With ten games scheduled for Monday night, the NBA is certainly doing it’s part to make sure you work up a good sweat coming out of the weekend. There are good options at every position tonight, which only makes it feel like more of a crime when you miss on one or two of your choices, because the right choice was out there. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Russell Westbrook @ DAL ($12,600) – Of course you target Westbrook – that’s not the question. It’s whether you can afford to. But remember, on some nights, when he decides to really go off, the actual question is whether you can afford not to. Seven games over 60 fantasy points in his last ten, four games over 70, two over 80, and one epic 49-15-10 for 93 points.
- Stephen Curry vs. LAL ($9,600) – This is really just a testament to how damn explosive Westbrook has been that Curry represents a $3,000 savings over anyone. A consistent 40+ point fantasy performer, he too has three 50+ point fantasy games over his last ten. He’s no slouch, and he could legitimately torch the Lakers. The only real risk in this pick is whether they get out too far in front and don’t need him down the stretch.
- Jeff Teague @ SAC ($6,700) – Coming off a night of rest, playing in a great match-up, and being forced into a position where he will be one of the primary people to fill the void left by the injury to Kyle Korver (broken nose), who will miss at least tonight, this might be the perfect opportunity to get Teague into your lineup.
- Zach LaVine vs. BKN ($3,300) – You’re getting a guy who played 42 minutes last time out due to Rubio sitting down with a sprained ankle. Rubio is still out. And LaVine can play – in those 42 mintues, he got the Timberwolves an 18-6-6 and got you 30+ fantasy points.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Dwyane Wade vs. CLE ($7,500) – I think there is a chance he might be motivated to play well in this one. Especially if Cleveland gets out to any kind of big lead, you might see him shoot the ball 30 times. That may or may not be a good thing for the Heat, but it can’t hurt your chances at a big fantasy night.
- DeMar DeRozan @ IND ($7,300) – If you’ve got something like this amount of money to spend, you might lean towards saving $100 and going with Klay Thompson against the Lakers. I had to decide, just now, writing this. It’s a tough call, but I am going with DeRozan because he came back and just immediately started getting the usage. He looks like the player with all the potential in the world who we all had in our lineups from time to time last year and before, and right now, he is delivering.
- Avery Bradley vs. PHI ($5,400) – The Celtics! The Sixers! Bradley has a super low floor. Some nights, when the Cetlics have a tough match-up, he just doesn’t make a dent on the offensive end. Tonight, the Celtics do not have a tough match-up.
- Kent Bazemore @ SAC ($3,400) – It’s hard to know exactly what the Hawks will do in response to Kyle Korver’s broken nose, but Bazemore actually got the start and 38 minutes on Sunday as the Hawks rested Teague and DeMarre Carroll, so you’d have to think he will be one of the primary beneficiaries of this injury as well. In those 38 minutes, he piled up enough stats to go over 30 fantasy points, so this isn’t purely opportunity – he’s actually shown an ability to produce in limited minutes, and recently.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- LeBron James @ MIA ($10,900) – Another guy who might be motivated to play well tonight. You know how sometimes you wonder whether Kyrie, LeBron, or (to a lesser extent) Love will be the best fantasy option for the Cavs on any given night? Well, tonight, the answer is very likely LeBron. You need to pay for those monster games when they come, and this could very easily be one of those nights.
- Andrew Wiggins vs. BKN ($6,500) – It seems like a big step down from LeBron to here, and it is, but a combination of injuries, bad match-ups, and Wiggins’ potential get you there pretty quickly. If Gay were definitely going to be active against Atlanta, he would have slid into this spot on the theory that someone is going to need to score for the Kings, so you might want to monitor his progress as we get closer to game time.
- Chandler Parsons vs. OKC ($6,200) – He’s got three games under his belt since his return from injury, and not one of them was bad. The matchup is right for him to be able to score tonight, and that’s what he needs to give you those 30+ fantasy point nights.
- Andre Iguodala vs. LAL ($4,100) – Probably the least exciting option on this entire list, his value is almost completely derived by the lack of consistency of other players in this price range. If you need a cheap small forward option, Iguodala seems just as likely to give you a servicable fantasy night as all of the five or six guys right in front of him in terms of price.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Derrick Favors vs. CHA ($8,300) – Honestly, getting him in this match-up makes you feel like he should be the most expensive guy on the board. His rebounding isn’t as consistent as you’d like, but he is a threat for 25 points and at least a couple of blocks every night, so when he’s in a match-up that suggests he might also be good for close to double-digit rebounding figures, you really want to take advantage.
- Paul Millsap @ SAC ($7,500) – Coming off a night with a ton of rest, and playing in a game without Horford, who is scheduled to get HIS rest tonight, against the Kings. It might sound a lot like the Teague analysis, because it is the Teague analysis. These guys are really good, and are going to be looking at increased opportunities tonight, hopefully feeling a little refreshed. I want them in my lineup.
- Nerlens Noel @ BOS ($7,200) – He is not a consistent scorer, but he does everything else, and recently, his rebounding numbers have been outstanding, with double-digit boards in seven of nine, including nights with 17 and 15, and five nights with more than a dozen. Against the Celtics, he should be able to both max out his scoring AND have one of these league-leading type of rebounding nights, so he could provide some excellent value at the price.
- Zach Randolph vs. DEN ($7,000) – I know even $7,000 still isn’t exactly cheap, but when you consider that in additional to Noel and Randolph, you also have Draymond Green as an option at $7,200, it was hard to suggest going any cheaper than this.
- DeMarcus Cousins vs. ATL ($9,800) – You might even shy away from a guy like Cousins in a matcdh-up like this, as good as he is. Because Atlanta’s defense is also just that good. But Al Horford is sitting out tonight, for rest, and that leaves a defensive hole in the middle that someone like Cousins is primed to exploit. No matter how good your scheme is, you need the personnel to really stop someone as dominant as this guy.
- Hassan Whiteside vs. CLE ($8,000) – You might see Cleveland try to go with a smaller lineup to try to eliminate Whiteside’s usefulness, because they don’t really have a center to guard him in any kind of iso situation on the post. If the gameflow doesn’t get away from Miami in this one, Whiteside could be a big reason why they’re staying close, but if they’re getting blown away, Whiteside’s fantasy value could be going down with the Heat’s chances of wining the game.
- Marc Gasol vs. DEN ($7,300) – While his game is not exactly like Pau’s, they have some of the same good qualities – good hands, an ability to finish around the room, and they are both great passers for big men. And, yes, 4 or 5 assists from your center certainly helps, but more importantly, this means that they are the type of bigs who have entire possessions flowing through them regularly throughout the game. Denver is not going to be able to neutralize Gasol with a small lineup – he is too important to their offense.
- Enes Kanter @ DAL ($6,100) – He’s been playing really well since he got to OKC, and then playing even better than that most recently, with 40+ fantasy points in three of his last four. He seems to be a good fit for the team without Durant, as a good counter-balance to Westbrook, so hopefully that continues once KD returns to the lineup, but for now, you seem to be able to pencil him in for 15+ points and somewhere in the 7-15 rebound range. You’re just hoping for the high end of that range to make this a really good value pick, and not just a decent one.