We have 11 games on tonight’s FanDuel slate, and there’s no shortage of great plays. As I’m writing this, we’re getting injury news out of Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki and Raymond Felton have been ruled out, and Zaza Pachulia is questionable. If Pachulia sits, we’ll have some value in the form of Dwight Powell, and he would make for an excellent play in both cash games and tournaments. Victor Oladipo is out for another game, and the Heat will once again be without both Goran Dragic and Beno Udrih. Other than that, it’s a fairly slow injury day (it’s early, though). Be sure you check the NBA Starting Lineups page to ensure your players are active.
Let’s take a look at today’s picks. Good luck tonight.
Ish Smith, Philadelphia 76ers, $7200 – Point guard is absolutely loaded today. You can make a compelling case for several options, but Smith really stands out to me because of his attractive price. Over his past five games, he’s averaging well over a fantasy point per minute, has eclipsed 40 in three of them, and only finished under 30 once because he played just 25 minutes because the Sixers blew the Trail Blazers out (yes, you read that right). To me, he’s easily one of the top point per dollar plays on the slate, and I expect him to play a heavy allotment minutes given the Sixers should stay close with the Victor Olaipo-less Orlando Magic.
Rajon Rondo, Sacramento Kings, $8100 – Rondo is one of the most consistent options available because he contributes in so many ways. He’s not a great scorer, but he rebounds incredibly well and dishes out assists at a high rate. The Kings travel to Los Angeles to take on the woeful Lakers and their league-worst defense. Rondo should have no trouble posting a very solid line against a team that’s allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards, and I’m not worried about the blowout because the Kings are incapable of closing out games and will almost certainly allow the Lakers to keep this close. I’m extremely comfortable with Rondo in all game formats tonight.
Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, $5400 – Shooting guard is a tough position today. Spending feels suboptimal, but, as of this writing, there are no values plays. I like Bradley as a safe, high floor option given he plays a ton of minutes every night. Even when Brad Stevens limited the minutes of his starters against Phoenix, Bradley played 38 minutes. He’s mostly scoring-dependent, but he’ll throw in a few rebounds and a couple of steals most games. The matchup against Toronto isn’t ideal, but you can do a lot worse than taking a $5400 player who takes a ton of shots and plays nearly 40 minutes.
Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic, $4800 – My usual strategy is to spend as little as possible at shooting guard. When it comes to the expensive plays at the position, I tend to like players at other positions that are priced similarly. With Victor Oladipo already ruled out tonight, Fournier should be locked into big minutes at shooting guard. He draws a very favorable matchup against the Sixers, and although he hasn’t been the most consistent option lately, he should be line for at least 20 fantasy points tonight against a very weak defensive team.
Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers, $4800 – Covington had fallen off the map for a while, but he’s back playing heavy minutes for the Sixers. His price has yet to catch up with his role, and he’s certainly worth a look in both cash games and tournaments today. Tonight’s matchup between the Sixers and Magic should be very fantasy friendly as many of the players involved are not expensive. Covington is likely going to see more than 30 minutes of court time in a favorable matchup, and he makes for a terrific value play at a position where the top options are good, but not great.
Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves, $6700 – Admittedly, I haven’t looked at Wiggins in a long time, but he’s been remarkably consistent over the past several games. Over his past ten, he’s eclipsed 30 fantasy points seven times while only recording one score we can consider a dud. Facing a Mavericks team that looks like they’ll be missing some key players, I like him to continue his recent form. He’s taking ton of shots and contributing enough in other areas to establish a high floor and ceiling for himself. I have no issue with using him in all game formats tonight.
Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic, $4200 – Scott Skiles has hinted at a lineup change, and the expectation would be that Gordon would replace Channing Frye in the starting lineup. Regardless of whether or not that happens, Gordon is a very solid value play tonight. Gordon has been seeing around 25 to 30 minutes per night for several games now (ignore the seven-minute game because he had just sprained his ankle a day earlier in practice), and he’s making the most of his opportunity. He’s producing around a fantasy point per minute, and if he sees his typical time tonight, he should post a very nice score against a Sixers team that rebounds and defends very poorly. He’s certainly a top tournament target, and I’m comfortable using him in cash games as well if you need a value play to save cap space.
Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers, $5500 – Randle apparently broke his nose last game, so keep an eye out for the possibility that he sits out tonight. I think he’ll play, and he’s a strong value with Larry Nance almost certainly sitting out another game. When he gets minutes, Randle is a very productive player. He draws a favorable matchup with a fast-paced, defensively-challenged Kings team. He would have played more minutes last game, but Byron Scott opted to just roll with his bench once the game got out of hand. I think this one stays close, and we should see Randle on the court for 30 or more minutes tonight. Lock him in as one of the top per dollar plays on the slate.
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings, $10,700 – Cousins is my favorite play on the slate tonight as he should absolutely decimate the Lakers. Los Angeles ranks 29th in rebounding rate and 30th in defensive efficiency. There’s no better matchup for Cousins. He’s been extremely active on the glass recently, and he’s dropping 30 point games almost every night. He’s become one of the highest floor and highest ceiling players in the league, and while it’s tough to say anyone is a lock to score 50 fantasy points, I’m darn close to saying it about Cousins. If you can afford him, get him in your lineups.
Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic, $7500 – If Cousins is too expensive for you, Vucevic is a very solid options as well. He should post a big a line against a Sixers team that’s ranked 26th in rebounding differential and is allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing centers. Vucevic has been taking a ton of shots lately, and he should be able to grab around 10 rebounds tonight as well. He’s a very safe cash game play that also offers the upside we’re looking for in our tournament lineups. On a per-dollar basis, he’s right there with Cousins today.
Additional Plays: Dwight Howard