Today’s NBA targets breakdown takes a look at tonight’s games, Saturday January 31st and pinpoints some studs and values you might want to target at each position.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
Stephen Curry vs. PHO ($10,100) – Curry is coming off of a big game last night. He filled up the stat sheet and scored 57.25 fantasy points. Tonight, the Warriors host the Suns. This game has the highest over under of all of the games and it’s not even close (225). The last time that Curry played against the Suns he scored 54 fantasy points. He’s pricey, but you should definitely make an effort to get him in your lineups tonight. He’s as consistent as it gets and has a huge ceiling as well. I’m expecting another big night from Curry.
Other Studs: Russell Westbrook $10,400, Chris Paul $9,300, John Wall $8,900 (check status before the game), and Michael Carter-Williams $8,200
Isaiah Thomas at GS ($5,400) – On the other hand, I also like Thomas a lot. He’s been playing well as of late, scoring more than 29 fantasy points in five of his last six games. Keep in mind that he is averaging 25 fantasy points per game for the year. He’s averaging 26 minutes per game in the last five games. The last time Thomas played against the Warriors he put up 37.8 fantasy points. Like I mentioned above, this is the highest over under of the evening, therefore a lot of points are expected to be scored and they have to come from somewhere. At this price he should have no trouble hitting value tonight.
Other Values: Elfrid Payton $5,600, Brian Roberts $4,600, and Jerryd Blayless $4,000
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
Klay Thompson vs. PHO ($8,500) – Thompson left a bitter taste in many people’s mouths last night, including mine. However, that’s no reason to fade him. This is a great matchup for him. The Suns are allowing 42.6 fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards. Prior to last night’s disappointing game for Thompson, he scored 113 real points and 162.5 fantasy points in the previous three games. He’s averaging 39.4 fantasy points in home games and should get back on track tonight against the Suns. There’s a good chance his usage rate goes down a bit because of yesterday’s game, I’d try to take advantage of that.
Other Studs: James Harden $11,100 and Eric Bledsoe $8,300
Kevin Martin vs. CLE ($4,600) – Martin has now played two games since returning from injury. He’s scored more than 27 fantasy points in each of those games, but his price has remained low. Despite a chance of a high usage rate, he remains a good value solely because of price and what he’s capable of doing. Not to mention, the Cavs are the second worst defense against shooting guards, allowing 46.6 fantasy points per game. Martin’s price hasn’t been adjusted yet, so take advantage of the bargain you’re getting while it’s available.
Other Values: Kyle Korver $5,200, J.R. Smith $5,000, and O.J. Mayo $4,500
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
LeBron James at MIN ($10,800) – James was considered doubtful for last night’s game with a wrist injury yesterday morning, but ended up playing. He scored 19 real points and ended the night with 42.75 fantasy points. The good news is that he was able to play without suffering any setbacks. Even better news is that the plays the Timberwolves tonight who give up the most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards (41.4). Prior to last night’s game, James had scored 50 or more fantasy points in four consecutive games. I like his chances tonight to get close to 50 fantasy points.
Other Studs: Kevin Durant $10,600 (if he plays), Rudy Gay $7,700, and Draymond Green $7,600
Khris Middleton vs. POR ($5,300) – For some reason I’ve found Middleton making a lot of my lineups as a value play in recent games. His price has gone up in the last ten games, but it’s still reasonable and low enough for him to hit value. He’s averaging 21.6 fantasy points per game for the season, but has scored 25 or more fantasy points in seven of his last ten games. That includes four 33+ fantasy point games. He’s already had success against Portland this season. He scored 28.8 fantasy points in his last game against them. I’d ride the hot hand here at this economical price, especially if you’re trying to fit in guys like Curry or LeBron in your lineups.
Other values: Nicolas Batum $5,200, Jeff Green $4,800, and P.J. Tucker $4,200
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
LaMarcus Aldridge at MIL ($9,500) – It appeared that Aldridge was going to miss a significant amount of time with a thumb injury at one point, but after a two game absence, he returned to action and is playing exceptionally well. He’s scored more the 44 fantasy points in each of the last three games, including two 60+ fantasy point performances. The Bucks are allowing 44.9 fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards. The last time Aldridge played against the Bucks he scored 23 real points and grabbed 15 boards. That performance was good for 47.3 fantasy points. He’s usually a $10K salary player, but has been cheaper than that in the last couple of games. It’s only a matter of time before his salary goes back up, so until then, take the discount.
Other Studs: Blake Griffin $9,400, Zach Randolph $8,500, Greg Monroe $8,500, and Paul Milsap $8,300
Donatas Montiejunas at DET ($5,300) – Montiejunas had a big game last night against the Celtics. He scored 26 real points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He took advantage of Dwight Howard’s absence yet again. Montiejunas has been playing well as of late. He has scored more than 24 fantasy points in nine of his last ten games; mind you he averages 23.4 fantasy points per game for the season. Another plus for him tonight is that he has a favorable matchup. The Pistons allow the second most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards (47.8). Howard will miss tonight’s game as well, so Montiejunas is in for another opportunistic night.
Other Values: Markieff Morris $5,800, Robert Covington $5,200, Cody Zeller $4,900, and John Henson $4,100 (if he starts)
DeMarcus Cousins at IND ($10,700) – It’s insane enough that he averages 49.3 fantasy points per game, but what’s even more mind blowing is that he’s exceeded his season average eight times in the last 10 games. In that span, he has scored 64+ fantasy points three times and 54+ fantasy points six times. He’s absolutely crushing in recent games and should continue to do so tonight. The matchup may not appear favorable on paper, but the Pacers are struggling against centers in recent games, allowing 50.1 fantasy points per game over the last 10 games. It appears his ankle injury isn’t affecting his game. The price is stiff, but he has both such a high ceiling and floor that it’s worth the investment.
Other Studs: Nikola Vucevic $8,600, Andre Drummond $8,000, Marc Gasol $7,900, and Al Horford $7,700
Al Jefferson at DEN ($7,100) – This price may not seem like value to most, but for a player like Jefferson this is some good value. Prior to his injury he was a $9K player for the most part, which is almost $2K more than his current value. He was eased into the lineup after returning from injury, but has played 30 or more minutes in his last two games. He has now scored more than 40 fantasy points in two of his last three games. The Nuggets struggle against bigs, so Jefferson should have a field day. They allow 49.7 fantasy points per game. In addition, Kemba Walker is out, so Jefferson will have to pick up some of that slack on the offensive side. Until his price goes up, he should be in most lineups going forward.
Other values: Marcin Gortat $5,600, Nikola Pecovic $5,000, and Chris Kaman $4,300