With four games scheduled for Thursday night, there are plenty of options available to help pass the time until the big game this weekend. Here are a few players to consider at every position, and price level, for the evening’s action. Good luck!
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Derrick Rose @ LAL ($7,600) – The usage is coming back – he played 43 minutes last time out, and while he didn’t have his best shooting performance, and finished with 11 turnovers, he was clearly the dominant figure on the Bulls offense for stretches, and that kind of confidence is a good sign. This choice is only stronger if Jimmy Butler isn’t active.
- Brandon Knight @ ORL ($7,200) – Knight is someone who the Bucks rely on for a little bit of everything, and he usually delivers. He hits threes, averages more than a steal a night, especially lately, and delivers a handful each of points, rebounds and assists. For $7,200, he’s a solid choice to net you 30 or so fantasy points, with upside.
- Elfrid Payton vs. MIL ($5,600) – He’s had at least two steals in seven of his last eight, with a pair of double-digit assist games mixed in. That gives a guy 40+ fantasy point upside, which is hard to come by in this price range.
- C.J. Watson vs. NY ($4,300) – He’s cheap, and he’s getting minutes. That’s basically the whole story, but for context, he will likely play something like 30 minutes if the past few games shed any light on that kind of thing, and have the ball in his hands a bit more than usual, which leads to 25-30 point upside.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Jimmy Butler @ LAL ($7,500) – He might not play, so you have to be aware. But he clearly is an important part of the Bulls offense – it’s no more evident than when he’s gone. So if he returns from his illness, you have to assume he will be fully involved.
- Victor Oladipo vs. MIL ($7,000) – He’s been over 30 fantasy points in seven of his last nine games, and he looks good doing it. He can score, but when he starts padding his stat sheet with a couple of steals and a half dozen rebounds, he can become a serious weapon on your roster quickly.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo @ ORL ($5,500) – He’s athletic, so he’s fun to watch, fun to root for on your roster. The issue is really shot opportunities, because he doesn’t get them. But he can turn six or seven into usable point totals, and when he’s on his game, he does enough other things well to make you look smart.
- Courtney Lee vs. DEN ($3,700) – For what it is worth, he comes by his 20 fantasy point per night average honestly. Not a lot of ups and downs, which means not a lot of upside, but a really good chance at 18-24 or so fantasy points. Not bad for the last guy into your lineup.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Carmelo Anthony @ IND ($8,800) – This one is health-dependent. He might sit out Thursday’s game to rest his knee on night two of a pair of back-to-backs. But if he plays, you know he will still get his. He certainly looked fine last night. If he sits, you might want to consider someone like Tim Hardaway, Jr., who could pick up some of the scoring slack.
- Wilson Chandler @ MEM ($6,200) – Chandler plays big. Getting him into your lineup is almost like getting yourself a bonus power forward for cheap. Double-digit rebounding potential on a nightly basis certainly doesn’t hurt.
- Khris Middleton @ ORL ($5,200) – He can get you a half dozen rebounds or so, which is useful for a guy who can also drain a couple of threes in a hurry when he finds an open spot.
- Solomon Hill vs. NY ($3,700) – He’s definitely a risk, because he gets to his fantasy scoring average around 20 despite plenty of games in the single digits. But that means plenty of games over 20, too, and the Knicks make for a pretty decent matchup.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Pau Gasol @ LAL ($9,300) – Hey, a revenge game. Also, a game against a terrible defense. And he’s had over 40 fantasy points in each of his last four, if you needed more convincing.
- Zach Randolph vs. DEN ($8,200) – He’s had ten straight double-doubles now, getting plenty of usage, and making the most of it. He shooting over 60% from the floor over that stretch.
- David West vs. NY ($6,300) – He’s handling the ball a lot out of the high post, and that means that he’s getting a seemingly random 3 or so assists every night, which is helpful for a big man who isn’t a primary offensive option himself. He’s been over 20 fantasy points in nine of ten (19.5 once) and has cracked 30 a few times. For this price, that’s the definition of consistency with upside.
- J.J. Hickson @ MEM ($4,900) – He, on the other hand, is not consistent. He really isn’t. He does have a good matchup here, but the problem is, his inconsistency starts with his minutes. If he gets closer to 25 than 20, though, he could net you 20+ fantasy points for a pretty low price tag, and you could certainly envision the Nuggets being able to use that kind of production in this one.
- Nikola Vucevic vs. MIL ($8,600) – The thing about Vucevic that he rebounds like a beast. And he would do that anywhere, and he could be a force on a contender. But stick him in Orlando, and all of a sudden he is seeing upwards of twenty shot attempts per game. In this scenario, it’s surprising when he doesn’t get you that double-double bonus.
- Marc Gasol vs. DEN ($8,000) – This one is going to come down to the pace of the game. There are scenarios where Memphis fails to get his as adequately involved as they’d like in a matchup like this one. But if they manage to play their game, and get him the ball, Denver doesn’t have anyone who can guard him.
- Roy Hibbert vs. NY ($5,500) – He’s not a big scorer, but against the Knicks he could easily find himself getting enough offensive boards to be in contention for double-digit rebounds and points. Throw in his potential to get you a block or two, and he’s pretty likely to provide some decent production if you don’t feel like splurging on your big man.
- Jordan Hill vs. CHI ($5,100) – One of the few constants on the Lakers this year has been Hill starting and getting plenty of minutes. He’s not a big scorer, so his upside isn’t huge, but he can do everything well. And they will need him to tonight, against the Chicago frontcourt. On the bright side, this means he is going to be involved, a central player. The downside is getting defended by and having to rebound with Noah and the rest of the depth Chicago has up front.