After a nine game slate on Monday night, we tip tonight off with a 6-game slate. There aren’t many elite options to choose from, but there are still some great matchups that we should be looking to exploit. Let’s jump right into it and go over some of tonight’s targets.
Rajon Rondo – SAC at LAL – $7,800 – Rondo has been up and down in recent games, but he has also had some tough matchups. Tonight, however, is one of the best matchups a point guard can have as the Lakers surrender the second most fantasy points per game to point guards. They have allowed +2.78 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. As it stands now, this game has the highest over/under of the slate at 217.5 and just a three point spread. In three games against the Lakers, Rondo is averaging 40.3 fantasy points per game. The Kings play at the highest pace in the league and neither of these teams play great defense, so this is a game I’d try to target. Rondo is always a threat to post a triple-double and this is a great spot to potentially do so.
Other Options – Chris Paul $9,400, Kyle Lowry $8,100, Isaiah Thomas $7,100
Ish Smith – PHI at BKN – $6,700 – Smith has played well as of late and has a favorable matchup tonight. In his last 10 games, he’s averaging 33.2 minutes, 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 33.1 fantasy points per game. In that span, he has exceeded value 80 percent of the time by an average of 5.04 points. The Nets have allowed 1.68 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. They also surrender the fourth most fantasy points per game to point guards. Despite his recent success, Smith’s price has dropped $500 in the last month. He has scored 30 or more fantasy points in eight of his last nine and has displayed 40+ fantasy point upside at times. His usage has been above 20 percent and with all the injuries the Sixers are dealing with, that number could be substantially higher tonight.
Other Options – Emmanuel Mudiay $6,600, Jordan Clarkson $6,000, Darren Collison $5,200
DeMar DeRozan – TOR at MIL – $7,600 – The two top shooting guards of the slate face off tonight. Both Middleton and DeRozan are in play, so either way you go is fine by me. DeRozan offers a steady floor and 50+ fantasy point upside. He is averaging 39.6 fantasy points per game in his last 10 games. In that span, he has exceeded value 80 percent of the time by an average of 5.04 points. The Bucks have allowed +1.46 points above expectation to opposing shooting guards, per Fantasy Labs. They surrender over 40 fantasy points per game to shooting guards. DeRozan is averaging 34.1 fantasy points per game against the Bucks this season. This contest has a 206.5 over/under and just a two point spread. He’s efficient and consistent, there’s not much more you can ask for from a shooting guard.
Other Options – Khris Middleton $7,500
Dig Deeper into Tuesday Night’s NBA Slate
|Player Targets||Cheat Sheet||Game Breakdowns|
|Small Slate Stars (Video)||Tournament Plays|
Evan Turner – BOS at IND – $5,400 – Turner has played over 30 minutes in three of his last four games. He’s taken advantage of the extra playing time as he topped 33 fantasy points in those three games. In his last 10 games, Turner is averaging 28.5 minutes, 6.1 rebounds, 11.1 points, 5.4 assists, 1.8 steals and 29.9 fantasy points per game. In that span, he has exceeded value 70 percent of the time by an average of 6.25 points. With Jae Crowder sidelined, Turner can see more minutes and a higher usage. He’s averaging .93 points per minutes against the Pacers this season. Assuming he plays 30+ minutes tonight, he should pay off his salary and then some. He’s not the most consistent option but at this price point he’s a viable option on Tuesday.
Editor’s Note (6:30 PM ET): Marcus Smart will start tonight for the injured Jae Crowder. This doesn’t hurt Turner’s value too much as he should still see big minutes with Crowder out but it would have been nice to see him get a start. Smart’s value bumps up a bit with the Celtics going small but don’t be surprised if the minutes for Crowder are pretty evenly dispersed between Smart, Turner and a few others off the Celtics bench.
Other Options – Avery Bradley $5,000, J.J. Redick $4,500
“The small forward position is thin tonight, so your best bet might be to pay up for it.”
