After a nine-game slate on Monday night, we tip tonight off with a 4-game slate. Despite being a small slate, there’s some star power to choose from. All of tonight’s game have 200+ point totals, and there aren’t any spreads that are too concerning for potential blowouts. Let’s waste no time and jump right into some of tonight’s targets.
Russell Westbrook – OKC vs. HOU – $10,600 – I’m expecting Westbrook to be a popular play tonight, and rightfully so. He’s the best option in a small slate, and there’s a chance that Durant doesn’t play tonight. As it is, Westbrook has a usage rate of 33.2 percent, but when Durant doesn’t play, Westbrook’s usage increases to 38.6 percent. We’ve seen his price skyrocket upwards of $11,000 when Durant sits, so at this $10,600 price, it’s a no brainer. Westbrook has fared well against the Rockets this season, as he has been 100 percent consistent and has exceeded expectations by an average of +12.51 points against them. He’s averaging 59.8 fantasy points per game in two games against the Rockets this season. Houston has allowed +4.4 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. This should be a paced up matchup with plenty of scoring. Give him a go with or without Durant in the lineup.
Other Options – Kemba Walker $8,300, Jrue Holiday $8,200
Goran Dragic – MIA at NO – $6,500 – Dragic draws a nice matchup tonight against the Pelicans who have surrendered 60.3 fantasy points per game to point guards in their last five games. For the season they yield the eighth most fantasy points per game and have allowed +3.67 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. In his last 10 games, Dragic is averaging 34.7 minutes, 17.4 points, 8.2 assists, 5 rebounds, and 37.3 fantasy points per game. In that span, he has topped 38 fantasy points seven times and has exceeded value 70 percent of the time by an average of 6.57 points. He’s playing well in the month of March and should continue playing at a high level in a plus matchup like this one.
Other Options – Patrick Beverly $4,600, Jeremy Lin $3,300, Ray McCallum $3,200
Nicolas Batum – CHA at BKN – $7,300 – Batum is on the second night of a back-to-back, but has a much better matchup this evening. The Nets surrender the fifth most fantasy points per game and have allowed +1.16 points above expectation to opposing shooting guards, per Fantasy Labs. In his last 10 games, Batum has exceeded value 70 percent of the time by an average of 7.11 points. In that span, he’s averaging 38 minutes, 19.2 points, 6 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1 block, 0.9 steals, and 40.55 fantasy points per game. He has scored fewer than 40 fantasy points just twice in his last seven games, and that was against two of the league’s top defenses in Miami and San Antonio. Batum has fared well against the Nets this season, averaging 40.5 fantasy points per game against them. He has exceeded expectations by an average of +8.90 points against them and has been 100 percent consistent. This is a great spot for Batum to bounce back after a subpar performance last night.
Other Options – James Harden $10,500 (check status)
Dwyane Wade – MIA at NO – $6,500 – Wade gets a very good matchup tonight against the Pelicans who surrender the most fantasy points per game to shooting guards. Per Fantasy Labs, they have allowed 1.98 points above expectation to opposing shooting guards. Wade’s usage rate remains above 20 percent, and he’s playing over 30 minutes per game. In the last 10 games, he’s averaging 19.6 points, 31.1 minutes, 5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 1.3 steals, and 34.9 fantasy points. He’s displayed his 40+ fantasy point upside numerous times this season and three times in the last 10 games. He exceeded expectations the only other time he played the Pelicans this season, and chances are he will do so again tonight. With a lot at stake for the Heat, I’m expecting their starters to play regular minutes tonight. The Heat have a 109.5 implied point total, which is the second highest of the slate.
Other Options – Bojan Bogdanovic $5,500, Josh Richardson $4,300
Kevin Durant – OKC vs. HOU – $10,400 – Durant is questionable for tonight’s contest, so if you’re thinking of rolling him out, make sure to check on his status prior to lock. There’s no doubt that he’s the best option at small forward tonight. This is a plus matchup, and both teams play paced up. This game also has the highest point total of the slate at 222 points. Durant has 6 double-doubles in his last 10 games and has flirted with a triple-double several times. In that span, he’s averaging 35.6 minutes, 28.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.4 blocks, 0.8 steals, and 54.7 fantasy points per game. He’s topped 60 fantasy points in 4 of his last 10 games. The Rockets surrender the most fantasy points per game and have allowed +3.96 points above expectation to opposing small forwards, per Fantasy Labs. In his last game against the Rockets, Durant put up 57 fantasy points. Keep an eye on his status heading into tonight’s game, but if he plays, he’s definitely in play tonight.
