Every Saturday in the NBA is different and tonight we get a refreshingly perfect all day slate of 9 games to work with. There are a bunch of big spread, low over/under games that you'll want to be very picky about targeting, but fortunately the games with the highest point totals look to be somewhat competitive. Targeting players from Vegas' highest scoring games is a simple and smart way to work in the players who will likely see the most possessions and therefore have the best chance to score fantasy points for you.
Mavericks @ Clippers Over/Under 214, Clippers -3
Is it just me or do the Clippers have the best schedule in the league? They're always rested, and are in the midst of a million game home stand. This should be a great game and is a good reason to play an early slate to take advantage of the fantasy goodness to be found. Both teams are top three in offensive efficiency, and are well matched in pace and defensive efficiency too. I love Chris Paul ($10,000) today, as Dallas has failed to slow opposing PG at all and Paul should thrive in a competitive game. DeAndre Jordan averages 13.6 rebounds per game (rpg), and Dallas is ranked 26th in the league in rebounding rate. He could have an epic double double tonight if he gets to the rim often enough. His impressive 71% FG% comes on only 6 attempts per game (5.5 of which come within 5 feet per NBA stats). I'm somewhat less enthusiastic about the Clippers wings tonight, as both JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford (both $4900) have struggled to exceed value lately. Redick is still playing 30 mpg, averaging 2.5 3PM/game and is a lock for double digit points, but he really needs to score 20+ points to hit 25 fantasy points. Crawford's minutes are simply too inconsistent for my liking with so many other options today. Matt Barnes ($4200) makes a viable punt play at SF if you think he's broken out of the shooting slump that plagued him through most of December. Blake Griffin ($10,200) is a fine option if you can fit him into your lineups. He's been outstanding in his last two games, nearing a triple double in both with over 26 points. I don't see him as a must play, but I do think he has a good outing.
The Mavs lead the league in offensive efficiency and are 3rd in eFG%. They are a high scoring team and should be able to keep this game close. Monta Ellis ($7400) is the best option for DFS. He fills a tricky SG slot on FanDuel, SG is the most exploitable position to target against the Clippers, he plays a ton of minutes, and has one of the highest floors in basketball. His 27.4% usage rate is the highest on the team and he averages over 20 ppg. Tyson Chandler also approaches must play status tonight. At only $7000, he remains one of the most undervalued C in the league. He averages a double double (10.8/12.1) and has a 67% FG%. He doesn't have monster upside, but his floor is about 30 fpts. He's a very safe cash play. I'm avoiding Rajon Rondo for cash games tonight, as I often do with PG facing Paul and the Clippers. They are simply allowing the fewest fpts to opposing PG in the league, and there are plenty of other high end options. I like Rondo with the Mavs in general, and am fine with rolling him out in a GPP lineup...he is the kind of player that thrives in a tough situation. Chandler Parsons ($6400) has had one nice game in his last ten, vs OKC. He seems lost in the offense and is struggling to contribute in any category. His range of outcomes is in the 15-25 fpt range right now, and until that turns around, I'm looking elsewhere at SF. Dirk Nowitzki ($7000) is a safe play, again lacking real upside. He is scoring decently, but all his peripheral stats are down. The Clippers are an okay matchup for the veteran forward, but with your 7K, you're paying for the safety of 25 fpts.
