With only four teams in action, and four choices per position listed out below, these aren’t just some good options – basically, they are your only options. We’ll give you the pros and cons of starting each of them. With the regular season winding down, you can spice up Thursday’s NBA slate with plenty of good DFS action. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
Stephen Curry vs. POR ($9,200) – He is still getting 30 minutes a night, at least for now, and if he is out there, he’s producing. Despite the Warriors clinching, he’s been over 40 fantasy points in four of his last six.
Damian Lillard @ GS ($7,900) – Lillard showed what he was capable of Monday night with the other studs sitting out, going off for 36-4-2, including 6-11 from three. He might not be called on to do that every night, but that’s the kind of performance that is going to win this team a playoff game.
Goran Dragic vs. CHI ($6,800) – Dragic has been a gamer, competing for the Heat despite a few nagging injuries. And since they are just one game out of the seventh seed, despite currently sitting at tenth, they can use it. He is averaging just over 30 fantasy points for his last five, and he is doing it with production in a lot of categories.
Aaron Brooks @ MIA ($5,600) – The Bulls don’t have a lot of options, so not only is he getting 30+ minutes, he is also getting double-digit shot attempts almost every night, and provides you a pretty safe option for 25-30 fantasy points, good value for the money.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
Jimmy Butler @ MIA ($7,800) – Butler is the other option the Bulls have, and with his team tied with Toronto for 3rd in the East, and only one game in front of Washington, they will be utilizing him to the fullest extent to make sure they, at a minimum, hold onto that first round home court advantage. He has been over 30 fantasy points in 6 of his last seven, basically averaging a 20-5-5 over that span.
Dwyane Wade vs. CHI ($7,200) – You know a veteran like Wade would prefer to make it into the playoffs if they can, and they might be able to pull it off with a couple more wins. Chicago and Jimmy Butler with Noah patrolling the paint, all still presents a formidable foe, but there simply aren’t a ton of other people to hoist those shots in Miami, as the 19 shots a game Wade is getting over their last three demonstrates.
Klay Thompson vs. POR ($6,800) – He has had a couple of down games in a row, and maybe he is feeling the end of the regular season more than some of his teammates, or maybe it was just a couple of fluky off-nights – who knows? But for me, his price hasn’t dropped low enough to justify 10-fantasy-point downside. We can revisit in the playoffs.
Arron Afflalo @ GS ($4,200) – This is a price that tries to justify single-digit downside. It doesn’t quite manage it.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
Nicolas Batum @ GS ($6,400) – He looks in line to play tonight, which is the key question for all the guys in this Portland-Golden State game. Last time he played, in 29 minutes, he score 11 points and still went over 30 in terms of fantasy points, a testament to the number of ways he creates value.
Luol Deng vs. CHI ($5,200) – Deng is listed as probable tonight. He was listed as probable Tuesday, too, and he logged 41 minutes. He is maybe not quite as active on the defensive end as he would be without the nagging injuries, but he is still one of the best options Miami has out on the court at any given time.
Harrison Barnes vs. POR ($4,600) – Barnes and Iguodala have been pirating each others minutes, averaging 28 and 27 per game, respectively. But the key is that these two have the versatility to play a couple of positions, and to be on the floor together, so it gives the team roster flexibility to play whatever style is needed in that particular game.
Andre Iguodala vs. POR ($4,500) – Iguodala has been a value all season, playing more than anyone might have anticipated. I feel like every single player’s efficiency goes up when they move to a good team. Oh wait, there is a stat for that. What do you know, it does.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
LaMarcus Aldridge @ GS ($8,800) – When he’s been active, he has seen a slight dip in his minutes on occasion lately. He has had two games under 30 minutes out of his last five, where his season average is more like 35. So, you are going to see a commensurate drop in production – call it about a 15% drop across the board. He’ll still be useful, but doesn’t have the same mid-season ceiling.
Pau Gasol @ MIA ($8,200) – He has been dragging this offense around with him for much of the season, a real reason why they are in a position to finish in the top half of the Eastern conference, and he is a threat for a double-double every single night, even against a decent Miami defense. He controls the high post as well as just about any big man in the league with his passing, ball handling and shooting ability.
Draymond Green vs. POR ($7,200) – If there is a chance that Steph or Klay see fewer minutes or fewer looks, it is likely going to mean more opportunities for Green as much as for any bench player. He had been struggling with a shin injury for a couple of weeks, but he came through with a 24-14 performance a couple of days ago that should serve to allay any fears you had.
Nikola Mirotic @ MIA ($6,400) – The Bulls are cobbling together their postseason push on the backs of players just like Mirotic who maybe wasn;t expected to play quite the role he finds himself in now. But he is averaging just under 25 minutes a game over the past couple of weeks, and producing at a rate of 11-6 regularly. His scoring has dropped as the Bulls have gotten guys like Noah back, but he still represents double-double potential against the right opponent. That ideal opponent, however, is likely not Miami.
Hassan Whiteside vs. CHI ($6,900) – And this guy is a big part of the reason why Miami is not a good matchup for the likes of Mirotic. He might decide to just get all the rebounds. And only top flight players like Noah are going to be able to do anything to stop him. Whiteside has been a revelation for the Heat, averaging 11-10 in only 22 minutes a game, the kind of efficiency rating that teams like to keep around.
Joakim Noah @ MIA ($6,000) – He is one of the best players on one of the best teams in the East. No matter what you think of him, that statement has been true more years than it hasn’t since he came into the league, and one of the very few players in the league capable of averaging 5 points a game over the last three, and still averaging 30 fantasy points. 6-9-10 with a block and a steal. 6-8-7 with two steals. That’s the thing – his blocks, his steals, and his assists – they’re not flukes. They are part of his skill-set.
Andrew Bogut vs. POR ($5,200) – Bogut’s minutes fluctuate. That’s it. And that is a good thing for the Warriors, if not for fantasy owners. A guy like Bogut just fits better into certain gameplans. But the Blazers have size, so Golden State could well give him the high end of his 18-30 minute range in this one. And this is a player who had NINE blocks last time out. With 25 minutes on the floor, a double-double is well within reach, and if it is padded by some defensive stats, all the better.
Meyers Leonard @ GS ($3,800) – Leonard has shown an ability to play, which is more than some might have expected out of him. Sure, his opportunities are going to be limited, so you are going way out on a limb here. But he does have the talent, and Portland is slowing down their starters, so it could fly. I recommended him with the rest of the frontcourt not even making the trip to the game on Monday, and he responded with 17-15-4 with 2 steals, so you know he has it in him somewhere.