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 college football on tap and then a nice eight-game NBA slate tonight, which is a great number, as it doesn’t get to overwhelming but also allows us some options to differentiate in GPPs.
Elfrid Payton, Orlando Magic, $6,000 – Russell Westbrook is firmly in play, but I also want to grab Kawhi Leonard and get a high-end center. That leaves me with a really tough choice on whether to spend on James Harden or Westbrook tonight, and, to be honest, I’m still debating. I like the matchup for Harden a little bit better, so that is the direction I’m leaning, which leaves me saving at the PG position. Payton’s offense is still a work in progress, but his role has solidified this year as he’s played at least 34 minutes in four of his five games. He gets a matchup upgrade tonight, as John Wall is resting, which leaves Payton facing the combination of Tomas Satoransky, who is a rookie, and Trey Burke, who has been disappointing.
Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs, $4,500 – I definitely don’t love the matchup with Chris Paul tonight, but Mills started for Tony Parker last night and produced 23 FanDuel points against one of the better defenses in the NBA in the Jazz. That makes me feel better for the matchup tonight, and even if Paul plays him tough, Mills has played at least 23 minutes in four of his past five games, so the minutes will be there. If you’re not comfortable with the matchup with CP3, then I’m also considering Matthew Dellavedova and Kris Dunn as value options, but potential foul trouble for Dunn against Westbrook is worrisome.
James Harden, Houston Rockets, $11,700 – Playing the fade on James Harden has been a risky proposition this year, as he’s topped 60 FanDuel points against every team not named the Dallas Mavericks, and his floor has been around 45 FD points. He’s been a perfect fit for Mike D’Antoni’s offense, and the Rockets added extra shooting in the offseason. This game carries the top total on the slate at 215.5 points, and we have the added story line of Dwight Howard and Harden facing each other for the first time since last year’s meltdown in Houston. It’s such a tough choice between Harden and Westbrook tonight, and I’m still debating, but I’m currently leaning towards Harden. If you’re looking to play Westbrook, then some other SGs to consider are Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Bradley Beal, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Zach LaVine, as well Tomas Satoransky (if he starts, but be sure to check NBA starting lineups before locking him in).
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards, $5,300 – Beal finally broke loose for a big game last night, and I’ll go right back to the well tonight. John Wall has been ruled out for rest, so Beal will take on a lot more play making duties and has been playing huge minutes with at least 39 in three straight games. Beal has seen a 32% usage over the past two years with John Wall off the court, and his price tag at $5,300 is just too cheap.
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, $8,500 – Kawhi is just too cheap, as his price should be sitting over $9,000. He’s produced 43 and 51 FanDuel points in two tough matchups against a Utah defense, which provides a glimpse into how high his floor has been. This should be a very competitive game tonight between two teams who should be battling it out near the top of the Western Conference standings. Kawhi has taken at least 18 FGA in four of his six games, and I’ll lock him as the late night hammer as this game is the last game of the night.
Matt Barnes, Sacramento Kings, $4,000 – Barnes didn’t see many minutes last game, but that came against a big Orlando front court, whereas Milwaukee features a much smaller team with Jabari Parker at the PF. Add in that Rudy Gay is listed as doubtful for tonight, and I would expect either Barnes of Omri Casspi to draw the start. I like Barnes regardless of whether he starts or not, as extra minutes should be there and Dave Joerger has a fondness for Barnes dating back to Memphis. Barnes has been up and down, but he’s hit at least 5x value in three of his five games, and I like this game to produce some solid stat lines.
Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks, $6,000 – I don’t mind Paul Millsap tonight, but with Westbrook, Harden, and some expensive centers on my radar, it’s tough to squeeze him in. I’m looking more at the mid-range today, and Parker came through with his first big game of the year in his last game. I like this Sacramento/Milwaukee game, as it should be competitive and neither team is great defensively. It’s tough to squeeze in Giannis if you’re rolling with a Harden or Westbrook, so I’ll take the second best option on Milwaukee in Jabari.
Markieff Morris, Washington Wizards, $5,500 – With John Wall out tonight, there will be plenty of extra usage to go around in Washington, and guys like Beal, Morris, and Mrcin Gortat. Like Beal, Morris busted loose for a big game last night, and he’s played at least 33 minutes in three straight games. He has been volatile, but the extra shots and minutes tonight make him a great target in the mid-range. If you want to look elsewhere, I feel like a big Ryan Anderson game could be coming but view him more as a GPP option.
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings, $9,700 – With Westbrook and Harden on this slate, we could see Boogie go a little overlooked, which puts him in elite GPP status for me. He hasn’t broken free for that huge 30-point and 20-rebound game, but we know he has that ability, and the matchup is elite tonight. The Bucks are very weak at center and have allowed the third-most fantasy points to centers so far this season, so Boogie should feast on the likes of Plumlee, Monroe, and Henson.
Dwight Howard, Atlanta Hawks, $8,300 – I’m looking to spend up at center tonight, as I love the spots for both Boogie and D12 today. As mentioned with James Harden above, things spiraled out of control in Houston last year, so I expect both Harden and Howard to be a little amped to face each other for the first time. Howard took a lot of criticism last year, but he’s looked a lot better this year, and I don’t think Clint Capela and Nene can keep a motivated Howard off the glass. Just Turkic is still too cheap, and he’s also in consideration tonight.