Another seven-game NBA schedule awaits us on Tuesday night. Below you’ll find my top FanDuel targets at each position.
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves, $7,500 - The only thing holding Rubio back from being one of the top overall DFS producers during this new young season is his surprising lack of minutes. Rubio is averaging just over 30 minutes per game, which frankly does not make much sense given just how much more effective he is at running the point than backup point guard Zach LaVine. Rubio’s shot seems to be improved, and as always, he remains one of the best passing and rebounding point guards in the NBA. Look for the Wolves to lean on Rubio a bit more tonight at home against the Charlotte Hornets after he played just 27 minutes in last night’s victory over the Hawks. With his ability to contribute in multiple statistical categories, Rubio bring both a high floor and high ceiling at a reasonable price point.
Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics, $7,300 - With starting point guard Marcus Smart set to miss another game, Thomas should resume starting at the point for the Celtics in a road matchup against the Bucks. Thomas is a score-first point guard who piles up fantasy points in a hurry; he’s averaging a whopping 1.18 FanDuel points per minute this season, and in what is expected to be a close game in Milwaukee (Celtics are favored by two with a 201 total on the NBA odds board), IT2 could see 35+ minutes. He’ll also be aided by the absence of Bucks’ point guard Michael Carter-Williams, whose length may have given Thomas problems. Without MCW playing, though, Thomas should have his way with the rest of the Bucks’ backcourt on his way to a big night in Milwaukee.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, $7,000 - The Greek Freak has made significant strides this year as a player. His shooting is really coming around, and his shot selection is improving as he’s getting more attempts closer to the hoop. Antetokounmpo contributes in every statistical category, and he has a phenomenal matchup tonight - the visiting Celtics rank dead last in the NBA in fantasy points per game given up to opposing shooting guards, and give up the 10th-most FPPG to opposing small forwards. Giannis spends most of his time on the wing, so he’ll be able to take advantage of either matchup. We should also note that the Celtics are playing at the fastest pace of any team in basketball, and Giannis thrives in transition. Finally, the long arms of The Alphabet enable him to get a decent number of steals, and the Celtics have given up more steals to opposing teams (10.4 per game) than any other team. This really is a dream matchup for Giannis and he should take advantage.
Eric Gordon, New Orleans Pelicans, $5,500 - The Pelicans are woefully short of viable NBA players right now, and remain winless despite having one of the best players on the planet in Anthony Davis. That means a player like Eric Gordon, while not spectacular, is going to see huge minutes. That’s certainly been the case in each of their last three games, as he’s played 38, 39, and 41 minutes while averaging 30 FanDuel points per game. He’s taking a ton of threes and is picking up some secondary ball-handling duties. Gordon’s got a cake matchup tonight at home against a Mavericks team that does not have any great wing defenders. While he lacks huge upside, Gordon is about as safe as they come at this price point.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,400 - After a somewhat slow start to the season (by his standards), Durant has picked up his play and may be re-emerging as the top overall fantasy player. He’ll certainly be in contention for that title tonight as he returns home to his native Washington DC area to take on a Wizards team that is bleeding fantasy points to all positions; they’ve also been playing with the second-fastest pace in the entire NBA. Washington has been especially poor against opposing small forwards, conceding more fantasy points to that position than any other team. Durant spends the majority of his time at the three, and is primed to have an absolutely huge game. Of all the stars that are in play today, Durant is the one I’m targeting the most.
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks, $5,800 - Everything I wrote about Antetokounmpo’s matchup applies here. The visiting Celtics are playing at the fastest pace in the entire league and Middleton is one of the league leaders in minutes played. The matchup is ideal, the minutes will be there, and the price is fair. Middleton also benefits from the absence of Michael-Carter Williams, who can be a bit of a drain on offense at times. Lock and load Middleton as a mid-tier play that is very likely to reach value.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, $10,800 - The winless Pelicans are desperate to grab their first W, which is great for The Brow’s prospects, as it means he’s got to play huge minutes tonight against the Mavericks. Dallas has nobody with even a chance of slowing him down, and Davis has historically fared much better at home, where he’s been known to pick up a few phantom blocks from time to time with the friendly official scorekeeper. The Pelicans are favored by just one point with a whopping 211 total via Vegas. There should be plenty of fantasy goodness here for Davis, and you should feel great locking him into your lineup if you can afford the steep price tag.
Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder, $6,900 - I want as much exposure to the Thunder/Wizards game as I can get, and Ibaka is a cheap way to get a likely 35+ minute player. His last few games haven’t been great, and for that reason I’ll be targeting him more heavily in tournaments than cash games. But the Wizards don’t have anyone who matches up well with him defensively, and in a game with a 218 (!) total, Ibaka should find a way to reach value.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, $6,700 - This pick comes with a bit of risk, as Towns has not seen huge minutes in most games this season and the Timberwolves are coming off a hard fought road victory against the Hawks. That said, I like this matchup for Towns, who should be able to swat a couple of Al Jefferson shots, and the price tag of $6,700 is extremely low for the upside he brings to the table. Assuming he can avoid foul trouble at play 30+ minutes, Towns should not have trouble delivering at this mid-range salary.