We have four games on the NBA schedule tonight, but even with the small slate we have a lot of star power on show. Below are my top FanDuel targets at each position.
Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers, $8,600 - Paul has struggled with injuries this season and his production has not been on par with what we’ve come to expect from him. However, he finally had a CP3 type game last night 18 points and18 rebounds, and now he has a nationally televised matchup with the Chicago Bulls. Due to his early season struggles, his price is depressed, and Derrick Rose is not the same player he was in the past, which is evidenced by the Bulls’ struggles against opposing PG (22nd in DvP).
Rajon Rondo, Sacramento Kings, $8,400 - Rondo is having a resurgent year in Sacramento, as he’s a nightly threat for a triple double. The Kings’ team matchup with the Knicks isn’t great as they play at a slow pace, but he draws a quality individual matchup with Jose Calderon, who is not a good defender. It’s narrative street, but back in his Boston days, Rondo used to be known as a guy who elevated his game when they were in the national TV spotlight, and tonight this game will be played on TNT. If you can find the extra salary cap to bump him or CP3 up to Russell Westbrook then that is always a terrific option as well.
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls, $8,200 - Shooting guard is by far the weakest position on the board today, so in terms of positional scarcity Butler is an elite option. The other SG options aren’t even a lock for 20 FD points, whereas you can likely lock in a floor of 35 FD points with Butler. He’s coming off of a great game last night, and now gets a game with the fast-paced Clippers.
Arron Afflalo, New York Knicks, $4,800 - As mentioned with Butler, SG is terrible and the three choices as my second SG really boil down to Afflalo, Joe Johnson and Kent Bazemore. None of those three options inspire much confidence, but Afflalo does draw the best matchup of the group. The Kings defense against opposing SGs has been terrible for several years now, and nothing has changed this season as they are 26th in DVP against the position. Afflalo is scoring dependent but this is a pace-up game against a bad defense, so he could put up 15+ real points in this one.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Brooklyn Nets, $3,900 - Value is tough to come by on a small four-game slate, so a guy like Bogdanovic is intriguing. He’s stepped into the starting lineup for the injured Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and has been hit or miss in his first two starts. He played very well against Houston, but struggled against Golden State. He’s a guy who is scoring dependent, so he can put up a dud when his shot is not falling, but he’s also a good shooter and his shot finally started to fall last game. The matchup against the terrible 76ers is obviously elite and the 76ers have particularly struggled against SFs, as they are 29th in DvP.
Omri Casspi, Sacramento Kings, $4,600 - SF is a position that you can either spend up to Durant, or maybe in Carmelo in a GPP, or just punt as there are two solid value options in Bogdanovic and Casspi. With the injury to Willie Cauley-Stein, Casspi has stepped into the starting lineup and is locked into (and has averaged right around) 32 minutes over his last three games. The matchup against the slower-paced Knicks isn’t idea, but Casspi’s price hasn’t adjusted to reflect his new role.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,300 - Durant destroyed what used to be a quality Memphis defense last night and now will take aim at an Atlanta defense that is a step down from what they were last year. The Thunder check in with the highest team total on the night at 110 points on the NBA odds board, and they will be looking for revenge against an Atlanta team that beat them 106-100 a few days ago. Durant is rolling offensively, as he’s poured in six of his last seven games, and he produced 49 FD points against this Atlanta team in their last meeting.
Also Consider - Carmelo Anthony
Thaddeus Young, Brooklyn Nets, $7,000 - Thad is playing some great basketball right now and can also take out some revenge tonight against his former team in the 76ers. He’s produced a double double in five of his last six games and is locked into 35+ minutes a night. We typically have to worry about a blowout with the 76ers, but the Nets are only seven-point favorites, so a blowout doesn’t look to be a huge concern tonight. In terms of DvP, Thad draws the top matchup at PF tonight, as the 76ers are 29th against PFs on the season.
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks, $7,200 - Porzingis is coming off arguably his worst game as a professional last night, as he played only 13 minutes and produced just 6.6 FD points. However, prior to last night, his ownership has been on the rise, as he’s otherwise been terrific recently. With his poor performance last night, recency bias should could keep his ownership down tonight. This is a perfect bounce-back spot for him against the porous Kings’ defense. The Kings’ are 27th in DvP against opposing PFs and he’ll have a big height advantage over either Rudy Gay or Omri Casspi, who are starting at forward in the Kings’ small-ball lineup.
Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls, $4,600 - Center looks like the deepest position to me tonight, as DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins and Brook Lopez are all very deserving of consideration. If you’re looking to go off-the-beaten path a little bit, Joakim Noah is cheap and allows to load up on a Westbrook and Durant combo. His playing time and field goal attempts are not what I look for in a player, so he does come with some risk. However, he’s now hit 5x value in five straight games, and he’s providing consistent rebounding and assist numbers. With Taj Gibson stepping into the starting lineup, I also think his rebounding numbers could see an uptick in the second unit, as Nikola Mirotic is more of an offensive player than Taj was.