Yeah, there really is professional basketball on tomorrow too. In case you aren’t getting enough hoop elsewhere, you know? Here are a few players you can target and watch while you’re flipping around during commercial breaks. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
Ricky Rubio @ NY ($7,800) – You really have to love that on a night with limited options, two of the teams in action are the Knicks and the Lakers. It’s like they could choose from a trio of slogans: “Our players are cheap fantasy options!” “Our opponents are always value plays!” Or even just “We play terrible defense!”
Tyreke Evans @ PHO ($7,600) – He’s back, and Holiday is still out, which means he will be dominating the ball more that usual, and creating plenty of opportunities to help your fantasy team.
Alexey Shved vs. MIN ($6,600) – Knicks fans are in a rough spot, forced to root for guys like Shved and Bargnani with no real hope for the future – and Alexey shaved off his amazing facial hair! But the opportunities are there for him on this roster, especially if Hardaway, Jr. doesn’t play, and let’s be honest – “doubful with a wrist injury?” Are they implying he might tough it out? Let’s just say he’s never struck me as the tough it out type before.
Jordan Clarkson vs. UTA ($5,400) – He’s not consistent. You’re taking a risk, but he is averaging basically 30 minutes a night over the past two or three weeks, and he’s taking advantage – 28 fantasy points or more in five of his last six? That sounds like a trend.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
James Harden vs. DEN ($10,800) – He’s awesome, and he’s had three games under 40 in his last four outings. You might think he’s slowing down, but personally, I just think he’s due. Denver games tend to be relatively high scoring, andthe Rockets know where to go for points when they need them.
Eric Bledsoe vs. NO ($8,200) – It will be interesting to see who spends the majority of the night defending Bledsoe. Obviously in New Orleans there is a shot-blocker who can affect Bledsoe’s ability to penetrate, but while Tyreke Evans could also hang with him on the perimeter, those days might be long behind Eric Gordon.
Kevin Martin @ NY ($5,800) – Playing the Knicks is fun. Martin has been over 30 fantasy points in each of his last three, including a 37-point scoring night his last time out. That’s value even just as potential at this price.
Eric Gordon @ PHO ($5,800) – He doesn’t have to play defense to be a good fantasy option. Correction, a decent fantasy option who makes up for a lack of upside with remarkable consistency – for example, he has scored between 25.5 and 29.5 fantasy points in each of his last six games, a ridiculously small range, even in that small of a sample size.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
Gordon Hayward @ LAL ($7,500) – Playing the Lakers is fun too. Hayward is hit-or-miss, so Lakers aside, him at the top of this list means it is a slow night for Small Forwards, make no mistake. But he has been over 30 fantasy points in five of six outings, including four over 38 – legitimate upside for this price.
Andrew Wiggins @ NY ($6,400) – OK, so maybe the thin night is the only reason he’s a “stud” on this list, but I don’t care – his game is exciting. He got a bad rap right away for a #1 pick, and I never understood why, and now I understand even less. He can score, but he’s got an all-around game that could have him racking up points in every category against a team as bad across the board as the Knicks.
Josh Smith vs. DEN ($5,800) – He’s certainly got downside – the Rockets just have so mnay guys who seem to be able to play the same role, or different, as needed, which means both his minutes and opportunities are going to fluctuate. But that all being said, this stint in Houston has made me think that a sixth man role is a brilliant fit for him as a player and we could start to see the most efficient, productive Josh Smith of his career before all is said and done.
Wesley Johnson vs. UTA ($4,300) – It’s a shot in the dark, for sure, but he gets run, and there, again, are not many options at the position tonight. But 30 minutes and 20 fantasy points per game over his last ten is not useless.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
Anthony Davis @ PHO ($11,500) – He’s back! He’s back! It’s just nice to have all your chocies back, isn’t it? Still listed as questionable, but he played 42 minutes last time out, and has piled up almost 250 fantasy points in his last four games – I think it’s safe to trust him again. And dangerous to not at least consider him.
Derrick Favors @ LAL ($8,100) – For my lineups, the one no-brainer of the entire night, I love him lately, and love him even more in this match-up. This price is exactly halfway between Anthony Daivs and Carlos Boozer.
Terrence Jones vs. DEN ($6,800) – In their last game, against Orlando, he played like crap after being disciplined by the team for arriving late at a meeting. He’s going to want to get payback for that performance in this one, and Denver is just the team to do it against.
Andrea Bargnani vs. MIN ($6,100) – The Knicks! Shved! Bargnani! Madison Square Garden! Well, for all your Bargnani fans out there, consider this: the Knicks NEED him to produce to be competitive, so they are going to keep feeding him. And for that reason alone, his floor is a lot higher than most $6,100 players, even if the upside is more than a little limited.
Rudy Gobert @ LAL ($8,100) – I mean, he’s playing the Lakers. We’ve been over this. Plus, the next most expensive center on the list is $5,900. And Gobert earned his price honestly – he is averaging 44 fantasy points per game over his last ten, with only one game under 30 (a 27.5 point effort against Brooklyn).
Omer Asik @ PHO ($5,500) – A guy like Ajinca loses all his value when Anthony Davis returns, but for Asik, the minutes never went away, or spiked, and there was never some big push to rely on him offensively when their star forward went down. For those reasons, for this player, the impact of a teammate’s injury it is all about how it impacted his effectiveness. And Davis being back has only seemed to help, pulling defenders and opposing rebounders away from him, letting him get his narrow frame into position with a little more ease, and allowed him to get back into the form that made him a regular value proposition earlier in the year. 35, 31 and 40 fantasy points in his last three, even while Davis was also scoring big, shine a light on his co-dependency.
Nikola Pekovic @ NY ($4,700) – He’s injured. There aren’t a lot of center options tonight or I wouldn’t even mention him, but if he plays, he could be very effective against this Knicks team, especially on the glass. But if you want to use him, make sure you monitor his status closer to game-time, and that you have a potential replacement lined up (see below).
Cole Aldridge vs. MIN ($4,400) – The Knicks have no one else, and the Timberwolves don’t exactly inspire fear with their interior defense. He has been over 25 fantasy points in 3 of his last five. And on the bright side, if Pekovic doesn’t play, it makes him an even more attractive option because he might be able to push for double-digit rebounds.
Update: Nikola Pekovic has been downgraded to “Doubtful” for tonight’s game. Justin Hamilton is a name to keep an eye on, if he plays. He’ll likely get an extended run for the Timberwolves with Pekovic out.