With ten games on tap for tonight, there are plenty of choices to be made for your DFS rosters. With no Golden State, you can’t just default to sticking four of those guys in your lineup if you can’t decide on anyone else. Bummer.
Today’s NBA targets breakdown looks at Wednesday’s 10-game slate, considering all the studs, sleepers and mid-range players you want to have rotating in your lineups.
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Russell Westbrook vs. NO ($12,200) – Of course you want him. That’s not the question. I mean, pick a stat, any stat. Here’s one: over 50 fantasy points in four of his last five. But $12,200? That’s steep. The bright side of course is that it might be steep enough to keep his ownership % down, if you can manage to build a lineup around him.
Isaiah Thomas vs. DAL ($7,300) – Rondo has been the obvious answer for a PG to choose just under the elite tier for the past several days, but with Collison expected to return to the lineup tonight, he might actually only get 35 minutes. The horror! So Thomas becomes another name you have to consider just a little bit further down the list. He is flashing consistent 35+ point upside as the best offensive option for the Celtics on a lot of nights. That’s exactly how you see a price tag climb $1,000 in the first three weeks of the season.
Emmanuel Mudiay @ SA ($6,100) – San Antonio is sometimes a tough opponent to gauge, because they can play great defense at times, when the need to – but that, admittedly, is not often. They can usually just outscore. And if that’s the mode they’re in, they are a great opponent, because they keep the ball moving and the scoreboard lit up. Mudiay could play a big role in trying to help the Nuggets keep up.
Marcus Smart vs. DAL ($4,800) – At this price, the most important thing playing in a rotation like this, is that he has had 30+ minutes in three straight. In his last two, that has translated into huge value performances, with 45 and 31 fantasy points against the Thunder and Rockets, respectively. On Monday he had 31.75 fantasy points against the Rockets despite only scoring 4 actual points in the game, demonstrating the way he can stuff a stat sheet all over the place when given the chance (9 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 steals in that one).
Eric Bledsoe vs. CHI ($8,600) – Even with a tough matchup against Jimmy Butler, Bledsoe is a stud. Bledsoe has led a Suns team that has impressed so far in the early-going. He has now been over 35 fantasy points in eight of his last nine, and will probably need that to continue to get his team the W in this one.
Jimmy Butler @ PHO ($7,800) – Bledsoe has been a fantastic option at the 2 all season, but his specialty on the defensive end are defensive stats, not stops. Butler should be able to get his in this matchup as long as all his energy isn’t expended on the defensive end. His offense has been just inconsistent enough to drop the price tag, but in what should be a fast-paced game, I would expect enough attempts to be there to give him a solid base of fantasy points to build off of.
C.J. McCollum @ HOU ($6,500) – The Rockets aren’t defending anyone right now. The Blazers aren’t exactly a juggernaut, but the bright side of things for fantasy players (although maybe not for Portland fans), is that almost all the value is concentrated in just two guys. If you like a matchup and can’t afford Lillard, McCollum is proving to, usually, make for a very suitable replacement.
Danny Green vs. DEN ($4,200) – According to the Spurs, Manu Ginobli is slated to miss the next couple of games with “hip tightness.” This should lead to an uptick in minutes for Green, which makes this a very easy call. On an offense as efficient as San Antonio’s, for all players, there is almost a direct-line correlation between minutes and fantasy production. Green might not be a world-beater in this one, but you are hopefully getting around $1,000 of value just baked right into the price with that injury thrown into the mix.
Paul George @ PHI ($9,500) – The obvious focal point of just about everything the Pacers do, he is the obvious stud you want to pair with someone else at the top of a position to try to make up for not drafting Westbrook, if that’s the route you take. $95,00 is affordable for a guy with 50 point upside – and then you just hope Westbrook doesn’t go off for 70.
