With only four games on the NBA slate tonight, the player pool is condensed making the need for value heightened in order to win your tournaments. Trust your eyes, filter the information you read and monitor the injury reports as we get closer to game time. Good luck in your lineups & cheers to a 12/14 winning slate.
James Harden-(BKN) $10,400 | Fanduel
After resting for the first time this season, the Beard returns at his premium price on tonight’s slate. Harden has been playing well recently, as he’s scored 20-plus points in five of his last six games. Where I want to see James Harden reward us tonight is by putting together the complete game. Assists, points, rebounds, steals and low turnovers. Reports are that Kevin Durant is a game time decision for tonight’s contest vs Toronto Raptors. If KD misses on court action, all of the focus shines onto Harden. This can be a double edged sword. The beauty is that Harden could create with no distractions in his first game back. (If you have no KD, your assists numbers could dip since the best scorer on the planet isn’t on the court) The horror is: The Raptors rank 6th in points allowed, 10th in rebounds allowed. Where I could ease your mind is telling you the Raptors are 22nd in defensive rating. I’m going to trust Harden’s workload tonight is around 40 minutes & with no Kevin Durant his ceiling shatters. Fade the Beard at your own risk.
Stephen Curry-(GSW) $10,200 | Fanduel
Is this the night Stephen Curry breaks the NBA 3 point record in Madison Square Garden? I can already hear the Curry chants breaking out in the Mecca of basketball. Curry has revolutionized the game with his range & three point shooting. Over his last seven contests, he’s shot 34.7 percent from the three point line as he closes in on Ray Allen’s record. At this premium price, Curry’s efficiency could lack or the perfect boom could commence & there’ll be a lot of shimmying. The Knicks rank 24th in three pointers allowed, but they’re stronger defensively vs point guards. Tonight’s narrative is more reason to play Curry at 10,200 vs New York, however, understand that in his last 3 games -41.2 @ IND, 33.3 @PHI, 26.4 vs POR. The temperature is rising in the kitchen.
Damian Lillard-(POR)$8,700 | Fanduel
On the second night of a back to back, the Phoenix Suns travel to Portland to take on Damian Lillard. After posting a season high rebounding effort in his last game vs Minnesota, Lillard looks to increase his momentum after a five game absence due to an abdominal injury. His price(8,700) is below Harden and Curry, but his latest fantasy output was greater than his counterparts- A 41.2 point performance in a loss to Minnesota. Lack of efficiency and a major shooting slump has Damian Lillard shooting a career worst 39.2% from the field. His points per game(21.6) is his lowest mark since the 2014-15 season. Even after those numbers, we still put respect on Lillard’s name & his price on the blue site shows that money talks all the Dame Time. Phoenix is a very good defensive team ranking 3rd in defensive efficiency on the season, however, the matchup is better for Portland Guards.
Fred VanVleet-(TOR) $8,500 | Fanduel
After back to back 40 point fantasy performances, Fred VanVleet came back to earth vs Sacremento and it wasn’t his fault he crashed. The Raptors demolished the Kings and the benches emptied earlier than anticipated, leaving Fred VanVleet to only log 26 minutes. That’s his lowest number of minutes on the season. Let’s just say VanVleet had a rest night and still managed to be productive-27.1 Fanduel points. Tonight’s matchup @ Brooklyn is the Raptors final game before their postponement vs CHI. The Bulls are dealing with 10 players in health and safety protocols and to limit risk, the league announced the first set of postponements for the 2021-2022 NBA season due to Covid-19. This game in the back to back for Toronto should be more competitive with the Nets being 5 point home favorites. They should rely on Fred Vanvleet contributing in all statistical categories to get the win & that will be beautiful for your fantasy lineups.
Chris Paul(PHO)- 8,400
Despite returning to Los Angeles against his former team, the veteran point guard couldn’t get the reunion magic one could hope for vs the Clippers. The Suns got pummeled on the road & they face Portland- who rank 29th in defensive efficiency on the season, 14th over the last 3 games- on the second night of a back to back. The good news for CP3: The Blazers also rank 25th in points allowed, 26th in assists allowed and 25th in field goals allowed. If CP3 can be aggressive with Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton out of the lineup, the future hall of fame point guard should feast in this matchup.
Great Value PGs
Jordan Poole-(GSW) 6,300
When all eyes were on Stephen Curry, the spotlight quickly shifted to Jordan Poole vs PHI. Poole led the Warriors in scoring, finishing with 20-plus points in back to back games. He’s shooting 45 percent from the field & 91 percent from the free throw line on the season.
Anfernee Simons-(POR) 5,800
Simons had his season high in points (26) on Monday, going 50 percent from three. He’s now scored double digits in his last 5 games. His stock is on the rise, but understand his fantasy output is closely tied to scoring points. With C.J. McCollum out, Simons should get more room to grow in the starting lineup.
