With a ton of great action before the league takes a night off, you have lots of great options to choose from at every position.
Today’s NBA targets breakdown looks at Wednesday’s full 13-game slate, with an eye towards the studs, sleepers and mid-range players you want to have rotating in your lineups.
Stephen Curry vs. UTA ($10,700) – Yup, Steph Curry is awesome. This is maybe only a mediocre matchup for him, but here’s the thing: it’s also a bd matchup for Klay, and at the end of the day, one of those guys is putting up a useable fantasy performance for the price. If I could only lean on one of them, it would be Curry, even if what I really think is just that Utah’s ranking against backcourts in terms of fantasy points is taking a big step backwards tonight, in their second matchup with Golden State this year (Curry had 26 points in #1).
Brandon Knight vs. DEN ($7,300) – Knight is filling the entire roll of “perimeter threat” for this team right now, penetrating, creating, and shooting whenever the opportunity presents itself. And against Denver, there should be plenty of opportunities. Knight and Tucker both started the last game on the bench, but Knight still ended up with more minutes than any other player on the team. The whole team struggles at times, but the idea that he is their most talented guard is not complicated.
Jameer Nelson @ PHO ($5,600) – He’s heading into Wednesday with a six-game run of 20 or more fantasy points, with a great matchup against the Suns. Twenty or more points isn’t a lot in every context for DFS, but when someone gets to that mark consistently for this price, he turns himself into a useful cog is cash-game lineups.
Tim Frazier @ NO ($3,600) – He played 48 minutes against the Hawks last time out. The Blazers just have no one else. He ended up with 34 fantasy points while scoring only 12, so the upside is somewhere north of the mid-30’s. At this price it’s like stealing.
Tyreke Evans vs. POR ($7,700) – The injuries in the Pelicans’ backcourt have created opportunities for a couple of back-ups, they have also created a matchup for Evans, playing against a couple of back-ups. He should have no problem besting all of his season averages, in every category, against a couple of players who just don’t have the size and athleticism to match up with him.
Klay Thompson vs. UTA ($7,200) – He is working on a streak of games – currently sitting at twenty – with at least two three-pointers made. Just inside the last two weeks, that streak includes games with eight and ten – that’s eight and ten MADE three-pointers in one game. Utah might be a tough matchup on paper, but playing Klay is the game that drops your ranking against shooting guards, no vice-versa.
Courtney Lee @ WAS ($4,500) – He is averaging 30 minutes per game this season, but 38 since Tony Allen went out with a knee injury. Allen returned last night, but posted only 17 minutes in a reserve role, and Lee played well enough to imagine he might not get his starting job back – or at least not anytime soon. Lee likely isn’t going to win you a GPP, but he has a very good change at returning something in the range of 25 fantasy points, solid value at this price.
Allen Crabbe @ NO ($4,400) – With Lillard out and a good chance McCollum misses with his sprained ankle, Crabbe is in line for 30+ minutes of PT. But more than that, Crabbe actually has the ability to penetrate and hit from three-point range, which might make him their primary scoring threat (18 shot attempts in 32 minutes against Atlanta last time out).
Kevin Durant @ LAL ($10,200)– He had 24 points against the Clippers on Monday, and the most important pair came with 5 seconds left, lifting OKC to a 100-99 victory. The problem is that his 24 shot attempts was his third highest total of the year (and one of the other two came with no Westbrook). He should be a staple in your cash-game lineups, because he is almost a lock for right around 40 fantasy points with the way he’s been playing all season long, shooting just about 50% from the floor. And Monday night was just a reminder that the upside is still there as well.
Paul George vs. SAC ($8,900) – Coming off an awful game against Kawhi and the Spurs, his ownership percentage might be down, so take advantage: he is still averaging 25-8-4 for the year. There is no one in the Kings’ frontcourt who can match up with him on the outside, so he should be able to rebound from his poor scoring night last time out, and he stuffs the stat sheet in enough other ways to create real upside for the price.
