We have a nice, compact five-game slate tonight, and to be honest, I’ll take five games over thirteen any day. With a smaller slate, there are less distractions, and you can really hone in on the best plays of the day. As always, this article will likely be published before all of the relevant injury news is available, so I’ll do my best to address all of the important hypothetical scenarios and who stands to benefit from them. Good luck tonight, and always remember that at this point in the season, it’s especially important to make sure you’re able to keep up with late-breaking news up until the games start. Here are my picks for today’s NBA action on FanDuel.
Dennis Schroder, Atlanta Hawks, $5300 – Schroder drew the start last night and filled in quite nicely for Jeff Teague, posting 32.1 FanDuel points in 33 minutes against the Heat. He’s only in play if Jeff Teague is out, but since the Hawks are clearly erring on the side of caution with their starters, I’m guessing they’ll hold him out again tonight. The Hawks have a stranglehold on the top seed in the East, so they have little reason to risk running a player out at less than 100%.
If Schroder starts, he’ll draw a favorable matchup with a Hornets team that’s ranked in the bottom third of the league against opposing point guards over the past three weeks. Neither Kemba Walker nor Mo Williams are imposing defenders, and I’ll be rostering Schroder with confidence if he draws the start again tonight.
Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets, $7200 – The Nuggets have absolutely nothing to play for but pride, and they seem to be doing everything they can to finish the season on a high note. Lawson’s production had been down for quite some time, but he’s turned in two very strong performances lately, and he has a good chance to keep it going in an extremely favorable matchup with Damian Lillard and the Blazers. Portland has struggled against opposing point guards all season, and have been third-worst over the past three weeks. Lawson’s scoring is up, and the assists will always be there. Point guard isn’t an exciting position today, but we have to roster two, and I think Lawson is one of the best options.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, $7500 – The sad reality of today is that you have to roster two shooting guards on FanDuel. Honestly, there are no options that I’m enamored with, but we have to pick two, so let’s try to find the best options. Giannis has very good upside in this matchup as the Warriors will push the pace, as they always do. Alphabet doesn’t necessarily need to score a ton of points to be a good fantasy play. He does everything on the court, and a matchup that will force the Bucks to play up in pace will serve to give him extra opportunities to produce those peripherals. Throw value out the window at shooting guard today, and just try to fit players in that won’t post a dud.
Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks, $4700 – The Hawks will likely be resting players at some point, so make sure Korver is in the lineup tonight. Korver isn’t a guy I would normally target due to his lack of upside, but he’s a starter that plays well over 30 minutes and is priced fairly cheaply. He should be good for at least 20 fantasy points, and anything over that should be considered a bonus. I’m only interested in avoiding landmines at shooting guard today, and Korver provides a safe floor to go along with the necessary cap relief to target the better options at other positions.
Additional Plays: Jimmy Butler
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz, $8000 – It may seem like a steep price to pay, but like shooting guard, small forward isn’t offering any plays that I would consider a lock. Derrick Favors will likely miss tonight’s game. His back locked up on him last night, and with Utah playing for nothing, there’s no reason to risk further injury in a meaningless game. His absence will force Hayward to take on even more offensive responsibility, and while he may not reach that 40-point target we’re looking for, he provides a very safe floor and will likely eclipse at least 30. Oklahoma City doesn’t have any wing defenders good enough to stay in front of him, and the bump in pace for Utah should add to his value as well.
Gerald Henderson, Charlotte Hornets, $5400 – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffered an ankle sprain last night, and there’s a good chance he doesn’t suit up tonight. Henderson is already playing big minutes and consistent posting between 20-25 fantasy points, and MKG’s absence will likely give him a few extra minutes and a few more shots and rebounds. He’s a very safe play to me, and with Charlotte trying to sneak into the playoffs, I would expect head coach Steve Clifford to ride his starters as much as possible as long as this game remains close.
Trevor Booker, Utah Jazz, $3500 – With Derrick Favors likely to miss tonight’s game, Booker should slide into the starting lineup and see around 30 minutes. The matchup with Oklahoma City is favorable, especially if he draws Kanter on defense. There’s little reason to fade a minimum-priced starter at the power forward position, especially when there is currently a lack of viable value plays at this point in the day.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers, $9400 – If you’re paying up for one player today, I think it needs to be Aldridge. He draws an extremely favorable matchup with the Nuggets, and he’s been posting some very solid numbers lately. He’s a near lock for 40 fantasy points, and his only down games lately have been against the Jazz (one of the league’s hottest defenses), and against Memphis where he missed the entire second half. Other than that, he’s a near lock for at least 40, and against this poor interior, he could easily surpass 50. On a night where I expect low scores across the board, it’s important to lock in the player that will likely be the second-highest scorer behind Westbrook.
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz, $8200 – Gobert should be in line for some extra work with Derrick Favors likely to miss tonight. While he’s not really an option on offense, he’ll likely grab a few extra rebounds, and might see a couple of extra chances for some easy put-backs. The matchup with the Thunder is favorable, and the boost in pace will give Gobert even more opportunities for rebounds and blocked shots. He has more upside than any other center on the slate, and he’s still priced very reasonably. I’m making him a priority today.
Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City Thunder, $7100 – The matchup with Utah isn’t great at first glance, but the Jazz haven’t been as good defensively lately, and that might be because of some fatigue. They’re playing their third game in four nights, and fourth in six nights, and I just don’t expect them to be playing their best defense tonight, especially against a Thunder team that is going to make them run. Kanter is the second option on offense behind Westbrook, and his price relative to his expected production is simply too low. Players may shy away from him due to the matchup, but I think he’s in line for another solid game again tonight.
Additional Plays: Steven Adams