We have a special treat today, as there are six day games on the schedule for Martin Luther King Day. There are also four games on tap this evening and those are the ones that we are going to focus on for this column. It looks like a night that will feature very few value options on FanDuel, which could lend itself to a more balanced approach when creating NBA lineups.
Chris Paul vs. Houston Rockets, $9,400
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 24.0 | Last Five Games: 26.3
Min/Game -- Season: 32.1 | Last Five Games: 32.9
FP/Game -- Season: 38.0 | Last Five Games: 45.8
Paul had a disappointing game against the Kings the other night, but he got into early foul trouble. Other than that game, he has been in great form, topping 44 fantasy points in four of his last five games. Blake Griffin is still not ready to return to the lineup and Paul should benefit from an uptempo game against the Rockets.
Donald Sloan vs. Toronto Raptors, $4,200
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 13.6 | Last Five Games: 14.6
Min/Game -- Season: 15.4 | Last Five Games: 25.6
FP/Game -- Season: 12.0 | Last Five Games: 23.7
As I mentioned earlier, value is hard to come by tonight. Sloan is probably my favorite play under $5,000 on the slate. He has been playing well in his recent starts, averaging 23.7 fantasy points in his last five games. He should see 25+ minutes tonight against the Raptors in Toronto.
James Harden vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $9,500
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 27.4 | Last Five Games: 25.2
Min/Game -- Season: 37.5 | Last Five Games: 35.2
FP/Game -- Season: 44.4 | Last Five Games: 36.9
For whatever reason, Harden had struggled against the Clippers over the last couple of seasons. He appears to have figured the puzzle out this season though, averaging 32 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game in their first two meetings. His price has come down and he is clearly the top shooting guard option in this four-game slate.
Avery Bradley vs. Dallas Mavericks, $5,100
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 17.3 | Last Five Games: 17.3
Min/Game -- Season: 32.2 | Last Five Games: 38.1
FP/Game -- Season: 22.5 | Last Five Games: 21.8
Bradley hasn’t been ultra productive recently, but he is seeing elite minutes. Over his last five games, he is averaging 38.1 minutes per contest. If you take his season long average fantasy points per minutes and extrapolate that over 38 minutes, you get 26.5 fantasy points. That would be more than enough to reach value at $5,100.
LeBron James vs. Golden State Warriors, $10,000
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 27.9 | Last Five Games: 23.7
Min/Game -- Season: 35.9 | Last Five Games: 36.9
FP/Game -- Season: 44.3 | Last Five Games: 44.9
There are only a handful of games where we can fully expect a 100% motivated LeBron James. Those games are typically against the Spurs, Heat, and Warriors. After losing to the Warriors in the NBA Finals last season and then losing to them again on Christmas, James wants this win more than anyone.
Jae Crowder vs. Dallas Mavericks, $6,800
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 15.8 | Last Five Games: 18.8
Min/Game -- Season: 32.3 | Last Five Games: 32.5
FP/Game -- Season: 26.9 | Last Five Games: 32.6
Crowder has been one of the most consistent small forward options this season. His price has come way up on FanDuel, but with so few options, he is in play again tonight. He draws a decent matchup tonight against the Mavericks in Dallas and he should see minutes in the mid-30s.
Draymond Green vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, $9,400
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 16.9 | Last Five Games: 17.1
Min/Game -- Season: 34.8 | Last Five Games: 33.2
FP/Game -- Season: 40.0 | Last Five Games: 37.1
The Warriors draw a tough matchup tonight against the Cavaliers, but at least we can project their starters to see a full complement of minutes. In their first meeting this season, Green had 22 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 blocks. He could see upwards of 40 minutes tonight in Cleveland.
Thaddeus Young vs. Toronto Raptors, $6,900
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 18.8 | Last Five Games: 18.5
Min/Game -- Season: 32.4 | Last Five Games: 31.2
FP/Game -- Season: 31.0 | Last Five Games: 28.1
Young’s production has been down recently, but that has led to a decrease in his price. Tonight is a good opportunity to buy low on the power forward, who is having a career season. He should see minutes in the low to mid-30s tonight against the Raptors, who have been mediocre against power forwards.
Dwight Howard vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $8,200
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 14.5 | Last Five Games: 15.6
Min/Game -- Season: 33.1 | Last Five Games: 35.3
FP/Game -- Season: 33.8 | Last Five Games: 38.2
Howard looks like a completely different player than the one that we saw at the beginning of the season. Not only is he playing more minutes, but he is playing motivated basketball on both ends of the floor. Over his last five games, he is averaging 38.2 fantasy points in 35.3 minutes per contest.
Note: This is not meant to be a full lineup. The picks are my favorite targets at each position.