We have a large nine-game slate on tap on FanDuel tonight. We are reaching that point of the season where a number of teams are injured and we are seeing a lot of backups play some extended minutes. There are a number of value plays in this slate. It should also be a high-scoring night, as 13 of the 18 teams in action are projected to score more points than their scoring average on the season.
Stephen Curry vs. New Orleans Pelicans
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 27.8 | Last Five Games: 27.6
Min/Game -- Season: 33.9 | Last Five Games: 33.5
FP/Game -- Season: 47.9 | Last Five Games: 43.6
The Warriors are 15-point favorites on the NBA odds board tonight against the Pelicans, which may help lower his ownership tonight in both cash games and tournaments. He is still an elite play in my eyes though, as he will play at least 30 minutes against one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. We have seen Curry reach value in less than three quarters a number of times this season. This is also a birthday game for Curry, as he turns 28 years old today.
Russell Westbrook vs. Portland Trail Blazers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 28.4 | Last Five Games: 24.7
Min/Game -- Season: 34.8 | Last Five Games: 37.5
FP/Game -- Season: 49.0 | Last Five Games: 43.1
Westbrook’s production has been down a bit over his last five games, but he should be able to bounce back tonight against the Blazers. He has dominated Portland over the last two seasons, scoring at least 55 fantasy points in five of their six meetings. The best part is that there is enough value in this slate that you can target both Curry and Westbrook without making too many sacrifices.
Value Option: Ray McCallum: $4,100
Lance Stephenson vs. Houston Rockets
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 15.0 | Last Five Games: 23.7
Min/Game -- Season: 17.8 | Last Five Games: 28.1
FP/Game -- Season: 13.1 | Last Five Games: 29.8
Stephenson has been terrific since Mario Chalmers went down with his injury. Over his last two games, he has scored 35 and 52 fantasy points. The Grizzlies signed Ray McCallum to help handle the ball, but Stephenson should still be the primary playmaker in this offense. He draws a terrific matchup tonight against the Rockets in what should be a pace-up game for Memphis.
Zach LaVine vs. Phoenix Suns
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 20.8 | Last Five Games: 16.0
Min/Game -- Season: 26.4 | Last Five Games: 38.3
FP/Game -- Season: 21.8 | Last Five Games: 24.1
LaVine is close to a must play tonight in cash games. He is averaging 38 minutes per game over his last five and he draws the best possible matchup that a shooting guard can have. No team has allowed more fantasy points to shooting guards than the Suns have this season. LaVine provides a high floor and a high ceiling and is a strong play in all league formats.
Value Option: Wesley Matthews: $4,100
Kevin Durant vs. Portland Trail Blazers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 25.8 | Last Five Games: 26.2
Min/Game -- Season: 36.3 | Last Five Games: 38.0
FP/Game -- Season: 46.1 | Last Five Games: 48.9
With LeBron James in a tough matchup against the Jazz, Durant is the premier play at small forward tonight. He comes into this game in good form, averaging 48.9 fantasy points over his last five games. The Blazers have been tough on small forwards this season, but Durant is as close to matchup-proof as you are going to find.
Andrew Wiggins vs. Phoenix Suns
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 23.1 | Last Five Games: 21.8
Min/Game -- Season: 34.9 | Last Five Games: 33.6
FP/Game -- Season: 28.6 | Last Five Games: 30.4
The Wolves/Suns game is loaded with fantasy goodness tonight. These two teams refuse to play defense and the spread is set at only one point. We should end up seeing a close, high-scoring game that is littered with fantasy options. Even though Wiggins hasn’t been in the best of form recently, he is a strong play at his discounted price point of $6,300.
Value Option: Matt Barnes: $5,400
Alex Len vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 16.4 | Last Five Games: 23.8
Min/Game -- Season: 21.5 | Last Five Games: 32.4
FP/Game -- Season: 20.4 | Last Five Games: 38.7
There are so many good nicknames for Len that it’s hard to use just one. We will stick to Len Fuego for tonight (throwback to Dan Patrick on Sportscenter). Len has really flourished over the last few weeks and he is averaging 38.7 fantasy points over his last five games. Dollar for dollar, he is my favorite play at power forward.
JaMychal Green vs. Houston Rockets
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 14.7 | Last Five Games: 19.0
Min/Game -- Season: 16.8 | Last Five Games: 32.0
FP/Game -- Season: 13.3 | Last Five Games: 31.3
While reading a few columns across the industry, it looks like the masses could overlook Green tonight. He is coming off of a bad game, but has otherwise been in great form. Over his last five games, he is averaging 31.3 fantasy points per contest. He also draws a terrific matchup against the Rockets, who are ranked dead last against power forwards this season.
Value Option: Taj Gibson: $5,100
Hassan Whiteside vs. Denver Nuggets
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 15.5 | Last Five Games: 19.3
Min/Game -- Season: 28.9 | Last Five Games: 31.6
FP/Game -- Season: 35.2 | Last Five Games: 42.0
Whiteside has been on an absolute tear recently. Even though he is still coming off the bench, he is playing starter’s minutes and producing at an elite level. Over his last five games, he is averaging 42 fantasy points in over 31 minutes per contest. He should dominate tonight against a Nuggets’ frontcourt that has struggled to defend the paint this season.
Value Option: Al Jefferson: $5,200
Note: This is not meant to be a full lineup. The picks are my favorite targets at each position.