The NBA season is well underway, and this Saturday offers another appealing slate of games. As always, the picks featured below are my favorite plays at each position on FanDuel.
Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers, $9,400 - The Clippers will be out for revenge tonight as they’ll face the Rockets for the first time since their devastating playoff loss. The Rockets’ defense has been non-existent this season and the Clippers have a team total of 113 points according to the Vegas odds. The Rockets will also be without Patrick Beverley, and Ty Lawson is not a great defender, so Chris Paul should be in for a big night.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, $10,900 - I’d look to get one of Paul or Curry into your lineups tonight, as the PG position drops off quickly after them. There is blowout risk tonight with the Warriors, but that hasn’t mattered with Curry so far this season. The Warriors have blown everyone out and he’s still averaging 55 FD PPG. The Kings are a mess defensively, and have no prayer of slowing this Warriors’ offense.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, $7,000 - Giannis has taken a huge step forward offensively this year, as he’s scored 20 or more points in four of his five games, and is still contributing his typical rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. He put up 35 FD points against the Nets earlier this year, and the Brooklyn perimeter defense has been terrible year long.
Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic, $5,500 - “Do Not Google” a.k.a. Fournier burned everyone last night, which should lead to lower ownership. I always like to jump on opportunities like this as bad shooting nights will happen. I’ve seen nothing to indicate he won’t continue to get double-digit shots and 30+ minutes per game, and the matchup against the 76ers is elite.
Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic, $6,700 - The SF position is really thin tonight and doesn’t provide a ton of upside, so I’m looking to roll the dice on Harris in tournaments. I don’t mind him as a cash game play either, but there is some risk as Scott Skiles’ “rotatations” can be tough to trust at times, and Harris was actually benched against Houston. However, he bounced back last night and played 36 minutes en route to 32 FD points. Theoretically, Vucevic’s injury should open up more time for him at PF, as well as more shots, and the 76ers have allowed the fifth-most points to opposing PFs.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, $10,000 - Blake is right there with Anthony Davis as the top option on the night, regardless of position, as he’s a matchup nightmare for the Rockets. Despite losing the series, he dominated this Rockets team in the playoffs last year as he averaged 27 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. The Rockets are even less equipped to deal with him this year as Josh Smith signed with the Clippers, and Terence Jones could miss this one. With Donatas Motiejunas out as well, they are very light at PF and don’t have anyone to handle Blake. Blake has topped 40 FD points in four of his five games, and I expect for him to easily make that five of six in this high scoring matchup.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, $10,600 - Blake and Davis are my top two plays on the day so I’d try to lock down at least one of them, and if you can afford both, then great. New Orleans went small last night and Davis got the start at center and played very well. The small lineup should provide a slight boost to his rebounding, and the Mavericks lack athleticism on their interior to match up with him. They allow the most fantasy points to opposing power forwards and are in the bottom half against centers.
Dewayne Dedmon, Orlando Magic, $3,700 - There’s not a ton of upside with Dedmon, but with Nikola Vucevic out, he’s shown that he can bring back 5x value as a punt play. With Vucevic injured, he’s played 26 and 30 minutes in his last two games, and has produced 20 FD points in each. He’s not going to score a ton, but he can provide rebounds, steals and blocks and the 76ers are allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing centers.
Festus Ezeli, Golden State Warriors, $3,800 - I’ve mentioned some high-end options and I think center is a spot where you can save tonight to fit those guys in. Andrew Bogut is expected to miss another game so Ezeli should draw another start. He’ll only see around 20 minutes or so but he’s been fantastic all year long and is averaging 6x value on FD. The Kings will be without DeMarcus Cousins and Ezeli should easily hit value again against the Kings terrible defense.