We have a seven-game slate on tap tonight, but with one game taking place early today, these picks will focus on the six-game slate beginning at 6:00 PM EST for our FanDuel contests. In typical weekend fashion, be sure you keep your eyes open for injury news, and be sure to check the NBA Starting Lineups page prior to tipoff to confirm your selections are playing tonight.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, $11,100 – The Warriors played one of their worst games of the season yesterday, blowing a late lead to the lowly Sixers and eventually winning on a game-winning three from Harrison Barnes. Head coach Steve Kerr was furious with his team, accusing them of fooling around in the third quarter. He also said they deserved to lose, and he’s probably right. Unfortunately for the Knicks, they have to play this team the night after. There won’t be any fooling around from Golden State tonight, and I expect Curry to have a huge game at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks have been dreadful against opposing point guards (well, ones not named Archie Goodwin) lately, so expect a bounce back performance from Curry. He’s the number one play on tonight’s slate, and I suggest making him a priority.
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets, $8600 – Walker took a hard fall last game and sat out the remainder after playing just 24 minutes. I’ve seen no updates on his status, so my assumption is that it’s a non-issue going forward. Nicolas Batum has already been ruled out for tonight’s matchup with the Lakers, and there’s a good chance neither Jeremy Lin nor Jeremy Lamb play as well. The Hornets could be very thin once again, leaving Walker to shoulder much of the offensive load. This situation could not come against a better opponent as the Lakers are a disaster on defense. They’re dead last in defensive efficiency and allow the most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. It’s a perfect matchup for Walker, and as long as we don’t hear anything on the injury front, he’s right up there with Curry for top play of the day.
Zach LaVine, Minnesota Timberwolves, $4600 – LaVine has seen around 30 minutes off the bench over Minnesota’s last three games, compiling scores of 35.8, 40.9, and 21.7. I’ll give him a pass for the 21.7 given it was on the road against Utah, although that score wasn’t exactly bad for a $4600 player. With Kevin Martin expected to miss tonight’s game, LaVine is an easy value play for me at the shooting guard position. The expensive options aren’t particularly appealing, and I’d much rather spend my salary elsewhere. The floor/ceiling combination is extremely attractive relative to LaVine’s price, making him a top option in both cash games and tournaments.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns, $5000 – I’m not quite as high on Booker as I am on LaVine, but considering the lack of options at the shooting guard position, I’m inclined to go with two cheap options. Booker is playing heavy minutes for Phoenix regardless of the outcome of the game. He’s been very consistent recently and appears to have a reliable floor of around 20 fantasy points. He’s a safe cash game option with 30-point upside that I feel comfortable with in all game formats.
P.J. Tucker, Phoenix Suns, $5000 – Tucker has been remarkably consistent lately, and it would appear he’s established a solid floor of around 20 with 30-point upside. If we look at his past ten games, the only time he finished under 20 was when he played six minutes against the Spurs because of an injury. I like the matchup against Dallas, and I really like that he’s playing around 35 or more minutes nearly every game. He does a little bit of everything on the court, and he’s carved out a nice role for himself. He doesn’t have a ton of upside for tournaments, but I really like him as a cash game play if you’re looking to save some salary at small forward.
Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks, $6700 – Not long ago, Parsons would have been one of the last players I’d write up for this, or any other article. Now, he looks great and he’s putting up consistent, terrific numbers. His lowest total over his past six games is 32.5, and I expect better than that against a fast-paced Suns team that has been dreadful defensively. The potential blowout is certainly a factor here, but when it comes to games with high spreads, I don’t worry too much about the players that are going to be on the winning side of the blowout.
Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic, $4500 – Gordon is too cheap at just $4500 tonight. He’s starting and likely to play 30 or more minutes in what should be a close matchup with Boston. I like targeting the Boston front court as they are undersized and do not defend opposing power forwards and centers well. Gordon finished under 20 fantasy points just once in his past six games while eclipsing 25 in three. Boston’s fast style of play should serve Orlando well, but Gordon is the only Orlando player I’m interested in. He’s a terrific bargain right now, and should be targeted in all game formats each and every night until his price catches up to his new role.
Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers, $6000 – I’m a little hesitant here because I saw a report that said Randle is unlikely to remain in the starting lineup. I’m not sure when Larry Nance will take his starting job back, but it will likely be sooner rather than later. Also, since this is the late game, there’s a chance there’s a change to the starting lineup after rosters lock. Even if he comes off the bench, Randle is still a decent play, but he would definitely use value. The upside is certainly there against a Hornets team that’s dealing with front court injuries and is currently starting the duo of Marvin Williams and Spencer Hawes. If you’re not comfortable with this situation, you can take a small discount and roster Williams. He’s a solid play in certain matchups, and the Lakers certainly qualify as such.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, $8400 – In case you haven’t noticed yet, Towns is really, really good. He posted 32 points and 12 rebounds line against Rudy Gobert and the Jazz last game, and has finished with over 46 fantasy points in three straight. He’s playing at an extremely high level, is clearly matchup-proof, and draws a cupcake matchup against an extremely soft Portland front court. I target the Blazers with big men whenever I can as they’ve been one of the worst teams in the league at defending opposing power forwards and centers. I fully expect Towns to post another monster line in this game, and it would be an absolute lock for me if it weren’t for the last player in today’s article.
Gorgui Dieng, Minnesota Timberwolves, $5400 – Kevin Garnett is expected to sit out tonight, meaning Dieng should draw the start at power forward. He played 39 minutes last game against Utah, and while some of that may have been out of necessity to match Utah’s size, it’s also very clear that he should be playing big minutes. The only front court depth Minnesota has behind Towns and Dieng is Nikola Pekovic, and he can’t play much more than 12 minutes right now. At a minimum, Dieng should see 30 minutes, which is plenty for him to do a ton of damage against a very soft Blazers front court. It’s unfortunate that we can’t roster both Towns and Dieng on FanDuel today, and while I love Towns, Dieng offers much more upside relative to his price because he is significantly cheaper. Thus, he’s ahead of Towns for me, but not by much.