We tip off the week with a nine game slate. There are a decent amount of studs to choose from and the good news is that only two players are above $10,000. All the lines are out for this slate and only one game has a total less than 200 points. The rest of the games have over 204 point totals, including four games with 214 total points or higher. It should be a fun slate to watch with plenty of fantasy goodness.
Stephen Curry – GS at MIN – $10,300 – Rostering Curry tonight will ultimately depend on the value that opens up throughout the day. That being said, it wouldn’t have felt right if I didn’t give him a shout out on a night where he has such a great matchup and is coming off a very disappointing performance. Curry faces the Timberwolves who surrender the fourth most fantasy points per game and have allowed 2.07 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. In his only game against the Timberwolves this season, Curry scored 64.8 fantasy points. Going back to last season, Curry has exceeded expectations by +5.86 against the Timberwolves. The one concern is a potential blowout, but even if that’s the case, I’m expecting Curry to do plenty of damage while he’s on the court. This game has the highest total of the slate and the Warriors have an implied point total of 122 points.
“Today he should live up to the ‘Jimmy Buckets’ nickname.”
Jimmy Butler – CHI vs. SAC – $7,700 – Butler hasn’t been as strong since returning from injury but if there’s a game he can go off in, it’s this one. The Kings play at one of the fastest paces in the NBA. They also surrender the most three pointers per game and yield the second most fantasy points per game to shooting guards. Per Fantasy Labs, they have allowed +4.51 points above expectation to opposing shooting guards. Another thing that stands out to me is his price. He’s been priced over $8,000 almost the entire season and is $7,700 in a great matchup. With a handful of options at shooting guard and his recent struggles, there’s a chance that Butler will be overlooked. I’d rather be one game early than one game late on a big night for Butler. This contest has the second highest point total of the slate. Today he should live up to the ‘Jimmy Buckets’ nickname.
Darren Collison – SAC at CHI – $5,200 – Collison continues to play significant minutes and that has equated to fantasy production. In the last 10 games, he’s averaging 34.4 minutes, 13.6 points, 5.2 assists, 1.6 steals, two rebounds, and 27.2 fantasy points. In that span he has exceeded value 70 percent of the time by an average of 5.64 points. He has topped 30 fantasy points in three of the last four games. The Bulls have allowed 3.26 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. They also surrender the sixth most fantasy points per game to point guards. Collison has averaged 10.61 points above expectations in two games against the Bulls. He’s been playing well and shouldn’t skip a beat tonight. This matchup has a 216.5 point total. Collison has displayed his 35+ fantasy point upside numerous times this season. That’s a 7X ceiling in a plus matchup. I’ll take it!
DeMarcus Cousins – SAC at CHI – $10,400 – Yes I know, Cousins is a no brainer almost any night, but how can I not include him as one of my plays against a team that allows the fourth most rebounds per game. The Bulls are yielding 46.3 rebounds per game. In his last 10 games, Cousins has exceeded value 90 percent of the time by an average of 8.37 points. In that span, he has topped 50 fantasy points seven times (including two 60+ fantasy point games and one 70+ fantasy point game) and has scored fewer than 49 fantasy points just once. The Bulls have allowed +5.62 points above expectation to opposing power forwards, per Fantasy Labs. In his last meeting against the Bulls, Cousins scored 30 points, grabbed 11 boards, blocked two shots, and had three steals. That performance was good for 58.3 fantasy points. Cousins remains as one of the best DFS players in the game right now.
“He has topped 40 fantasy points in seven of his last 10 games…”
LaMarcus Aldridge – SAS at CHA – $7,500 – Aldridge has played better and better as the season progresses. Tonight he faces off against the Hornets who have surrendered the fourth most fantasy points per game to power forwards in their last five games. In the last 10 games, Aldridge has exceeded value 80 percent of the time by an average of 9.70 points. In that span, he’s averaging 33.3 minutes, 9.7 rebounds, 24.2 points, 1.1 blocks, and 42.7 fantasy points per game. His last time against the Hornets, Aldridge scored 24.8 fantasy points in 17.2 minutes (1.44 fantasy points per minutes). He has topped 40 fantasy points in seven of his last 10 games, including a pair of 50+ fantasy point games. In the month of March, Aldridge is averaging 1.3 fantasy points per minutes. The Hornets are surrendering 44.4 rebounds per game to opponents this season. There are plenty of things to like about Aldridge tonight. Chances are due to the low over/under of this contest and a mediocre matchup, Aldridge will be low owned. Don’t be afraid to roll him out.
Aaron Gordon – ORL at BOS – $5,800 – There’s risk involved with Gordon as some nights his minutes are just not there. However, his track record against the Celtics has been pretty good this season. He’s averaging +13.82 points above expectations and has been 100 percent consistent against them in three games this season. By now you know I usually try to target Boston’s undersized frontcourt. The Celtics surrender the fourth most fantasy points per game and have allowed +1.12 points above expectation to opposing power forwards, per Fantasy Labs. They yield 46.1 rebounds per game and have a -1.1 differential. Some other things I like are that Gordon’s price has dropped $500 in the last month and chances are his recent inconsistencies will keep people off of him. We’ve seen what Gordon is capable of doing when given the minutes. There’s 6X and 7X potential here. I’m not recommending 100 percent exposure to Gordon, but I do think some shares can come a long way.
Andre Drummond – DET vs. MIL – $7,600 – Drummond has struggled in recent games, but has played well in his last two games against the Bucks. Drummond has topped 52 fantasy points in each of those games. He was also $8,200 and $9,000 in those contests, so at this price it’s like getting him at a discount. In fact, his price has dropped $600 since the start of the season and is $400 less than it was in his last game. Despite his recent struggles, Drummond has recorded double-digit rebounds in eight of his last 10 games. In the last 10 games, the Bucks have surrendered the second most fantasy points per game to centers. They have allowed +2.31 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. The center position is thin tonight and Drummond is at a discounted price against a team he has fared well against, making him my top play at center tonight.
Marcin Gortat – WAS at ATL– $6,600 – Gortat is coming off back-to-back double-doubles and gets a favorable matchup against Atlanta. The Hawks yield 46.1 rebounds per game and have a -4.3 differential. They surrender the third most fantasy points per game and have allowed 4.29 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. In his only meeting against the Hawks this season, Gortat exceeded expectations by 4.91 points. He scored 30 fantasy points and had a double-double in that contest. He has been dealing with back soreness, but has played 30+ minutes in two consecutive games and has had no setbacks. If you’re considering a mid-level center tonight, Gortat makes a lot of sense.
Tyson Chandler – PHO vs. MEM – $5,000 – If you’re thinking of taking the cheap route at center and are feeling a little frisky today, you should give Chandler a look. In the last 10 games, he has exceeded value 60 percent of the time by an average of 5.6 points. In the last seven games, he has played 30 or more minutes four times and has four double-doubles. He has topped 30 fantasy points in three of the last four games. The Grizzlies are not the defensive juggernaut they once were. They’ve actually surrendered the fifth most fantasy points per game to centers in their last five games. The concern with Chandler is that on any given night he could play 22-26 minutes and not the 30 you’d want from him. On the bright side, he has exceeded expectations by +6.55 points in two games against the Grizzlies this season. He is averaging 11.5 points, 11 rebounds, and 25.5 fantasy points against them.
Note: Keep an eye on late scratches and news that comes out later in the day. That can open up value late in the afternoon.