We are at the point in the NBA season in which teams will rest their starters on a nightly basis without warning. This is my friendly reminder to start scaling back on the amount of money that you put in play on a daily basis.
Regarding tonight’s slate, it’s ugly. Three of the five games have opened up with at least a double-digit spread. Let’s take a look and see what we can find on FanDuel.
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Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans, $8,400 – Evans returned on Saturday from a one-game absence and blew up for 48.8 fantasy points. As mentioned in the introduction, this five-game slate features many potential blowouts, but this game is the one that is most likely to remain close. By the numbers, Milwaukee is solid at defending point guards, however this is mostly due to Brandon Knight, who is no longer with the team. Evans, with his very high usage rate, gives us a great opportunity for production tonight.
Beno Udrih, Memphis Grizzlies, $3,700 – I’m assuming Mike Conley will remain sidelined tonight with his injury. If this is the case, Beno Udrih will remain a fine, near minimum value play. The ceiling for Udrih is relatively low, however the likelihood of him grinding out value with another start is high. Udrih is a low risk value option tonight should Conley remain out.
James Harden, Houston Rockets, $10,800 – Shooting guard is a disastrous position tonight, so locking in Harden appears to be a necessity. This game does carry a high probability of a blowout, but this will be hard to avoid tonight as the schedule is littered with similar situations. Looking at the NBA odds board, the Rockets have the highest team total of the night at 107, which makes their players prime targets on tonight’s slate. Harden is an elite option here.
Jodie Meeks, Detroit Pistons, $4,100 – After Harden, the options at shooting guard are bleak to say the least. I have no problem taking a gamble with your second SG roster spot tonight. Jodie Meeks is a guy that is seeing consistent playing time (between 24 and 33 minutes in his last four games). His $4,100 price tag requires right around 20 fantasy points, and he has been over 16 fantasy points in four of his last five games. Meeks is a fine punt option tonight.
Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic, $6,700 – Harris is finally back to the steady performances we have become accustomed to. He has surpassed 31 fantasy points in five out of his last six games. This is the type of consistency that the DFS world looks for and it is especially valuable on this shaky five-game slate. In addition to the steady production, Harris has logged at least 38 minutes in his last three games. He is a solid option tonight.
Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets, $5,700 – Ariza’s play has been pretty erratic all season long, and in hindsight we would have assumed to see much more productivity from him due to the amount of time that Dwight Howard has been out of the lineup. Albeit in a small sample size, Ariza has been solid lately with at least 30 fantasy points in three out of four games. He provides another opportunity to get cheap exposure to the team with the highest total on the night.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, $9,300 – Griffin returned from injury on Sunday and logged 41 minutes of action, proving that a minute restriction will not be necessary. In that game, Griffin showed some versatility with a near triple-double (11/11/8). He is currently priced with a slight discount at just $9,300 on FanDuel. If Charlotte can keep this game close, I like Griffin’s chances of approaching value in this matchup.
Andrea Bargnani, New York Knicks, $5,400 – Bargnani lands a less-than-ideal matchup with the San Antonio Spurs tonight, however he is a guy I don’t mind targeting for a couple reasons. 1) He has been logging some heavy minutes (at least 33 in three out of five games) and 2) He is shooting the ball a ton (averaging over 14 shot attempts per game in his last five games). Bargnani is an adequate play at the power forward position tonight.
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, $7,600 – Before considering Marc Gasol, please verify that the Grizzlies do not plan on resting any of their players. The Grizzlies are playing in the second half of a back to back and continue to talk about getting rest for their starters. That being said, Gasol draws an elite matchup with the frontcourt of the Detroit Pistons that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season. As long as he is in the lineup, Gasol is an elite center option.