We do not get the biggest slate of games on Sunday, but nine is nothing to scoff at — or “at which to scoff” if you do not like your participles dangling. That provides plenty of options without being overwhelming. Here are the guys I will be targeting on my teams today:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Kyrie Irving vs. PHI ($7600) – It will come as no shock to you that the 76ers have struggled against points guards this season; they have been the fourth worst team against the position this season allowing over 51 fantasy-points per game. Irving has not been great lately, but has also not been struggling. What he has done, is lower his price enough to make him a great value today.
- Reggie Jackson @ MIA ($8300) – Jackson made this list — in the same spot — Friday and responded with a triple-triple. Sure, he does not get to play Orlando again today, but Jackson has been great lately. He has had two triple-doubles in his last five games, and only failed once to miss a double double in that span — and only by an assist. Consider Jackson a poor man’s Russell Westbrook and enjoy the production he will provide against Miami.
- Deron Williams vs. LAL ($5800) – Odds are that if the Lakers are playing, I will be suggesting a point guard on the opposing team. The Lakers have been the worst team against point guards this season after all. Williams has been a disappointment this season — and for the Nets in general — but that helps depress his price tonight. The last time Williams faced the Lakers he had a great stat line: 12 points, 15 assists, 4 rebounds, two steals and a block. Be warned, Williams did miss practice yesterday so make sure you have a plan B just in case he is out.
- Jordan Clarkson @ BKN ($5600) – Sometimes a player on a bad team who is playing well will got lost. I think that is the case with Clarkson. He has quietly been a solid fantasy player lately, averaging 16 points, 4.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds and one steal per game over his last five games. Brooklyn has been good at defending point guards this season, yet Clarkson did manage 12 points, five rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and three-pointer the last time he faced the Nets.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Eric Bledsoe vs. OKC ($8200) – Some players just play well against certain teams. Sometimes the performance is easy to explain — like any player doing well against the Lakers — other times it is a little tougher — like say, Bledsoe against Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City has been average at defending shooting guards this season, yet Bledsoe has averaged 23 points, 7 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 three-pointers and one steal per game against the Thunder in his three games against them this season. I have no explanation for that, I am just going to put Bledsoe on my teams and enjoy the production.
- J. R. Smith vs. PHI ($5500) – If you are a guard in the NBA, you want to face Philadelphia. Aside from being the fourth worst team against points guards, they have been the worst team at defending shooting guards. Like a box of chocolates, you never quite know what you will get with Smith, but given the opponent, you should expect something closer to a caramel than the piece with the pink filling.
- Henry Walker vs. DET ($3800) – Walker just logged a 39.25 fantasy-point game against Atlanta, Detroit has been worse at defending shooting guards by a pretty large margin. Chances are Walker will not have such a good game this time around, but he should top his last five game average of 20.5 fantasy-points per game against a weak Detroit defense.
- Joe Johnson vs. LAL ($5400) – Death, taxes, Johnson playing well against bad defenses. those are three of the things you can count on in this world. It is actually pretty surprising how well Johnson’s splits reflect the difficulty of the defense he has faced this season. Not surprising is the fact that the Lakers have been bad at defending shooting guards this season. Johnson probably will not hit five three-pointers like he did the last time he faced the Lakers, but he should have a nice game today.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Trevor Ariza @ WAS ($6500) – Finding a stud small forward tonight is tough. It would be easy to recommend LeBron James, but that would be too easy, and frankly, I do not see him being a great value. Ariza has a tough matchup, but so does every other above median priced small forward. Ariza is playing very well right now, and Washington has been the fourth worst team against small forwards over the last five games.
- Andrew Wiggins @ NO ($6800) – If you like trends then Wiggins is the player for you. His point totals over his last four games: 13, 22, 27, 31. So, we should expect like 33 points out of Wiggins today? Probably not, but Wiggins is playing well, aside from the scoring, he has also averaged 5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game over his last five games.
- C. J. Miles vs. DAL ($5000) – Small forward is the toughest position to fill Sunday. The elite options are lacking, and there are not many reliable value plays. Miles is not the highest upside play, but he is a solid cash game option, plus Dallas has been the third worst defense against small forwards over the last five games.
- Chase Budinger @ NO ($4900) – Budinger has averaged 22.5 points, 5 rebounds and 3 three-pointers per game in his last two games, 16 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 three-pointers per game over his last five games. Given his price, he is once against a very good pick on Sunday.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Blake Griffin @ BOS ($8800) – This might be my biggest reach of the day. Griffin has not been anything special since coming back from his elbow injury. He also has not gotten to face a defense against power forwards as bad as the Boston defense. The recent struggles have the added bonus of depressing Griffins price just in time for the very favorable opponent. Griffin is not a pick for the faint of heart, but I also think there is a big potential reward there too.
- Nerlens Noel @ CLE ($7800) – Noel’s worst game in his last three was 43.5 fantasy-points, the other two have seen him eclipse 50 fantasy-points. Look for Noel’s hot streak to continue on Sunday
- Brandon Bass vs. LAC ($5300) – The Clippers have been the second worst defense against power forwards this season. While Bass has not had the pleasure of facing the Clippers yet, he has averaged 12.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1 steal per game over his last four games. If he can manage those averages, he will be a nice value — and given the opposing defense, I expect something better than those averages.
- Marcus Morris vs. OKC ($6000) – Morris has been the fifth best power forward over the last 7 days according to ESPN’s Player Rater. While the Player Rater is not a perfect mirror of Draft Kings scoring, it is a nice tool to identify hot players. Not only is Morris hot, but Oklahoma City has struggled at defending power forwards this season. A hot player against a bad defense is not a guarantee, but it is a pretty good bet.
- Brook Lopez vs. LAL ($7500) – When in doubt, go with the guy facing the Lakers. That is good advice in general, better advice for Lopez. Not only did Lopez manage 42 fantasy-points the first time he faced the Lakers, but he has averaged 44.7 fantasy-points per game over his last six games.
- Enes Kanter @ PHO ($7500) – Kanter has not been quite as good as Lopez has been lately, though he is not trailing by much. Kanter enters his game against Phoenix averaging 41.4 fantasy-points per game in his last four games. He has also scored over 37 fantasy-points in six of his last seven games.
- Timofey Mozgov vs. PHI ($4500) – When in doubt, go with the player facing Philadelphia — no I am not afraid to run a phrase into the ground, why do you ask? There has been no worse team at defending centers than the 76ers this season. For example, Philadelphia allowed Mozgov to score 32 fantasy-points the first time Mozgov faced them.
- Tiago Splitter vs. MEM ($4300) – Over his last six games, Splitter has averaged 25.5 fantasy-points per game. He has also had games of 34 and 35 fantasy-points in that span. Not only has Splitter been playing well lately, he has more upside than you might expect.
Thanks for reading, you can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.