside plays for the Pacers lately. They are the guys capable of picking up the scoring, so if this game does play to the high total, I would think they would be involved heavily.

Targets

  • Stanley Johnson ($5200)
  • Andre Drummond ($8500)
  • George Hill ($5700)
  • Paul George ($8400)


Washington Wizards @ Charlotte Hornets

Over/Under: 210
Line: hornets -4

Everyone is obviously drawn to the highest total game on the day, but this one is a great spot as well. Charlotte has been solid despite dealing with tons of injuries. They were lucky enough to get Zeller and Batum back this week and Kemba only missed one game with his knee, so they are nearing full strength. Washington is also getting back to full strength with both Porter and Beal playing again. They have struggled mightily though, so this does look like a better spot for the Hornets. The Hornets are paced up playing against Washington, which should provide a bump to everyone’s fantasy value. The two main guys for Charlotte are usually Batum and Kemba, but guys like Zeller, Williams, and MKG all make for decent value plays. On the flip side, John Wall has been carrying this team offensively over the past few games. He is the main threat for the Wizards, although the matchup is pretty tough. Marcin Gortat is a sneaky option at $6800 and Bradley Beal is in play for cash as his price dipped down to $6100 which is about where you want it for his 30ish fantasy points per game in cash. The prices of the guys here are more favorable overall than the prices of the studs in the two higher total games, so some exposure here or a game stack in a tournament could be low owned with upside.

Targets

  • Nic Batum ($6300)
  • Kemba Walker ($8300)
  • John Wall ($9700)
  • Marcin Gortat ($6800)


Brooklyn Nets @ Philadelphia 76ers

Over/Under: 203
Line: Phi -3

Brooklyn played a break neck speed game with the Sacramento Kings last night where everyone went off for big numbers. Today they are an underdog on the tail end of a back-to-back vs. a bad Philly team on the road. I frankly still feel the Nets will win this game, because both teams really are pretty bad right now. Brook Lopez has been the main player for the Nets in recent contests. His scoring, minutes, and rebounding are all up. That has translated into higher fantasy scores. Joe Johnson and Thad Young have also stepped it up lately and that threesome has been responsible for much of the damage Brooklyn does. The Sixers have leaned heavily on Ish Smith since his acquisition. He has a solid matchup against a weak group of backcourt players the Nets roll out there. He is pricey now, but you really can not argue with the production. Outside of him, the frontcourt is a bit of a mess. Nerlens has not been reaching value although he comes close every game. Okafor looks lost, Covington is a mess, and Jerami Grant is solid but unreliable at best. I think my second favorite play is actually Isaiah Canaan who at only $4K has a really good chance to return upside.

Targets

  • Brook Lopez ($7700)
  • Joe Johnson ($5100)
  • Ish Smith ($7100)
  • Isaiah Canaan ($4000)


New Orleans Pelicans @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Over/Under: 211
Line: Clev -10

This game is pretty interesting to me when it comes to fantasy value. Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon are out for the Pelicans, which is not new news, but does open up some minutes and value plays. On the flip side, Kevin Love was hurt in last night’s game, so we may have the same thing going on for the Cavs. Not that Love was a great defender to begin with, but it definitely makes this a softer spot for Anthony Davis if he is out. It also probably means more minutes for Tristan Thompson and Lebron James, with usage bumps for guys like Kyrie and James as well. Kyrie would likely benefit the most as he has a great matchup and will be asked to handle more of the scoring if Love sits. On the Pelicans side, Davis is the main weapon for them. He is the likely highest scorer, although not always the best value based on his high price. Jrue Holiday has been another guy who has done damage lately and he draws a good matchup with a weak defensive backcourt for the Cavs. Bryce Desean-Jones is also an interesting salary saver as he is cheap, seeing minutes, and putting up solid numbers since being added to the rotation. It will be interesting to see if this line moves at all when news of Love’s status is announced. Without Love, I think the game could stay a little closer and would mean more usage for the top dogs on Cleveland. If that is the case, this could be a sneaky low owned game where we see a lot of upside for the high usage stars on both teams.

Targets

  • Kyrie Irving ($6900)
  • LeBron James ($9800)
  • Jrue Holiday ($7200)
  • Anthony Davis ($10200)


Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies

Over/Under: 193.5
Line: Grizzlies -6

The low total on a nine game spread makes this one of the games I will be trying to stay away from for fantasy purposes. Both teams are pretty healthy right now, so we can not even find much value from this game. Marc Gasol has been the big stud for the Grizzlies, so he would be my first look. Zaza on the other end is cheap too, but both centers are solid defensively, so neither has huge upside. Conley is solid, Jeff Green is OK lately, Chandler Parsons has not been horrible, and Dirk is always in play, when he plays. Still none of this excites me at all to be honest and I am taking a pass on this entire game. We have so many better spots that it really is not worth it to try and draw blood from a stone here.

