Tonight we have the College Football National Championship and a three game NBA slate. On such a short slate, options are limited, but we’ve still got some interesting plays. Let’s dive right into them.
John Wall ($9,400) – Stephen Curry is always in play, but for $1,100 cheaper, Wall is an elite point guard option tonight. Even though it’s not a great matchup, he has the best matchup of all the point guards. The Bulls are surrendering 50.3 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. They’ve allowed 1.4 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. Wall has topped 45 fantasy points in seven of his last 10 games, including 5 50-plus fantasy point games. In the last month, he has exceeded value 82 percent of the time by an average of 7.81 points. This game has the highest over/under of the slate at 207.5 points. Wall is in a good spot to post up some big numbers.
Jimmy Butler ($8,300) – Butler has exceeded value in 8 of his last 10 games by an average of 8.17 points. In that span, he is averaging 42.8 fantasy points, 24 points, 5.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game. He has topped 50 fantasy points and has 2 double-doubles in 2 of his last 4 games. The Wizards surrender the 8th most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards (41.4). The Bulls have the 2nd highest implied point total of the slate at 107.75 points. Butler offers a safe floor along with a high ceiling and is one of tonight’s top tournament plays.
Derrick Rose ($6,000) – Rose has topped 30 fantasy points in 4 of his last 5 games. This is a good matchup for Rose as the Wizards allow over 49 fantasy points per game to point guards. If you look at some of the most recent point guards that have played against the Wizards, they’ve done really well. The Wizards have allowed +2.0 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. Rose should have no trouble paying off his salary and then some. The Bulls have the 2nd highest implied point total of the evening at 107.75 points.
Chris Bosh ($7,800) – Bosh continues to play well and despite his salary increasing $800 since Christmas, he remains at a reasonable price. In his last 10 games, he’s averaging 40.8 fantasy points, 23.6 points, and 7.7 rebounds per game. He’s drained 25 three pointers in that span and has exceeded value 60 percent of the time by an average of 5.97 points. He also has 4 double-doubles in his last 10 games. Tonight’s matchup isn’t one that I’m thrilled about, but Bosh contributes in enough categories, keeping his floor and upside relatively high.
Otto Porter Jr. ($6,300) – Taking salary, matchup, and potential game pace into consideration, Porter is probably my favorite forward play tonight. He has topped 30 fantasy points in three straight games and is averaging 33.8 fantasy points per game in the last 7. In that span, he has a 50.25 and 39 fantasy point game. He has also played 30+ minutes in 7 straight games. Porter has stepped in and played well for Washington as they have dealt with tons of injuries. Tonight’s matchup against the Bulls is a decent one. The Bulls surrender 40.7 fantasy points to small forwards.
Nikola Mirotic ($5,700) – Mirotic is averaging 30.4 minutes, 33.7 fantasy points, 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 3 3-pointers in his last 5 games. He has topped 40 fantasy points in 2 of his last 5 games. Power forwards are averaging 46.6 fantasy points, 20.7 points, and 11.5 rebounds per game against the Wizards. Joakim Noah’s injury has opened the door for more playing time for Mirotic, so keep a close eye on Noah’s status for tonight. He’s currently listed as questionable for this game. If he plays, he will limit Mirotic’s upside, making him a much less appealing option.
Pau Gasol ($8,200) – Gasol has topped 47 fantasy points in 3 of the last 4 games. In that span, he’s averaging 18 points, 12.25 rebounds, and 45.6 fantasy points. Tonight he faces the Wizards who are surrendering 53 fantasy points per game to centers in their last 10 games. As you probably have noticed this is a game I’ve been targeting tonight as it has the highest over/under and the lowest spread. Gasol offers plenty of upside and a very safe floor just about every night. Paying up for him tonight could be somewhat contrarian as Marcin Gortat will likely be the very popular play.
Marcin Gortat ($6,700) – Gortat is the chalk play at center tonight and even though I’m pinpointing tournament plays, in a three game slate it’s difficult to avoid all the chalk. The Bulls surrender the 2nd most rebounds per game (47.2) and have allowed +1.7 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. In the last 10 games, Gortat has exceeded value 70 percent of the time by an average of 2.62 fantasy points. In that span, he is averaging 36.35 fantasy points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 14.6 points per game. He has only scored fewer than 30 fantasy points once and has 8 double-doubles in that span. This game has the lowest spread and the highest over/under.
Editor’s Note – Marcin Gortat is questionable for tonight’s game. Be sure to check the injury news closer to tip-off.
Boban Marjanovic ($3,300) – Full disclosure, this play is not the safest option on the board. The Spurs are a 14.5 point favorite and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pop take out all the starters early tonight if this game gets ugly. If that happens, Marjanovic could see some extra minutes on the court. In his last 4 games with 15 or more minutes, he has averaged 25.5 fantasy points and not scored fewer than 23.75 fantasy points. The Nets have allowed +2.2 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. Please keep in mind that the floor is VERY low for Majanovic and this is a high variance play.