With twelve games on the schedule for Monday, it is one of the final days of the season with a full slate of action, and while some teams are resting players without much to play for, enough of these teams have their seasons on the line to make for an interesting night for daily fantasy. Here’s a look at some of the studs and value plays across all of Monday’s game. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
Russell Westbrook vs. POR ($11,800) –
NOTE – You may have heard Westbrook was OUT for tonight’s game, as he was set to be suspende after receiving his 16th technical of the season against Indiana. However, the NBA has rescinded that technical foul, thereby reinstating his eligibility for tonight’s game.
With all that, you KNOW Westbrook is going to come into the game tonight with something to prove, as if he needed to. And with the Thunder currently tied for the final playoff spot in the west with New Orleans, they are going to need his A-game – and his A-game wins people fantasy tournaments. Despite that technical, his last game against the Pacers featured 40 minutes on the court, 54 points, nine boards, and eight assists, for 80.75 fantasy points, his second game with over 75 fantasy points in his last four, and fourth of his last seven over 60.
Chris Paul vs. DEN ($9,700) – The Clippers are just one game in the win column behind San Antonio for the second seed in the West, and Paul has been playing his usual allotment of minutes, and he has been on fire over the last couple of weeks, with only one game under 40 fantasy points in his last ten (and that one came in at 38.5).
Zach LaVine vs. NO ($6,400) – With Rubio out, he has been getting lots of minutes, and with the Timberwolves eliminated, he has had free reign to capitalize on as many opportunities as he sees, and he has been responding in a big way, averaging over 38 fantasy points per game over his last five.
Langston Galloway @ ATL ($5,600) – Even the Knicks have to keep trotting guys out there for all these games, whether to advertise them or just see for themselves what they are dealing with on their roster as the off-season looms. In their last five games, he is averaging more than one steal and three every night, a great way to pad mediocre scoring and rebounding numbers.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
James Harden @ CHA ($10,600) – With Houston currently tied with Memphis for the fifth spot in the West, Harden has been getting all the opportunities you’ve been used to see for him all season long, and keeps proving he has a fantasy points floor somewhere around 35, with a ceiling that rivals that of Westbrook.
Jimmy Butler @ BKN ($7,500) – Even with Rose back from his most recent injury, Butler is a central cog in everything this team does on both ends of the floor, and with Chicago locked in a tight race with Toronto for the three seed (and even in danger of dropping back to Washington and the fifth seed, you know they are going to be pushing hard for this W, which could help solidify their positioning for a postseason run.
Klay Thompson vs. MEM ($7,000) – Golden State has clinched, and Thompson had a couple of really bad games last week. All true. But after those games, and a few mediocre ones not long before, his price has dropped. And he seems to have turned it around – and you KNOW the Warriors want him going well come playoff time. With three three’s in each of his last two (and a total of 46 shot attempts), $7,000 definitely counts as a value.
Khris Middleton @ PHI ($6,000) – He is averaging almost 3 steals a game over his last five. When you’re talking about a guy that also scores, dishes, and boards, that can lead to very consistent fantasy production, no matter that no one category is elite.
Kent Bazemore vs. NY ($4,200) – With Atlanta in full rest mode, Bazemore could see a continuation of the extra minutes he got last night. But even with them, he is a 20-30 fantasy point scorer, so the question is more about whether you have room for him on your team that it is strictly about price.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
LeBron James vs. DET ($10,000) – It’s up to you to decide if you want to trust LeBron in a game where he has nothing to play for, but after sitting out last night’s game against Boston, he will, at the very least, be out there. Just being out there is enough for him to contribute, but you should probably expect the top end of his upside to be lopped off until the playoffs start.
Nicolas Batum @ OKC ($6,600) – With a couple of injuries or guys who might see limited minutes in front of him on the player list, he jumps up the board to a “stud” for the evening. He IS averaging just over 32 fantasy points per game for his last three, and he has done it almost entirely on the back of defensive stats and assists, so a single even halfway-decent scoring game could see him produce serious value.
Giannis Antetokounmpo @ PHI ($6,500) – With the Bucks still fighting for position, this is a guy who will be right in the thick of it, throwing haymakers. He’s got some downside, but when he has even a halfway decent matchup, it’s more surprising to see him NOT get to 35 fantasy points with the way he stuffs a stat sheet, and tonight, he’s got Philly.
Derrick Williams vs. LAL ($4,000) – With Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins both out, Williams is going to see both increased minutes as well as opportunities, and with a great matchup on top of all that. He’s shown an ability to be a consistent 25-fantasy-point per game player when given the chance, and tonight is definitely one of those chances.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
Anthony Davis @ MIN ($11,000) – With New Orleans locked in a tie for the final playoff spot with OKC, and both teams in action tonight, these are a couple of VERY important games to the big picture. Is Davis going to make the playoffs, or is Westbrook? One of the best players in fantasy won’t be in the postseason, and tonight will go a long way towards determining which one. With Davis coming off nine of ten games over 40 fantasy points, four of those over 50, he will be pushing as hard as Westbrook to secure that final berth.
Pau Gasol @ BKN ($8,500) – Antother team with a lot to play for, and a player who has been central to their success from the get-go, no matter which teammates go down with injury (Rose) or step up in a big way to be a team leader (Butler). In this matchup, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Gasol go off for a double-double, which are always useful.
Robert Covington vs. MIL ($5,600) – Much like the Knicks, the Sixers are still required to keep playing these games, but so far, it looks like they might have found a player in Covington. He had 22-3-5 with a steal in 37 minutes the last time Philly suited up, so you know he can actual do fantasy-useful things when given the minutes, which is always a plus.
Taj Gibson @ BKN ($5,000) – He seems to be healthy enough to be getting something like 30 minutes a night, and he is logging more court time than Mirotic, which says something about how his coaches feel about his game. He had 14-12 just a few days ago against Miami, so he does still have some value left in his legs.
Brook Lopez vs. CHI ($8,400) – You’d think he might be tangling with Noah most of the time, but for defensive purposes, the Bulls often have Noah playing on a PF and Gasol on a center, and Gasol doesn’t have the body to keep Lopez off the boards. You should be looking at 20-10 in this matchup.
DeAndre Jordan vs. DEN ($8,000) – The guy is a double-double machine. Full stop.
Joakim Noah @ BKN ($6,000) – By now, the trend should be obvious. There are some teams that care tonight. And at this point in a season, when a team cares, they REALLY care. And if anyone has ever demonstrated on the court the impact that caring a lot can have, it’s Noah. He’ll still be on his minutes restriction until the season starts, but he has plenty of time in 30 minutes to rack up fantasy points when he is producing on both ends of the floor.
Zaza Pachulia @ PHI ($5,900) – You just don’t get this kind of matchup out West. And while Pachulia isn’t a show-stopper, he gets minutes where there is a big guy to match up with, and it’s not like the Sixers have the depth and/or lineup flexibility to dictate the substitution patterns of their opponents. Let’e be real – they are not capable of dictating much at all, which makes Pachulia a candidate to reach the top end of his potential in every category, including minutes, making him a legitimate threat for something like 15-12, which is useful, even if it’s not exciting.