The Vegas odds serve as a great starting point for daily fantasy NBA research. After all, a high over/under indicates more fantasy potential, and you’d be wise to attack these games accordingly.
We are going to key on the later games tonight, as that’s where the highest projected scoring matchups lie. Indiana @ LA Lakers, Sacramento @ Detroit, and Toronto @ Phoenix (especially this one) all have point totals worth closer examination for fantasy purposes. The top targets from these games are outlined below, along with some (potentially) toxic players to avoid.
Sacramento @ Detroit – Over/Under: 207 … Pistons -4
DeMarcus Cousins represents the top overall fantasy commodity, but he’s also the most expensive. Detroit ranks 22nd in defensive efficiency vs Centers, and “Boogie” averaged a solid 20 pts, 14 reb, 5 blocks vs the Pistons last season … The SF position is pretty barren, making Rudy Gay even more attractive. The price point isn’t exactly favorable, but a healthy 36 fppg average over the last 5 inspires confidence … Greg Monroe has a reasonable mid-range price, and the matchup against Sacramento’s 26th ranked D-eff vs PF’s is golden. He’s a great cash game target for an unusually thin PF position.
Andre Drummond has been on an absolute tear lately, so it may seem strange to completely avoid him. However, the price point is at an all-time high, and his propensity for foul trouble could rear its ugly head in an attempt to slow down Cousins. In other words: It’s not worth the risk … Ben McLemore can be safely ignored for DFS purposes, as his ceiling is maxed out at 17-19 FP, despite a heavy compliment of minutes.
Toronto @ Phoenix – Over/Under: 216 … Suns -1
Checking in with the highest over/under and a one-point spread, this game is ripe with fantasy goodness. Kyle Lowry appears to be the top overall PG option, and tonight is a great time to consider absorbing his inflated price tag. The Suns profile decent against opposing floor generals (ranked 12th), but the heightened pace (Suns rank 4th in possessions/game) should be enough to inspire a huge outing from Toronto’s best player … Any time the Suns are projected to score 107+ points in a predicted tight home affair, Bledsoe has to be on your radar. He’s averaging 43 fppg in the past four games, and could easily surpass the 40 FP threshold once again. Like Lowry, his price point is inflated, but the situation is prime … On the other hand, Markieff Morris has a very welcoming salary. On FanDuel, he only needs an average game to hit his value threshold of 27 FP. The price is suppressed due to a rough 10-day stretch, but 31 and 29 FP in his past two suggests that is behind him … Jonas Valanciunas has thrown up some duds lately, getting pinched for minutes with Toronto “going small” in two of the past three games. However, I don’t believe that will be the case tonight, and Valanciunas has one of the best matchups in basketball. On top of the increased pace, Phoenix ranks dead last at defending opposing big men and 29th in rebound rate.
Admittedly, I’m not completely off Lou Williams. In fact, he may represent a nice, sneaky tournament option with substantial upside. However, you never know which version will show up. His floor is extraordinarily low (10-12 FP), but the upside is anywhere from 30-40 FP. He’ll probably gravitate more towards the former tonight … Alex Len was a viewed as a practical salary cap relief option for a two week stretch in December. It appears that sentiment has passed. He’s only receiving 20 minutes per game, and the lack of scoring really hurts his fantasy total. Essentially, you are relying on him to pile up blocks and not turn the ball over, which can be fickle on a game-to-game basis … Some people may be intrigued by Terrence Ross in an open-court matchup, but I’m not quite sold. He has a relatively low FP/min average, and he hasn’t impressed in similar high-scoring affairs (Denver, Golden State, Portland).
Indiana @ LA Lakers – Over/Under: 202 … Pacers -1
The Pacers are in a really good spot tonight, going up against a Lakers team ranking in the bottom ten vs every position. David West represents one of the top “per-dollar” options on the board, given LAL ranks 27th vs PF’s and 25th in rebound rate. His peripheral stats should receive a nice boost in this friendly all-around matchup … C.J. Miles is an intriguing value SF option. George Hill is expected to miss another game, and C.J. Watson is questionable. That leaves more minutes for Miles, and he has fantastic scoring upside in this dream matchup. In the past two games, Miles is averaging 33 minutes and 37 fppg … If C.J. Watson is ruled out, Donald Sloan becomes one of the best value plays on the board. The matchup vs LAL is ideal, as the Lakers rank dead last in D-eff vs PG’s. Check back to Rotoworld for Watson’s injury status.
Kobe Bryant’s price point is still inflated due to his impressive performances early in the season. Unfortunately, he doesn’t appear to be the same player as of late. He can safely be avoided vs Indiana’s stout defense (and slow pace). If I’m spending at the SG position, I’d rather go with Eric Bledsoe or maybe even Dwyane Wade … Jordan Hill has been a shell of himself over the past several weeks. He’s averaging a measly 19 fppg over his last ten, a substantial drop from his 25 fppg mark on the season. As if that weren’t enough to scare you off, Indiana ranks 5th at defending Centers and 5th in rebound rate.