With three games on tap for Monday night, you might feel railroaded into a few of your lineup decisions – but you shouldn’t! And The Playbook is here to help… Good luck!
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Russell Westbrook @ HOU ($10,000) – Houston defends points guards well, on paper. On paper, they also defend small forwards well. OKC is going to get some points somewhere. And Houston’s proficiency at defending guards is named Patrick Beverley, and though he is expected to play tonight, he did suffer a knee contusion last night and if that slows him down at all, Westbrook is just the player to exploit that.
- Kyrie Irving @ LAL ($9,000) – Before Tuesday’s game, he had been over 36 fantasy points in 11 of his last 12 games. It’s starting to be clear that Love is somewhat of the odd man out when the Cavs’ new big three is entirely healthy, but Irving is still going to have the ball in his hands a lot, with plenty of opportunities to make plays. And, it’s the Lakers.
- Brandon Knight vs. NY ($7,600) – $7,600 isn’t cheap, but it’s definitely a savings over the top two, without diving all the way down to the real risks left on the board after Knight. Knight doesn’t really have that big upside of a Westbrook or a Kyrie, but he could crack 40 fantasy points on a good night, and he gives you a very solid shot at 25-30 fantasy points, at a minimum. That’s more – a LOT more – than the guys further down the list can say.
- Shane Larkin @ MIL ($4,400) – I mean, who knows with the Knicks lately. But Larkin has seen a minimum of 27 minutes in each of his last four games, and with the speed at which things have been changing in New York lately, that’s enough of a sample size for me to have to just trust it.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- James Harden vs. OKC ($10,500) – This is getting boring. But if you don’t start him, you’re going to worry all night about him beating you. The choice is yours. With Beverley banged up, he might have the ball in his hands even more than usual. Which is a lot.
- Kobe Bryant vs. CLE ($8,400) – I don’t know, but I get the feeling that Kobe still thinks he is the best player in the league. But whether that’s true or not, he IS the best player on his team. He was back in action on Tuesday and got plenty of minutes and jacked up plenty of shots, spo there is no reason not to expect more of the same tonight.
- O.J. Mayo vs. NY ($4,400) – For this price, he plays a good amount. And he is capable of doing a lot of things well. He hasn’t been scoring a lot, but a handful or rebounds, a bunch of assists and a few defensive stats are all things that fall well within his wheelhouse. Combining that with a dozen or so points makes for a useful fantasy player.
- Dion Waiters @ HOU ($4,000) – He has actually been seeing the floor since moving to OKC. He’s coming in off the bench, often playing without one of either Durant or Westbrook, and so he is actually getting opportunities to produce while he is out there, with seven three point attempts in just his first two games with the Thunder.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- LeBron James @ LAL ($10,700) – He’s really good at basketball. He came back this week after missing a couple of weeks, and played 37 minutes, so you should rest assured that he gave himself plenty of time to get right before returning. And injury not being a risk-factor any more than usual means you’re back to wanting him in your lineup every day, and wondering if you can afford it. Against the Lakers, he might not need a huge offensive effort, so I would be more inclined to lean towards Kyrie in this one.
- Carmelo Anthony @ MIL ($8,800) – He’s still listed as questionable, but if he plays, it’s a good option. He can score in a hurry, and he is going to want to, returning to a Knicks team that has seen some turmoil recently. And while Milwaukee is a good defensive team, remember, this is a road game for both of them, being played in London. And who loves a big stage more than Carmelo? Too bad they’re not playing with FIFA rules – Melo has been the best option on Team USA more than once in his career so far.
- Trevor Ariza vs. OKC ($5,600)) – He is not flashy, at all. But he will get you 25ish fantasy points. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
- Corey Brewer @ HOU ($4,000) – Sometimes you cost $4,000 because you’re inconsistent. But Brewer is not – he is consistently mediocre. But that’s something, when you’re building a fantasy lineup. He might only score you 15 fantasy points, but he probably won’t score less than that.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Kevin Love @ LAL ($9,900) – Ibaka is the second most expensive power forward on the list, and he costs $6,400, so I had to talk about Love here. But what do we talk about when we talk about Love? At least lately? I would talk about Chris Bosh.
- Serge Ibaka @ HOU ($6,400) – Basically, you are hoping for a double-double. And on any given night, you could absolutely get it. He is averaging seven boards a night, so you don’t need too much of a bump to make this a very worthwhile investment.
- Donatas Motiejunas vs. OKC ($5,200) – He looks like he’s trying to keep this starting gig on lockdown. He has two double-doubles in his last three, and has scored 30+ fantasy points in three of four.
- Amar’e Stoudemire @ MIL ($4,400) – The Knicks are going to at least try to show up and play with a full-strength lineup tonight, according to reports coming out of New York (and London). If you decide to go with Amar’e, have a backup plan in place, but if he plays, you can safely trot him out there. He is getting old, which limits his upside, but he doesn’t need more than 20 minutes on the court to be worth this price tag.
- Dwight Howard vs. OKC ($8,100) – He’s the only definite “stud” option available at center tonight. And the matchup is not great. Maybe it’s a good night to save on your big man?
- Zaza Pachulia vs. NY ($5,800) – He’s got 40 point upside, and 15 point downside, and he’s not going to play more than 30 minutes. With him, the value comes from rebounding. If he gets double-digit rebounds, he is getting you 35 fantasy points. And against the Knicks, that could happen very easily (the perfect storm of bad shot selection and bad rebounding makes it very likely, at the very least).
- Timofey Mosgov @ LAL ($4,800) – He’s seemed to nail down the starting job, so it’s all about usage on a night-to-night basis. On this team, looks aren’t easy to come by, so you have to take what you can get, but for only $1,000 in savings over the next guy on the list, I might wait to see him do it a few more times before I trust him in my lineup. He had 2 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes last time out.
- Cole Aldrich @ MIL ($5,500) – I guess he’s the one not rebounding for the Knicks. He’s capable (he has had 19, 14 and 12 rebound games in the past three weeks), but he also disappears at times. He’s not huge, so you have to pay attention to the matchup, and toinight’s matchup is Zaza – Aldrich could win every close ball tonight, and get you the double-double you need to make a good value into a great choice.