Celtics @ Raptors Over/Under 207.5, Raptors -11.5
Punt: Jae Crowder
There is a ton of value in this game, but it's going to be tricky to get it right as both of these teams change their rotations at will. Toronto has relied heavily on Kyle Lowry since the loss of DeMar DeRozan, evidenced by his 27.2% usage rate. Lowry's price ($9800) is high, but he gives you essentially a 40 fpt floor. If you miss the Clippers game, Lowry has to be the No. 1 PG option. Attacking the Boston frontcourt is one of my favorite DFS strategies. They give up the most fantasy points to opposing PF. Unfortunately, Toronto lacks a dominant player at the position. Both Amir Johnson and Patrick Patterson are solidly off my radar tonight. Johnson's minutes fluctuate wildly, and Patterson, while getting steady run, has struggled to produce in any category lately. Therefore I'll be putting my faith in Valanciunas ($5900) for the late games. He shoots at 53.5%, averaging 12.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg. Boston gives up the 9th most points to opposing C, and Valanciunas has shown time and again that he can take advantage of a good matchup. Lou Williams ($5300) has been terrific his last three games, with over 15 points in each plus a handful of assists and rebounds. It's difficult to trust the Raptors wings, as it seems that as soon as one guy gets hot Coach Casey changes it up, but if you're trusting any, it's Williams who plays at least 26 mpg and has that hot hand right now.
Oh Boston. It's hard to trust the season long numbers as far as team pace and efficiency given how the composition of the team has changed in the past month or so. Vegas is banking on the Raptors taking advantage of that confusion as the have the Celtics as one of the biggest underdogs of the day. In fact, the Celtics have lost four of their last five games, but have also scored over 100 points in each of those losses. I think there is fantasy value to be had here, but I'll be primarily targeting Celtics in GPPs because both the backcourt and frontcourt rotations are so unpredictable. Evan Turner ($5300) has been great in his past two games, and four of his last six, but those duds are in there. He played heavy minutes in the OT game last night, but for this price, I'm willing to take a shot on him again tonight. The same could be said for Bradley ($5000), he's a key cog in this team, but his fantasy stats are all over the place. He has three 20 pt games in his last five, but his peripherals leave a lot to be desired. Jared Sullinger ($6400) might be the surest thing in the Celtics lineup, but Toronto is in the bottom half of the league in points allowed to PF. (Every player has a but...a sure cash game warning sign for me). If I had to guess, I think it's a Tyler Zeller game tonight. He played only 16 minutes last night to Olynyk's 32 and was terrible, but the nature of this team is to share the duties in the front court. Even in his bad outing last night, he mustered 17 fpts, which at his $5100 salary doesn't absolutely crush you. I expect much better tonight if the Celtics are to compete at all.
Spurs @ Timberwolves Over/Under 202, Spurs -10
I'll be avoiding most Spurs tonight, or at least avoid writing about them since we never know quite what Pop will do until just before (or just after) lineup lock. I do think it makes sense to target Danny Green in Spurs b2b situations. He tends to play consistent minutes no matter what and is one of the best three point shooters in the league (2.5/game). Minnesota is the 9th most generous team to opposing SG. The Wolves are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league and one of the worst shooting teams in the league, so I also want some exposure to the Spurs bigs. I doubt we see much if any Tim Duncan in the second night of a b2b, but Boris Diaw ($4900) and Tiago Splitter ($4500) are both fine options. Tony Parker simply isn't 100%, and even if he plays, he will almost certainly be limited. If he's ruled out, Patty Mills ($4100) would be the guy to use over Cory Joseph, though he's been pretty underwhelming. He really lacks in assists and steals, so if he shot isn't falling great, you're looking at about 0.5 fpts/minute.
The Timberwolves are bad, oh so bad. But Andrew Wiggins, for one, is playing his heart out. With six 20 point games in a row, the kid is solidly looking at rookie of the year honors and becoming a mainstay in DFS lineups. For $6900 he's my top SF option of the night. I'd rather use him than Gordon Hayward or Tobias Harris. Shabazz Muhammad is questionable with an abdominal strain and Mo Williams has been listed as doubtful. Be sure to monitor the news on the Wolves before lineup lock. If Williams is out, Zach LaVine becomes a viable punt ($4300) against the second string Spurs defense. Gorgui Dieng is averaging 9.6 ppg and 8.1 rpg and has become a really nice surprise in Nikola Pekovic's absence. At $7000, there are other C options I'd prefer today for cash games, but I do think Dieng reaches value tongiht.