We have only four NBA games on today’s slate, and, to be perfectly honest, it’s not pretty. There are certainly some players worth targeting today, but overall, I think this is a difficult four-game slate. Difficult isn’t necessarily bad, however, and I’ve come up with some players I think you need to have in your FanDuel lineups. Let’s take a look at today’s picks, and, as always, good luck in your games.
Rajon Rondo, Sacramento Kings, $8,300 – Rondo is a top play today as he’s been at or above 40 fantasy points in five of his last six games. I will like this pick a lot more if Damian Lillard plays, as I worry about the Blazers keeping things competitive for four quarters without him. Yes, I realize they blew out the Cavs last night without him, but that game was one of the biggest flukes you’re ever going to see. The Cavs played horrific basketball, and I don’t think that game is indicative of either team’s abilities going forward. Rondo is a triple-double threat every night he takes the court, and on a difficult four-game slate, I want players that have a legitimate shot to be the night’s top scorer. Rondo falls into that category for me.
Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies, $6,400 – Another issue with today’s slates is that no games have a close spread. Any of these games could get out of hand by the fourth quarter, and Memphis-Los Angeles is a good candidate. The Lakers are a disaster, and although I don’t think much of this Grizzlies team, they should handle them very easily. Conley has scored at least 27 fantasy points in each of his last five games, eclipsing 30 in three of them. On a day like today, I’m not too concerned with which players can get me five or six points per $1000, rather, I want my lineup full of players that I know aren’t going to post a dud. Conley should score at least 25 to 30 fantasy points against a Lakers team that is allowing the most points per game to opposing point guards, and is ranked near the bottom of the league in defensive efficiency.
Will Barton, Denver Nuggets, $6,700 – The Nuggets are likely going to get blown out by the Thunder, but that shouldn’t affect Barton too much. As long as he plays a majority of garbage time, he should easily meet and exceed 30 fantasy points tonight. He’s met that mark in six of his past ten games, and his lowest total was a 22 when he only played 23 minutes against a slow Utah team. With little you can rely on at the shooting guard position, I’m locking Barton in as I know I’m getting an extremely high usage player that likely won’t have his production affected too much by a blowout.
Randy Foye, Denver Nuggets, $3,900 – It’s close between Foye and Allen Crabbe for the second shooting guard spot, and I do think Crabbe is a worthwhile option if Damian Lillard is out tonight. However, I prefer Foye because he’s a bit cheaper and handles the ball more than Crabbe. He’ll pick up a few assists whereas Crabbe will be lucky to get more than two. Foye’s been very good lately, easily surpassing his value threshold over his past few games, and it’s important to note that he’s been shooting the ball a lot more than he had been in the beginning of the season. I like him for around 20 fantasy points tonight with upside for more.
Omri Casspi, Sacramento Kings, $5,100 – Casspi should continue to start and log heavy minutes for the Kings tonight. He’s still underpriced, in my opinion, at $5100, and he’s a very safe play at the small forward position. Kings-Blazers is the game I’m trying to target the most tonight, and Casspi is one of the best per dollar plays on the slate. On short, difficult slates, it’s important to grab the top value plays so you can pay up at positions that are offer little, or riskier value.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, $8,500 – I can’t pay up for Durant when the Thunder should have this game wrapped up by the third quarter, so I’ll target Anthony in a game I expect the Knicks to be competitive. I’ve maybe played Anthony once this season, and on a larger slate, he wouldn’t be in play for me. However, on today’s slate, I’ll take his 30 to 40 fantasy points at a tough small forward position. Boston is a tough defensive team, so I’m tempering my expectations, but, honestly, I don’t see many ways to go. If you can build a lineup you like, I don’t mind just using Durant and taking the 35 to 40 points you’ll likely get, but from a point per dollar standpoint, you can probably do better.
Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder, $6300 – When Kenneth Faried is the most expensive option available, you know things aren’t going to be pretty. Ibaka is likely the safest play facing a Denver team that has done a poor job of defending opposing power forward. Ibaka is not a consistent player as he takes a backseat to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on the offensive end, and his rebounding numbers are often disappointing. However, I’m not looking for value at power forward, rather, I want a player that I know isn’t going to post a total dud. Today, Ibaka falls into the good enough category at a very ugly position.
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks, $6,300 – Porzingis should be high owned because of his potential for a big game. I’d rather not be on the side that’s fading him tonight as I think you can still win even if he posts a poor game. I think he’s more likely to have a solid game than not, facing a Boston team that ranks in the bottom third of the league in fantasy points allowed to opposing power forwards. Boston defends guards and wings very well, but they struggle with big men. Porzingis is still inconsistent, but on a slate like this with no locks at power forward, he’s a risk you simply have to take.
Additional Plays: Zach Randolph
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings, $9,900 – Just lock Cousins in tonight. He’s my top play of the day facing a Portland team that’s been eviscerated by opposing centers and power forwards this season. There is enough value at other positions that you simply don’t even need to consider the other center options. Given the next two guys in line are Marc Gasol and Mason Plumlee, I can’t imagine anyone would want to.
Additional Plays: Enes Kanter (GPP Play as he should get extra garbage time run)