The first Tuesday of April tips off with a big 11-game slate and plenty of options to choose from. Some teams have nothing to play for and could give some of their younger players some extra playing time which could create some value plays, while some teams still have something to play for and will give their top players as many minutes as possible. There are a couple of games with totals of over 220 points, so we can expect some high scoring games tonight. Let’s waste no time and jump right into tonight’s targets.
Stephen Curry – GS vs. MIN – $10,400 – The Warriors are chasing down the NBA single season wins record, so I’m not expecting any starters to rest in this contest. The one concern is a potential blowout. However, Curry has crushed the Timberwolves in two contests this season. In those games, he’s averaging 58.5 fantasy points per game and has exceeded expectations by an average of 11.72 points. Not that matchup matters with Curry, but the Timberwolves surrender the third most fantasy points per game and have allowed +2.64 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. Curry offers a very high floor, along with tremendous upside. This game has the highest over/under of the slate at 225 points.
Damian Lillard – POR at SAC – $8,800 – After five straight games of scoring less than 40 fantasy points, Lillard snap out of his funk against the Warriors on Sunday, scoring 49.75 fantasy points. This is a good spot for him to pick up where he left off on Sunday as he faces one of the worst defenses in the league. The Kings surrender the fourth most fantasy points per game and have allowed 4.23 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. They also play at the fastest pace in the NBA, which should create a lot of scoring opportunities for Portland’s offense. The Trail-Blazers have not clinched a playoff spot and are just 2.5 games in front of the Rockets who are sitting in the ninth seed in the conference, so a win is important. Lillard should play his 30+ minutes in a plus matchup. He has displayed his 50+ fantasy point upside numerous times this season and is in a good spot to have one of those big nights. This contest has the second highest over/under of the slate and just a three point spread.
Other Options – Russell Westbrook $10,600, Kemba Walker $7,800, Kyle Lowry $7,600
Jeff Teague – ATL vs. PHX – $6,100 – Teague has picked it up in the last couple of weeks. In his last 10 games, he has exceeded value 70 percent of the time by an average of 7.77 points. In that span, he’s averaging 29.4 minutes, 17.7 points, 7.1 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 34.5 fantasy points per game. He has now topped 45 points in two of his last three games. Tonight he faces the Suns who don’t appear to be interested in playing any defense whatsoever. They surrender the second most fantasy points per game and have allowed +6.11 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. The Hawks are currently sitting in third place in the East, but are just half a game back from the sixth seed. At this price, he’s more than capable to hit 7X and this is a great matchup to do so.
Other Options – Ricky Rubio $6,700, Darren Collison $5,700, Jordan Clarkson $5,000, Tim Frazier $4,200
Jimmy Butler – CHI at MEM – $7,900 – Jimmy Buckets is back! He has now topped 20 real points and 45 fantasy points in three consecutive games, including his monster 80.75 fantasy point game on Saturday. Tonight’s matchup isn’t ideal, but if you’re looking for upside, Butler offers the most at the position. Not to mention, in his last game against Memphis, he played 38.1 minutes and scored 39 fantasy points. Butler has played 38 or more minutes in each of his last three games. The Bulls are sitting two games back from the eighth seed in the East, so have plenty at stake each game they play. They will likely continue to lean heavily on Butler and he will have to carry this offense on his shoulders.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan $7,400, C.J. McCollum $6,900, Klay Thompson $6,800
Andrew Wiggins – MIN at GS – $6,100 – Despite the Timberwolves being out of the playoff hunt, they continue to give their young players plenty of minutes and Wiggins is taking full advantage of it. In his last 10 games, he is averaging 36.3 minutes 20.7 points, one steal, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 31.5 fantasy points per game. In two games against the Warriors this season, Wiggins is averaging 35.1 fantasy points. This should be a high scoring game and Wiggins should see plenty of scoring opportunities. At this price he has the upside to 6X and 7X his salary, and should be able to hit value with no problem.
Other Options – Jamal Crawford $4,700, Gary Harris $4,300, J.R. Smith $4,300 (if Irving is out)
LeBron James– CLE at MIL – $10,000 – If you’re planning on paying up for the small forward position, LeBron is likely your best bet. He has the best matchup of the top small forwards and has been dominant against the Bucks this season. In three games against the Bucks, he’s averaging 54.9 fantasy points per game. LeBron appears to have flipped the switch and turn on playoff mode as he’s been playing really well as of late. He has scored 50 or more fantasy points in six of his last seven games, including three 60+ fantasy point games and one 70+ games. He has two triple-doubles in that span and has flirted with a triple-double in a couple of the other games. He’s doing it all for the Cavs and should continue to do so tonight. The Bucks surrender the sixth most fantasy points per game and have allowed +2.6 points above expectation to opposing small forwards, per Fantasy Labs. His value increases even more if Irving is out tonight.
