Just in case you didn’t get enough hoops over the weekend, the NBA is coming through with a slate of six games on Monday night. The twelve teams in action boast plenty of fantasy options, as well as a few juicy match-ups. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
Stephen Curry vs. WAS ($9,400) – He can score, and he’s going to get those few extra points for a three or two, but he does just enough of everything else, too. 35+ points with massive upside – the kind of you guy you don’t mind paying for, because the risk is so low.
John Wall @ GS ($8,700) – You’d imagine that Washington is going to need to manufacture some offense in this one, and they could use a victory over a top team from out West. In a game where both teams go small-ball and there are a lot of points scored, he could push for a triple-double with his ability to lead the break and crash the boards.
Evan Turner @ BKN ($5,600) – With Smart and Thomas both out, Turner and Bradley are going to spend a lot of time with the ball in their hands. Turner hasn’t scored fewer than 20 points in his last five games, and he had a 39 and 44 point outing over that span as well.
Zach LaVine @ UTA ($4,900) – With Ricky Rubio out, LaVine is going to get the run, again, and he actually has a track record of stepping in effectively. I say “actually” because most back-ups don’t get the opportunity to show this ability quite so often, but I think that might, perhaps, say more about Rubio than anything else.
Langston Galloway @ MEM ($4,800) – I mention him here because with Schved and Hardaway both out, I should. And I put him third in this category to demonstrate the idea that cheap PGs might be the way to go in filling out your G and UTIL slots tonight, because there is more value on the board there than you might expect on a night with only six games going on.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
James Harden @ IND ($11,200) – He’s playing, he’s on top of the shooting guard stud list. That’s just the way it is. The random 70-fantasy-point nights aren’t even all that random anymore.
Kevin Martin @ UTA ($6,000) – With a bunch of injuries just in front of him, Martin is actually the second most-expensive SG on the list tonight. Quite a drop-off from Harden right? I mention this only to shine a light on the fact that while Harden is expensive, the guaranteed positional edge you get tonight might be worth the price tag.
Avery Bradley @ BKN ($5,800) – See Turner, Evan. He is one of those players who normally finds himself this cheap because of the occasional single-digit outing, and more than his share in the teens. But he should be able to avoid one of those terrible valleys in an increased role, and still retain upside for an occasional 30+ point outburst.
Bradley Beal @ GS ($5,800) – GS is no kind of “good” matchup for anyone. You’d think size would work, but size can’t keep up with them. They dictate the pace, and the game at large, very well, which is why they’re a finals contender this year. But shooting guard is THIN, and Washington is going to need someone to knock down the open jumpers when they’re presented, and there could be just enough of them to make this is good value pick.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
Trevor Ariza @ IND ($6,300) – The thinnest position on the board tonight, Ariza is not usually a headliner. But with this crew, he is. He’s listed as questionable, but it due to illness, not injury. And he played through the last illness last Saturday, so there is no reason to expect it got that much worse two days later. He will likely be out there,
Josh Smith @ IND ($6,000) – His overall fantasy value might be down for people who own him in yearly leagues, because the volume of opportunities just doesn’t exist for him like it used to. But at the exact same time, his daily fantasy value might very well be increasing, as he makes so much more out of his minutes than he ever seemed to in Atlanta. And he has always been talented, fun to watch. It’s nice to see him in a role that fits him, and now that’s he’s there, you can start to see the upside embedded in his athleticism and raw talent.
Jeff Green @ NY ($5,700) – Green is hit or miss, but lately, it’s been a lot more “hit.” Over his last few games, he has been shooting over 50% from long distance. If you can knock down that corner three, you can stay on the floor, and he’s been doing just that, which is allowing him to contribute in more ways than just one.
Paul Pierce @ GS ($5,100) – The veteran could find himself being needed in this one, as Washington figures out what they’re going to need to do to get past the NBA’s iron later in the summer. Whether he is actually there to be that late-game option or simply to make sure his teammates have the confidence to take on that role, he’ll be out there, trying to get his team a signature win. This would count.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
Pau Gasol @ CHA ($8,300) – He’s been the rock for the Bulls this year – who would have thought? With Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler both out, he is almost always their best option on offense, and he is a double-double machine, averaging just over ten boards a night. He is as close to a must play as you get in daily games.
Derrick Favors vs. MIN ($7,800) – There is no reason to expect one of his occasional 20-25 fantasy point outings in this matchup – you should instead expect to see the guy who has scored at least 33 in seven of nine. For a big man, he relies a lot on simply scoring, but he should be able to do just that against Minnesota in this one.
Zach Randolph @ NY ($7,200) – When you don’t want to spend for one of the top options, it’s nice have a guy like this as a fall-back plan. He is averaging 17-7 for 33 fantasy points over his last ten, and he comes by those number with consistent output, not just the occasional outburst. He is a safe play, who could easily exploit the Knicks interior defenders to push the upper limits of his 40+ point upside.
Thaddeus Young vs. BOS ($5,700) – The Celtics are banged up, and haven’t had a big man to effectively match-up with a player like Young since Green left town.
Marc Gasol @ NY ($7,500) – The Knicks best defensive player on the interior might be Cole Aldrich. I don’t know that I need to say more, but Gasol should be able to keep the paint basically entirely to himself in this one, especially since the Knicks also don’t have an offensive talent in their frontcourt to challenge Gasol on the defensive end either. There should really be nothing slowing him down in this one.
Al Jefferson @ CHI ($6,800) – Chicago has a reputation of being a solid all-around defensive team, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a big man capable of defending Big Al in the post. Their bigs, like Noah, are great team defenders, but if Jefferson gets established on the block, he can get his own shot against anyone on this team while also establishing that rebounding position he’ll need to turn this from a 30-ish point outing to a 40+ one.
Brook Lopez vs. BOS ($6,500) – The Celtics are just the type of team Lopez cold excel against – no one to effectively keep him off the boards, and no big men with the game to exploit him on the offensive end and limit his effectiveness through foul trouble, or reduced minutes. Averaging 18-9 with almost 3 blocks a game in his last ten, those are all very reachable numbers in this matchup.
Joakim Noah vs. CHA ($6,400) – Noah can rack up fantasy points in a lot of different ways. He is, apparently, on a strict 32-minute a game limit, but 32 is enough. Thirty-two is really all you’re hoping for most of the time, but with the Bulls woes, you can’t blame people for wishing he could be out there more – what are the other options? He has scored 6, 8 and 6 points in his last three, and still has had more than 30 fantasy points in each of them, putting on exhibits like his night against Toronto (8-10-14, with a steal and a block). The Bulls are finding creative ways to move the ball with their diminished backcourt, and when assists are falling into the laps of already-productive bigs like Gasol and Noah, you have to take notice.