If you can tear yourself away from Monday Night Football and all it’s fantasy implications, there is no shortage of options for your daily basketball lineups with eight games on tap for tonight. Here are a few guys, at various price points, who you might want to consider:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Kyle Lowry vs. ORL ($10,200) – He’s been on fire, and he has the matchup. With 40+ in eight of his last ten (and 50+ in four of those), he’s consistently been a difference-maker in daily contests for a good stretch of time here. With an eight-assist average, he is a threat to produce a double-double almost every night.
- Michael Carter-Williams vs. BOS ($9,500) – Boston has been known to get into some shootouts this season, and the opportunity is definitely there for Carter-Williams to build on his recent string of phenomenal games. In six of his last eight, he’s scored at least 47.75 fantasy points, and it is easy to see that kind of performance being replicated in this matchup.
- Rajon Rondo @ PHI ($8,600) – I know $8,600 isn’t exactly a “value,” but when you consider the potential to produce for fantasy like guys a couple thousand dollars more expensive, he could be looked at that way. Rondo is the very rare player who is a legitimate threat to go for a triple-double every night, and often the category you’re going to be wondering about is points. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of Jason Kidd in his prime, and that is high praise. Super-competitive, he’ll look to match MCW at every turn tonight, and he is capable of producing in so many ways you never know where the production is going to come from. And if you are worried about inconsistent minutes, Smart is not making the trip to Philly tonight, so Rondo should see a full complement.
- C.J. Watson vs. LAL ($5,000) – It’s a plus matchup, to be sure, and Watson has been playing well since he slid into the starting role. And that job is his for the near future, as George Hill is still at least a few games away from returning. His minutes have been increasing over the past week, and he’s been taking advantage. In this matchup, he’s a good bet for 25-30 fantasy points.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Kobe Bryant @ IND ($9,700) – The Pacers are not the defensive powerhouse they have been over the past few years, and Kobe is still Kobe, even if it’s a slightly older version. He’s going to put up 20+ shots, and if they’re dropping, or if he contributes in a big way in any other category, it’s a short road to 40 fantasy points when you’re getting that kind of usage.
- Jimmy Butler @ ATL ($6,600) – I am skipping the second most expensive option, Eric Bledsoe, because he just hasn’t done anything at all since his 75-fantasy-point explosion against his former team last week. I can’t trust that a rebound is coming tonight – it’s not a terrible matchup for Bledsoe, but neither were his last few, and he has failed to crack 30 fantasy points in three straight. Butler doesn’t have the same ceiling, to be sure, but he’s an excellent rebounder and defender, which allows him to pitch in enough to be a good bet to crack 30 fantasy points, at a significant savings.
- Rodney Stuckey @ IND ($5,500) – Another player benefiting from the absence of George Hill, Stuckey is getting run at shooting guard and at point. This gives him plenty of chances to get on the floor, and also boosts his assist potential from basically zero to at least a handful a night, which is bringing 30 fantasy points into range for him on a nightly basis.
- J.J. Redick vs. DET ($4,700) – He has 20+ fantasy points in seven of ten, and 25+ in five of those. He’s on fire from three-point range, shooting 60% over that same time frame, with three or more made in five of those games. That kind of shooting attracts attention… both from fantasy owners like you, and from All-World points guards like Chris Paul. This is a good thing.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- LeBron James vs. CHA ($11,500) – Yup, yup, yup. Of course. Listen, on paper, Charlotte might not be a good matchup for LeBron, but in real life, LeBron is not a good matchup for Charlotte. He’s expensive, and that’s the only thing to deter you. Otherwise, you’d choose to build your team around him every night.
- Kawhi Leonard @ POR ($7,800) – He returned to action last night and went for 18-8-4 with six blocks and five steals. It’s not often you would use the word “explosive” to describe the way a guy plays defense, but it applies here. He’s a stud, and on any given night, he could do any given combination of things to get you solid fantasy production. He is the kind of player you drool about having on your roto team, and that translates to this format, too, even if he’s not a big point scorer every night.
- Jeff Green @ PHI ($6,900) – This game has the potential to yield a ton of fantasy points, for both teams, even if neither team immediately comes to mind when you think about amazing fantasy options. He’s averaging 20-5-2, but he is on a team where he can easily get 20+ field goal attempts in any game where his shot is falling. The Celtics will default to him as the go-to option in a hurry when he’s going well, and that could definitely happen against this Sixers team tonight.
- Jabari Parker @ PHO ($5,000) – Minutes, minutes, minutes. At this price, you are usually hoping for 25+ minutes on the floor, and Parker is getting you 30+ with 35+ upside. He has shown you the potential for really productive games, like his 22-8-3 a couple weeks ago against Cleveland, but even with muted expectations, he’s a good bet for 20-28 fantasy points in any matchup.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Pau Gasol @ ATL ($9,300) – He’s been great, and with Noah out of the lineup, his opportunities are only increasing. He went for only 9 points and 9 rebounds last night, for 25 fantasy points, and his worst game in a month. Don’t expect the same to happen tonight.
- LaMarcus Aldridge vs. SA ($10,200) – He costs this much because he produces this much, with at least 40 fantasy points in eight of his last ten. Sure, San Antonio is a pretty tough matchup, but you only score that many fantasy points that consistently by showing you can do it against anyone.
- Taj Gibson @ ATL ($6,300) – With Noah out, he is just spending a lot of time out on the court. With no dominant scorer on this team and the type of team defense Thibodeau employs, anyone out there that much is going to get plenty of chances to pile up some points along with a healthy number of rebounds and defensive stats.
- Carlos Boozer @ IND ($5,300) – Boozer lost his starting job to Ed Davis recently, and his price tag immediately dropped $1,000. But the thing is, he didn’t lose any minutes, and if anything, his production has increased. Apparently, he’s the type of guy to get motivated by a demotion. He stepped up last night with his best game of the year, putting up a very useful 22-13. We know he has those types of games in him, so you might as well see if you can take advantage while he is pumping them out.
- Nikola Vucevic @ TOR ($8,400) – He might get 25 rebounds in this game. He started Saturday in his first game back, put up 18 points and 11 boards. He’s back, and you can once again trust him as one of the most consistent options in all of daily fantasy. There is no faking a 12-rebound-per-game average.
- Al Jefferson @ CLE ($8,200) – With all the things Cleveland is good at, post defense is not one of them. That works for Big Al. He can score, and he does it consistently, especially when the Hornets are struggling to get other options on track, which is definitely in the realm of possibilities tonight. You’re just rooting for big rebounding numbers to make a good night great.
- Jonas Valanciunas vs. ORL ($6,000) – Around the end of November, his minutes started to pick up. He made the most of them, and so it’s continued. Exactly how it’s supposed to work. And the results are finally starting to show up as well – he has 25+ fantasy points in each of his last four, 30+ in three of those, and his lowest rebounding total in that span is twelve. The Raptors are going to need him to combat Vucevic in the middle, so expect him to get plenty of run. And while Vucevic certainly is a challenge and will gobble up his share of the available boards, Valanciunas is a proven, capable big man, and when that kind of player is finally getting 30+ minutes a night, he is at least a viable option if you can’t afford one of the bigger guns at his position in this one.
- Tyler Zeller @ PHI ($5,000) – Coach Brad Stevens has done what he can to give Zeller a confidence boost, coming out and saying that he has been named the starter indefinitely. As I stated before, this could be a game with a ton of fantasy production, across the board, and Zeller could be a beneficiary. He has 20+ fantasy points in each of his six, against tougher opponents than this one, with a 33 and a 47 point game mixed in for good measure. I’ll take that for $5,000.