Today’s NBA targets breakdown looks at Wednesday’s 10-game slate, with an eye towards the studs, sleepers and mid-range players you want to have rotating in your lineups. Good luck.
John Wall @ TOR ($9,700) & Kyle Lowry vs. WAS ($8,400) – This game is going to be in large part determined by the point guards, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this particular matchup turned into a scoring contest. The offenses will run through each of them, certainly, but more than that, I can see both of these players being able to get his own shot against the other. And as soon as one has success, the other will want to match it – it’s a vicious (or beautiful) cycle. Wall has only been under 44 fantasy points once in December, and Lowry – for a $1,300 savings – has been at 33 or higher in five of his last six.
Jarret Jack @ ORL ($6,500) – He’s getting as many minutes as he can handle, and it has led to some of the best production of his career on a struggling team. There is no one challenging him for time, and really no one challenging him for opportunities while he is out there, either. As a result, he is averaging 13-4-7 for 31 fantasy points a night, an obvious increase over what was expected in the preseason.
Ish Smith @ SAC ($5,600) – Averaging 31 minutes and 18 shot attempts through two games with his new team, his price has gone up $1,100 since the days when he was playing ten minutes a night or fewer. If these trends continue, this price is going up, without question, which makes him an obvious value play right now.
Klay Thompson @ DAL ($7,400) – This isn’t going to be the last time I bring this up, but there is a chance Steph misses this one. With or without him, this offense is still going to create open looks. And with him or without him, this is a good matchup for Klay. But one thing that should definitely change is just the sheer volume of shot opportunities. They will be spread out over everyone left playing for Golden State, but Klay is an obvious choice to be the biggest beneficiary, especially in a plus matchup.
Jimmy Butler vs. IND ($7,400) – He recorded just five points in 36 minutes last time out – don’t expect that again. The primary option from the perimeter, creating offense for himself and his teammates, he’s going to be in much better form in this rivalry matchup. Before this last game, he had been at 37 or more fantasy points in six of seven, with upside in the 50’s or 60’s, something you don’t often get for less than $9K.
Avery Bradley vs. LAL ($5,300) – In his final game in Boston, I imagine Kobe gets plenty of minutes, which can only be a good thing for whoever he ends up guarding. In this case, that probably mostly Bradley. Avery gets a big portion of his looks after running though a series of screens Kobe just won’t be fighting through, which should give him open attempts at three as well as the ability to create some shots for his teammates off penetration. I would expect the high end of his potential (somewhere in the mid to high 30’s) in this one.
Gary Harris @ POR ($4,400) – He has been over 30 minutes of playing time in four straight, and has been the regular SG for the Nuggets all season long. If he isn’t scoring, he’s not likely to salvage a very good fantasy day, which leaves him with a relatively low floor, but hey, he costs $4,400. In this matchup, he has a decent chance at some open looks in a high-scoring game, and could return 20+ fantasy points for decent value at this price.
Paul George @ CHI ($8,700) – One of the best small forwards in basketball is back, which has been fun for everyone. But the struggles of the past few games have kept his price down, and will do the same for his ownership %, for good reasons: risk. You probably don’t want him littered across all your lineups, especially in cash games, but this matchup always seems to be tight, and the Pacers are going to need George to keep it that way in this one. He could easily be a 40+ player no one else has that helps round out your roster nicely.
Gordon Hayward @ MIN ($7,500) – Hayward is currently being impacted in a few different ways by injuries to his teammates. First, without Alec Burks, Hayward is likely going to consistently shoulder more of the offensive loan in the near future, likely nothing but a positive for his fantasy value. Then there is the recent injury sufferent by Favors. In theory, this also gives him more opportunities, but it also gives him more defensive attention. An ideal world for him might be Favors playing, but Burks not, and that situation could be in play against a good matchup Wednesday night. If Favors doesn’t play, you might want to look elsewhere (and you might want to consider Jeff Withey ($3,500 at center).
