The two best in the game go at it tonight. LeBron vs. Durant.
It’ll be hard for anyone to keep up with their fantasy teams when the NBA game of the year is on television, but there are still 11 other game on tap for this evening. Well, make that 10, as the Hawks/Pistons game has already been postponed due to weather. That stinks, too because the value play of Shelvin Mack will not be available. Still, the show must go on, but while playing attention to your daily hoops squad, make sure to watch Durant and LeBron go toe-to-toe.
Note: FPPG totals are based off FanDuel scoring.
Phil Pressey, PG (vs PHI)
FPPG allowed to PG: 45.61 (30th)
Pressey can easily make up for those who are in need of a value play at point guard without the services of Shelvin Mack. It appears that Boston already doesn’t believe that Rajon Rondo will suit up in tonight’s game against the 76ers, seeing as it’s the second of a back-to-back. That will make Pressey almost a must-play against the most generous defense in basketball who are allowing the most fantasy points per game to point guards, but are also coughing up the most assists (10.30), second-most rebounds (5.85) and second-most three-pointers made (2.55). That should bode well for Pressey, who is sinking 1.4 of his 3.8 triples attempted per game over his last five. Meanwhile, the Sixers are allowing 29.1 points per game from beyond the arc, which is the most in all of basketball right now. At minimum salary, Pressey should easily exceed value in a plus matchup, assuming Rondo sits this one out.
Jeff Green, SG (vs PHI)
FPPG allowed to SG: 38.32 (29th)
I mean, it’s the Sixers, y’all.
This could be one of those games where Green goes off for 30 points and like eight or nine rebounds because… it’s the Sixers. I have Green listed at shooting guard because there is a certain player from the Heat/Thunder game I am targeting at small forward, but you can bet Green will play the majority of the game at SF tonight. That bodes well for his fantasy prospects, as the Sixers are coughing up the most fantasy points to the position, but are also coughing up the second-most rebounds (8.66), assists (4.50), blocks (1.16) and the most triples (2.83) to small forwards as well. Green is priced moderately well on mostly all sites out there, and though he has been a bit inconsistent, the upside has always been there and should be against the 76ers league-worst defense.
Kevin Durant, SF (@ MIA)
FPPG allowed to SF: 32.41 (2nd)
How can you not?
The guy has scored 30-plus points in 11 (!) straight games and is the most dominant scorer in all of basketball. I am not worried about Miami’s success at defending small forwards (second-best) because, well, it’s Durant, you fools. He is the league MVP through the first few months, and although his price has deservedly skyrocketed to a whopping 22,150, I don’t care. Durant should go bonkers in this prime time matchup against the team that ruined his NBA Finals hopes a few years back, and if history means anything, I love his chances of increasing the streak to 12 straight games with 30 points or more. Throughout his career, Duant is averaging 29.5 points per game against the Heat. Only Michael Jordan, yes, MJ, is averaging more points per game against the Heat. And last season alone, Durant dominated Miami, averaging 36.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. He’ll want to show out against LeBron and company tonight, and will reward fantasy owners handsomely.
Markieff Morris, PF (@ MIL)
FPPG allowed to PF: 42.91 (24th)
Morris has a pretty hot hand right now, and I’m more than fine with continuing to ride it tonight in Milwaukee. Over his last five contests, Morris is averaging 17.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, one block and 0.8 triples per game, all while logging a respectable 26.4 minutes. His price has gone up a bit because of his recent play, but not to the point where he is too expensive. The Bucks, meanwhile, seemingly never have a set lineup and still can’t rebound, allowing the most rebounds to opposing power forwards per game this year (14.01). He had an okay game the other night against Philly, but foul trouble limited his massive upside. That shouldn’t happen tonight, as Bucks opponents rank inside the bottom-10 in fouls per game. Also, they allow the third-most offensive rebounds per game (12.4) and the fifth-most defensive boards per game (33.6).
Dirk Nowitzki, C (vs HOU)
FPPG allowed to C: 42.70 (14th)
He never really gets a ton of attention, but Dirk is pretty darn consistent, and has been pretty darn good all year long, averaging a solid 35.1 fantasy points per game. I like him tonight against the Rockets in what should be one of the highest scoring games of the evening. Houston is averaging 104.8 points per game (5th-most) while Dallas is scoring 103.9 points per contest (10th-most), so plenty of points will be had in this one. Meanwhile, Dirk should see plenty of opportunity against a frontcourt that is obviously athletic and big, but hasn’t been playing the best, allowing the second-most offensive rebounds per game (12.5). If Dirk plays some center tonight against Dwight Howard, there is no way he will be able to keep up with Dirk on the perimeter, where he can certainly make you pay, averaging 1.6 triples per contest on the season. Meanwhile, the Rockets are allowing above the league average when it comes to triples to opposing centers, so there’s some opportunity here. And then, when he wants to work inside, he shouldn’t have a problem, as the Rockets are coughing up a healthy 44 paint points per game, the 7th-most in basketball. A high-paced, high-scoring game, Dirk could go for 30 and 10 in this one. In three games against the Rockets this year, he is averaging a strong 29.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, one block, one triple and 17.7 field goal attempts, his eighth-most against any team this year.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.