The regular season is winding down, but plenty of teams still have something to play for, including several of the teams involved in Wednesday’s eight-game slate. Here are a few names to consider for your lineups, from every position, at different price points.
Russell Westbrook @ MEM ($12,700) – Westbrook only played 27 minutes in a blowout win last night, on the first night of a back-to-back, and still managed 55 fantasy points (and another triple-double). In the five previous, he was well over 30 minutes a night, and he never scored fewer than 70 fantasy points as the Thunder push for a good close down the stretch. In what should be a closer game tonight, I think he is a strong play in any format.
Isaiah Thomas vs. CLE ($8,500) – Kyrie in particular, and the Cavs at large, have not been playing well defensively for a while. For tonight, in a game for first place in the East, that bodes well for Thomas, who put up 31 points last time they faced off.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($10,000)
Jamal Murray @ HOU ($4,500) – Murray has been starting with Jameer Nelson (calf) out, He’s been averaging just over 30 minutes a night over that span, and is getting you 20+ fantasy points, which is well on the way to providing value at this price. He has gotten up 17 threes in three games now as a starter, and someone with his ability to get hot from distance has plenty of upside as well.
Other Options – Yogi Ferrell ($4,400)
James Harden vs. DEN ($12,500) – After missing his first game of the year Sunday with the flu, Harden is not listed on the injury report for tonight’s contest, which should be a fast-paced, high-scoring affair. Harden is going to look to make his mark on this one to reaffirm his MVP case in light of everything Westbrook has been doing down the stretch. Prior to Sunday, he had played 35 or more minutes in eight straight with Houston looking to make sure they stay in front of Utah for the three seed in the West.
Devin Booker vs. GS ($8,000) – We know he scored 70 points against Boston, but almost more importantly, he has now scored 23 or more in six straight. He has been playing big minutes, getting in close to 40 almost every night, and serving as the primary scoring option for an uptempo offense (20 or more shot attempts in 5 of 6).
Other Options – Klay Thompson ($7,300)
Jonathan Simmons vs. LAL ($3,600) – He has gotten two straight starts in place of the injured Danny Green (quad), and tonight could make it three. With the Spurs locked into the two seed, it is also comforting to know that he is not someone for whom Pop will necessarily look to limit minutes. With his ability to contribute in multiple categories, he is a great candidate to return you 20 or so fantasy points on the cheap if Green misses again, making him a nice cash game option.
Other Options – Avery Bradley ($5,900)
LeBron James @ BOS ($10,200) – LeBron might not care about the regular season, but A) he’ll take the one seed if he can get it, B) he won’t miss a chance to dress down a potential playoff opponent and C) the Celtics really haven’t had an answer for him, well, ever. The last time they played, the Celtics won despite James’ 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, and I expect him to get out there and at least give the same kind of effort again in this one.
Other Options – Kawhi Leonard ($9,700), T.J. Warren ($7,100)
Danilo Gallinari @ HOU ($6,300) – He’s been the primary option for the Nuggets whenever he’s been healthy this season, but right now his usage is even higher than normal with Will Barton missing a couple of games. Over the last two nights, Danilo has averaged almost 40 minutes and 17 shots from the floor, getting you 40+ fantasy points in each contest. He is 8-for-17 from three over that span, giving him plenty of upside in a matchup with Houston.
Jaylen Brown vs. CLE ($4,300) – He has been starting in place of Avery Bradley for the last two nights, and he is expected back tonight, but Jae Crowder (elbow) is listed as questionable. You really only want to go with Brown if Crowder is inactive, but if he gets the nod there is a little bit of upside here (averaged 14 points a game over the last two, and could see some additional rebounding opportunities from the forward slot).
Other Options – Josh Richardson ($5,400)
Blake Griffin vs. DAL ($8,300) – The Clips are right in the middle of the playoff picture with Utah and OKC, and Blake has been playing plenty of minutes so far down the stretch, with 38 or more in each of their last three games. He is really stuffing the stat sheet over the past week, averaging 31 points, almost nine boards, five assists and two steals. He has looked like the best player on the floor against teams like the Lakers and the Suns, and the same could hold true again tonight against Dallas.
Other Options – Draymond Green ($7,800)
LaMarcus Aldridge vs. LAL ($6,700) – You have to monitor your Spurs, and you always have to worry about the blowout potential in a game against the Lakers, but Aldridge seems to be seeing his usage slowly creep up as the Spurs build towards the postseason. He can be a primary option on offense on a title-contending team for stretches with his ability to face up and dominate with the mid-range game, and if the Spurs roll to a big win tonight, Aldridge will likely have been part of it.
Zach Randolph vs. OKC ($6,600) – With Gasol out for a while and now with Conley (eye) potentially out again tonight, Randolph has had something of a renaissance over the past few weeks, playing as the focal point of this Memphis team for the first time in a long time. He finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds against the Spurs front court last time out and could find the going even easier tonight against an OKC squad that does not have quite the same level of talent up front.
Other Options – Marquese Chriss ($5,700)
Nikola Jokic @ HOU ($9,400) – The clear top option at the center position tonight, in my opinion, he has been the most consistent performer on a surging team really since the All-Star break. He has double-digit rebounds in 7 of 8 and is getting 15+ shots every night, leaving him with a floor north of 40 fantasy points. That makes him a good cash option, and his matchup with this Houston team makes him a decent GPP play as well since he has flashed 60 point upside in the right matchup a couple of times already over the past couple of weeks.
Kevin Love @ BOS ($7,400) – Well, Boston can’t rebound. Assuming this game is actually competitive, no matter how much of damper both of these teams try to put on it, Love should be out there, rebounding. He can do enough even without scoring to make him a great consideration to anchor your cash lineups at this price, and if the opportunities come his way on offense, he should also be able to play with plenty of efficiency against these Celtics’ bigs as well.
Other Options – Hassan Whiteside ($7,900)
Pau Gasol vs. LAL ($5,700) – Gasol is another guy, like Aldridge, who is ramping up his production as the season winds down. Over the past 10 days, he is averaging 15.5 points and 8.2 rebounds for almost 35 fantasy points, up from 12.5 and 7.8 for 29 on the year. He is playing efficiently enough that he could give you some value here for a cash game even if Pop limits his minutes more than he’s seen over the last few nights.
Other Options – Serge Ibaka ($6,000)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.