Other Options – Kevin Durant $10,300, Giannis Antetokounmpo $9,300
Jordan Hamilton – NO at PHI – $3,900 – Hamilton will likely be a popular value play tonight and rightfully so. He’s moved into the starting lineup for the Pelicans, playing over 30 minutes per game in his last three, has a plus matchup, and is just $3,900. He’s been with the team for five games, in that span he’s averaging 28 minutes, 11.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, one steal, and 26.3 fantasy points per game. He has topped 27 fantasy points in each of the last three games and has scored 30+ in two straight. The Sixers surrender the second most fantasy points per game and have allowed +3.04 points above expectation to opposing small forwards, per Fantasy Labs. This is a great spot for Hamilton and I’m fully expecting him to continue to play well this evening. The Pelicans are shorthanded, so he will likely play all the minutes he can handle.
Other Options – Jerami Grant $5,000, P.J. Tucker $5,000, Mirza Teletovic $4,700, Maurice Harkless $4,100
DeMarcus Cousins – SAC vs. POR – $10,200 – Cousins missed Friday’s game against the Heat due to a suspension and then rested on Saturday, so he should be good to go today. The team already announced that he will not play in any more road games this season, so he should play the rest of the home games. Cousins hasn’t scored fewer than 46 fantasy point in any of his last 10 games and has eclipsed 50 fantasy points in five of them (including three 60+ fantasy point games). In that span he has nine double-doubles and is averaging 53.7 fantasy points per game. Truth be told, he has struggled against Portland this season, but it’s undeniable that he is one of the most consistent and reliable fantasy option when he plays. He is rested and should ready to roll tonight.
Other Options – Draymond Green $8,500, Paul Milsap $8,000
Julius Randle – LAL at LAC – $5,900 – I really wanted to write about Blake Griffin because him at $7,600 feels like robbery, but it’s uncertain how the Clippers will handle his minutes and that makes him a little riskier. In tournaments, I’d be sure to get some exposure to Blake. However, we do know that the Lakers want to give their young players plenty of minutes in these last couple of games and that includes Julius Randle. In the last 10 games, Randle has exceeded value 60 percent of the time by an average of 5.59 points. In that span, he’s averaging 30.1 minutes, 11.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 31.5 fantasy points. He has six double-doubles in the last 10 games and even has a triple-double. He’s been three or less rebounds short of three other double-doubles in that span. He’s fared well against the Clippers this season averaging 36 fantasy points against them. Aside from his abysmal game against the Jazz, Randle has been fairly consistent and productive. His minutes should remain above 30 and he should have no trouble paying off his salary.
Other Options – Kevin Love$6,900 (if Irving sits), Zach Randolph $6,400, JaMychal Green $4,800, Carl Landry $4,700
Karl-Anthony Towns – MIN at GS – $8,300 – KAT continues his impressive rookie season and is looking to close out strong. Despite being a good defensive team, the Warriors allow the fifth most fantasy points per game to centers. In his last game against the Warriors, KAT scored 24 points and grabbed 11 boards. That performance was good for 43.75 fantasy points. In his last 10 games, he’s averaging 36.9 minutes, 21.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 45.8 fantasy points. He has 10 double-doubles in that span and has exceeded value 70 percent of the time by an average of 8.19 points. He offers 50+ fantasy point upside and has a relatively safe floor. This contest has the highest point total of the evening. Give him a go!
Other Options – Pau Gasol $7,800, Andre Drummond $7,500
Alexis Ajinca – NO at PHI – $3,900 – Ajinca has been in and out of the starting lineup, but has been productive in recent games. In his last five games, he’s averaging 26.7 minutes, 14.2 points, seven rebounds, 1.2 blocks, one steal, and 27.3 fantasy points per game. He has exceeded value in each of those games and has played fewer than 20 minutes just once. The Pelicans have been plagued by injuries all season and are shorthanded. Ajinca may not get the start tonight, but should see 23+ minutes and is averaging 1.02 points per minutes. He needs 19.5 fantasy points to hit value and has scored fewer than that just once in the last five games. He will free up some salary and allow you to pay up for one of the studs. Not to mention, he faces the Sixers who surrender the most fantasy points per game and have allowed +5.16 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. They also give up the most rebounds per game and have a -5.8 differential. Even in limited minutes, Ajinca should do enough to hit value.
Other Options – Alex Len $5,800 (volatile play), Tyson Chandler $4,600
Note: Keep an eye on late scratches and news that comes out later in the day. That can open up value late in the afternoon.