With a full slate of nine games on the board for Monday night, you have plenty of options, but there are plenty of question marks as well. So here are a few players to target at every price range, for every position… and why. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Russell Westbrook @ DEN ($11,200) – You can’t ask for any more than this guy recently. He’s averaging more than 65 fantasy points per game over his last four, with a triple-double and two double-doubles (one with assists and one with rebounds), as well as another nine-rebound game in that stretch. One of those games was a ridiculous 48-11-9 with four steals thrown in – if he does that again, and you don’t pay up, someone is beating you.
- Stephen Curry @ PHI ($10,400) – It’s sort of amazing that he isn’t the most expensive option, considering the year he is having so far. But to save $800 and get a guy who has gone over 45 fantasy points in seven of eight, and who happens to be playing the Sixers, is not a bad deal at all.
- Tyreke Evans vs. UTA ($7,900) – He went for 65 fantasy points just three days ago, and has been a 30-point machine. He’s rounding into the clear #2 option in New Orleans, providing the wing presence needed to balance Anthony Davis, and it’s been good news for New Orleans fans and fantasy owners alike.
- Brandon Knight vs. BKN ($7,400) – I know $7,400 isn’t that cheap, but when you have stud options like really all four of these guys, it’s hard to imagine going cheap at PG when you see the options out there both here and at other positions.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Klay Thompson @ PHI ($8,100) – Second-fiddle to Steph Curry is nothing to be embarrassed about. He’s had at least two treys in each of his last five, and here is some insight for you… like his teammate, Thompson is ALSO playing the Sixers.
- Monta Ellis @ LAC ($7,700) – Basically, you need him to score 20+ actual points, which will put you in range for 40 fantasy points. He does that MOST of the time, but every two or three games, his shooting percentage drops and the points are there. He always gets plenty of looks. The Clippers perimeter defense, and ability to switch on pick and rolls, might allow them to contest his shot just enough to drop that percentage, which brings Ellis’ floor into view, and that isn’t always pretty.
- Khris Middleton vs. BKN ($6,300) – It seems to me that Middleton is a consistent 20-25 fantasy point scorer, with occasional outbursts that jack him up to the 35-40 range, and yet, he is priced like a guy who just scores 25-ish, and that’s it. I’ll take consistency with some free upside please. Thank you.
- Kevin Martin vs. ATL ($5,800) – Martin spent a couple of games coming off the bench a couple of weeks back, but generally speaking, he plays something right around 40 minutes a night. And for this price, 40 minutes is a lot of time to get some things done, and his 19-4-2-1 average in recent games is good for just over 30 fantasy points. I’ll take it.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Kevin Durant @ DEN ($10,000) – He hasn’t been reaching the massive highs of his teammate Westbrook lately, but this is, right now, a two-man team. Which means there is plenty of opportunity for them to each be productive, as shown by KD going for 40+ fantasy points in eight of ten, even while Westbrook has been going off.
- Carmelo Anthony @ MIA ($8,800) – He’s still not 100%, which is why he didn’t play Saturday, on the second night of a back-to-back. But he’s pretty close to 100% when he’s out there, and he’ll be out there Monday. He hasn’t played fewer than 33 minutes or taken fewer than 23 shots in any of the last three games he actually participated in.
- Kawhi Leonard @ IND ($7,700) – Over the past couple of weeks, he’s been averaging right around 35 fantasy points a night, which you’re happy with on an investment under $8K. And the great thing about him is that he usually does it by scoring right around 35, not with huge peaks and terrible, lineup-ruining bad nights.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. BKN ($6,600) – I have been on this guy for two weeks now, because his price has just been too low… and it still is. That’s what happens when a guy breaks out. On January 22nd, ten games ago, he cost $5,200 – and he’ll cost more than $7,000 before you know it. He has had over 30 fantasy points in six straight, including games over 50 and over 40 in his last two times out. Get on board while you still can.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Paul Milsap @ MIN ($7,800) – Milsap has been the unsung hero of the Hawks’ success this season, because what he does is not flashy. But it’s really, really effective, and easy replicated… at least by him, night after night. RE: consistency. He’s got it. And while he has had a couple of off nights in the past few, you only have to look back to about a week ago to see a run of four straight with over 40 fantasy points. You don’t get that for cheap, at least not often.
- Draymond Green @ PHI ($7,500) – You might think – there are a lot of games going on tonight – these are your PF studs? Well, it’s simple – Griffin is out, and Davis might be. That’s a lot of stud to go missing on one day – so here you go, Green is getting some recognition. And while he might not be Anthony Davis, he deserves it. Overshadowed by his dynamic teammates in the backcourt, Green does the kind of stuff that keeps the Warriors in the W column – things like double-digit rebounds in four of his last five, more than a steal and a block every game, and scoring when they need it.
- Ryan Anderson vs. UTA ($5,400) – This is obviously just a play banking on some increase usage and opportunity because of Anthony Davis being set to miss some time. But if he does get all the run, he is capable of doing some good things, scoring 15+ points regularly, which can make for a good fantasy outing when it is paired with a handful of rebounds of assets.
- Thaddeus Young vs. ATL ($6,000) – His biggest games come when he seems to be really involved on the defensive end. He is capable of grabbing you a block and a handful of steals (games of 5 and 3 in just his past five outings), but that kind of activity also seems to lead to him being more involved on the glass, maybe cashing in on some more easy buckets. And with Atlanta playing great this year, you know Young is going to have to be focused on the defensive end, no matter who he is matched up against, so you could see something in the range of 30 fantasy points in this one.
- Nikola Vucevic @ WAS ($8,500) – He’s slowed down recently compared to the beginning of the year – perhaps feeling the weight of being the only good player on his team. But he’s still got 60 point upside, which you don’t find just anywhere. He’s competing down low with the likes of Gortat, which means the potential is there for a 20-rebound game.
- DeAndre Jordan @ DAL ($7,500) – With Griffin out, Jordan might see a small uptick in minutes, mainly because his backups will be filling in elsewhere, but more importantly, you could see him getting an increase in opportunities while he is out there. He can fill a lane on a break better than anyone on the team other than Griffin, and we are talking about someone who OFTEN finds himself with fewer than ten shot attempts. The last time he had double-digit attempts, he had 22 points on 13 shots, and finished with 40+ fantasy points.
- Brook Lopez @ MIL ($6,500) – He is this price because his downside is low – three games under twenty (and one in single digits) in his last ten. But fully 75% of the time, he scores 25+ fantasy points, looking at the bigger picture this year. He is consistently up over 30 (six times in his last ten), so the upside is there with a consistency you don’t normally see for this price.
- Spencer Hawes @ DAL ($3,000) – You might want to wait to see how it all shakes out, but it seems to make sense that Hawes will be the primary beneficiary of Blake Griffin’s missed time. The other option would be Ekpe Udoh, but just based on the minutes they’ve been getting so far, Hawes is easier to trust to start out.