On the final Sunday of the regular season, the NBA has seen fit to provide us with a nine game slate. Here are the players I like in today’s games:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Reggie Jackson vs. CHA ($8500) – As you might imagine, Orlando is not all that good defensively against point guards. Over the last four games, Jackson has had two double-doubles plus has had at least 21 points and eight assists in each of those games. Jackson is the “safe with upside” point guard option today.
- Tyreke Evans @ HOU ($7700) – I do not know if it is playing against James Harden or something else, but Evans has fared well against Houston despite Houston being one of the better defenses against both shooting and point guards. In his first two games against the Rockets this season, Evans has averaged: 24.5 points, six rebounds, three rebounds, 2 three-pointers and 1.5 steals per game.
- Rajon Rondo @ LAL ($5400) – Rondo rested Friday so make sure he is playing today. If he is, he makes a good value. This is my last chance to mention the Lakers are the worst team at defending point guards. Rondo has helped with those struggles, in three games against the Lakers this season he has averaged: 13.7 points 10.7 assists and five rebounds per game.
- Raymond Felton @ LAL ($3300) – If Rondo does not play then Felton is a great option against the Lakers. It is really that simple. You can only use Felton if Rondo is out; if Rondo is out Felton is a great value. He did provide better than ten times value on Friday when Rondo was rested.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Bradley Beal vs. ATL ($6500) – Once again filling your shooting guard spot is tough on Sunday. Sure, James Harden is great, but he costs a fortune. Beal has been playing well lately averaging 20.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 three-pointers and one steals per game over his last five games. He should be able to at least match, if not top those numbers against a team likely resting players.
- Eric Bledsoe @ SA ($7100) – I just cannot recommend Harden at $10600, and we do not know how much Monta Ellis will play Sunday. That leaves Bledsoe as the sole remaining above median priced shooting guard. It is not like there are no reasons to like Bledsoe. He sees plenty of playing time, and San Antonio will likely be resting at least some of their starters tonight.
- Eric Gordon @ HOU ($4900) – I do not know if Gordon is a shy person in “real life”, but I know he is not shy about shooting the ball. Over the last five games Gordon has taken an average of 14.2 shots per game. While more of those shots have missed than gone in, Gordon has averaged 15.6 points and 2.6 three-pointers per game in that span, making him a nice play today given his price.
- Randy Foye vs. SAC ($4800) – No matter what time-frame you look at — season, last five games, last ten games — Sacramento has been the worst team against shooting guards this season. Foye has been playing well lately averaging 4 three-pointers per game over his last three games along with a little better than five rebounds and assists per game during that same span..
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Danilo Gallinari vs. SAC ($6400) – Sure, having Gallinari retroactively for Friday’s game would be great, but that is not possible. You can have him today when he faces the third worst defense against his position. He has also averaged 25.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.3 three-pointers, 2.3 assists and one steal per game in his last four games.
- Trevor Ariza vs. NO ($6400) – When in doubt go with what you know. I know that Ariza is not going to have a bad game no matter the opponent. I also know that Ariza has averaged 18.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 three-pointers and 2.2 assists per game over his last five games.
- Derrick Williams @ DEN ($3800) – Really all you need to know about Williams is starting against Denver on Sunday. If you want more, his fantasy-points totals the last three games: 31.0, 28.25 and 25.0.
- Omri Cassipi @ DEN ($5200) – You know what is fun about stats? The strange things you discover when you look at small samples. Among the small forwards that Cassipi has been better than over the last seven days according to the ESPN Player Rater: LeBron James, Trevor Ariza, and Andrew Wiggins. Cassipi is playing against the worst defense against small forwards tonight.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Greg Monroe vs. CHA ($7400) – Two games back, two double-doubles for Monroe — along with two steals and a block per game. Monroe is healthy, has a good matchup, and will be a free agent after the season so has every reason to play hard despite his team having little to play for.
- Kenneth Faried vs. SAC ($7000) – In case you did not notice, I am expecting a lot of scoring — both real and fantasy — in the Denver/Sacramento matchup. Both teams have major defensive issues. The Kings have been the third worst team against power forwards over the last ten games. For his part, Faried enters this game having managed a double-double in four of his last six games, as well as averaging a double-double over his last five games.
- Ryan Kelly vs. DAL ($4600) – Dallas is resting players in preparation for the playoffs, plus has been the fifth worst defense against power forwards over the last five games. While Kelly’s averages over the last five games are unimpressive, over his last two games — against similar defenses to Dallas’ — he has averaged 19 points and 3.5 three-pointers per game. Kelly does not have the most upside, yet is a nice value play today nonetheless.
- Jason Thompson @ DEN ($4400) – Minutes and rebounds, those are the two things that Thompson has going for him lately. Thompson has topped 30 minutes in each of his last four games while averaging 10.25 rebounds per game in those four games. Denver has been the second worst defense against power forwards over the last five games making Thompson a nice value against the Nuggets.
- Brook Lopez @ MIL ($8400) – Not much has changes with Lopez since Friday. He remains the highest ranked actual center over the last seven days according to ESPN’s Player Rater. Better yet, over his last six games he has averaged 42.8 fantasy-points per game. He has also topped 50 fantasy-points in two of his last five games.
- Enes Kanter @ IND ($7800) – Guess who else has topped 50 fantasy-points in two if his last five games? Kanter has not been quite as good as Lopez recently, yet he is not far behind. Kanter has averaged 40.3 fantasy-points per game over his five games, and is facing a weaker defense than Lopez is today.
- Mike Muscala @ WAS ($4300) – With Paul Millsap out again, Muscala will once again start for Atlanta. All Muscala has done with Millsap out is average 25.5 fantasy-points per game. Washington has only been average at defending centers over the last ten games so Muscala’s matchup is more favorable than it looks.
- Bismack Biyombo vs. DET ($5200) – Scoring is still not something Biyombo has been all that proficient at. He is good at grabbing rebounds, blocking shots and also pretty good at holding onto the ball though. Over his last five games, Biyombo has averaged: 7.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.8 blocks per game while averaging only .8 turn overs per game. Facing the third worst defense against centers, Bismack should be able to top those averages.
Thanks for reading my column this season, I hope that I helped you win some money. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.