We kick off the week with a four-game NBA slate tonight. While the slate is small, there is plenty of daily fantasy basketball action over on FanDuel.
Today’s picks are my favorite plays in cash games. These suggestions are not meant to be a complete lineup, rather just my favorite targets at each position. In cash games, we want to target players that provide great value and/or a high floor.
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors (Salary: $9700, FPPG: 39, MPG: 35, Usage Rate: 26.6)
DeMar DeRozan is still not ready for his return to the court, which means Lowry will continue to carry the load offensively for the Raptors. Not only does Lowry have terrific upside, but he also provides a high floor. He has scored at least 34 fantasy points in each of his last nine games. While the Pistons have been stingy against point guards this season, a matchup against Brandon Jennings does not scare me in the slightest. Lowry is the elite play at the point guard position tonight.
Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic (Salary: $5100, FPPG: 19.8, MPG: 26, Usage Rate: 18.2)
Payton has not been a great cash game target recently. While he has had some terrific fantasy outings, he has also had some poor ones. We typically like to target more consistent players in our cash games. That said, the point guard position is thin tonight and the Magic will be playing short-handed. Tobias Harris and Evan Fournier are both expected to miss tonight’s game. Payton may see an uptick in both minutes and usage with those injuries, as the Magic square off against the Bulls.
James Harden, Houston Rockets (Salary: $10700, FPPG: 45.2, MPG: 37, Usage Rate: 31.7)
Harden and the Rockets head to Brooklyn to take on a Nets team that has been average defensively this season. This game doesn’t have a particularly high total (O/U of 193 on the NBA odds board), but Harden remains the number one option in the Rockets’ offense. His price has come down below the $11,000 mark on FanDuel, which puts him in play tonight. The Nets have been stingy against shooting guards this season, but it’s hard to envision Bojan Bogdanovic or Joe Johnson slowing him down.
Lou Williams, Toronto Raptors (Salary: $5400, FPPG: 21, MPG: 24, Usage Rate: 26.3)
Willliams comes off the bench, but sees consistent minutes that resemble that of a starter. Over his last 10 games, he is averaging 29 minutes and 24 fantasy points per game. During that stretch, he scored at least 22 fantasy points eight times. Williams has a very high usage rate (26.3) in this offense and he draws a favorable matchup against the Pistons, who are ranked 18th in fantasy points allowed to shooting guards this season.
Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets (Salary: $5600, FPPG: 25.4, MPG: 37, Usage Rate: 17.4)
It looks like a night to take the value route at small forward. Ariza’s price is at a season-low of only $5,600 on FanDuel. Given this price point, he needs 28 fantasy points to reach value. Ariza is certainly capable of that tonight against the Nets, who are ranked 22nd in fantasy points allowed to small forwards this season. It’s rare to find a fantasy option that sees 35+ minutes per game at his price point. Dollar for dollar, he’s easily my favorite small forward tonight.
James Johnson, Toronto Raptors (Salary: $4900, FPPG: 18.6, MPG: 22, Usage Rate: 16.1)
Johnson was inserted back into the starting lineup the other night and he responded well with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists against the Celtics. He still has some risk attached to him, but given the lack of other options at the position, he’s in play tonight for both cash games and tournaments. Assuming he stays in the starting lineup, he will match up against Kyle Singler, who has never been known as an elite defender.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (Salary: $10900, FPPG: 46.2, MPG: 36, Usage Rate: 25.9)
Davis is the top overall fantasy option tonight. He draws a terrific matchup against the fast-paced Celtics. On the season, the Celtics have allowed more fantasy points to power forwards than any other team in the NBA. They are also a below average rebounding team, ranking 23rd in rebounding differential. Davis should be able to dominate the paint en route to another monster fantasy outing.
Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Pelicans (Salary: $5600, FPPG: 23.9, MPG: 29, Usage Rate: 23.2)
Sticking with the theme of targeting power forwards against the Celtics, Anderson is also in play. Much like Lou Williams, Anderson is a bench player that sees starter’s minutes. Over his last eight games, Anderson is averaging 29 minutes and 25 fantasy points per game. He is a solid fantasy option tonight, given his matchup against the Celtics, who are ranked dead last in fantasy points allowed to power forwards this season.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons (Salary: $8600, FPPG: 33.2, MPG: 30, Usage Rate: 21)
Drummond has come back down to Earth over his last couple of games, but he was dealing with an illness. He is in a prime position to bounce back tonight against the Raptors, who are not the best rebounding team. They are ranked 17th in rebounding differential and Jonas Valanciunas will have a hard time keeping him off the glass. Drummond has shown that he has 50-fantasy-point type of upside.