Targets

  • Marc Gasol ($7500)
  • Dirk Nowitzki ($6000)


Chicago Bulls @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Over/Under: 205
Line: Timberwolves -3

There is no line on this game and it is tough to analyze until we have more clarity about Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol. The early word is that Butler will be out. That makes E’Twaun Moore a decent option at a low price with his usage and minutes likely to go up. If Pau is out too, we should see a ton of minutes for Taj Gibson, but I would worry about the Bulls here if that is the case. Minnesota has a good front line with guys like Towns and Dieng playing really well lately. The Bulls could be undermanned and on the tail end of a back-to-back. Neither of those things instill much confidence. Neither team is playing well and both have lost quite a few recent games. They also both have played those games into the 100s for both teams recently. No matter who is in or out, I expect a lot of points from both sides here.

Targets

  • Karl Anthony Towns ($8100)
  • Andrew Wiggins ($6500)
  • Taj Gibson ($5800)
  • E’Twaun Moore ($4500)


Los Angeles Lakers @ San Antonio Spurs

Over/Under: 201
Line: Spurs -15

The Spurs have been really good lately and blowing people out on a regular basis. As of now, the only guys we know are likely out will be Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, but that news can change as it tends to do with coach Pop. The Lakers have been losing quite often lately, although they do have two straight wins after a ten game losing streak put them in the hole. Vegas is dead on with their assumptions here that the Spurs are likely to win this game going away by scoring slightly over 100 and keeping the Lakers in check. If that is the case, we will see the minutes spread for San Antonio and the Lakers with lower scores all around. I guess Julius Randle will be in play since Larry Nance is out again and Kobe Bryant will be his usual inefficient yet high fantasy producing self. I guess you can take some fliers on cheap Spurs players who should see more minutes, but it’s tough to pay up for guys knowing how these games usually lead to the bench playing more late in the fourth quarter with starters seeing less minutes overall.

Targets

  • Julius Randle ($6200)
  • Kobe Bryant ($6000)
  • David West ($4300)
  • Boban Marjanovic ($3700)


Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors

Over/Under: 232
Line: Warriors -8

This is the game everyone wants to target and talk about today. We have two of the fastest paced teams in the league that average a ton of points squaring off here. The OKC side is easiest to talk about, so let’s start there. Westbrook and Durant dominate the usage rate for this team. In a game where both teams are expected to score in the 110-120 range, those guys are going to be a large part of that. For the Warriors, I like the way this game sets up for Steph Curry. He should see four quarters of action and the ball is always in his hands. Whether it’s shooting three’s or setting up teammates, he should benefit most from the breakneck pace we expect here. Draymond Green, Klay Thomson, and even Harrison Barnes are others I am considering. When a game has a total over 20 points higher than any of the others, it makes sense to look there for your plays today. Even OKC with cheap options like Steven Adams and Dion Waiters are worth a look. You will need some cheap guys to fit in the studs here and exposure to cheap options in a game with a total of 232 makes sense to me. They may not go off for huge numbers, but a rising tide floats all boats, so everyone in this game should see a bump in production on both sides. This game will be incredibly highly owned, but it should be if Vegas expects the final score to be 120 to 112.

Targets

  • Steph Curry ($10800)
  • Russell Westbrook ($11200)
  • Draymond Green ($9100)
  • Kevin Durant ($10500)


Utah Jazz @ Phoenix Suns

Over/Under: 192
Line: Jazz -7

This is a game I would be more likely to only look at one side of if I was going to get some exposure to. The Jazz are healthy in the frontcourt and back to being the dominant defense we saw the latter part of last season. That is not good for most of the guys on the Phoenix Suns. The one Sun I do like here is Alex Len. When the Suns face a team with two big men (Gobert and Favors), we tend to see more time at the PF spot for Len in order to matchup better with the size. He is cheap and should be a sneaky play today. That does hurt guys like Markieff and PJ Tucker who will be squeezed for minutes at the SF spot with Tucker also squeezing a few minutes at the SG spot from Booker. The one guy it leaves mostly untouched is Archie Goodwin. He should still see minutes and has one of the softer matchups here against Utah PG defense. As for Utah, Favors is still too cheap. When he was healthy we saw him at $7800ish every game. He is probably a 10% discount here, so that is a really good price. He threw up a few 40 point games in his most recent starts, so it looks like he is healthy and back to normal. The one guy I am fading from here is Gordon Hayward. I do love Hayward and this is an uptempo matchup for him, but his numbers have dipped now with Utah healthy and the price has not dropped to match it. In a game with a total this low though, having a ton of exposure is not the best idea.

Targets

  • Archie Goodwin ($5900)
  • Alex Len ($4400)
  • Derrick Favors ($7000)
  • Rodney Hood ($5900)