John Wall $19,050
John Wall has been seeing monstrous minutes, along with the rest of the Wizards starters. Outside of Kelly Oubre, the Wizards bench is atrocious. This has forced them to play the starters big minutes, and it looks like they will stick to the plan. I’m sure Beal or Wall will get hurt again at some point, but that’s not something to predict. This match-up with the Pacers is a big one, as they are one of the better teams in the East. Wall has made it clear that he wants to win this conference, and has been taking all games very serious. He will certainly need to go through the Pacers to do so and should be able to. Jeff Teague is a pretty good defender, but the Pacers play fast, and Teague isn’t great against the pick n’ roll. Wall has a very nice floor here and should be in for a solid 50 fantasy point game.
Goran Dragic $16,300
Dragic gets a big bump if Dion Waiters is out, as the ball will be in his hands at almost all times. This match-up with the Nets is ideal, as they are the absolute worst team in the league against opposing PG’s. Spencer Dinwiddie and Isaiah Whitehead are both undersized and lack the strength to stay with a guy like Dragic. Dragic has been playing well lately and stuffing the stat sheet on a regular basis. While he may not have the upside of a John Wall or Stephen Curry, he has a 35 point floor and has the upside to hit 55. Dragic is extremely safe in cash games, and a very nice play in tourneys as well.
Tim Hardaway Jr. $10,900
Shooting guard is actually a pretty scarce position tonight, though there are definitely some guys you can pay up for. However, they are all in either a bad match-up or way too expensive. Hardaway Jr. is the first guy I come to that looks just right, and I’m gonna end up with a lot of exposure. The Kings have been one of the best spots for SG’s, as they have ranked 28th in terms of fantasy points allowed per game. Hardaway has been getting big minutes recently, and it looks like Budenholzer finally trusts him. He has the ability to get hot and score 30 real life points, so the upside is obviously there at this price. He is just fine for cash games as well, as the pure shot volume will result in fantasy points.
Lance Stephenson $9,050
This may seem a bit off, but hear me out. Zach LaVine went down with a season-ending injury, and Stephenson was signed just a few days later. I think Tom Thibodeau has big plans for Stephenson, who has shown his upside earlier this season. He has the upside to be a very good 6th man and is a fantastic fantasy player. They will also take on New Orleans, who plays fast and a bit reckless. Stephenson will be guarded by Jrue Holiday and Solomon Hill, who are both very average. He has averaged more than 1 FP/per minute since 2014 and 1.12 earlier this year. Stephenson is definitely more of a tournament option, but I could see him paying off in a huge way. Stick to Hardaway in cash games, but maybe get a little wild in tourneys.
Giannis Antetokounmpo $21,850
Giannis is my favorite superstar of the night, as long as you don’t count Jokic. ABC gets to take on the Lakers, who play fast and with reckless abandon. That fits perfectly into Giannis’ game, as he derives his upside from peripherals. The Lakers are a team he can put up a triple-double on, with the upside being unlimited. Giannis has slowed down over the last couple weeks, but the loss of Jabari Parker should give him a boost. Jabari was seeing a ton of shots, and at least a few of those should go to Giannis. His price has also fallen quite a bit, as he sat over 23k just a week ago. Antetokounmpo is a guy I will have exposure to in both cash games and tournaments, as he has a floor around 50 and a ceiling over 80.
Wilson Chandler $11,600
Outside of 1 game vs the Spurs, Chandler has been absolutely automatic with Gallinari out. With 36,40 and 45 fantasy point totals, you have to be impressed. Chandler has taken over the perimeter scoring role, with Jokic taking the rock down low. Chandler should see the defense of Carmelo Anthony or Mindaugas Kuzminskas and should be able to score on both. This isn’t a guy who relies on a bad defender, as he only needs a few inches to get his shot. His price is just way too low, and he’s projected for another game over 35 fantasy points. He will be locked into all of my cash games and tournaments.
Nikola Jokic $16,000
Jokic has been a guy I have rostered every single time he has played over the last month, and it has won me a lot of money. Sure, he killed me 3 times, but I wasn’t worried about that the other 20 times he destroyed value. He gets a weak Knicks interior that has given up the 6th most rebounds to centers, and the 3rd most pace-adjusted points. Jokic is truly one of the better big men in the game, and his price is still way too low. I would have exposure to Jokic at 20k, which should tell you what I think of him. This is one of the safer match-ups in the league, and he is my favorite play of the slate.
James Johnson $11,500
This Heat team is one we will target a ton tonight, mostly due to them taking on the Nets. The Nets play at the fastest pace in the NBA and don’t play much defense at all. With Dion Waiters expected to be out, James Johnson will play a lot of point forward. He has done a good job in the past, and we saw a few games where he had upwards of 6 or 7 assists. The Nets will throw a combination of Trevor Booker and Bogan Bogdanovic at Johnson, who are both too slow and small. This is the perfect match-up for him to run the point, as the rim resistance will be minimal. Johnson can be targeted in all formats and will be one of my highest owned players on the board.
Hassan Whiteside $17,000
We will go right back to Miami and take a look at the best center on the board, Hassan Whiteside. While DeMarcus Cousins is a terrific option, I would rather pay up elsewhere. Whiteside has been an animal recently, and it looks like he might be playing with a chip on his shoulder. This Nets team shouldn’t offer him too many problems, as they are the 2nd worst rebounding team and give up the most real life points to centers. Whiteside has been over 40 in 4 straight games, and I look for him to make it 5 tonight. Brook Lopez is not interested in rebounding, and Whiteside should be able to get 15 with ease. Plug him in.
John Henson $9,100
With Jabari Parker out for the year, someone will have to step up. While I don’t expect Henson to start getting 35 minutes, he should get a consistent 25. His size will be needed, and he isn’t a bad player. The Bucks have given him some time on the court, and are happy they did now that they will need him. Giannis has also expressed his love for Henson, which is always a good sign. The Lakers are a notoriously great match-up and certainly live up to the hype. Henson is not the safest way to go, but the upside is undeniable and the ownership will be low.