Matt Barnes @ WAS ($5,700) – He’s been starting over Zach Randolph, and that has actually been a meaningful change, as he has seen his overall minutes increase by about 5 or 6 a night on average. With three straight games, and five of six, over 30 fantasy points, he’s an obvious value until his price catches up with his usage and production.
Andre Iguodala vs. UTA ($5,200) – With Barnes out, Iguodala should get plenty of use. He is the type of guy who produces in a bunch of different statistical categories, and can give the Warriors what they need depending on who their opponent is that night. With Utah on tap and Bogut banged up, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him spell Draymond sometimes and D up Favors, and I would definitely expect to see him crashing the boards early and often, making sure Golden State isn’t beat just by a team that’s willing to be more physical.
DeMarcus Cousins @ IND ($10,000) – There are seven players in action tonight priced at $10,000 or higher. It does you no good, really, to compare those players to the other guys at their respective positions – you have to compare them to each other. The question is whether you spend here and save there, not whether you would prefer Cousins or Millsap in your lineup. For question B, the answer is Cousins. For question A, the answer might be Cousins as well: with six straight games with over 40 fantasy points and as much upside as anyone, this is an easy place to spend your money if you like some mid-range or cheap options elsewhere. With Indiana throwing guys like Jordan Hill and Ian Mahinmi at him, he is going to have an obvious mismatch every time he touches the ball.
Kristaps Porzingis @ CLE ($7,100) – It happened. Kyrie came back, and even though he only played 17 minutes, it looked like it officially happened – Love was transformed back into the third wheel he was all of last season. I can’t use Love again, so instead I’ll turn to the other side of the ball in this one, and see if New York finally has a big man who can turn the position into an advantage, even against teams as good defensively as Cleveland.
Ryan Anderson vs. POR ($5,900) – Anthony Davis had to exit Monday’s game early and ultimately was limited to only 20 minutes of playing time due to an illness. He should be fine for this one, but even when he has been active and healthy, Anderson has been routinely logging about 30 minutes/ night. That’s entirely possible again in this matchup, either because he is dominating Blazers big men or because they are just resting their star in a blowout win. When that happens, he has had a floor of around 25 points and a ceiling in the 30’s, which is good value at this price.
John Henson vs. PHI ($3,900) – An extremely talented defensive player, the question about Henson is really all about minutes. Sometimes, he gets 15 or fewer, which is a problem. When he does get the time, he actually gives you pretty consistent production. He has had 19 or more fantasy points every time he has gotten 20+ minutes since November.
Andre Drummond @ ATL ($9,400) – An elite fantasy center, the way the league works nowadays, he has the clear advantage in a lot of matchups. Which is good, because against other centers, his floor seems to be somewhere right around 30 fantasy points, or just south of that. He’s still effective, and useful, but he isn’t just controlling the paint and the boards the way you’re used to seeing. Well, against Atlanta, currently ranked 18th in terms of fantasy points allowed to centers, he has a chance to be more than just effective and useful. The last time these two teams faced each other, much earlier in the season, Drummond ended up with 18 points and 19 boards. That’s worth noticing.
Greg Monroe vs. PHI ($7,100) – He had 18 points and 8 boards, with 3 steals, last time they faced Philly. As much as Okafor is the Sixers’ best player, he just isn’t experienced enough to really have an effect on what a guy like Monroe is doing out there. That leads to a predictability out of someone like Monroe that is very valuable, when you know he is going to hit 50% of his shots and grab something in the vicinity of double-digit rebounds.
Mason Plumlee @ NO ($5,200) – This is where bad teams can mean good things for fantasy owners. Plumlee probably shouldn’t be a starting center, but he is, and you can get him on the cheap as a result. But he’s not totally incompetent, so when the matchup is right, you can use that price to your advantage – it isn’t crazy to imagine him getting to double-digits in points or rebounds in this one, so you just draft him and hope the answer is “both.”
Kelly Olynyk @ CHA ($4,600) – Sullinger is listed as questionable, and Amir Johnson is out, which just leaves the Celtics’ frontcourt a little more consolidated than usual. Olynyk should get more minutes here than are built into his price, which makes him a decent value.