With three games on the slate today, our fantasy options are very limited. The schedule is what it is, so we have to play the hand we have been dealt. Here are the guys I like for Sunday’s NBA action:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Russell Westbrook @ ORL ($10200) – It is probably a little too optimistic to expect Westbrook to match the 72.75 fantasy-points he put up against Golden state on the 16th against Orlando, though it is not completely out of the question. Westbrook is a stud, is playing well, and has a very favorable matchup; that is what I can the fantasy trifecta. It would behoove you to find a way to get Westbrook on your teams.
- Kyle Lowry vs. NO ($9800) – Another reason to like Westbrook is the other elite point guard options. Jrue Holiday is hurting, Lowry does not have a favorable matchup. But, it is also not an unfavorable matchup. New Orleans has been about average at defending point guards this season, plus has struggled some in their last five games. If you just cannot afford Westbrook, Lowry is not a bad consolation prize.
- Tony Parker vs. UTA ($5800) – Slowly but surely, Parker is rounding back into fantasy form. He is playing a little better each night, and his playing time is trending up lately. He just logged a 33 fantasy-point game against Portland, and there is no reason to think he cannot do the same against Utah which has had some issues against opposing point guards this season.
- Patty Mills vs. UTA ($3600) – San Antonio is noted for resting their veterans against bad teams, at 14-26 I would think that Utah qualifies as a bad team. Mills has averaged 20.6 fantasy-points per game while playing a little over 24 minutes a game. There is no reason not to think Mills cannot do that against Utah, which makes for a nice return on a $3600 investment.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- DeMar DeRozan vs. NO ($6700) – The defensive metrics on New Orleans against opposing shooting guards very widely — as in they are either one of the best defenses or one one the worst depending on where you look. I am more about the player than the matchup with DeRozan anyway. His priced is still depressed after missing over a month, yet he has hit the ground running averaging 33.1 fantasy-points in his first two games back.
- Victor Oladipo vs. OKC ($6800) – Over their last five games, Oklahoma City has allowed a NBA second worst 50.8 fantasy-points per game to opposing shooting guards. Over his last six games, Oladipo has averaged 36.9 fantasy-points, those two numbers add up to a nice game for Oladipo against the Thunder.
- Eric Gordon @ TOR ($5300) – Unfortunately, with such a small player pool, we are almost going to be forced to play players with unfavorable matchups. Gordon was a much better option Friday when he was $500 cheaper, and had a much better matchup. He is still playing well, and his price is not unreasonable. He is not a great option, but one of the better shooting guards options in the small player pool we have today.
- Dion Walters @ ORL ($4200) – It is not often that you will find a player averaging 25.5 fantasy-points per game over his last four games who only costs $4200. But, that is what you get with Waiters. He is a good play despite a very tough matchup.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Kawhi Leonard vs. UTA ($7500) – Leonard’s price is still depressed since the player pool was created after he had played in only one game. He is another guy who has a less than ideal matchup, but whose price more than makes up for the tough opponent.
- Gordon Hayward @ SA ($7800) – If you take Hayward on Sunday, you should not be expecting a monster game. What you should expect is an average game from him. His season average has been 34.3 fantasy-points per game; in his three games against San Antonio, he has averaged 34.3 fantasy-points per game. I know, you normally expect over five time value from players, but on a day with only three games, getting 34 fantasy-points for $7800 is a solid return.
- James Jones vs. NO ($4800) – New Orleans is allowing the fourth most fantasy-points per game to opposing small forwards this season. Johnson has not been a monster lately or anything, but he has averaged 24.8 fantasy-points per game over his last five games.
- Joe Ingles @ SA ($3300) – 17.7 fantasy-points per game is not all that impressive over a five game span, at least in a vacuum. It is more impressive when it goes along with a $3300 price tag. Those just happen to be Igles’ numbers over his last five games, and his price today making him a nice, cheap fantasy option.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Serge Ibaka @ ORL ($6500) – Me love me some Serge today! He has averaged 35.0 fantasy-points per game over his last four games. Better yet, Orlando has been the worst team against opposing power forwards over their last five games — allowing 55.9 fantasy-points per game to the position. Ibaka is a great deal for $6500.
- Derrick Favors vs. SA ($8000) – There are not many stud power forward options. I am not sure how much Tim Duncan will play. I know that Favors will play a good deal, and that he has been playing well lately. He is a solid fantasy option despite a less than ideal opponent.
- Amir Johnson vs. NO ($4600) – Like paying taxes or telling my wife I won money playing fantasy, recommending Johnson is not something I like doing, Unfortunately, we often have to do things we do not want to in real life. Johnson has been playing well, and New Orleans has been struggling against power forwards recently.
- Boris Diaw vs. UTA ($4200) – I expect San Antonio to give some of their regulars a little less playing time against Utah, which should mean extra playing time for guys like Diaw.
- Nikola Vucevic vs. OKC ($8800) – Over their last five games, Oklahoma City has allowed opposing centers to average 55.9 fantasy-points per game. Good news for Vucevic who has quietly been one of the better fantasy centers this season. The fact that Vucevic has averaged 43.8 fantasy-points his last six games is another reason to consider him today.
- Rudy Gobert @ UTA ($6000) – Gobert has averaged a little more than one fantasy-point per minute this season. That was good when he was playing 21 minutes per game; it is even better now that he is playing over 33 minutes a game — like he has over his last five games. Gobert should have a nice game against the Spurs who have not been great against centers this season, and might be resting their regulars too.
- Tiago Splitter vs. UTA ($4100) – Splitter might be my least favorite pick today. He has a bad matchup, he is not likely to have a monster game, and he only had 12.5 fantasy-points in his last game. That said, he does only cost $4100, and has averaged 19.9 fantasy-points per game over his last six games.
- Omer Asik @ TOR ($4500) – Asik has a nice stretch of games going right now. His worst game in his last three was 24.5 fantasy-points. If Asik can manage the 26.1 fantasy-points he has managed over the last three games, he would give you almost six times value today.