I’ll be digging into the NBA slate on Saturdays and will be bringing you some top plays to consider on FanDuel. We have a great day of sports today, as we have some NFL Wild Card games and then a nice solid eight-game slate tonight, including four games with Vegas totals above 214. As always with the NBA, be sure to monitor injuries and rest situations through the lineups alerts at RotoGrinders.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, $12,200 – As is typically the case when Westbrook is on the slate, it looks like a night to just stuff him into your lineups, especially in cash games. The Thunder’s team total is 6.5 points above their season average, which is the highest differential on this slate, so Westbrook should be in line for plenty of success. The Nuggets are 29th in DVP against point guards on the season, and Westbrook posted 36 points, 11 rebound, and 17 assists in an overtime game against them earlier this year. Don’t overthink this one.
Reggie Jackson, Detroit Pistons, $7,100 – I don’t love the value at PG today, so it’s a position where I’ll probably spend at. I’m primarily focusing in on Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Jeff Teague, and Reggie Jackson on FanDuel, and while I like Lillard and Teague for GPPs, I’ll take the savings with Jackson for cash games. He’s been right around at least 5x value in each of his past four games, and I like targeting this Detroit/Portland game tonight. It has a solid total of 212 points, and the Pistons’ team total is 4.9 points above their season average (third-highest differential on the slate). Damian Lillard has never been known for his defense, and these two PGs went at each other last year. Jackson averaged 35 points, three rebounds, and seven assists in their two meetings, while Lillard averaged 26 points, four rebounds, and eight assists.
Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma City Thunder, $5,900 – I love the idea of stacking up the OKC backcourt tonight, as the Thunder are expected to score well above their season average and Denver has been awful defending both guard positions. They rank 28th in DVP against shooting guards, and grabbing both Westbrook and Oladipo should capture tons of the Thunder’s production. Like Westbrook, Oladipo put up a big game in the first meeting between these teams with 26 points, four rebounds, and seven assists.
Jeremy Lamb, Charlotte Hornets, $3,800 – I’m spending up at PG, so I’m looking for savings at SG today. Nicolas Batum is out and Lamb is slated to draw the start, so he presents some potential value at a weak position. Lamb posted a huge game in his other start for Batum (18 points and 17 rebounds), and while I wouldn’t expect that output against San Antonio, all he needs at this price is 20 fantasy points. The Spurs are 22nd in DVP against shooting guards on the season, so as long as Kawhi Leonard doesn’t get switched onto him, then he should be in a solid salary saving option tonight.
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, $8,500 – I like Paul George for GPPs, but for cash games, I’ll find the extra $600 and grab Kawhi, who has been more dependable. Outside of the first game that he returned from being sick, he’s been rock solid recently. The Hornets will be without one of their better defenders in Nicolas Batum, which should hurt their overall defense, and they are only 18th in DVP against SF on the season, even with Batum active for most of the year.
I think Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are also in play, but I prefer George in GPPs and the back-to-back (as well as three games in four nights) concerns me with Carmelo’s knee. Overall, I don’t love the SF position and am filling in the other SF spot last. A few of the guys I’m considering are Wilson Chandler, Jae Crowder, Thabo Sefolosha, and Terrence Ross. Chandler should see a nice usage bump if Nikola Jokic can’t play tonight and makes for a nice stack with Westbrook and Oladipo. Crowder burned me last night, but he typically doesn’t throw up duds and should bounce back against the Pelicans, who are 24th in DVP against SF. Sefolosha (and possibly even Kent Bazemore) should see a few extra minutes with Korver traded. And finally, Ross has seen a minutes bump recently, playing at least 24 five straight games.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, $10,800 – Davis has shown some large home/road splits this year, so I don’t consider him a must play in this road matchup. However, I like the matchup against the Boston interior, so he is someone I’ll grab some exposure to in GPPs. Boston ranks 22nd in DVP against both PF and C, and Davis had 25 points, 16 rebounds, two blocks, and four steals against them earlier this year. If I’m not paying the high price for Davis, then I’m looking towards the Pistons PFs in Leuer and Tobias Harris, as well as Thaddeus Young.
Jon Leuer, Detroit Pistons, $4,800 – Leuer let me down last game, but I’ll go right back to the well again, as his struggles in the last game came as a result of foul trouble. He’s otherwise been very dependable since moving into the starting lineup, and the Pistons are one of my favorite teams to target on this slate. The Blazers are dead last in DVP against PG on the year, and Leuer has been a solid cash game target in recent weeks.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons, $7,900 & Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers, $7,100 – I typically don’t like to target these guys in cash games, but I love the spots for them tonight and will have heavy exposure to both in GPPs. Drummond hurt my lineups last outing, as he got in foul trouble and then Boban came into gobble up tons of production. It was a tilting night, but if Drummond can avoid foul trouble then this is a great spot for him. Portland really struggles on the interior, as they are 28th in DVP against centers, and Drummond crushed them last year, averaging 21.5 PPG and 22 rebounds per game in their two meetings. As far as Turner goes, the Knicks are on a back-to-back as well in three in four games, so I like this spot for the Pacers. He’s flashed his upside recently with a 44- and 55-fantasy-point performance, and had 21 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks against the Knicks earlier this year. New York has been shredded by opposing centers this year (28th in DVP), so I’ll continue to attack them on the interior.
If you’re looking for value at this position to squeeze in both Westbrook and Anthony Davis, then monitor the status in Toronto. It sounds like Patrick Patterson will miss another game and Dwane Casey stated he thought Pascal Siakam was hitting the rookie wall. Lucas Nogueira drew the start at PF last game and put up 20 fantasy points in 26 minutes against a tough Utah interior. The Bulls are 19th in DVP against PF on the season, so if Nogueira draws another start, then he’s a nice value option.