With a full slate of eleven NBA games going on Monday night, as well as well over $300K in guaranteed prizes up for grabs, you’ve got some important choices to make:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Russell Westbrook @ GS ($10,500) – On a night with seven point guards priced over $10K, this would be my first choice. He knows that if he is able to outduel Curry, his team has a good chance at taking this one. I expect him to exert himself, especially after a couple of down games (if you can call it that – the two included one ejection, and he still had 30+ fantasy points in each).
- Chris Paul vs. ATL ($10,700) – He’s consistent, with upside. It’s exactly what you’re looking for in a fantasy player, every single night. The only thing surprising about this price is that there is actually someone who costs more.
- Matthew Dellavedova @ PHI ($4,000) – He plays for Cleveland, if you were wondering. He’s been getting more action with LeBron out, and now with Kyrie also missing the game, you can expect to see his recent trend of 30+ minutes a night continue, with a chance at more opportunities to actually produce statistics, which would be nice.
- Trey Burke vs. IND ($6,300) – Indiana’s last remaining strength is interior defense, which might lead to more shot opportunities for Utah’s backcourt, and that includes Burke, who has the potential to pile up points from the outside in a hurry when given the chance.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- James Harden @ CHI ($11,300) – He’s on the list because it doesn’t matter who he is playing, not really. What he does is on him – he’s reached that level of trust, with his usage and skill-set. For all I know, the reason Chicago is #3 against SGs is because they haven’t had to play Harden yet.
- Klay Thompson vs. OKC ($7,900) – As always, with Thompson it comes down to what Curry is doing, and how much is left over for him. On a night when Steph could be occupied with Westbrook, Thompson could get more than his usual share of looks, which could mean really solid value at this price.
- Bradley Beal @ NO ($6,500) – Wall typically gets more of his scoring done with penetration, which might be tough with Davis patrolling the interior. And that could leave room for Beal to get lots of looks from outside. He’s capable of producing in a big way when given the chance, so he is definitely worth consideration in this one, especially in larger tournament formats.
- Dion Waiters @ PHI ($5,600) – You’ll notice a trend of Cleveland players all over the value lists tonight, with all the injuries creating opportunities for guys like Waiters (21 and 14 shot attempts in his last two). And the good thing is, when you’re deciding to trust guys you normally would not, the matchup is there too, going up against a team that doesn’t defend any position particularly well.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Kevin Durant @ GS ($11,500) – With LeBron out and Carmelo questionable, he’s the stud left to talk about, and as you know, he might get you 50+ fantasy points. There is always that possibility. I actually see this one ending up more in the 40-fantasy-point range, which is his downside (the reason he’s usually #1 in a year-long format).
- Draymond Green vs. OKC ($8,300) – He’s going to have plenty of opportunities to grab some long rebounds, and get out in transition, and generally to just produce in a lot of different kinds of ways in what figures to be a bit of a fast-paced contest. He’s cracked 40 fantasy points in each of his last three, including a 61.75-point triple-double last time out.
- Shawn Marion @ PHI ($3,800) – You might as well take advantage of the value while it’s there, and it looks like he is in line for 20+ minutes a night as long as LeBron is sidelined, with a legit shot at 20+ fantasy points as well.
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist @ BOS ($5,700) – You’ll notice a new trend beginning here. Boston’s backcourt of Bradley and Smart might be a vicious matchup for Walker and Henderson, but once you remove the possibility to being harassed by those two, the matchup is prime for everyone else.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- LaMarcus Aldridge vs. LAL ($10,900) – The matchup couldn’t be better. The matchup being this good for Aldridge was a prime reason why I didn’t consider Lillard for the Point Guard studs list, despite his own good matchup – they might just not need him. And Aldridge looks primed to exploit the opportunity as well, with three 50+ point games in his last five.
- Kevin Love @ PHI ($10,600) – As the only real offensive weapon left for the Cavs at the moment, things are starting to feel awfully familiar for Love. He has been an absolute monster in this role in the past, and the matchup is right for him to do it again tonight.
- Cody Zeller @ BOS ($5,100) – The upside is limited, but the consistency is there (you’re always paying for one or the other). He could push 30 fantasy points in this matchup, but he’s almost a lock for 20-25.
- Tristan Thompson @ PHI ($6,800) – He can board – he’s shown that all along. And that means that with even a few more looks of his own, he is a prime candidate for a double-double every night (he’s had four in his last five), and when you throw in his block a game, that’s a legitimate fantasy option.
- Marc Gasol vs. NY ($9,700) – New York is thin – they are just really banged up across the board, and didn’t play great defense to begin with. Gasol will likely be playing a fair amount against Cole Aldrich, which actually might be an improvement for New York defensively against a player who likes to perform down low. But in the end, it’s still just a miserable match-up for Aldrich, not the other way around.
- DeAndre Jordan vs. ATL ($8,500) – Atlanta is a “red” matchup on the board, seventh against opposing centers. However, they do that by limiting scoring (in part by giving it up so freely on the outside). They are 23rd in the NBA in rebounding efficiency as a team, which leaves the door open for 20 boards out of a guy like Jordan (averaging 13.6 so far on the year).
- Roy Hibbert @ UTA ($6,500) – With Kanter unavailable, Utah’s interior defense takes a bit of a hit, and New York is going to be looking for solid minutes wherever they can find them, especially if Carmelo sits out again.
- Bismack Biyombo @ BOS ($4,500) – It’s a fantasy value convergence for a guy getting an opportunity because of injury AND playing Boston. Amazing. There is still a lot of risk because even with the injury to Big Al, he’s not seeing too much more than twenty minutes a night, but 25 should be enough to produce usable statistics in this matchup.