There is a sizable slate on tap tonight in the NBA. There are ten games on the schedule, with a nice mix of both value plays and superstars. Here are my favorite plays at each position. Keep in mind that these are my favorite plays in a points per dollar sense on FanDuel, this is not recommended to be an entire lineup.
Damian Lillard vs. New Orleans Pelicans
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 27.5 | Last Five Games: 27.7
Min/Game -- Season: 36.8 | Last Five Games: 37.6
FP/Game -- Season: 39.3 | Last Five Games: 37.8
The Blazers/Pelicans game should be full of fantasy goodness tonight. Both teams like to play at a quick pace and both teams struggle defensively. Lillard has an incredibly high floor in this matchup and I prefer him to the more expensive John Wall. Lillard has averaged 37.8 fantasy points per game over this last five and he should see close to 40 minutes of playing tonight tonight at home.
Jameer Nelson vs. Houston Rockets
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 15.4 | Last Five Games: 12.8
Min/Game -- Season: 24.6 | Last Five Games: 27.1
FP/Game -- Season: 16.4 | Last Five Games: 20.0
Emmanuel Mudiay has been ruled out of tonight’s game against the Rockets, which means nelson will draw the start at point guard. At only $4,200, he is close to a must play tonight, especially in cash games. He should see minutes in the low to mid-30’s against one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA this season.
James Harden vs. Denver Nuggets
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 27.8 | Last Five Games: 26.6
Min/Game -- Season: 38.8 | Last Five Games: 35.8
FP/Game -- Season: 47.6 | Last Five Games: 45.3
If I only had enough salary to pay up for one superstar tonight, it would be Harden. He has both a high floor and a high ceiling, which gives you that safety net as well as the upside. Harden also draws a favorable matchup against the Nuggets, who have been one of the worst teams at defending shooting guards this season.
DeMar DeRozan vs. Indiana Pacers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 24.4 | Last Five Games: 24.3
Min/Game -- Season: 36.2 | Last Five Games: 35.6
FP/Game -- Season: 33.3 | Last Five Games: 34.1
DeRozan is expensive tonight, but he is the top fantasy option from the Pacers. While Kyle Lowry will be locked up in a tough matchup against George Hill, DeRozan finds himself in a favorable matchup against Monta Ellis. DeRozan also comes into this game in good form, as has averaged 34.1 fantasy points per game over his last five.
Paul George vs. Toronto Raptors
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 26.6 | Last Five Games: 27.3
Min/Game -- Season: 36.3 | Last Five Games: 36.7
FP/Game -- Season: 43.2 | Last Five Games: 40.1
George’s production has been down in his last few games, but luckily that has led to a lower salary. He is priced at a very playable $9,800 on FanDuel. He draws a favorable matchup tonight against the Raptors, who will likely be without their best defender in DeMarre Carroll.
Matt Barnes vs. Washington Wizards
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 14.4 | Last Five Games: 12.7
Min/Game -- Season: 24.7 | Last Five Games: 27.3
FP/Game -- Season: 18.4 | Last Five Games: 21.6
The Grizzlies have decided to mix things up. They are going to try playing small ball for the foreseeable future, which means Barnes will start at power forward. He had a solid game against the Grizzlies last night and he should see at least 30 minutes tonight against a Wizards’ frontcourt that is extremely depleted.
Blake Griffin vs. Detroit Pistons
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 26.4 | Last Five Games: 24.5
Min/Game -- Season: 34.2 | Last Five Games: 35.0
FP/Game -- Season: 42.0 | Last Five Games: 41.1
Anthony Davis is in a great spot tonight, but he has been too inconsistent for me to use in cash games. Griffin has a similar floor and ceiling, yet he is considerably cheaper than Davis. Griffin draws a favorable matchup tonight against Ersan Ilyasova, who has never been known for his play on the defensive end of the floor.
Jon Leuer vs. Dallas Mavericks
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 15.3 | Last Five Games: 15.2
Min/Game -- Season: 20.2 | Last Five Games: 30.7
FP/Game -- Season: 18.1 | Last Five Games: 26.2
Even though Tyson Chandler has been back for the last two games, it didn’t cut too heavily into the minutes for Leuer. He played at least 28 minutes in both of those contests. He remains one of the best value plays on the board tonight, as the Mavericks have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to power forwards this season.
Andre Drummond vs. Los Angeles Clippers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 21.0 | Last Five Games: 20.2
Min/Game -- Season: 34.1 | Last Five Games: 29.1
FP/Game -- Season: 43.3 | Last Five Games: 37.4
I like to target Drummond when he 1. Faces a bad rebounding team and 2. Faces an opposing center that doesn’t stray far from the hoop. Drummond has both of those in his favor tonight against DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers. He is the premier play at center tonight on FanDuel.
Nikola Vucevic vs. Brooklyn Nets
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 20.8 | Last Five Games: 19.3
Min/Game -- Season: 29.7 | Last Five Games: 31.1
FP/Game -- Season: 31.5 | Last Five Games: 31.8
If you are looking for a mid-range center tonight, Vucevic is my favorite of the bunch. His minutes have been trending upward, as he has played at least 32 in five of his last seven games. He draws a favorable matchup tonight against Brook Lopez and the Nets, who are ranked 22nd against centers this season.