With four games Thursday night, you might think your options are limited for your daily fantasy NBA lineups. And sure, there are more options when there are 20+ teams in action, but you’ve got some real interesting options on the eight teams who are playing Thursday, and therefore some real interesting choices to make. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- John Wall @ CHA ($8,900) – He’s been playing through some pain recently, dealing with a nagging Achilles injury. But he continues to perform at a high level, averaging 45+ fantasy points over his last three. That’s what happens when you are the primary scorer and the primary distributor on your team – fantasy points are easier to come by when you constantly have the ball in your hands.
- Damian Lillard vs. PHO ($8,700) – Lillard isn’t Chris Paul, or over Wall or Kyrie or any of these other young point guards who seem to get a ton of attention. For some reason, Lillard is more off the radar – maybe because he’s all the way up there in the Northwest, and maybe because when people think Blazers they think Aldridge – but either way, Lillard should be getting more attention – averaging 21-6-5 with a steal and a half makes you a fantasy stud, even if it didn’t secure him a spot on the All-Star team.
- Darren Collison vs. DAL ($6,500) – He’s been over 30 fantasy points in three of his last five, averaging about 15-5 over that stretch. The fact is, he’s proven to be a very useful player for the Kings, which gives him a shot at being a useable fantasy option.
- J.J. Barea @ SAC ($3,400) – Might as well take advantage of the cheap option while Rondo is still out, especially with Devin Harris a little banged up as well. Barea likely won’t get you too much more than 20 points, but for $3,400, you usually don’t get squat.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Eric Bledsoe @ POR ($8,000) – He’s been doing it all for the Suns. Averaging 13 shots a game for 17 points, 6 dimes, 5 boards and a couple of steals every night for the past couple of weeks, there is no reason to expect a truly disappointing game, even against a stout defense. He’s simply too involved to be eliminated entirely.
- Monta Ellis @ SAC ($7,700) – He has had something of a strange season, and seems to be suffering somewhat with Rondo out of the lineup. He’s put up 40 shots in their last two games, but is connecting at less than a 40% clip. But this defense is apt to give him enough good looks for his game to get back on track, and if he is hitting, the ball will be in his hands even more, enabling him to potentially pad his stat sheet as a distributor as well as a gunner.
- Bradley Beal @ CHA ($6,000) – Watching him play, it’s obvious he has break-out kind of talent. And with 30+ fantasy points in each of his last three, a stretch that saw him display the shooting touch that’s so apparent and also put up some rebounding and steal numbers, and perhaps that breakout is happening now. He has the matchup tonight, and there is a chance his increased production on offense could be a by-product of Wall slowing down just a touch, which could very well continue tonight.
- Jamal Crawford @ CLE ($5,000) – J.J. Redick has been dealing with back spasms recently, and is likely going to sit out tonight. When that has happened recently, Crawford has filled in admirably, and has been getting well north of 30 minutes on the floor, great for this price tag.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- LeBron James vs. LAC ($10,500) – LeBron might be willing to play off the bench to help the team, but, um, yeah – no. That’s not going to happen. So rest easy, potential fantasy basketball owners – he’s the best basketball player in the world, and more often than not, that translates to lots and lots of fantasy points (over 40 in seven straight, including five over 50).
- Rudy Gay vs. DAL ($7,500) – Gay is one of those players who just never seems to fade away completely. Now in Sacramento, he had 30+ fantasy points in three straight prior to Tuesday’s game against Golden State, and he was doing it with a steady dose of what it has always been with Gay – scoring, with a few rebounds sprinkled in. And if Cousins sees his production dip at all going up against a stout defender in Chandler, Gay could see more of those scoring opportunities that he loves.
- Chandler Parsons @ SAC ($5,700) – The kid can shoot. Anyone who is good for a couple of threes every single night seemingly is worth trotting out there in your fantasy lineup if you think he’ll get looks. And against this defense, he should.
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs. WAS ($5,500) – It’s not flashy. The point totals are low. But he is averaging 15 points and 9.7 boards – so he is giving you a legit shot at a double-double every single night, not an easy thing to find at the SF position.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- LaMarcus Aldridge vs. PHO ($9,400) – He’s playing great lately, and while Phoenix has been a good defensive team this year, they don’t have any single defender who can do much to handle LaMarcus. And that is the kind of matchup nightmare that opens things up for everyone, which is what truly makes players like him so valuable. Expect a double-double, hope for 30-15.
- Blake Griffin @ CLE ($9,400) – You can’t find two power forwards with games more diametrically opposed to one another than Blake and Kevin Love. In some cases that means neither will succeed, but in this case, their games are so different they both could play well and barely even affect one another. But of the two, which one do you trust to play well right now? Yeah, I thought so.
- Dirk Nowitzki @ SAC ($6,200) – Dirk isn’t putting up huge numbers. He’s got a cap of about 35 fantasy points at the high end, but the guy can still ball. He’s never going to kill you, coming in with one of the smallest ranges of possible outcomes in the league. His ceiling might be 35, but his floor is only somewhere around 25,so you know what you’re getting into.
- Markieff Morris @ POR ($5,900) – He’ll have his hands full with LaMarcus, but he went over 30 fantasy points in three straight before Tuesday, when he had 24.75. He’s doing it with solid rebounding and an ability to finish in close, which he may still be able to accomplish if he doesn’t let Aldridge draw him too far away from the hoop.
- DeMarcus Cousins vs. DAL ($10,600) – Cousins is a beast. That’s the point, right? Seven games in his last ten over 50 fantasy points (and another at 49.75), and a double-double basically every night. Sure, Chandler is not the best matchup, but that works both ways.
- Al Jefferson vs. WAS ($7,600) – Let’s face it, Cousins v. Chandler is probably the most exciting matchup of big men to watch tonight, but it doesn’t necessarily mean good things for either of them, as they have the size and skill sets to cancel each other out to some degree. So, if you want a chance at more production than the guys below, without the price tag of Cousins, I wouldn’t blame you – at least Big Al’s risk is factored into the price.
- Tyson Chandler @ SAC ($6,400) – On a short night, Chandler is the kind of value play at center that might make a lot of sense, but keep in mind that Cousins could neutralize a lot of what Tyson does well.
- Robin Lopez vs. PHO ($4,400) – He’s back. And he played 25 minutes, and looked ok doing it, and is ready to play again, apparently. If he plays at his best, he won’t be $4,400 for all that long. He’s never going to be an elite option, but he’s big enough to rebound and has soft enough touch around the rim to be able to collect garbage points even when he’s not featured in the offense.