Another solid-sized NBA slate awaits us on Thursday. Here are my top FanDuel plays.
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves, $6,700 - Minnesota is coming off of a shocking overtime win against the Warriors in Oracle, and now will try to avoid a letdown against a terrible Sacramento defense. Rubio has been up and down recently, but he has played 34 minutes in each of the past two games, which is a positive sign because sometimes his minutes can be concerning. If the minutes continue to be there, the production should return tonight, because Minnesota has a team total of 108 points (on the NBA odds board) against a Sacramento defense that is 22nd in DVP against PG.
Goran Dragic, Miami Heat, $6,700 - Dragic bounced back from two poor efforts with a strong game against the Pistons, and he now will draw a premier matchup against the Bulls. The Bulls are 27th in DVP against PG on the season, which is the second best matchup on the slate.
James Harden, Houston Rockets, $10,900 - If you’re paying up for a superstar on this slate, my top choice would be Harden. He disappointed last night, but after the Rockets’ loss last night, they are basically now going to have to perfect to make the playoffs. That should mean he continues to play 40+ minutes a night and he’s in a great bounce-back spot against a Phoenix defense that is 29th in DVP against SG.
Zach LaVine, Minnesota Timberwolves, $5,400 - He went through a real rough stretch, but his price dropped and he finally put up a quality game in Minnesota’s big win against the Warriors. He’s the only SG that draws a better matchup than Harden, as the Kings are dead last in DVP against SG on the season and have been terrible defending SG for several years now.
Also Consider- Devin Booker
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, $8,600 - I’d double check closer to lineup lock, but the Spurs are expected to play their core tonight. The Spurs will be playing way up in pace, and the Spurs have really leaned on Kawhi and Aldridge in the second half. He’s coming off of a great outing, and in the recent meeting between these two teams, he put up 18 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves, $7,100 - Minnesota is a great team to target and basically their entire starting five is in play, considering the Kings are always a team to target. Wiggins doesn’t produce great peripheral stats, but he can really score the ball and has produced at least 28 FD points in eight of his last ten games, so he’s been a steady option. He’s continuing to see big minutes, and should find offensive success against one of the worst defenses in the NBA. If you can’t squeeze in his salary alongside Kawhi, I also like P.J. Tucker on the cheaper side. He should see big minutes defending James Harden, and I also think the Rockets will put Trevor Ariza on Devin Booker, which will leave Harden “defending” Tucker.
Also Consider - P.J. Tucker
LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs, $8,300 - As mentioned with Leonard, the Spurs aren’t expected to rest any of their starters, and this is a big pace boost game for them. With the Warriors playing lots of small ball, I’d expect to see lots of Aldridge at center tonight, and the Warriors have been vulnerable against centers. He took advantage in the most recent meeting between these teams when he racked up 26 points and 13 rebounds in 37 minutes.
Mirza Teletovic, Phoenix Suns, $5,100 - He’s somewhat dependent on the status of Jon Leuer, who has missed the past few games. With Leuer out, his minutes have become very steady off the Phoenix bench, and he’s a guy who can really score when the minutes are there. He’s played at least 28 minutes in three straight games, with at least 27 FD points in each, and he now draws a Houston defense that is 29th in DVP against PF.
Tyson Chandler, Phoenix Suns, $5,400 - It’s been a very disappointing year in Phoenix and the Chandler signing has mostly not worked out. However, he’s really picked it up down the stretch and has played at least 34 minutes in each of his past four games. He’s recorded double digit rebounds in each of those games and will face a poor Houston defense that is 19th in DVP against centers.