Kawhi Leonard vs. DEN ($8,200) – He always seems less expensive than I anticipate. In many instances, the offense really flows through him, creating his own shot as well as opportunities for his teammates. With Manu sitting this one out, that usage level should only increase, giving him ample opportunities to pad his defensive, rebounding and scoring stats with a few dimes. I’ll take it.
Al-Farouq Aminu @ HOU ($6,000) – Any time you see a player whose price tag has jumped $1,000 or more in two weeks, you have to take notice. Because price spikes don’t happen all at once, so the question you always have to ask yourself is “have we reached the top yet?” Over the past two weeks, Aminu is averaging 13-7-2, with only one game under 20 fantasy points and four games with over 30.
Chandler Parsons @ BOS ($4,200) – This is just to bring up the fact the teams doctors have apparently raised his minutes restriction from 20 to 23 per night. The three minutes might not make or break you, but as a signal that he is improving, that move is important. He cracked the 30 fantasy point threshold in just 21 minutes last time out, and for an East Coast team, the Celtics do a good job of cramming as many opportunities as possible into the minutes available – for both their own players and their opponents.
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DeMarcus Cousins @ ATL ($10,300) – The question for the night is, would you rather pay for him or a Paul George, or try to squeeze in Westbrook. And it is hard to imagine Cousins being a bad play – he has been over sixty fantasy points in each of the last two, after all. He seems to thrive on playing against better competition, like he is constantly out to prove something. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Derrick Favors vs. TOR ($7,600) – No matter what else is true of your game, your team or the external circumstances, there is something to be said – in terms of fantasy value – for being the best offensive threat your team has. If that much is true, you might have peaks and valleys, but you are almost always contributing at least a little. And the benefit of that person being a point guard or a big man is that there are usually plenty of peripheral stats to help boost the overall total.
Thaddeus Young @ CHA ($6,100) – He probably hates the situation, playing on a team with two wins on the season so far, but he is getting lots of minutes and lots of looks – so his fantasy owners maybe don’t mind quite so much. He has 30+ fantasy points in four of five games, and a matchup that means he will at least have the opportunity to keep that streak alive. It’ll be up to him to make sure it happens.
Jordan Hill @ PHI ($4,600) – I just don’t think anyone expected him to get quite this much playing time before the season began. He still has games where he is closer to 20 minutes than 30, but his average has creeped up to 23.5 per game, and he is taking advantage, averaging just over 20 fantasy points per game over his last ten, with a high of 33, excellent upside at this price.
Karl-Anthony Towns @ ORL ($7,300) – The first of two rookies headlining this section of the post, Towns has had a double-double in five of seven games, and in the other two, he fell just a single rebound short. He is averaging 15-10 with 2 blocks for the first few weeks of his NBA career – that right there is a building block center developing right in front of you.
Jahlil Okafor vs. IND ($7,200) – With 39.75 or more points in three of his last four, he is on a mission to prove all this early success is no fluke. The 76ers don’t have the players to compete night-in-and-night out, but they DO have a frontcourt that can be very useful for fantasy purposes, especially with a player like Okafor getting 30+ minutes every night, meaning he is often able to continue to pile up statistics well into junk time.
Zaza Pachulia @ BOS ($5,600) – Boston is currently listed as the 8th best team in the league at defending centers, which is when I need to remind you to pay close attention to the fact that this is a very small sample size. That number was green a week ago. You wouldn’t have been scared starting a big man against them in the days after Jahlil Okafor started the season off with a 26-7 against them. The problem is if the Celtics go small and get in front, they force teams to adapt to their style, which can limit big men – but I think Dallas manages to keep this one close enough that Pachulia remains a useful contributor throughout.
Stephen Adams vs. NO ($3,900) – The point here isn’t that Adams is going to be a dominant force in this one, but that he is somewhat of an obvious value play. He is priced $1,300 less than Enes Kanter, despite the fact that Adams has been starting and playing about ten minute more a night than Kanter for more than a week now. He’s been above 15 fantasy points in every game he’s started, with a high of about 25. You are getting a $5,000 player for $3,900 here.