Paul George – IND vs. BOS – $8,200 – The small forward position is thin tonight, so your best bet might be to pay up for it. George is coming off of a disappointing game against the Hawks on Sunday. The Pacers got blown out and he ended up playing just 25 minutes. Now is the time to hop back on the George bandwagon. Chances are people will look at last game and move in a different direction. The Celtics will be without Jae Crowder who is a really good defender. George has fared well against the Celtics this season as he’s averaging 44.8 fantasy points per game against them. In the month of March, George is averaging 43. 8 fantasy points per game and has topped 47 fantasy points three times, including one 50+ fantasy point game and one 60+ fantasy point game. The Celtics have allowed +1.06 points above expectation to opposing small forwards, per Fantasy Labs. He’s the cheapest of the three elite small forwards and has the best matchup of the bunch.
Other Options – Kawhi Leonard $8,500
Rudy Gay – SAC at LAL – $6,100 – Gay has struggled shooting the ball recently. He let people down in a great spot against the Magic and followed that performance with another dud game. This is a great opportunity for him to redeem himself. The Lakers surrender the second most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. In three games against the Lakers, Gay is averaging 38.6 fantasy points per game. This is the highest over/under of the slate and it has a small spread. His recent struggles can cause people to come off of him, making it a great time to roster him. Give him a go.
Other Options – Omri Casspi $4,100 (risky play)
DeMarcus Cousins – SAC at LAL – $10,500 – After serving his one game suspension, Cousins came back and had a huge game against a tough Jazz defense. He scored 31 points, grabbed 10 boards, blocked two shots and had two steals. That performance was good for 61.5 fantasy points. Cousins has now topped 60 fantasy points in four of his last eight games. In three games against the Lakers this season, he’s averaging 28.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 55.6 fantasy points per game. The Lakers have allowed +4.15 points above expectation to opposing power forwards, per Fantasy Labs. They also surrender the fourth most rebounds per game to opponents. Cousins should have no trouble dominating the boards against the Lakers tonight. On a night with not many elite options, Cousins is easily the best player on the board. As I’ve mentioned before, this game has the highest over/under of the slate.
Other Options – LaMarcus Aldridge $7,400, Thaddeus Young $7,000
Nerlens Noel – PHI at BKN – $6,500 – With Okafor out, Noel should continue to play 30+ minutes per game. In the last three games, Noel is averaging 34.3 minutes, 14 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, two blocks, two steals and 36.7 fantasy points per game. He played against the Nets last week and scored 38.75 fantasy points. The Nets surrender 43.4 rebounds per game and have a -1.2 rebounding differential on the year. They have allowed +1.49 points above expectation to opposing power forwards, per Fantasy Labs. It’s safe to say opposing big men fare well against them. When he’s getting the minutes, he’s usually efficient and due to all the injuries to the Sixers, Noel could see 35-40 minutes tonight.
Other Options – Aaron Gordon $6,800, Carl Landry $3,700
DeAndre Jordan – LAC at SA – $7,300 – This isn’t an ideal matchup, but options are slim at center tonight. I am aware of Lopez’s matchup, but he hasn’t lived up to his price tag against the Sixers this season. Jordan on the other hand has played well against the Spurs. In two games against them, he’s averaging 41 fantasy points per game. In the month of March, Jordan is averaging 45.1 fantasy points, 35 minutes, 14.3 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 16.5 points per game. He has four double-doubles in that span. In the last month, he has exceeded value 61 percent of the time by an average of 7.15 points. Jordan is playing well and on a night where there aren’t tons of appealing options at center, he makes the most sense. He should get his double-digit rebounds, blocks, and has a chance to get the double-double points. If you’re paying up at center, he’s the way to go.
Other Options – Brook Lopez $7,900
Ian Mahinmi – IND vs. BOS – $4,900 – Mahinmi has a good matchup against a small Celtics front court. The Celtics have allowed +2.99 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. In two games against the Celtics this season, Mahinmi is averaging 26 fantasy points per game. He doesn’t play tons of minutes, but should play enough to pay off his salary. Boston allows the fourth most rebounds per game to opponents and has a -1.2 differential. Centers average 21.1 points 14.9 rebounds per game against Boston. If you’re looking for a cheap option to plug in at center, I’d consider Mahinmi
Other Options – Greg Monroe $6,100, Tim Duncan $4,500, Bismack Biyombo ($3,700)
Note: Keep an eye on late scratches and news that comes out later in the day. That can open up value late in the afternoon.