I’ll be bringing you Thursday plays for FanDuel from RotoGrinders.
Today, we have another short slate (get used to it on Thursdays), but at least we have four games to choose from, as opposed to the two-game slate last week.
As always with the NBA, you will have to keep your eye on injury situations and check starting lineups closer to tipoff. Tonight is no different, as the 76ers starting lineup is in flux with the potential returns of Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. Also, Derrick Rose is a perpetual game-time decision, and there is a slim chance that Jameer Nelson could sit tonight out.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $125,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Thursday's NBA games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 8pm ET on Thursday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, $9,900 – It’s a short slate, so if you want to roster a superstar, it’s either Curry or Boogie Cousins. Boogie has a tough matchup with Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies, so if I’m spending then I’m going with Curry tonight. According to the RotoGrinders Defense vs Position Tool (DVP), Brooklyn is 29th against PGs this year. Curry was quiet in his last outing against San Antonio, but has been otherwise incredible, and he should bounce back tonight. This game, along with the Philadelphia/Dallas game, carry by far the highest Vegas totals of the night, so be sure to grab a few players from the involved teams.
Devin Harris, Dallas Mavericks, $4,600 – Keep an eye on the status of Jameer Nelson, as he injured his hamstring last game, and there is a small chance he could miss this game. Even if Nelson does play, Harris is still a fine option as a cheap second PG. He is playing solid minutes off the bench, and the offense in the second unit runs through him. On the season, he is averaging 21 FD points, so he is unlikely to give you a dud, especially against the 76ers. Also, Vegas has this game as a potential blowout, as the line is currently favoring Dallas by 13 points, so he could also see a few extra minutes if the starters sit early. If Nelson does play, and you are not comfortable rostering a backup, then take a look at Mike Conley and Deron Williams, as the Kings are ranked last in DVP against PGs and the Warriors are ranked 28th.
Monta Ellis, Dallas Mavericks, $7,500 – All five of the Mavericks starters are in play against the defenseless 76ers. However, Ellis is my favorite of the group. Dallas looks to be limiting Dirk’s minutes somewhat to the 28-30 range thus far this year. Ellis could provide the most points-for-your-dollars-spent at the SG position, as Philadelphia is last in the league in defending the SG position.
Courtney Lee, Memphis Grizzlies, $5,300 – According to DVP, the Sacramento Kings are ranked number one against SGs this year. I’m not buying that ranking, as Ben McLemore and the Kings were the worst team in the NBA against SGs last year, and I think we see the regression begin tonight. Lee is playing heavy minutes (averaging 33 MPG) and is averaging 25 FD points, almost 5x his value. He makes a great cheaper SG to pair with Monta Ellis tonight.
Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks, $6,300 – He’s been in a terrible shooting slump in the last week or so. However, he’s been in the gym working on his shot and showed signs of breaking out of it last game, as he was 5-of-11 from the 3-point line. He’s not going to shoot so poorly for very long and the 76ers are as good of a slump-buster as you can get. According to the RotoGrinders DVP tool, they are 28th in the league against SFs, so look for Parsons to break out tonight.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors, $4,900 – If you can afford Draymond Green at $6,500, then he is a solid play. If you can’t pony up the cash, then drop down to Barnes, who could give you similar production at a cheaper price. David Lee is still out of the lineup, so Green starts at the PF, which opens up minutes for Barnes at the SF. Barnes started off the year very shaky, but is starting to round into shape. He has over 20 FD points in three of his last four games, and has played 39 minutes and 32 minutes in his last two contests. Brooklyn has struggled guarding the SF position, as they rank 18th against SFs in DVP.
Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies, $7,800 – Randolph is my top option at PF tonight. While Gasol and Boogie are battling with each other, Randolph gets to face off with Jason Thompson. Sacramento is 16th in DVP against PFs, which is the second-best matchup of the night, and so Randolph should be in line for another double-double in this one.
Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls, $8,600 – PF is a tough position tonight to fill tonight. Nowitzki is in play here too, but I decided to spare you the writeup of another Maverick. Feel free to use multiple Mavericks due to the short slate and their opponent, and I’ll probably have three Mavericks in each of my lineups. In the lineups that don’t include Nowitzki, I’ll be looking to spend up to Gasol, or punt the PF with Kevin Garnett (provided Garnett plays on a back-to-back). Gasol is locked into 30-35 minutes a night and looks rejuvenated in Chicago, as he is contributing in every statistical category. The matchup isn’t ideal, however, it’s a short slate and Gasol has been the most consistent PF in this slate. If you’re punting the second PF spot, then I’d look to Garnett, but check that he plays. Gasol’s not going to play heavy minutes, but should be able to produce 20 FD points, as Golden State is 28th in DVP against the PF position.
Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls, $8,100 - Noah is coming back from injury and will not see the incredible usage he saw last year, but he looks to be settling into a solid 31-32 MPG. Last game out we saw the typical Noah line, which is a great sign he is feeling better, as he had 13 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists. According to DVP, Noah has the best matchup of the available centers tonight, as Toronto is 30th in the league against the center position.
Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks, $6,000 – Chandler is a good midrange option against the weak Philadelphia interior. He has a double-double in three straight games and four out of his last five. He should keep it rolling tonight by controlling the glass and getting dunks off of penetration from the Mavericks guards.