This article breaks down NBA options for tonight by which five players are the best option for your lineup at each position. It will cross over multiple salary tiers and doesn’t necessarily have to be the most expensive players but rather the guys you want to target for your DraftKings lineups!
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TOP 5 POINT GUARDS
Steph Curry – $10,400 The Chef has had 55 points or more in 3 of his last 4 games and Chicago has been the 4th worst defense against Point Guards over the last 3 weeks. Even in a 3 quarter blowout like the Cavaliers game, Curry still gets what he wants and threw in 56 fantasy points. Russell Westbrook is no slouch either but his 3 point shooting is completely lost and Curry is $300 cheaper.
John Wall – $9,500 When Wall gets to the free throw line he has absolutely magical nights, why doesn’t he do it more often? He won’t get held to 9 points again and is averaging 9.8 assists over the last 10 days. Goran Dragic is still out and with Wall’s steals/rebound numbers way up lately, he’s a better value than the recently cooled off Damian Lillard.
Kemba Walker – $8,300 Mr.52 won’t keep that title much longer but his scoring and all around game have gone way up recently. The Thunder play at a crazy face pace and Kemba is the Hornets #1 scoring option with Al Jefferson on the shelf. Kyle Lowry is playing against a very stingy Celtics backcourt and Rajon Rondo only likes getting assists… Kemba and his 3 point stroke all the way.
Kyrie Irving – $7,000 One of these days Kyrie is going to start having KYRIE games again and it should be soon. The Nets are absolutely putrid defending against Point Guards, something Irving and his 20-plus field goal attempts should enjoy. Reggie Jackson has forgotten how to shoot a basketball through a net and Ish Smith is Ish Smith. He can’t keep playing well can he?
Jordan Clarkson – $5,900 Players of all shapes and sizes enjoy playing against the Kings but especially Point Guards. The Kings allow the fastest pace which will help the athletic Clarkson immensely. He’s consistently gotten 35 minutes in the bizarre rotation of the Lakers and even with Kobe playing, should get plenty of usage. He’s not the best player in the $5k bunch but he is playing the worst team. Sometimes that’s enough.
Top 5 Shooting Guards
James Harden – $9,700 The Beard can still cook on the court but is he worth $9,700? I’m not so sure. His scoring has been wildly inconsistent in the past two weeks and his 3 point stroke is nowhere to be found. The Pistons aren’t exactly a dream matchup but then again Harden could have a 60 point fantasy performance any night he plays, especially with some home cooking.
Jimmy Butler – $8,400 Butler seems like he plays with unlimited energy. His scoring has come crashing back down to earth after his 53 point performance but even when he struggles to shoot, he fills up the box score in so many ways. The Warriors have been the 10th worst team against Shooting Guards since the New Year and somebody will need to keep up with the Splash Brothers.
C.J. McCollum -$7,200 He went 6-10 from three point range in his last game and needs that shot to fall to be successful. Thankfully the Hawks are bottom 10 against 3 pointers made (by a Shooting Guard) and will also need to focus on Damian Lillard. The same could be said for Klay Thompson although his numbers outside of scoring have been way down recently.
Lou Williams – $6,300 Somehow Sweet Lou has sneaky become the #1 scoring option for the Lakers and he’s getting the minutes to back it up. I could throw a bunch of stats in here but the most important thing to remember is HE’S PLAYING THE KINGS.
Arron Affalo – $5,200 He’s getting shots, he’s making 3’s, he’s getting to the free throw line, and chipping in with some rebounds and assists. Affalo is no superstar but he’s become a consistent player for the Knicks, one who fully understands the Triangle. Kristaps will be hurt or hobbled so someone will need to pick up that scoring. The Jazz giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing Shooting Guard should help with that.
Top 5 Small Forwards
Kevin Durant – $9,900 He might be the most consistent player in the NBA right now and he’s not even $10k. The scoring and 3’s will always be there with Durant but his assists/rebounding is way up too. Over the last 3 weeks the Hornets have given up the 3rd most fantasy points to Small Forwards and have allowed the most 3 pointers made. The Slim Reaper should be in full effect tonight.
Carmelo Anthony – $8,300 The James Harden of Small Forwards… could dominate any given night but doesn’t always string it together. When 28 field goal attempts only net 19 points that’s kind of a problem. Doesn’t help that the Jazz are the 2nd best team against defending Small Forwards. Kristaps being banged up may help Anthony’s scoring but without double-digit rebounds he is a risk.
