With ten games on tap for Wednesday night, the NBA saved the best for last. The Clippers @ Warriors game doesn’t tip off until 10:30 pm EST, but you might want to get at least one of those guys onto your roster, even if it means you have to stay up late. Good luck.
Today’s NBA targets breakdown looks at Wednesday’s 10-game slate, with an eye towards the studs, sleepers and mid-range players you want to have rotating in your lineups.
Stephen Curry vs. LAC ($10,100) – His lowest scoring game of the year has been 46.25 fantasy points. There have been four games so far, including two in the forties, one in the sixties, and one ridiculous 82.5 point explosion. What you hope for here is that the Clippers defend Klay well and keep the game close, because if Curry gives you 20+ shot attempts, you are almost guaranteed a 50-point outing with the way he has been playing lately.
John Wall vs. SA ($9,300) – Wall has been everything to the Wizards – playmaker, crunch-time scorer, leader. At this point in his career, Tony Parker is simply no match at all for his speed and aggressiveness, and Wall should keep up his streak of 40+ fantasy points every night with relative ease in his quest to keep pace with San Antonio.
Isaiah Thomas @ IND ($6,300) – He is basically playing starter’s minutes even though he is coming off the bench, because Stevens has him in a very specific role. The starting five can work well enough together to create some open looks for one another, but when the bench guys came in, that same efficiency just isn’t there. And that is where Thomas comes in, as the single best creator/scorer on this entire roster. If Bradley has to miss the game tonight or play reduced minutes, Thomas should keep his minutes with the second team and also spend some more time than usual out there with the starters, which should allow him to pad his stats a bit – especially all the stats other than points.
Mo Williams vs. NY ($5,500) – With Kyrie out, Williams is getting lots of run, playing 25+ minutes basically every night. But he is also getting more than his share of scoring opportunities, getting up 10+ shots a night on average as well. If he has a good shooting night, he should fall into enough assists and other stats to make himself relevant against the Knicks.
Victor Oladipo @ HOU ($7,700) – Here’s the thing: if you pay $10,000 for Harden, and he puts up fewer than 40 points (done twice this year out of four tries), you are already trying to dig your way out of a hole. Until he starts draining three’s, he’s too expensive for my blood. I’d rather have Oladipo and the $2,300, every time. If it was Oladipo and $1,000, I might take the upside, but Orlando’s guard has been getting you consistent scoring in the 30-fantasy-point range, and even flashed 60 point upside against OKC. He has seven three’s already on the year, and if he can bump that total to nine tonight, you are going to be happy with where you spent your money.
DeMar DeRozan @ OKC ($7,400) – It’s not always easy picking shooting guards, especially with a couple of the more obvious names getting an off night tonight. But DeRozan is going to need to score to keep Toronto close, so you could see plenty of shot opportunities in a fast-paced game. If he has a good shooting night, he could far outpace this price tag in terms of value.
Evan Turner @ IND ($4,600) – With Bradley banged up and now questionable for tonight’s game, you will likely see Isaiah Thomas in the starting lineup, but Turner could also be in line for a big uptick in minutes. He hasn’t been getting a lot of shot attempts thus far, so this is a risk-reward play, but he is someone Coach Stevens trusted down the stretch last year, so it’s not unreasonable to expect that he could see his role – and not just his minutes – increase if they need to call on him in this one.
Nik Stauskas @ MIL ($3,500) – He has five three-pointers made in his two games so far this year, playing over 20 minutes in each. For $3,500, you don’t need superstar production for a player to be a value – you just need someone who will steadily outperform his price tag. Right now, Stauskas appears to be that guy.
Kawhi Leonard @ WAS ($7,800) – With the real strength of the Wizards in their backcourt, the Spurs – no surprise – will rely on Leonard and the rest of the frontcourt to make plays in this one, and there is every reason to think Leonard could respond in a big way. With his athleticism and size, he will be a matchup nightmare for the Wiz, and should be able to score, crash the boards, and wreak his usual havoc on the defensive end. So far this year, that combo has been good for 30+ every time and 50+ in two of four. Plus side: Washington has the firepower to keep it close, so Leonard should see his full complement of minutes.
