With five games on tap for Monday night, you’re in kind of a sweet spot – enough teams to have plenty of options, without being overwhelming. Below are some of the choices I would make. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Chris Paul @ MIN ($9,900) – He’s averaging 18-10-5 on the year, and hasn’t missed a beat without his star power forward. You might have thought his assists would fall, but it turns out DeAndre Jordan hit 70% of his shots, and Paul can distribute to anyone. If anything, he’s being called on for his own offense slightly more often, which only helps your bottom line.
- Stephen Curry @ BKN ($9,800) – They didn’t get the result they wanted in Cleveland, but this team has the firepower to light up most of the Eastern Conference, for sure. Curry only got 32fantasy point in that one, but that was the outlier – other than that game, he has at least 40 points in each of his last five.
- Tyreke Evans @ DAL ($7,700) – He’s been playing so well, I almost expected to be writing about him in the “studs” category. Suffice it to say, this price tag surprised me – this is a guy with three straight double-digit assist games to go along with a scoring average pushing 20 on the year. And yet tonight, in a good matchup, he’s as cheap as he’s been in weeks.
- Goran Dragic vs. PHO ($6,500) – This is definitely a health-dependent call. He is struggling with back spasms, but when active, it’s because he is feeling good, and will likely get his full complement of minutes. Sitting around is how these things stiffen up on you, isn’t it? Get him out there!
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Eric Bledsoe @ MIA ($8,600) – Bledsoe is what he is. He only had 18 fantasy points last time out, and he is at a point in his career where that sometimes happens. But rarely, very rarely. I, for one, would not expect to see it twice in a row, especially coming off a run of 38 or more fantasy points in four straight. He has seen an increase in usage since the trade deadline, and with the ball in his hands, he is always a threat.
- Klay Thompson @ BKN ($7,700) – Think the Warriors are upset they held pat and decided not to trade this guy? Thirty+ fantasy points in five straight, including two over forty, with sixteen threes made over that stretch – I’d certainly take it, on my favorite NBA team, or my fantasy team.
- Joe Johnson vs. GS ($6,100) – This guy. He’s still good, and Brooklyn can use the scoring, which is what he’s always been able to provide. Eleven treys in his last five games – it might not be Thompson, but it’s not nothing.
- Eric Gordon @ DAL ($6,000) – He has been averaging 37 minutes a night for the last ten games in New Orleans, and has seen an increasing role in the offense to go along with the minutes, perhaps partly in thanks to Davis’ absences, but Davis is still out tonight. Gordon is averaging more than 14 shots per game over his last five, and that has translated into three games over thirty and none that will kill you for a $6,000 investment.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Andrew Wiggins vs. LAC ($6,400) – In a down night for the position, Wiggins is actually the most expensive pick on the board, so this isn’t sneaking up on anyone. But the value is still there: 28 or more fantasy points in four of five, and he’s shown he’s capable of augmenting his stat sheet with enough rebounds, assists, and defensive stats, even early in his career, that he can’t be considered just a scorer.
- Luol Deng vs. PHO ($6,000) – Maybe the only time all year I’ll list him as a stud in this category, but the matchup is right, and he’s been a horse, averaging more than 35 minutes a night for the past few weeks. He could easily net you 30+ fantasy points, which does put him a distinct step ahead of everyone left below him at the position.
- P.J. Tucker @ MIA ($5,500) – He is, for the price, what counts as consistent with upside. He will get you 20+ fantasy points virtually every night, and the potential is there for 35.
- Andre Iguodala @ BKN ($3,900) – There isn’t a ton of upside, but what there is is basically the same number of minutes and opportunities, and the same production or better as every one of the five or six guys priced directly in front of him.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Draymond Green @ BKN ($6,800) – He’s third fiddle, if that’s a thing, but he’s really good at what Golden State wants him to do, playing that stretch four while still competing on the glass. He’s had three blocks in each of his last two games, and three of his last five. Small sample size, sure, but what it demonstrates is that he is actually capable of playing like a power forward and getting those consistent rebounding and defensive stats, even if you feel like you see him patrolling the perimeter all the time.
- Nerlens Noel vs. TOR ($6,200) – He’s maybe lost some of the luster he had earlier in the year, but he seems to be healthy right now and he’s playing really well, averaging 12-9-2 with almost four blocks a game over his last ten.
- Thaddeus Young vs. GS ($5,200) – He got 30 minutes last time out, which is a good sign, because he has produced pretty consistently on a per-minute basis this season, and the 16-8 he grabbed against Dallas seems within reach whenever he sees that much time on the floor.
- Patrick Patterson @ PHI ($3,900) – This pick might be evidence of the smallish number of games, but for the price, he could definitely pay off. He is playing Philly. And, while he is coming off the bench, he is still getting more than 25 minutes of time most nights, which gives him enough time to be a legit shot at 20+ fantasy points. He is a threat from behind the arc, and one or two treys is enough to make the investment pay off.
- DeAndre Jordan @ MIN ($8,900) – Griffin being out has been the opportunity he needed to finally get noticed – he’s been this good for a while. More than 15 rebounds in each of his last seven, and now that he’s getting double-digit shot attempts every night, he’s basically a lock for a double-double, with upside.
- Hassan Whiteside vs. PHO ($8,200) – He’s at full strength, he’s been getting tons of minutes, and he’s been one of the best players on his team. He’s a focal point of the team’s plans on offense and defense, which is evidenced by the 30+ fantasy points in eight of ten, including double-doubles in four of five.
- Jonas Valanciunas @ PHI ($5,200) – He’s playing Philly. He’s playing more than 25 minutes every night. He doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he scores 25 or so fantasy points more often than not, and there is no reason to think this will be one of his down nights.
- Alexis Ajinca @ DAL ($4,900) – He’s not some kind of elite fantasy option in disguise, but as long as Davis is out, he seems to have some value. He’s been consistently hitting at least 25 fantasy points every time Davis misses a night, and had 24-8 with three blocks against Miami on Friday.