Because of the blowout nature of the game vs Sacramento, Trent was limited to 10 points in 30 minutes. He was a big contributor on the defensive end, finishing with 3 steals- 26.4 fantasy points. Tonight’s game should be closer vs Brooklyn & the Raptors will need Gary Trent to light up the scoreboard like Christmas Trees. That’s when Trent is the most effective in fantasy: when he’s scoring & stealing. He’s Fantasy Basketball’s Mr. Grinch tonight.
At his price, I could understand locking in D-Rose into your lineups with no hesitation. His latest fantasy performance was 37.9 on the blue site, coming on 36 minutes vs MIL. He turned back the clock for the NBA community. The more he plays, the more his impact is felt by the team. If anyone can steal the spotlight from Curry tonight in the Garden, why wouldn’t it be Derrick Rose?
Great Value SGs
Cam Thomas-(BKN) $4,200
Thomas has received 32, 25 and 29 minutes over the last three games entering tonight’s matchup vs Toronto. He’s starting to take advantage of Joe Harris being sidelined with an ankle injury & Kyrie being out(non injury related). With the news breaking of LaMarcus Aldridge, Jevon Carter, James Johnson, DeAndre Bembry & Paul Millsap all in health and safety protocols with Covid-19, it opens up more minutes for Cam Thomas. Bruce Brown($4,100)is expected to enter the starting lineup, so he’s a legit value play tonight, as well .
Kevin Durant-(BKN) $11,000
Assuming KD is held out tonight with a sore right ankle, the Nets would be down to only eight active players. This is something we have to pay attention to until tip-off. Durant is coming off an insane 51 point explosion vs Detroit on Sunday. His stock is at the highest it’s been all season and it’s well deserved. KD is a bonafide efficient scorer and if he plays, the ankle concerns wouldn’t bother me. If he doesn’t play, I would insert Bruce Brown or Cam Thomas into your lineups.
Scottie Barnes-(TOR) $8,200
Scottie is way too hottie after his last outburst in Monday’s win over Sacramento. The blocks and defensive impact stick out the most when you watched the game. He’s continuing to blossom playing alongside Pascal Siakam in the front court. With O.G. Anunoby being sidelined, the rookie has been excelling in his role for the Raptors. His floor is solidified, posting 30 minutes in every game this season except one. Brooklyn is shorthanded tonight & Scottie Barnes will be highly rostered across the industry.
Great Value SFs
Johnson just led the team in scoring despite coming off the bench vs the Clippers. He now has six straight double digit performances, and has nine straight games with multiple three pointers made.
Robert Covington-(POR) $4,900
RCO stuffed the stat sheet in every way besides scoring in Monday’s game vs Minnesota, leading to 39.5 fantasy points. He’s the sleeper play ,in a plus matchup, at a great price. Lock him in knowing scoring won’t come in flurries, but everything else is fair game.
Julius Randle-(NY) $8,600
It’s never an easy match up whenever Golden State arrives into town, however, Julius Randle will have national spotlight to prove why he’s worth his high price tag. Randle will need to be the key part of the Knicks offense in order to be competitive versus the Warriors. His fantasy numbers over the last 5 games are as follows- 43.4 vs DEN, 38.9 @ SA, 34.6 @ IND, 37.3 @ TOR, 26.5 vs MIL. That’s a downward trajectory entering tonight’s matchup vs the #1 ranked defensive efficiency team this season.
Pascal Siakam-(TOR) $7,800
The fact that Scottie Barnes is priced above Pascal should let you know which way you should lean tonight. I think Siakam is undervalued on tonight’s slate. He could go for 5 times the value of his price and that’s 39 fantasy points. Siakam’s last three contests have featured fantasy outputs of 38.7 vs OKC, 35.4 vs NY & 36.6 Vs SAC. Pascal Siakam enters tonight’s matchup vs Brooklyn, facing a team with nine active players available due to health and safety protocols for Covid-19. If KD doesn’t play, Siakam becomes even more of a lock dfs play tonight.
Great Value PFs
Draymond Green is the straw that stirs the Golden State Warriors drink. He will be needed and relied on tonight in a matchup against the New York Knicks. His individual matchup is tougher, as the Knicks ranked sixth against power forwards in the NBA. Fresh off a 30+ point fantasy performance, I can see Draymond posting similar numbers tonight as Steph makes history.
The matchup is beautiful for Blake Griffin, but my concern is what we will be saying at the end of the night. Did Blake Griffin make the most of his opportunities with the majority of Nets sidelined due to quarantine. If he does play well vs Toronto, he will be an excellent value play tonight.