Aside from Monday Night Football, we’ve got a seven game NBA slate with some exciting matchups. Let’s dive right in to some tournament plays for this evening.
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Russell Westbrook ($12,300) – So long as Durant is out, Westbrook is someone worth paying up for. He has topped 62 fantasy points in three of his last four games. He has triple-double potential just about every night he steps on the court. This isn’t an ideal matchup for Westbrook as he faces the Jazz that defend well and play a slow paced style of basketball, but he is matchup proof. He needs 61.5 fantasy points to hit value, which is something he is clearly capable of doing. Even if he slightly misses value but scores around 60 fantasy points, that’s enough fantasy points to justify a roster spot. Keep an eye on Durant’s status for today as he was unable to play yesterday. If he sits again, Westbrook is in play.
Ricky Rubio ($7,100) – Rubio has a favorable matchup against the Sixers who are surrendering 49.5 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. He stuffs the stat sheet regularly as he is a good source of assists, boards, and steals. He has come close to a triple-double three times this season which is one of the reasons why he is so appealing in tournaments. Rubio averages 33.8 fantasy points per game, but offers 40+ point upside. The Timberwolves have an implied point total of 103.75, which is currently the second highest of tonight’s slate.
Kemba Walker ($6,900) – In his last five games, Walker is averaging 19.2 points, 2.4 steals, 5.4 assists, and 5.2 rebounds. All of which are better than his season average numbers. He has scored 39 or more fantasy points in four of his last five games. This is a good matchup for Walker as the Kings are surrendering 50.9 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards, but have allowed 56.6 fantasy points per game in their last five. Vegas is projecting this to be the highest scoring game as it has the highest over/under of the evening at 208.5 points and the Hornets have an implied point total of 106.5. Walker has been exceeding value as of late and should continue to do so tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins ($10,300) – Boogie is likely the player I’ll be building my lineups around tonight. He has topped 60 fantasy points in three of his last four games and is pretty much a lock for a double-double bonus. He averages 27.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per game and has four consecutive double-doubles. The Hornets are allowing 44.6 rebounds per game and have a -1.8 differential in rebounds. Opposing power forwards are averaging 21 points and 11.1 boards per game to against the Hornets, and are averaging 46.5 fantasy points per game. Boogie should dominate in the paint and be continue to put up big numbers tonight.
Kawhi Leonard ($8,200) – Leonard has scored 20 or more points in six of his last eight games. He averages nearly 40 fantasy points per game and has scored 42 or more fantasy points in two of his last four games. He also offers a 50+ point ceiling. The Suns are surrendering 40.6 fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. The Spurs like to play a slow paced game, yet they still average 100.4 points per game. While the Suns like to play a fast up-tempo style of game as they average the third most points per game (106.5). I’m interested to see how this one pans out. The over/under for this game is 197.5 and the Spurs have an implied point total of 103. This should be a good spot for Leonard to hit his ceiling.
Nicolas Batum ($7,200) – Batum could stuff the stat sheet on any given night. Tonight he faces the Kings defense who surrenders 41.3 fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. He averages 32.9 fantasy points per game, but has topped 42 fantasy points in three of his last five. He remains the center piece of the Hornets offense and should thrive in a favorable matchup. His price has slowly gone up, but it’s still affordable. This game has the highest over/under of the evening at 208.5 points and the Hornets have an implied point total of 106.5. Rudy Gay could potentially miss tonight’s game, which would make this matchup even easier for Batum.
Andre Drummond ($9,700) – Don’t let that red number one on the OPRK fool you. The Bucks are a terrible rebounding team and have a bad defense efficiency rating. The Bucks are surrendering 44.2 rebounds per game and have a -6.5 differential, which is the league’s worst differential. Drummond is coming off of his worst game of the season as it was the first time this year he did not record a double-double. However, he still managed 30.75 fantasy points. He averages 18.4 points and 17.8 rebounds per game, and has grabbed 20 or more boards in three games this season. I’m fully expecting for Drummond to get back on track tonight and dominate the boards.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($7,200) – The rookie has played consistently well in the last couple of games. He has topped 40 fantasy points in two consecutive games and continues to stuff the stat sheet. He has a favorable matchup against the Sixers who are surrendering 46.6 rebounds per game. Opposing centers average 50.6 fantasy points per game against the Sixers, but have averaged 57.2 fantasy points in the last five games. Towns is averaging 16 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.4 blocks per game, and 36.6 fantasy points per game. As I mentioned above, the Timberwolves have an implied point total of 103.75, which is currently the second highest of tonight’s slate. This is a great spot for Towns to continue his streak of 40+ fantasy points in a game.
Hassan Whiteside ($8,400) – Whiteside is averaging an absurd 4.8 blocks per game to go along with his 14.8 points and 11.1 rebounds. He’s averaging 40 fantasy points per game, but offers a 55+ point ceiling. Whiteside averages 42.6 fantasy points in home games which is 10 more fantasy points than he averages on the road. He’s going up against the Knicks who are surrendering 45.4 fantasy points per game to opposing centers. The Knicks like to take plenty of jump shots which could equate to more rebounds for Whiteside when they miss. The matchup in a nutshell isn’t that appealing as the Knicks are a good rebounding team, but that’s good news because it could also drive his ownership percentage down a bit.