There are seven NBA games scheduled for Monday night, giving you plenty of fantasy options to choose from at every position. Here are few, at various price points, who you might want to consider:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- John Wall vs. BOS ($10,300) – It’s a steep price tag, and for good reason. Wall has been on fire, with 41.5 fantasy points as his floor over the last four games, and the Celtics have been involved in more than their fair share of high-scoring contests. And if Washington is putting up 105+ points, you know Wall is a big contributor.
- Rajon Rondo @ WAS ($8,600) – It’s hard to talk about Point Guard Studs and skip mentioning the fact that Chris Paul ($10,200) is playing at home against Phoenix, in a matchup that could make him the leading scorer in all of fantasy tonight… so I won’t. But I went with Rondo here in case you are looking for a stud PG who doesn’t cost you more than 20% of your budget. Rondo had a triple-double last time out, and went for 12-16-8 the game before that; he has 47+ fantasy points in three of his last four. And while he does disappear in some games, he is a competitive guy and if Wall is going off on the other end, this will not be one of those games. He loves to try to demonstrate that he’s the best player on the court, no matter who is out there with him.
- Trey Burke @ SAC ($5,400) – With Alec Burks missing some time due to a shoulder injury, Burke has been finding himself with the ball in his hands even more often recently. He’s been over 30 fantasy points in each of his last three, a result, almost exclusively, of an increase in his assists. As long as Burks is still out, that could easily continue, and the matchup is certainly right tonight.
- Zach LaVine vs. GS ($4,700) – Mo Williams is not going to play tonight, after missing Saturday’s game in San Antonio. In that one, LaVine got 42 minutes and put up 22-10-3 with a pair of steals. There is no guarantee the performance repeats itself, but there is a good chance the opportunity does.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Klay Thompson vs. MIN ($7,100) – Minnesota’s defense doesn’t exactly scare you, so if you’re looking for a BIG game, you have to guess whether it’s going to be Thompson or Curry from the outside. But if you’re looking for at least a good game, plus some upside, this is a good place to start.
- Eric Bledsoe @ LAC ($8,400) – You could certainly see Bledsoe WANTING to do well in this one, and we’ve seen him do well enough recently. But the Clips have been playing pretty good perimeter defense this year, and you could also see LA wanting to make sure this wasn’t the guy who beats them. It’s a definite risk-reward play, but it could pay big dividends.
- Ben McLemore vs. UTA ($5,000) – If nothing else, McElmore is getting you solid playing time for this price – you are getting a guy who is at least going to have a chance of putting up solid numbers. Before Saturday’s game, he had logged at least 38 minutes in each of his previous five games. His ceiling is relatively low, but he is a good bet for right around 20 fantasy points.
- J.J. Redick vs. PHO ($4,300) – He has at least 23.75 fantasy points in each of his last four, and is averaging pretty close to 30 minutes a night. Those aren’t $4,700 numbers, especially when you consider that someone who can hit from three-point range with his efficiency has upside well above his averages on any given night.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- LeBron James @ BKN ($11,700) – Do I want to spend all that money? Can I afford him? He’s friends with Jay-Z – subconsciously, does that mean he takes it easy, or that he wants to take it to him? These are the questions you resort to asking yourself with this guy, because there is no questioning his game. Watching him go from 7 rebounds and 6 assists last year as the second biggest player on the floor for the Heat to 6 rebounds and 8 assists as a shooting guard for the Cavs just goes to show how dominant of a player he is – he does whatever his team needs (in this case, averaging OVER TEN assists a night over his last seven games).
- Gordon Hayward @ SAC ($7,900) – The Kings don’t have anyone to hang with this jump shot. He should be able to get open looks all night, which is important when you consider that each of his last three 40+ fantasy point efforts have come on nights when he was able to hit on more than 50% of his looks from the floor. If he’s finding the bottom of the net (very possible in this matchup), he could carry you to a win in this one.
- Harrison Barnes vs. MIN ($5,200) – Before Saturday’s game against Chicago, he had logged back-to-back double-doubles, and he’s seen his minutes trending upwards most of the season. Plus, the matchup with Minnesota is solid enough for you to rightfully expect him to outperform his averages, and anything over 24 points is definitely a bonus at this price point.
- Draymond Green vs. MIN ($6,200) – Yup, teammates. Green is actually starting at Power Forward for the Warriors right now, not small forward, because of an injury to David Lee. However, Lee might come back tonight. Green has been playing well enough that he is going to keep most of his minutes even when Lee comes back, but it would take me at least seeing it a couple of times before I trusted him. So, this pick is injury-dependent – if Lee is out, Green would make an excellent play against the Timberwolves frontcourt. If Lee is in, I want to see what Green produces before I trust him in a daily lineup.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Blake Griffin vs. PHO ($10,000) – At least 35 fantasy points in each of his last seven, Griffin is an interesting case when you are studying him for daily contests. He is one of those players whose value is VERY different in a daily game than in your year-long leagues (mainly due to the average categories, notably free throw %). You have to love being able to root for him when all you have to care about is counting stats, though, and he’s got the kind of matchup you love at home against Phoenix.
- Jared Sullinger @ WAS ($7,700) – Sullinger has hit a three-pointer in all but three games this year. For a power forward, that’s great. For a power forward who looks like a tight end, it’s both great, and somewhat surprising. But the only question on Sully coming out of college was health, and right now he is healthy. He’s always been good at basketball, and that hasn’t changed. He has played exactly 30 minutes in each of his last four games and came three rebounds away from having four consecutive double-doubles over the same stretch.
- Mizra Teletovich vs. CLE ($5,400) – With Brooke Lopez out about a week, Teletovich is the biggest benefactor (with KG likely getting some extra minutes as well). Teletovich, though, can shoot from distance, which is a specific skill-set for a big man that it seems like every NBA team knows how to utilize.
- Amir Johnson vs. DEN ($5,300) – In his last ten games, in terms of fantasy points, Johnson has one in the single digits, two more in the teens, four in the twenties and three of 30+. 30+ 30% of the time is serious upside, but single digits? Single digits is hard to do if you’re actually spending any time out on the court, and that kind of disappearing act must be factored into your risk analysis when you draft this player.
- DeAndre Jordan @ PHO ($7,700) – With DeMarcus Cousins under the weather, Jordan is the most expensive center on the board. And the Suns don’t do well against size, or teams who try to run it at them too much. They’re just too tiny – they can never seem to regroup and set up their defense while avoiding a crucial mismatch.
- Roy Hibbert vs. ATL ($7,000) – Hibbert is a stud, priced with the masses. He’s still not scoring a ton, but he is consistently rebounding and blocking shots. That, however, however, is a role that only a real-life NBA GM would love, not a fantasy owner.
- Tyler Zeller @ WAS ($5,000) – “Who?,” you say. “Tyler Zeller?” Yes, Tyler Zeller, new starting center on the Celtics. 25+ minutes a night is a valuable opportunity, regardless, but just this past Friday, Zeller took advantage of his opportunity and dropped 24-14-2-1. And he could absolutely do more of the same against Washington.
- J.J. Hickson @ TOR ($4,500) – If Kenneth Faried continues to miss time on Monday night, Hickson is a very solid play. Toronto doesn’t do well defending big men, so if the minutes are there, you can reasonably expect double-digits in points. And once that happens you have a solid chance at a double-double, which would be a huge contribution at this price.