Omri Casspi vs. PHI ($6,200) – He and Gay are both listed at SF here, and both are getting plenty of run – and could each have value in a good matchup. But especially recently, more of Casspi’s value has been coming on the boards, and that is something that should definitely continue against the Sixers. He has double-digit rebounds in three of his last five, coinciding with four of five games with over 30 fantasy points. He is an obvious candidate for an inexpensive double-double in this one, with a ton of upside if he gets enough shot opportunities.
Andre Iguodala @ DAL ($5,000) – With Barnes ruled out, the minutes should be there. With Steph possibly out as well, the opportunities should be up for just about everyone. There still is not a lot of upside here, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see his best game in a couple of weeks, giving you good value in the mid-20’s instead of the mid-teens like he has been lately.
DeMarcus Cousins vs. PHI ($10,000) – Against this Philadelphia team, the normal fear is that a legit superstar just doesn’t need to play that many minutes to secure the W. But the bright side (or red flag?) here is that despite Cousins and Rondo, the Kings just aren’t that good either. So he should get his full complement of minutes, casually just racking up the points, rebounds and blocks whenever he is out there.
Draymond Green @ DAL ($9,300) – This really comes down the same thing I wrote about Klay Thompson. Even if it is only 3 or 4 shot attempts a night, any increase in opportunities that would come his way in the case of Curry missing would just be gravy, at least in the short term. It’s not as if those extra chances are accounted for in this price – this price just reflects everything he is already doing on the regular – you know, his 9 boards, 7 assists and 3 forced turnovers a night. That’s all.
Julius Randle @ BOS ($5,400) – I am not necessarily saying that the fact that Boston excels at defending guards and doesn’t so much at defending big men means Kobe is going to pass more, but theoretically at least, this is a game in which Randle might be one of the best options the Lakers have on offense. He has been averaging just around 25 minutes a night over the past couple of weeks, but he is still looking at a chance for his eighth double-double of the month (not to mention a few near-misses). Definitely in reach, 12-10 would make him a good value, but there is no reason to take 20-10 off the table, even if he is only out there for 25 minutes.
David West vs. PHO ($3,900) – There is no report out on Duncan yet for tonight, but there are rumors that he’s not going to play again. This doesn’t seem to be a long-term concern, but at least for tonight, West could be in line for another start. He’s now started two games, and had one good one and one bad one, but this seems like a matchup where he could find success. He is not going to post huge point totals, but he could do a little of everything well enough to push his fantasy total into the 20’s for you, decent return on a cheap option.
Nikola Vucevic vs. BKN ($7,700) – He is a threat for 20-10 every single night, no matter the opponent. He can compete with any big man in the league on the boards, and has enough ways to score on the offensive end – and enough opportunities on this offense – that 20+ points is also always in play. He’s been putting it all together recently, with 40+ fantasy points in five of his last six (30+ in eight straight).
Karl-Anthony Towns vs. UTA ($6,800) – With Gobert still sidelined, the Jazz are no longer the team that has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing centers this season. Towns has seen his price stay on the low end of it’s range for this one after a couple of down games recently – but they both came against the Spurs. He is a threat for a double-double every night, and has more upside than you usually find for this price, like the 25-16 he posted against the Celtics last week.
Kelly Olynyk vs. LAL ($5,200) – No matter who is on the court, there is a certain something in the air when the Lakers play in Boston, and the players can feel it. Olynyk has the perfect matchup, an affordable price tag, and, over the last couple of weeks, has been getting the 20+ minutes a night he needs to push for 30 fantasy points for you.
Ian Mahinmi @ CHI ($4,800) – Mahinmi doesn’t score enough to have the upside to be a really exciting GPP play, but he could be very useful in filling your roster out for a cash-game lineup. Over the last couple of weeks, he has been averaging just about a fantasy point a minute, and since he has been over 20 minutes in 7 of his last 8, that means he’s been giving you a fantasy score in the mid-20’s for this price every night, which is nice consistent value.