Tonight’s five game slate has plenty of star power to choose from, which is not that common on such a short slate. Let’s not waste any time and jump right into some of tonight’s targets.
Russell Westbrook ($10,500) – Westbrook continues to be one of the best fantasy options in the NBA each night. Even though he’s usually one of the most expensive players, he has exceeded value 75 percent of the time by an average of 4.70 points this season, per Fantasy Labs. Westbrook has topped 56 fantasy points in three of the last four games and is always a threat to post a triple-double. The Thunder have the highest implied point total of the slate at 108.25. The only concern would be a potential blowout, but that won’t hold me back from rostering Westbrook in a five game slate.
Other Options – Reggie Jackson $7,300
Goran Dragic ($5,500) – Dragic didn’t pan out as I hoped last night, but tonight he has another shot against the Grizzlies who are allowing 48.7 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. Dragic has had some nice outings as of late, as he has topped 28 fantasy points in five of his seven last games. Dwayne Wade suffered a hip injury in last night’s contest and is questionable for tonight. If Wade misses this game, Dragic could potentially see an increase in usage. On a night with not that many value options at point guard, Dragic is someone who shouldn’t have trouble hitting value and offers some upside where 6x his salary isn’t out of the question. In his last 10 games, he has exceeded value 60 percent of the time by an average of 3.25 points, per Fantasy Labs.
Other Options – Mike Conley $6,400, Jeff Teague $6,300
James Harden ($10,300) – The Rockets and Hawks game has the highest over/under of the evening at 208 points and Houston has the second highest implied point total of the slate at 105.25. This has the makings of a paced up close game with plenty of scoring. Needless to say, you want exposure to this matchup. The Hawks are allowing the tenth most fantasy points per game to shooting guards in their last 10 games. Harden has struggled a bit in his last two games, but this is a great spot for one of his big fantasy nights. Keep in mind the Rockets are rested and the Hawks are in the second game of a back-to-back.
Other Options – Will Barton $6,900, Dwyane Wade $6,800 (check status)
Kyle Korver ($4,000) – As I mentioned above, this is a game you want exposure to and if you’re paying up for some of the five figure salary players, you will need some affordable players to build around. Korver has laid out some duds in recent games and is a very volatile option. He has scored fewer than 15 fantasy points in three of his last seven games, but has topped 23 fantasy points in four of them (including a 33.5 fantasy point game). The Rockets surrender the seventh most points per game to shooting guards this season (42.7). The Rockets give up nearly three three-pointers per game to shooting guards and yield the fifth most points per game to opponents. This paced up game should create plenty of opportunity for Korver to drain some threes and pay off his salary.
Other Options – Khris Middleton $6,100, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope $5,200, Tyler Johnson $3,700 (if Wade does not play)
Kevin Durant ($10,000) – This is a position with several elite options, but Durant is the best one in my opinion. The Bucks allow the fourth most fantasy points per game to small forwards (43.3) and Durant has been playing really well in recent games. He has topped 50 fantasy points in three of his last four. In that span, he is averaging 25 points, 7.25 assists, 1.75 steals, 7.5 rebounds, and 50.25 fantasy points per game. As I mentioned before, the Thunder have the highest implied point total of the evening at 108.25 points. He offers one of the highest ceilings in this slate and a very safe floor.
Other Options – LeBron James $9,600, Carmelo Anthony $8,300
Kent Bazemore ($5,300) – Bazemore has been fairly consistent in his last 10 games. He’s topped 20 fantasy points in all but one of those games and has two 32+ fantasy point games. For the season he averages 25.4 fantasy points, but in his last 10 games he’s averaging 26.95 fantasy points. Tonight’s matchup against the Rockets is one that he should be able to exploit as they surrender the third most fantasy points per game to small forwards. By now you know this game has the highest total and should be paced up. At this price he should be able to pay off his salary with no problem.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo $6,500, Trevor Ariza $5,500, Luol Deng $4,900
Paul Millsap ($7,700) – Millsap is coming off back-to-back 20+ point games and 45+ fantasy point games. Tonight he has another shot at continuing that streak as he faces the Rockets who surrender the second most fantasy points per game to power forwards (52). Opposing power forwards are averaging 23.8 points and 12.2 rebounds against the Rockets. Millsap offers 40+ fantasy point upside as he’s done it three times in the last five games. He has exceeded value 64 percent of the time by an average of 4.42 points, per Fantasy Labs. In a potential high scoring game, he should have plenty of opportunities to score some fantasy points.
Other Options – Kevin Love $7,600, Chris Bosh $7,100
Serge Ibaka ($6,600) – Ibaka is not necessarily a pure value play, but he is also not a stud. However, he makes a fine play against the Bucks who surrender the fourth most fantasy points per game to power forwards (49.3). Ibaka has topped 29 fantasy points in six of his last 10 games, including five 30+ fantasy point games. He’s a good source of blocks and boards, and will contribute offensively at times. The Bucks allow 23.3 points per game to power forwards, which is the third most of any team in the league. If there’s a night Ibaka can have a nice offensive game, it would be tonight against the Bucks. The Thunder do have the highest implied point total of the night.
Other Options – Kenneth Faried $6,100, Zach Randolph $5,900
Andre Drummond ($9,400) – Drummond appears to be back to his old ways as he now has two 20+ rebound games in his last four. He has topped 50 fantasy points in three of his last four games, including a 74.25 fantasy point performance against the Bulls. He faces the Knicks who are allowing 54.7 fantasy points per game in their last 10 games. Centers are averaging 21.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game against the Knicks. Drummond should have his way with the Knicks front court tonight. He’s one of the few players under $10,000 that offers 60+ fantasy point upside.
Other Options – Marc Gasol $7,200, Hassan Whiteside $7,000
Al Horford ($6,300) – Houston allows the eighth most rebounds per game and have a -1.9 differential. They also surrender 48.4 fantasy points per game to centers. It’s clear that the Rockets don’t defend well and have trouble in the front court defensively. Centers average 19.3 points and 13.6 boards against the Rockets. Horford has his occasional double-double and 40+ fantasy point game. This could be one of those. He has exceeded value 55 percent of the time by an average of 2.04 points, per Fantasy Labs. There should be plenty of scoring and rebound opportunities for Horford this evening.
Other Options – Dwight Howard $6,500, Greg Monroe $6,600, Nikola Jokic $4,700