NBA Starting Five – 3/5

It’s been two days since I’ve played Fanduel and I feel like a degenerate for saying this, but I miss it already. As soon as I got off of my plane in Europe and connected to wifi, it was the first app I opened (force of habit) and I was hit with utter disappointment – “we’re sorry, but your current location prohibits you from making deposits or playing on Fanduel.” This includes free contests (which is so stupid), so to get my fantasy sports fix while I vacation in Italy – I’m going to continue to write.

Here are my Starting Five for today’s main slate:

Point Guard

Eric Bledsoe ($8,600) | vs BOS

Targeting point guards against the Celtics is a rather obvious play for your everyday DFS player, and Bledsoe comes at a reasonable price for the upside he possesses. Avery Bradley is back, but since the Suns still have Devin Booker, I fully expect Isaiah Thomas to “defend” Bledsoe. He’s seen under 30 minutes in his last two games (something extremely unusual for him), but regardless, he’s produced at least a Fanduel point per minute over those games. Over his last six games, Bledsoe has averaged 17.5 points, 8.7 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1.3 blocks in 32.6 minutes per game. On the season, the Celtics are surrendering 43.6 Fanduel points per game to opposing point guards and the game has a tighter than expected spread at 6.5 with an over under of 228. Load up on this game and start with Bledsoe.

Pair with: John Wall ($10,400), Isaiah Thomas ($9,300), D’Angelo Russell ($6,400), Yogi Ferrell ($5,300)

Shooting Guard

Seth Curry ($6,300) | vs OKC

One player benefitting immensely from the departure of Deron Williams? Seth Curry. Over his last five games, Seth has started to look like his brother, averaging 23.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game over 36.3 minutes. Even with Wes Matthews back in the fold, he’s seen a healthy dose of minutes on a nightly basis and comes into an extremely friendly pace-up matchup with the Thunder. Without Victor Oladipo due to injury, and with Andre Roberson likely opposite of Harrison Barnes, Curry should have a ton of room to work with tonight. Over their last five games, the Thunder have surrendered an average of 36.9 FDP to opposing shooting guards (2.7 more than their season average) and with Curry expected to even run a little point, his price certainly warrants a long look tonight.

Pair with: Bradley Beal ($7,500), Marcus Smart ($4,900), E’Twaun Moore ($3,900)

Small Forward

Terrence Ross ($4,500) | @ WAS

Fanduel is starting to get the hang of things with their pricing, but is still lagging behind and one beneficiary is Terrence Ross. He’s still only $1,000 above minimum price as one of the most trigger-happy players on the Magic’s roster. In his four games since joining the Orlando Magic via trade, he’s averaged 35 minutes per game to go along with 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2 steals per game. The minutes allotment, something he wasn’t receiving in Toronto, show that the Magic are confident in his scoring abilities and are willing to unleash him. While playing wings against the Wizards isn’t as friendly as it’s been in years past, they still rank in the middle of the pack against small forwards and Ross only needs 22.5 Fanduel points to eclipse 5x value – something he’s done in three of the four games since the trade (he had a 16 FDP dud against the Knicks). If you’re looking for salary relief in order to roster a pair of studs, Ross is a great start.

Pair with: Gordon Hayward ($8,000), Otto Porter ($6,300), TJ Warren ($5,500), Brandon Ingram ($3,600)

Power Forward

Aaron Gordon ($5,200) | @ WAS

While I typically don’t like suggesting two players from the same team in my Starting Five articles, the value is just too good to pass up. In the four games since Serge Ibaka was traded for Terrence Ross, Gordon has assumed his natural power forward position and has posted averages of 14.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 blocks in 27.2 minutes per game. While the minutes are still rather disappointing and Frank Vogel doesn’t seem to realize he has a potential stud on his hands, the matchup is extremely enticing. The Wizards are typically perceived to have a tough front-court, but that’s because of Marcin Gortat, not Markieff Morris. The Wizards rank 5th worst in the NBA in defending power forwards from a fantasy perspective, surrendering an average of 42.9 Fanduel points per game. This game currently carries a healthy 217 over/under, making this an up-tempo game that caters perfectly to Gordon’s play style.

Pair with: Anthony Davis ($11,200), Enes Kanter ($5,700), Derrick Favors ($5,500), Willie Cauley-Stein ($4,900)

Center

DeMarcus Cousins ($10,200) | @ LAL

Lock him in and move on. A lot of people are still scared away by the fact that he’s playing alongside Anthony Davis, but they’ve both shown that they can still get theirs. In his four games as a member of the Pelicans, Cousins is averaging 22.2 points, 15.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2 steals and a block per game in an average of 32.8 minutes. While he’s taken a  hit as a playmaker since the trade since the Pelicans actually have a respectable point guard in Jrue Holiday, his rebound numbers are up and his scoring is still there. The Lakers are the premier team to attack with centers in fantasy basketball, as they surrender an average of 53.6 FDP per game to opposing centers over their last 10 games, 2.2 more than their season average of 50.4. Only the Joel Embiid-less 76ers are currently worse against centers, and it can be argued that there’s not a better center in basketball than DeMarcus Cousins. The Lakers are in for an extremely long night down low and Cousins is certainly not priced appropriately. While he’s not doing what the Pelicans hoped and helping them win (they’re 0-4 since the trade) I still strongly advise you to take advantage of the discount and lock him in as the top overall stud on the slate.

Alternatives: Rudy Gobert ($7,600), Nikola Vucevic ($7,400), Alan Williams ($6,000), Steven Adams ($5,700)

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