Paul George vs. BOS ($8,000) – The Celtics don’t just have the combination of size and athleticism to effectively defend a player like George. So far this year, he is averaging 17-8-5, and he could outpace all three of those figures in this matchup.
Evan Fournier @ HOU ($4,400) – He has been over 40 minutes of PT twice in the past three games, and he has seen his price tag rise from $3,700 to $4,400 over that span. He is averaging just over 36 fantasy points a night over those three contests, seeming to be a consistent 20 point scorer (with upside) who will also contribute in other categories enough to make his fantasy value very intriguing at this point in the season.
Paul Pierce @ GS ($3,600) – He is not PAUL PIERCE anymore, but he is a veteran who can still score, two qualities that could come in plenty handy against the defending champs. He is a cash-game play at best now, because his ceiling is not high enough to help you compete in a GPP, but to get 20+ fantasy points for $3,600 is nothing to laugh off, as it could be a real value play that allows you to build exactly the roster you want for a cash game.
Greg Monroe vs. PHI ($8,100) – On a night when Blake Griffin will have to contend with Draymond, the savings you can get while still rostering a player like Monroe starts to look mighty promising, no matter how high-scoring you expect that GS-LAC to be. Averaging basically a 20-10 with a handful of assists and more than a steal and a block per game on top of all that is a sure-fire way to see your price tag rise, and there is no reason to expect he’s going to slow down at all in this matchup with the Sixers.
Paul Millsap vs. BKN ($7,900) – Brooklyn can’t defend anyone, really. So, Millsap has that going for him. He also has the fact that he’s played 35+ minutes every night as a primary option on this offense, as the Hawks are really allowing him to build on the role he established for himself last year, when he finished the season averaging 16-8-3. So far this year, the scoring is about the same, the rebounds and assists are both up, and the defensive stats that pad his line (a block and two steals/night) are still in place, making him continue to be a solid value at this price.
Markieff Morris vs. SAC ($6,200) – Having Cousins out of the paint certainly isn’t going to hurt Morris’ chances of having a big night on the post or on the boards. The Suns power forward is coming off his best game of the season so far, a 19-8 performance against the Clippers, and will be looking to build on that momentum in this one.
Jordan Hill vs. BOS ($4,100) – Hill started the Pacers’ last game at PF, moving Paul George back to SF. He had 23 minutes, and that should be right around his floor going forward, unless the situation changes. Against a team like Boston his could see even more time, as a valuable matchup with all of the Celtics’ power forwards. With more time on the floor, he is a threat to end with a double-double.
DeAndre Jordan @ GS ($7,800) – With Draymond draped all over Blake, the big man could get more shot opportunities than he has seen so far on the year. Remember down the stretch last year, with no Blake, when Jordan was a 20-20 machine? If this game is as high-scoring as we expect, with Griffin facing a tough matchup and no Bogut, Jordan could be primed to have his best statistical performance of the season.
Tyson Chandler vs. SAC ($5,800) – With Cousins out, the obvious play is to look at his backup for potential value (see below), but looking at his opponent isn’t a bad idea either. Chandler would have his hands full on the defensive end with Cousins active, but this could leave him free to pursue a few more opportunities on the offensive end, which will only be a good thing for his fantasy production. With a double-double in two of his last three, he has broken the 30-point fantasy mark in each, excellent value at this price.
Kosta Koufos @ PHO ($4,000) – With Cousins still out on Wednesday, Koufos is in line for expanded minutes (he had 29 last time out). He had 11-6 against Memphis last night, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him do something similar tonight. 20-ish fantasy points for this price is a solid value, especially in cash games.
Myles Turner vs. BOS ($3,600) – Turner should get the bulk of any minutes available to a center in this one, as starter Ian Mahinmi went down with a back injury last night after playing only 5 minutes and is listed as questionable in this one. Against a fast-paced Celtics team that has trouble defending bigs, that could mean he is in line for some worthwhile production. The risk here is that the Pacers go small to match the Celtics and Turner doesn’t see as many minutes as you’d like, which I suppose makes him more of a tournament play than someone to use in cash games.