Gordon Hayward – $7,500 Nicolas Batum STINKS which makes Hayward an easy option here. He’s the #1 scoring option on the Jazz, blossoming into a great all-around player and averaging 25 pts, 5 rebounds, 5 assists in the last 10 days. He also just rediscovered his long ball which will help his likely shootout with Carmelo.
Rudy Gay – $6,800 Surprisingly the Lakers aren’t terrible against defending Small Forwards but they are also still, the Lakers. Gay has nearly had 2 double-doubles in the past 4 games and will likely be guarded by the Grey Mamba. He doesn’t fill up a lot of categories like some other $6k options but he should put up 20-plus points. When in doubt, play the Lakers. Or the Kings.
Joe Johnson – $5,100 I actually cringed when I looked at his player card and saw how old he looked… but Old Man Joe is still getting buckets. He’s shooting 68% from deep and 58% overall in the last 10 days to go along with consistent rebounding/handful of assists. The Cavaliers are bottom 10 defending Small Forward 3’s so why not the old dog with the same tricks?
Top 5 Power Forwards
DeMarcus Cousins – $10,600 Boogie might be the best big man in the NBA and the 30 points and 13 rebounds he’s averaged in the last 10 days seem to agree. The Lakers are middle of the pack defending Power Forwards but they are bottom 3 in allowing rebounding. Cousins has had 17-plus rebounds 3 times already in the New Year so it should be a bloodbath on the boards tonight.
Paul Millsap – $8,200 Millsap is a machine that churns out 20 efficient points and gobbles up rebounds. The Trailblazers give up the 10th most rebounds to Power Forwards and are pretty weak in the middle. Millsap will be fighting Al Horford for boards but his consistency is hard to match. It’s a low price for someone who should have 40 fantasy points with ease.
Chris Bosh – $7,600 Kristaps and Derrick Favors are hurt and Kevin Love is on a milk carton. Bosh’s rebounding has gone down but scoring has gone up with Goran Dragic out. The Wizards have been lights out against Power Forwards in the last 3 weeks so Bosh will need his 3 pointers to fall if he’s going to be effective.
Serge Ibaka – $6,000 The Hornets are worst team defending Power Forwards shooting 3’s and Serge knows how to throw em up. Although his scoring has been inconsistent, his rebounding has been strong and there are always easy buckets to be had playing with Westbrook/Durant. The Hornets also love getting blocked by Power Forwards, giving up the 5th most over the last 3 weeks.
Trey Lyles – $5,000 He’s getting major minutes with Derrick Favors still injured and making the most of them. Other than the minutes nothing is really consistent yet but he is a nightly threat for a double-double with some 3’s. Until the Jazz fully figure him out he’s a dangerous play but with Kristaps injured the paint may be wide open for Lyles. Wildcats know how to ball.
Top 5 Centers
Dwight Howard – $8,100 Giant men that can grab 26 rebounds don’t exactly grow on trees, especially ones that only cost $8,100. Although Dwight’s scoring has been sporadic, the Pistons have given up the 8th most fantasy points to Centers over the last 3 weeks. He’s even hitting his free throws and throwing in multiple blocks per game. May the battle of Dwight vs Drummond begin!
Hassan Whiteside – $7,500 The Wizards are amazing defending Power Forwards and yet TERRIBLE against Centers. Whiteside has 5 double-doubles in a row including a triple-double where he had 11 blocks. Dragic is out and Wade is banged up… Whiteside is right in line to dominate this game. In the last 3 weeks the Wizards are bottom 10 in rebounding/blocks against Centers. Hassan is hungry.
Rudy Gobert – $6,400 Another rebounding machine who’s finally healthy and racking up stats. The Knicks are the 2nd worst team against Centers and Gobert is slowly catching fire. 40 fantasy points in back to back games including 18 rebounds against the Lakers. Gobert is also back to his fly-swatting ways with 12 blocks in his last 4 games. The Injured Knicks are sure to give up a few/many of those in the paint.
Jahlil Okafor – $6,400 Nerlens Noel might be a stronger play but Okafor’s offensive firepower cannot be denied. He is hovering around 7 rebounds per game but hasn’t expanded his game yet. The Magic are downright horrible against defending Centers and that’s what makes this matchup. If he got more than 25 minutes he’d be a stud but Jahlil is stuck in basketball purgatory. It’s a common theme in Philadelphia.
Frank Kaminsky – $4,500 Frank the Tank is coming alive in Charlotte folks! Hovering around 30 minutes a game and finally hitting 3’s, Kaminsky is starting to carve out a role. Tempo will be high against the Thunder which should benefit the Tank, although his rebounding numbers are still too low. At the very least you’ll really enjoy watching Old School clips on Youtube later!