The nine game slate for tonight features the Warriors looking to extend their streak on the road in Charlotte, one of six games between Eastern and Western conference teams that don’t see much of each other. These more unpredictable matchups create some interesting choices to make for your DFS lineups. Good luck.
Looking for more NBA content? Check out these articles:
Today’s NBA targets breakdown looks at Wednesday’s 9-game slate, with an eye towards the studs, sleepers and mid-range players you want to have rotating in your lineups.
Stephen Curry @ CHA ($10,600) – On paper, Charlotte is a bad matchup? Is that right? Hmmm. Yup, don’t buy it. Let’s just say that there is no universe in which the Warriors are the team with a bad matchup here, not in any way, shape or form, at any position. Steph, with his floor of about 40 points, is the single best player you would like to have in your lineup for a cash game right now. And he also has 70+ fantasy point upside, so there’s that.
John Wall vs. LAL ($8,000) – The Lakers don’t play defense, and Wall is coming off a night where he demonstrated once again this his upside is as high as anyone’s. He’s too athletic to worry about the 2nd night of a back to back, for me anyway, and last night he had 35-10-4, with steals and three three-pointers made. Even if he doesn’t quite match that line, he doesn’t need to – 80% of that is a value at this price.
D’Angelo Russell @ WAS ($5,100) – He has had double-digit shot attempts in three in a row and six of seven. He has been playing 30+ minutes more often than not for the past several weeks. Over that 7-game stretch, his floor is 20 DK points and his ceiling is about 30, the kind of production that – if replicable over a couple of months – makes someone at this price a cash-game staple with GPP upside.
Norris Cole @ HOU ($3,000) – He made his debut last night and played 22 minutes, so clearly he is good to go. And now with Holiday sitting this one out, it could be Cole cutting into Ish Smith’s minutes. Cole only went 3-for-12 last night, but hoisted seven threes, so his niche in the offense has clearly been preserved.
James Harden vs. NO ($10,300) – He makes you think twice about spending the money on Steph, the way he is playing. In his last six games, he has a low of 42, a high of 84, and five games over 50 fantasy points. Let’s put it this way: when he is this hot, it’s not the defense that determines his output, it’s him.
Eric Bledsoe @ DET ($8,300) – The Suns backcourt has been the pulse of the team all season. Last night, it was the PG, Brandon Knight, going for 26 with 7 assists, but in the matchup with Detroit, Bledsoe should have an opportunity to do the heavy lifting. He has scored 40+ fantasy points in six of his last ten, with no game under 29 – I’d expect the higher end of that range in this one.
Jordan Clarkson @ WAS ($5,600) – He is averaging 26 fantasy points per game this season, which is probably about double what he would on most other teams in the league, but it’s not his fault the Lakers have no other options. In addition, he has the ability to score fantasy points in four categories, which not only increases floor but also his buffers him somewhat from complete no-shows on any given night.
Danny Green vs. MIL ($4,200) – His playing time is up about two minutes a night over the past week than his season average, and while averaging 30 minutes is certainly better than averaging 28, the difference is pretty small. What is important is why his average is going up, and it’s because his play is improving. It’s not injury or anything else right now, it’s just his efficiency. So while “are his shooting %s up because of more PT or is his PT up because of better shooting %s” might sound like a chicken or egg type question, it isn’t.
Kawhi Leonard vs. MIL ($8,700) – He has played 40 minutes in two of the Spurs’ last four games, almost unheard of under Pop. He is cheaper than a guy like Paul George because his floor is in the mid-thirties, whereas George hasn’t scored under 40 fantasy points in several weeks. But their upside is about the same. An 8-point difference in downside and the same upside makes $1,500 in savings pretty enticing.
Carmelo Anthony vs. PHI ($8,300) – Carmelo Anthony can score. He missed Sunday’s game, but was back at practice yesterday, and should be good to go tonight. He has the occasional games with 20-30 fantasy points, so you can’t say 40 points is his floor, but 40 points IS usually his floor. And there is no reason to expect the Sixers to be the team that keeps him from hitting that mark. They have even been scoring a little bit lately, so the risk of Knicks just resting everyone down the stretch seems smaller than it would have a few weeks ago, too.
DeMarre Carroll @ ATL ($5,900) – After spending the last couple of seasons in Atlanta, he now gets a chance to take them on. I’ll be honest, he is one of those players who is always just a little bit cheaper than I expect, and I know it is because of that sub-20 point downside, but I still feel like his upside makes him worth paying for. It’s not often you find guys who score 30+ fantasy points almost half the time for under $6K.
Jerami Grant @ NY ($5,000) – Nerlens Noel played last night – 26 minutes – and still got 31 minutes of time. He played well enough when given the opportunity that he is not sitting now – there is no way Philly has enough talent to NOT find a way to make Okafor, Noel and this guy all work in the same lineup. “Work” being a relative term, of course, but you know what I mean.
Draymond Green @ CHA ($7,900) – I love Draymond in this matchup, because they just don’t have bodies to run with him. He should be able to score more than his average and rebound more than his average, all while still locking down his man on the defensive end. He has been over 50 DK points in two of his last three and over 39 in each of his last four. For a team to go 147-0 or whatever, they need lots of contributors. He is a key one.
Kristaps Porzingis vs. PHI ($7,900) – Love to root for a rookie to just keep keeping it up. When someone you’ve never seen before starts hot, the inclination is to keep waiting for him to cool off. What if he never does? Rookie of the year? All-Star? WILL THE KNICKS GO TO THE PLAYOFFS? I know, probably not. But still, the 13-9 with 2 blocks and almost a three pointer per game he’s averaging so far is pretty impressive.
Julius Randle @ WAS ($6,300) – This guy cost $1,000 less than this a few weeks ago. He has five double-doubles on the season, and three in the past week. I know he’s not technically a rookie but for all intents and purposes that’s exactly what he is, and you’re seeing a pretty steep learning curve here. For all their faults, the Lakers actually have some competent young talent on their roster. It might not be enough to win actual games, but fantasy games? It could happen.
Nikola Mirotic @ CHI ($5,700) – He is averaging just over 25 minutes a game for the season, and just over 31 minutes a game for the past week. That’s significant. If that keeps up, he doesn’t even actually have to play any better – but a 25% increase in playing time will inevitably push this price upwards if it continues, so jump on board before that happens. You’re welcome.
Andre Drummond vs. PHO ($9,000) – This is a classic clash of styles. But here is the thing – the Pistons just don’t have the horses to run with the Suns. In other words, no matter how much they would like to switch to their small-ball lineup to match up with Phoenix, they can’t. So, even if they’re losing, Drummond will be out there, and Phoenix just does not have an answer for him, at all. I sort of expect his best game of the season in this one tonight.
Pau Gasol vs. DEN ($6,800) – Gasol is a scorer, and if playing a team like Denver in Denver makes Chicago score more points, Gasol is going to be a big beneficiary. This is a guy who went for 18-13 against the Spurs’ front court – he can do some damage in this one.
Marcin Gortat vs. LAL ($5,600) – The Lakers. Cannot. Defend. Big men. It’s a simple equation really. But the fun part is, they also can’t play small ball, so you can just leave your center in there all night dominating the paint with no consequences on the defensive end. It’s a good gig if you can get it.
Bismack Biyombo @ ATL ($4,900) – He has three straight games with at least twelve boards filling in for Valanciunas. He put up 32 fantasy points without scoring a single actual point just two games ago. And against this front-court, he has a chance to do more, as a legit threat for a double-double.