We kick off the week with a six game NBA slate. Lets’ jump right into some tournament plays for tonight.
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Russell Westbrook ($12,200) – It’s difficult to pay this much for a player, but Westbrook certainly has the ability to exceed value even at this price, especially when Kevin Durant is not in the lineup. Westbrook has a triple-double in two of the last three games and has a recorded at least a double-double in six of his last seven games. He’s averaging 56.2 fantasy points per game and has topped 65 fantasy points twice. He’s the only player in tonight’s slate with a 65+ fantasy point ceiling and even though it’s not the ideal matchup, the upside alone warrants paying up for him. If he goes off, you’ll most likely need him in your lineup to win a tournament.
Eric Bledsoe ($8,400) – Bledsoe has been on fire as of late. He has topped 48 fantasy points in three straight games and 47 fantasy points in five of his last seven games. He’s averaging 28 points, 8 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 2.3 three pointers in the last three games. He has a favorable matchup against one of the league’s worst defenses as the Lakers are allowing opposing teams to score 104 points per game. Shooting guards are averaging 37.1 fantasy points per game against them. The over/under for this game is 207.5 and the Suns have an implied point total of 109.5. All signs point for another big performance from Bledsoe. Keep rolling with him until he cools off. He need 42 points to hit value and has smashed that in three straight games.
Brandon Knight ($7,000) – As I mentioned above, the Lakers defense is not that good, so I’ll usually try to target players from opposing teams against them. The Lakers are surrendering 52 fantasy points per game against opposing point guards, which is the eighth most. Knight is coming off his worst game of the season where he posted just 12.25 fantasy points, but is in a prime spot for a bounce back game. He’s averaging 32.8 fantasy points per game and has topped 35 fantasy points in 44 percent of his games. This should be a fast paced game and the Suns are projected to eclipse the century mark in points. He’s a high variance play, but offers a decent amount of upside.
Kawhi Leonard ($8,200) – Leonard missed last game with an upper respiratory infection and is questionable for tonight’s game. If he gives it a go, he’s in play. Leonard is averaging 39.8 fantasy points per game and has scored 50 or more fantasy points twice this season. He offers a steady floor and tons of upside. The Blazers surrender 103.8 points per game to opposing teams and are allowing 36.5 fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. Keep an eye on his status prior to tip-off, but if he is playing, he makes a solid tournament play.
Pau Gasol ($7,400) – After a slow start to the season, Gasol has picked it up as of late. He has recorded a double-double in three of his last four games and has topped 40 fantasy points in three consecutive games. He’s averaging 16.75 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in the last four games. Gasol should continue to dominate the boards against the Pacers who are allowing 20.5 rebounds per game to opposing big men, along with 20 points and two blocks per game. He contributes to just about every category possible besides three pointers. He needs 37 fantasy points to hit value and that’s essentially his floor tonight. Gasol is my top play at power forward tonight.
Jeff Green ($3,500) – Green has moved into the starting lineup and has played 30 or more minutes in the last two games. His price remains at nearly the minimum and we should take advantage of this. He has topped 27 fantasy points in consecutive games and has topped 23 fantasy points in every game but one where he’s played more than 25 minutes. Keep in mind, at this price he needs 17.5 fantasy points to hit value. He’s almost guaranteed to exceed value so long as he continues to play a good amount of minutes. Oklahoma City is surrendering 40.8 fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. Playing against an offense that can put up points, Green could see tons of scoring opportunities. He’s a great value play and will provide some salary cushion for those trying to roster Westbrook.
Dwight Howard ($7,400) – We’ve seen Howard sit out on one game of back-to-back games this season. He didn’t play on Saturday and could be in the starting lineup tonight. If he gives it a go, he’s one of the only centers in tonight’s slate with 50+ fantasy point upside. He’s recorded a double-double in four straight games and has topped 43 fantasy points in three of those games. The Celtics are surrendering 49.1 fantasy points per game to opposing centers, but have allowed 57 fantasy points per game in their last five. This game has the highest over/under of the slate at 208 points and the Rockets have an implied point total of 106.5. He’s been dominant in the paint so far this season and should continue to do so against a small Celtics team.
Zaza Pachulia ($5,700) – The Sixers are allowing 19.3 points and 13.1 rebounds per game to opposing centers, along with 49.7 fantasy points. Pachulia has played 30 or more minutes in three consecutive games and has topped 30 fantasy points in two of those games. He has two double-doubles in two of his last three games. He’s averaging 28.4 fantasy points per game which just about what he needs to hit value. That being said, he has also scored 30 or more fantasy points in six games. He offers 30+ point upside at a reasonable price and in a plus matchup.
Tyson Chandler ($5,300) – Chandler was on a five game streak with double-digit rebounds before his last three games. However, this would be a great spot to get back on track as he faces the Lakers defense who allows the third most rebounds per game to opposing centers (17.6) and 48.6 rebounds to opposing teams. The Lakers are also surrendering the most fantasy points per game to opposing centers (56.1). This is projected to be a high scoring game, so Chandler could see his first double-double since November 2nd. There’s no better opportunity than this one as he is playing against one of the worst defenses in the league.