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There are 10 games tonight in the NBA. When drafting your lineup, look for players who will play big minutes. The more time a player is on the court, the more opportunities he’ll have to score fantasy points. Also, check for the positional matchups for your players. Some teams are better at defending certain positions, which can make it more difficult for your players to put up fantasy points. With that in mind, here are a few names to consider at each position, from every price range!
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. POR ($9,800) – He is someone who, physically, Portland can’t match up with because… well, because no one can. He can stand up to someone like LeBron, and lately, he’s playing like he knows it. He is averaging 20+ points, 9 boards, and 6 assists a game, but is also averaging a combined FIVE blocks and steals per game. That’s not just random upside – he’s doing it every night, and against a small backcourt in Portland, all those secondary numbers should pile up in a hurry once again.
Eric Bledsoe vs. IND ($7,400) – He has been over 50 fantasy points in three of his last four games, contributing across the board over that stretch. Not only is he scoring, he is averaging just about 6 boards and 6 assists over that stretch as well, and providing a defensive presence. He has 11 steals and 3 blocks over that four-game span, including a five-steal effort against Golden State last time out.
Other Options – James Harden ($11,400), Chris Paul ($8,800)
Jamal Murray @ BKN ($3,900) – He is not yet at a point where you can trust him to be consistent after he has gone from a run of 4 straight over 30 to 4 straight under 20. But recently he came out with a 22-point outing against Philly, good for 29.75 fantasy points, the kind of upside you don’t often find at this price. He can shoot, and got 7 looks from behind the arc in that Sixers game.
Other Options – Tyler Johnson ($5,200), Jameer Nelson ($4,800)
C.J. McCollum @ MIL ($6,800) – It’s not always easy to predict how Milwaukee will use Giannis on the defensive end, but he’s not likely to spend a lot of time on the more undersized McCollum. He’s been over 30 fantasy points in five straight games, and if he is able get his jumper free, they could end up turning to him more than enough to keep that streak going for another night.
Avery Bradley @ ORL ($6,300) – With Isaiah Thomas out tonight, there will be plenty of minutes and – more importantly – shots to go around. Bradley has proven an ability to play a steady game and score in slashes to the basket as well as hit some open jumpers. If he has more of those coming his way with his backcourt mate dinged up, he should prove to be a value at this price for any type of contest.
Other Options – James Harden ($11,400), Will Barton ($6,200)
Wesley Matthews vs. SAC ($5,200) – Matthews has consistently played around 35 minutes a night all season long despite shooting under 33% from behind the arc. Dallas just needs someone to be able to move the ball around, and at least be able to get off a shot when called upon, and Matthews can fill that role.
Other Options – Marcus Smart ($4,500), Rodney McGruder ($3,600), Wayne Ellington ($4,300)
LeBron James @ NY ($9,900) – LeBron, like every all-time great, loves a good stage, and it is easy to see him delivering on his upside in front of an energetic MSG crowd. He is one of those few fantasy options with 60+ fantasy point upside no matter who they are playing, no matter what night. He is as safe as they come as a building block for a cash game just because of his talent and his involvement in everything Cleveland is doing on a nightly basis, but tonight I like him as the centerpiece of my GPP lineups as well.
Wilson Chandler @ BKN ($6,300) – The Nuggets in general move a lot, and move the ball a lot, so it’s hard to say who is going to get looks night to night. But Chandler has been a lynchpin of their attack all season when he is on the court. He is often playing right in the vicinity of 30 minutes a night and getting up 15 or so shot attempts. He has 40+ point upside, but in a good matchup like this one in Brooklyn, it’s reasonable to expect fantasy points in the mid-30’s, making him a solid cash game consideration.
Other Options – Carmelo Anthony ($7,100), Devin Booker ($6,100)
Jae Crowder @ ORL ($5,600) – Another Celtic who could benefit from Isaiah Thomas missing some time, he often contributes without having to do a lot of the heavy lifting on the offensive end for Boston. However, with Thomas out he is going to be more of a focus on the offensive end of the court while he is out there, and that is obviously going to boost his potential. He has the ability to knock down enough outside shots to keep Orlando’s defense honest, a good boost to go along with all the other production he should get you.
Other Options – Danilo Gallinari ($5,700)
Paul George @ PHO ($7,800) – There is something wrong with Indiana’s offense, which hurts George’s total upside, but as a result of the issues they are more inclined to occasionally just let him do whatever he pleases with the ball, being far and away their most efficient, creative and productive offensive weapon. In a game with Phoenix that should be faster-paced than most of their games, George should still be at the center of what Indiana is doing, making this price very attractive (he has scored 38 and 40 fantasy points in his two games back from injury).
Al Horford @ ORL ($6,700) – He has only played 11 games for the Celtics so far this season, having to miss some time early with his new team. Now he is starting to look like he is part of the fold for Brad Stevens, and getting comfortable. He is on a team that’s going to ask him to protect the rim and grab some boards, always a nice base for a big man, but they will also turn him loose to shoot threes and crash the lane on the offensive end. When he is on his game, that can lead to the kind of 45+ fantasy point outbursts we’ve already seen twice this month.
Other Options – DeMarcus Cousins ($11,000), Blake Griffin ($8,600)
Josh McRoberts @ ATL ($3,300) – The Heat have been decimated by injuries to the point that they are only bringing nine players with them for their three-game road trip. McRoberts has played 24 and 28 minutes in his last two games, up from a season average of just 14.5 minutes. He doesn’t need to do much to reach value at $3,300 as he is playing almost 30 minutes a night.
Other Options – Jon Leuer ($4,500), Dwight Powell ($4,100)
Hassan Whiteside @ ATL ($9,200) – Whiteside could see his upside on the glass diminished somewhat with Howard out there – so he might only see 11 or 12 rebounds or so instead of 17 or 18. But he is a force that isn’t going to be completely stopped, so I’m going to ignore the tough ranking for the Atlanta defense against big men. They get there by slowing the game down and limiting chances, but Whiteside’s price already reflects that kind of game – Miami plays just about as slow as anyone. Despite that, he is averaging 18-14 with 2.5 blocks per game, all averages that are more than attainable here.
Brook Lopez vs. DEN ($6,400) – Denver is an interesting team that will play fast enough to increase Lopez’s (and everyone else’s) potential for the night, but they play fast without playing so small that Lopez can’t find a role to fill on both ends of the court. Often the primary scoring option for the Nets, he has a baseline in the 20’s and 40 point upside, which at this price, makes him more of a GPP game than a cash consideration for me.
Other Options –Andre Drummond ($7,500)
Dwight Powell vs. SAC ($4,100) – Without Dirk or Andrew Bogut, Powell all of a sudden has been averaging 28 minutes a night over the past three games. He has been averaging just under 25 fantasy points a game for that stretch, numbers that are up from his season averages of 20 minutes and 17 fantasy points. The price hasn’t jumped enough to account for that upgrade in minutes just yet.
Other Options – Myles Turner ($6,100), Clint Capela ($5,500)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.