You have to love these first few days of daily fantasy hoops after a big trade deadline like we just had. Values are in flux, and opportunities are there to either capitalize on them, or get stung. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Chris Paul vs. MEM ($10,000) – The only true stud at PG tonight, and he’s got kind of a crappy matchup. But this is a guy who has over 50 fantasy points in three of his last five, which means, really, it’s the Memphis defense with the bad matchup.
- Ty Lawson vs. BKN ($8,300) – PG is relatively deep tonight, without being top-heavy. That’s always nice, because you feel like you can get a really good value at a low price, and you’re not afraid of someone else going big and beating you as a result. Plus, there will be far less overlap at this position, because when there are 3 or 4 legit options to score big points and still save money, almost everyone is going to take one of them. But which one?
- Goran Dragic vs. PHI ($6,200) – No longer in a backcourt with a muddled rotation, he is the man in Miami. It would have been great to see him playing alongside Bosh, but even with just guys like Deng and Wade, he will have plenty of playmakers around him, and and increasing number of opportunities. His debut wasn’t the best, but he got 30+ minutes, and my expectation is that his price tag on Miami ends up higher than it ever was in Phoenix.
- Isaiah Thomas @ PHO ($5,500) – Thomas only played 25 minutes off the bench in his Celtics debut, but he is probably the best scorer on this entire roster. He got up his 13 shots, made three trey’s, got to the line with seven free throws… and you KNOW he’s going to want to come to play against the team that just let him go.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- James Harden vs. MIN ($10,500) – He is the MVP of the league right now. Remember when he used to be on the Thunder? That was awesome. But now he’s got his own team to lead, and he is doing it very effectively. And, truthfully, he is do for a real explosion here soon he has been merely “very good” for his last few games out there.
- Jimmy Butler vs. MIL ($7,800) – In his first game back from injury, he went 30-5-5. Then, 19-5-3, with a steal. These are 30+ point fantasy games, and when you see that happening more often than not for a price tag under $8,000, pounce.
- Khris Middleton @ CHI ($6,500) – 19-4-5, 15-4-4, 15-10-3 – these numbers look more like a power forward than an off-guard, which could mean Middleton is a bad buy, because there is limited upside. But there is another way to look at that – a guard who looks like a Power Forward on the box score might just have the safest ways out there to accumulate points – that way you don’t need the shot to be falling to still be useful.
- Corey Brewer vs. MIN ($3,900) – He backs up James Harden, you say! Well, he does, but he also backs up Ariza, and between the two, he can find plenty of action out on the court. And lately, he seems to be outplaying Ariza (who is also a bit nicked up). Last time out, their minutes finally flipped, with Brewer getting more, and if he keeps playing the way he has been, there is no reason to expect that to go back to the status quo, at least not immediately.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Giannis Antetokounmpo @ CHI ($7,400) – I have loved recommending this guy every single time he’s played for the past three weeks, back when he cost only $5,200. I believe the first words I wrote about him were “this spike in production does not seem like a fluke, it seems like a real progression in his game.” And now that he costs $7,400… I still love recommending him. This price tag is going higher.
- Kawhi Leonard @ UTA ($6,900) – Utah just doesn’t have the personnel at this position to compete physically with a guy like Leonard. Sorry, Hayward.
- Andrew Wiggins @ HOU ($6,200) – All of a sudden, he’s playing like a top draft pick. He is fun to watch, with a real complete game that actually makes him the kind of guy you LOVE to have on your team, rare for someone whose primary skill is scoring.
- Jeff Green @ LAC ($4,800) – It’s tough to find an option for under $5,000 who doesn’t have some risk, and this is no exception. But Green has been getting the starts for the last couple of nights, and at this price, he could easily be worth it if he finds himself on the floor for around 30 minutes, especially with a nice matchup.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Pau Gasol vs. MIL ($9,700) – If he has a bad night: “ho hum, another 20-10.” If he has a good night: “Thank you, Gasol! Your 25-15 won me the contest!” Basically, not a lot of downside here.
- Zach Randolph @ LAC ($8,100) – With no Griffin, it’s actually sort of difficult to imagine what kind of defense Doc is going to employ to try to contend with Memphis down low. DeAndre can only get you so far by himself, as good as he is. But this is the first time the Clips have really faced a team with the twin towers you need to render Jordan “not quite enough” as an interior defender. But even though he might be better on Randolph than Gasol, the Clips simply do not have anyone else with the size to deal with Gasol, so they may have to make do with Randolph being able to get his shot all night long.
- Donatas Motiejunas vs. MIN ($5,600) – He is getting consistent time with Howard out, and he’s been a really good play for 20-25 points per game, with 35+ point upside – not bad for under $6K. He’s not a bruiser underneath, so he would logically excel against teams with slightly smaller and less physical frontcourts – making him a good play tonight.
- Brandon Bass @ PHO ($5,200) – Not everyone expected to still be seeing him in a Celtics uniform right now, but he is, and with Sullinger out, the job is his. It took OT, granted, but he had 40 minutes last time out.
- Marc Gasol @ LAC ($7,400) – Fordan is a beast on defense, but he is going to have his hands full as the only good post defender they”ve got – you have to wonder if they will stick him on Gasol or Randolph, or let him roam. That decision could play a large role in determining the value of all three of those guys, which definitely introduces an element of risk to drafting any of them.
- Hassan Whiteside vs. PHI ($7,800) – Finally healthy coming out of the break, he has averaged 35 fantasy points per game over his last two… and now he’s got Philly, which shouldn’t slow him down any.
- Alexis Ajinca vs. TOR ($4,000) – With Davis out, he is the most direct beneficiary. This has been shown before – his minutes spike whenever either Davis or Asik miss a game, and he actually produces pretty well with the opportunities (14-7 in 25 minutes against Indiana just more than a week ago).
- Tyler Zeller @ PHO ($5,000) – There are a few low-priced, decent option at Center this evening, and Zeller is one of them. As long as Olynyk is out – and he is still out tonight – Zeller is getting plenty of opportunities (especially now with Sullinger down as well). However, if you can afford a slight premium, Pekovic ($5,600) is another good option, indicative of the kinds of choices you’ll be faced with at this point on the list tonight.