With only two games on tap for Thursday night, your lineup choices are limited, but there are still plenty of chances to get in on the DFS action, so here are a few guys to target from the four teams going:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Ty Lawson @ CHI ($9,700) – He’s been nicked up here and there, but he still got 35+ fantasy points in eight of his last ten outings, and while his matchup isn’t the best, that’s what you get when three of the four teams playing are top-11 against point guards on the season.
- Derrick Rose vs. DEN ($7,000) – At least Rose’s opponent is only eleventh against PGs. But Rose’s production is dependent on Rose, and no one else. In his last ten games, he has 30+ fantasy points seven times, but more than 35 only once. But if he’ll consistently get you those 30 points, and you still get to watch him play knowing he could explode at any given moment is both exciting, and safe.
- Darren Collison @ BKN ($6,400) – He has 40+ fantasy points in four of his last ten which is a good way to cost a lot more than $6,400 in a hurry. And whether Williams is healthy and playing or not, Brooklyn doesn’t exactly inspire fear on the defensive end.
- Zach Lavine vs. SAC ($4,500) – For tonight, he’s the only starting point guard with a good matchup, so there’s that. He’s cheap for a reason – inconsistent value, and limited upside. But before Rubio comes back and removes whatever potential there is here, you can at least take advantage of the cheap price tag when the matchup is right. And that’s tonight.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Jimmy Butler vs. DEN ($8,800) – A solid matchup, and seven out of his last nine over 40 fantasy points, including two over sixty. He slipped up in their last game, but it was their third in fourth nights, and as a team, the Bulls shot only 38%.
- Aaron Afflalo @ CHI ($6,000) – If you want even an outside shot at 20+ minutes of playing time at the SG position tonight, there are literally only four choices. And Afflalo is one of them. Cheaper than Butler, and for a reason – he’s gone over 30 only once in his last ten games, but he is a really solid player for the Nuggets, and gets plenty of action, so is a good option if you’re looking for 20-25 fantasy points.
- Ben McLemore @ MIN ($5,200) – Honestly, he has got about the same base range, and just as much upside as Afflalo if not more, and you get to save $800. And he’s got a great matchup. This choice makes a lot of sense if you don’t want to trust Butler.
- Nik Stauskas @ MIN ($3,000) – He got 23 minutes last time out, a season high. This doesn’t seem to be so much a one-time anomaly as a slow trend in that direction, so this could be something eventually. Tonight, it’s probably not more than 15 fantasy points, max.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Rudy Gay @ MIN ($8,600) – Now as opposed to point guards, you have your pick of good matchups for wingmen tonight, starting with this one. Gay is touch and go, because the scoring is not always there, but he does enough to be valuable no matter what, and in this one, it’s more likely that the scoring is enough to make for a very useful fantasy day.
- Shabazz Muhammad vs. SAC ($6,900) – He’s a fantasy stud in the loosest sense of the word, but again, the options are limited. And he did have 30 points and 7 boards in his last outing, which is more upside than you usually get for this price. But if the upside is cheap, the downside must be looming large.
- Andrew Wiggins vs. SAC ($5,800) – For obvious reasons, you typically only have four options at every position tonight and Wiggins, for his part, has been playing better lately. He’s getting lots of run, and he’s gone over 30 fantasy points in three of his last four, a big step up from the early part of the season.
- Mike Dunleavy vs. DEN ($4,400) – He plays a lot. He’s the cheapest option at the position who actually is on the court for a decent portion of the game. That is all.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Pau Gasol @ DEN ($8,900) – The first position of the night where you feel like if you’re not spending a good chunk of your salary cap you are falling behind. Gasol leads the way at $8,900, but there are a few good options, with good matchups. But Pau has gone over 30 fantasy points in eight of his last nine, which is the type of consistency he’s shown all season. And two 40+ fantasy point games in his last five highlight his upside. They’re both there.
- Kenneth Faried @ CHI ($6,500) – He played only 21 minutes the other night with “dead legs.” Hopefully that has cleared up, because he had gone over 40 fantasy points in three straight prior to that, with a 61.25 fantasy point, 26-point, 25-rebound effort mixed in. I will certainly take that kind of upside for $6,500.
- Thaddeus Young vs. SAC ($6,200) – Some of the shine has rubbed off on Young since some nice early-season performances, but he has settled into what he is, and that’s still useful. For this price, you are getting a really good chance at 30 fantasy points, with 40 point upside. And this is the kind of matchup that he can potentially exploit offensively, which could mean he ends up on the higher end of that spectrum.
- Taj Gibson vs. DEN ($5,600) – He has looked good since he came back, but his price is steadily dropping right alongside his minutes. He is simply not getting the run he was earlier in the year when the frontcourt was more banged up – he hasn’t gone over 24 minutes, in fact, in his last six. And that, quite obviously, limits his upside. This price could be even lower next time you see it.
- DeMarcus Cousins @ MIN ($11,100) – Well, I guess he showed last time out that there is a reason not to trust him, with his early ejection from the Celtics game. But let’s hope that doesn’t become a regular occurrence, and assume he might even think of this one as a chance to redeem himself. He’s the most expensive player on the board tonight for a reason, and it’s because he is also the most explosive.
- Joakim Noah vs. DEN ($7,400) – He’s a good option if you can’t afford Cousins, but also can’t afford a complete dud. He’s good for some rebounds and defensive stats every night now that he is looking healthy again, so you can count on 25 fantasy points and hope for 35.
- Gorgui Dieng vs. SAC ($6,700) – It looks like the ankle issue is safely behind him, and he has been getting a ton of minutes, averaging 9-8 in over 30 minutes. That means you don’t need much of a bump to get you to that double-double – he’s had three in his last six.
- J.J. Hickson @ CHI ($4,800) – It’s not always easy to know exactly what Denver is going to do with it’s frontcourt minutes on any given night, but Hickson seems like he would match up well with Chicago’s athletic big men. It might not be the guys you want to be going against, but just being on the court gives him the opportunity to rack up some boards and clean-up points, because he can finish when given the chance. The chance is there he simply doesn’t play, as it is every night, so that’s the risk. But there is some upside.