We have a large 11-game slate to deal with tonight for our FanDuel contests. There are certainly some games we’re going to want to avoid, but there is plenty to like. As always, injuries are front and center, and I’m hoping we get some clarity from the Kings before rosters lock tonight. DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, and Ben McLemore are all listed as questionable tonight. Any combination of those players being out will yield extra minutes for some of the remaining Kings, but given the game starts three and a half hours after rosters lock, we might not have any definitive information before contests start. As always, picks are provided based on the current landscape, which is subject to change throughout the day. Check the NBA Starting Lineups Page before tipoff to make sure your picks are starting.
Good luck tonight and let’s take a look at who I’m targeting tonight.
Darren Collison, Sacramento Kings, $4500 – This pick hinges on Rajon Rondo’s status. If Rondo plays, you can ignore Collison completely. If Rondo is out, Collison will assume starting point guard duties and should play heavy minutes. The Bulls have not done a great job of defending opposing point guards this season. This game is projected to be both close and high-scoring, and Kings should be targeted heavily if they are missing key starters tonight.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, $10700 – Curry’s ownership might be low given he’s failed to reach 40 fantasy points in three straight. His most recent game was especially ugly. His shots weren’t falling and his rebounding and assist numbers were low as well. He finished with just 26.8 fantasy points and likely ruined your lineup if you paid up for him. Tonight’s matchup is too good to ignore, however. The Wizards are ranked fifth in pace, 21st in defensive efficiency, and although they’ve defended opposing point guards fairly well this season, we’re talking about Stephen Curry. He’s not guardable, matchup-proof, and should thrive in an extremely fast-paced, high-scoring game. I think he gets back on track and posts a huge line tonight.
Marco Belinelli, Sacramento Kings, $3800 – With DeMarcus Cousins and Ben McLemore out last game, Belinelli played 36 minutes. McLemore has said he expects to play, but we’ve heard that from players before when they end up sitting out. The best we can do is wait for a status update and adjust accordingly. Belinelli will certainly benefit from McLemore sitting out, and likely would if Rondo is out as well. Collison would play all of his minutes at point guard, which would open up shooting guard minutes. At just $3800, he’s certainly worth a look given his ability to knock down threes. Also, he seems to be much more involved when he sees big minutes, so he should be able to supplement his scoring with a few assists.
Jeremy Lin, Charlotte Hornets, $5000 – Kemba Walker has already been ruled out for tonight, so we should see Jeremy Lin start at point guard. As long as this game remains close, he should be locked into huge minutes, and the boost he’ll see playing all of his minutes at point guard as opposed to shooting guard should be dramatic. I wish the matchup were better, but at least the game is at home. Kyrie Irving isn’t a great defender, but the Cavs are a poor matchup nonetheless. Regardless, Lin is a cheap point guard that you get to put into one of your shooting guard spots, which holds tremendous value. I’ll be locking him into cash game lineups tonight.
Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers, $5100 – Small forward is a value position for me today. I don’t want to pay for LeBron James or Kevin Durant in games they should win comfortably, and the next tier of options below them aren’t particularly attractive at their current prices. Covington is an easy play for me at just $5100. Since he started playing heavy minutes again ( a span of nine games ), he has yet to finish under 20 fantasy points. His expected range appears to be around 25 to 30 fantasy points, making him a terrific bargain at his current price. Atlanta hasn’t been playing well lately, and I think this game will stay somewhat close. I’m penciling Covington in for another solid game, and I’ll be locking him into my lineups tonight.
Luol Deng, Miami Heat, $4800 – Deng’s been playing very well lately, and based on some things I’ve read, it sounds like they’re doing things differently on offense in Miami. It sure doesn’t hurt that Dragic is back and healthy. Things were looking pretty rough in Miami without him. Deng is extremely cheap at just $4800. He looked great against Houston last night, and over his past four games, his lowest score is 23.4. At a small forward position that has no one I’m paying up for tonight, I really like the value and cap savings Deng offers tonight. With Dallas’s best wing defender, Wesley Matthews, likely glued to Dwyane Wade, Deng should have the opportunity to keep things going.
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers, $5500 – Always slow to adjust pricing, FanDuel has Turner listed at just $5500 tonight, which means he’s still a no-brainer play tonight. Ian Mahinmi has already been ruled out tonight, so Turner is going to start and play upwards of 30 minutes once again. He draws a very favorable matchup with a soft Brooklyn interior. The Nets are an average rebounding team at best, and given Turner’s recent production is that of a $7000 or more player, fading him at $5500 would be a big mistake.
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers, $4800 – Thompson isn’t a player I’ve recommended much, if at all, this season. However, given he’s starting and playing consistent big minutes under new head coach Tyronn Lue, we’re presented with an opportunity to target Thompson before his price more accurately reflects his recent level of production. He draws a favorable matchup against a soft Hornets interior. Cody Zeller has been cleared to return, which should help, but Thompson’s elite rebounding ability and the likelihood that he gets some cheap buckets along the way should push him well past his low value threshold tonight.
Jordan Hill, Indiana Pacers, $4700 – Like Turner, Hill is an easy play given Ian Mahinmi is missing tonight’s game. In two starts, Hill has scored 43.9 and 32.2 fantasy points in 38 and 36 minutes, respectively. The most recent game did go into overtime, but he had already crushed value at $4700 by the end of regulation in a tough matchup against Cleveland. Things will be much easier against the Nets. Brooklyn’s interior defense is poor, and they rank near the bottom of the league in fantasy points allowed per game to both centers and power forwards. Don’t overthink this one. Hill offers tremendous value at this price.