What’s up everyone! The Fantasy Forecast team is back and firing on all cylinders, as this is the third article that we’ve produced…TODAY. It’s a great feeling to be a part of such a committed team that does whatever it can to produce content to help the community.
Last night a lot of lineups didn’t turn out as planned due to the Warriors absolutely man handling the defending champion Cavs in arguably the ugliest game of the season. Tonight, there are some more games with a large amount of blowout potential, but a ton of high over/unders, which should make for a very fun slate.
Without any more nonsense, here are my preferred plays for tonight’s 5-game slate.
D’Angelo Russell ($6,000)
Russell is always a scary player to roster in DFS thanks to his painful inconsistency and streakiness, but if there’s any time for him to catch fire, it’s tonight. After failing to crack double digits in scoring for three games, he finally got back on track last game against the Pistons, posting 20 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists over 26 minutes on 9-18 shooting. The 18 shots is a huge draw to why I’m playing him tonight, as he continues to be one of, if not the primary weapon for the Lakers on offense. The Denver Nuggets rank second worst in the league at defending the PG position, allowing 48.5 FD points per game, and 58.2 over their last five games. The Nuggets are also a top five team in the NBA when it comes to pace, as the Lakers trail them at 6, meaning that this game is bound to be an absolute shootout. Get as much exposure as you can, starting with Russell.
Jameer Nelson ($3,600)
Like I just said, load up on this game, from all standpoints; studs and value. Nelson jumps off the board as the top value in my opinion. In the absence of Gary Harris, Nelson has seen his minutes rise to 32 last game as he posted 18 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and a steal en route to 29.8 Fanduel points. Since Emmanuel Mudiay logged 37 minutes last night and with an up-tempo matchup tonight, I can see the Nuggets dialing his minutes back a little bit, leaving more playing time for Nelson. The Lakers aren’t much better at defending the point guard position than the Nuggets, ranking 5th worst in the league while allowing 46 Fanduel points per game to the position. If you need salary relief (and you will to roster Harden), I strongly recommend locking in Jameer Nelson.
James Harden ($12,300)
This play needs no explanation. He has by far and away the highest floor and ceiling tonight, even in a pace-down matchup with the Heat. Expect a beautiful stat line and a more-than-likely triple double.
Dion Waiters ($5,200)
I was torn between Dion Waiters and Will Barton for a while, but two factors deterred me from Barton and towards Waiters.
- Will Barton is battling illness, and we know how that’s gone for players over the past two weeks.
- Dion Waiters is going to match up against James Harden on offense.
While not nearly the most efficient player from the field, Waiters always has the ability to light up the scoreboard, and a matchup with Harden is exactly what he needs to pop off. Waiters has seen more than 30 minutes in both of the last two contests and should that be the case tonight, I wouldn’t put it past him to drop 25-30 raw points on the Rockets.
Jimmy Butler ($9,500) / Kawhi Leonard ($8,800)
Both of the top SFs on tonight’s slate are excellent plays, but if you have the extra salary I recommend paying up for Jimmy Buckets. The Spurs have been playing out of their minds lately, Kawhi included, which makes me think that a blowout could be on our hands. The Bulls on the other hand, have not. One of the most disappointing teams in the league this season, they’ve struggled with team chemistry and injuries for the entire season. The lone bright spot? Jimmy Butler. With Rajon Rondo out of the starting lineup, Butler has been playing a lot more point-forward lately (thanks to fellow author Bryce for this) and has seen a huge spike in his peripheral stats lately (7.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists, 2.1 steals per game in January). Being such a high-intensity player that he is, Butler rarely sees less than 35 minutes per game and goes all out, every minute of the game, heightening the likelihood for steals and blocks. Vegas currently has the game at a 5.5 spread in favor of the Bulls, implying that this could be a close game, and one that Butler will be doing everything he can to win.
DeMarre Carrol ($4,600)
This should be your lock of the night. Last week against the same Nets, Carroll eclipsed 8x value while posting over 30 Fanduel points, initiating a price jump to $4,600. Even with the rise in price, Carroll will be locked into my lineup tonight. He posted 18 points and 11 boards in their last meeting and followed that performance up with a 20 point outing against the Knicks. Carroll is in the midst of a stretch with cake matchups, and is taking full advantage. Make sure you do the same tonight.
Nikola Jokic ($8,500)
I’m really starting to develop a man-crush on Jokic. The man is borderline unstoppable when he’s unleashed (which Mike Malone has FINALLY done!!). His price is rising quickly as he’s now north of $8,000 on Fanduel, but if you look at his game log, it’s justifiable. He’s scored more than 35 Fanduel points in his last 8 games and sets his sights on a Lakers’ team that has allowed 62.2 Fanduel points per game to opposing centers over their last 5 games. With an over/under over 225 and the favorable DvP, I see absolutely zero reason NOT to lock Jokic into all of your lineups tonight.
Kenneth Faried ($4,300)
If Faried draws the start again tonight, he should be locked into your PF2 spot. In 33 minutes last night against the Magic, Faried posted 20 points. 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal and a block without turning the ball over once. It was only the third time this season that Faried saw more than 30 minutes of action, so we can’t necessarily rely on that tonight, but with such a high-intensity and face-paced game tonight against the Lakers, I fully expect him to be in full Manimal form tonight. For $4,300, Faried needs 21.5 Fanduel points to eclipse 5x value, something that if he’s allotted the right amount of minutes, he can do in his sleep.
Jonas Valanciunas ($6,000)
I’ve basically given you my lineup tonight, as every player I’ve mentioned are the ones I’m playing, and I might not be more confident in any of them more than I am in Valanciunas. Dwayne Casey and the Raptors’ management have expressed their interest in Val being more aggressive, and he’s responded well. Over his last three games, he’s averaged 14.7 points, 16.3 rebounds, and one block per game over 27 minutes per game. While we can’t expect him to play over 30 minutes tonight in a game that is almost guaranteed to result in a Raptors’ blowout, we can look at his last game against the Nets in which he posted a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double in only 25 minutes. It does help that the game is in Brooklyn tonight, which could reduce a small amount of the blowout risk, but either way, Valanciunas should have his way against the Nets’ frontcourt tonight that allows the most Fanduel points per game to opposing centers in the league (50.4).