Other Options – None.
Joe Johnson – MIA at NO – $5,200 – Johnson has been playing well since joining the Heat and has been on a four game stretch where he is averaging 34.5 minutes, 19.25 points, and 31.9 fantasy points per game. Johnson is all but a lock for 30+ minutes, and if he can continue to shoot at a high rate from beyond the arc, chances are he’ll have another productive evening. The one time he faced off against the Pelicans, he scored 26.8 fantasy points. If that’s his floor tonight, he should have no issue paying off his salary.
Other Options – Luol Deng $6,100, Matt Barnes $5,600, Trevor Ariza $5,500, Michael Beasley $4,900 (more value if Harden is out)
Zach Randolph – MEM at LAL – $6,800 – You know it’s slim pickings at power forward when Randolph is the best available option. In his two games back from injury, Randolph is averaging 33 minutes, 12 rebounds, 21 points, 6 assists, and 49 fantasy points per game. Tonight he faces off against the Lakers, who are one of the worst teams in the league. They have allowed +1.76 points above expectation to opposing power forwards, per Fantasy Labs. The Lakers also surrender the fourth most rebounds per game and have the fourth worst differential at -3.4. With all the injuries on the Memphis team, they have no choice but to lean heavily on Randolph. His usage in the last two games has been at 27.8 percent. That number should remain high moving forward, and in a plus matchup like this one, he should be able to be very productive.
Other Options – Thaddeus Young $7,100
Marvin Williams – CHA at BKN – $5,500 – Williams has struggled in recent games, but to his defense, he’s had some tough matchups, as he has faced off against the Heat and the Spurs. Tonight, however, he has a favorable matchup. The Nets surrender the eighth most fantasy points and have allowed +1.2 points above expectation to opposing power forwards, per Fantasy Labs. Despite subpar performances in his last couple of games, Williams has exceeded value in seven of his last 10 games by an average of 4.42 points. In that span, he has topped 28 fantasy points six times. He has fared well against the Nets this season, averaging 33.4 points against them and has exceeded expectations by an average of 8.91 points. If recency bias kicks in, chances are Williams could be lower owned than he should be tonight. He’s in a good spot to pay of his salary and some.
Other Options – Julius Randle $6,000, Serge Ibaka $5,700, JaMychal Green $5,300
Hassan Whiteside – MIA at NO – $8,000 – Whiteside doesn’t start for Miami, but he does play solid minutes off the bench. In his last 10 games, he’s averaging 29.6 minutes, 12.7 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 16.8 points, and 41.3 fantasy points per game. In that span he has 8 double-doubles. Tonight’s matchup is one that he should dominate in. The Pelicans surrender the second most fantasy points per game and have allowed +4.96 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. His minutes aren’t always there, as he has played fewer than 28 minutes in each of the last two games, and that can be concerning. However, his upside and ceiling can’t be ignored. For that reason, I’d only roster him in tournaments and not in cash.
Other Options – Brook Lopez $7,400 (check status), Dwight Howard $7,200
Enes Kanter – OKC vs. HOU – $5,200 – Despite averaging just 22.6 minutes per game in his last 8 games, Kanter is averaging 32.4 fantasy points per game. He has now topped 30 fantasy points in 6 of his last 8 games and has 5 double-doubles in that span. Tonight he faces a Rockets team that he has fared well against this season. In two games against them, he is averaging 33.8 fantasy points and has exceeded expectations by an average of +9.1 points. The Rockets have allowed +4.78 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. This is a good spot for the red hot Kanter, and he remains at an affordable price. He should easily hit value and has potential to 7X his salary.
Other Options – Cody Zeller $3,500
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.