Read on for the top four picks at each position and a sample lineup for Monday’s FanDuel NBA games, after a look at tonight’s building blocks:
John Wall, Washington Wizards ($9,900) vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Although they are still controlling the pace (23rd out of 30 teams), the Grizz are a far cry from being a defensive juggernaut these days, as they currently sit 25th overall in defensive rating (107.0). Point guard defense has been a pain point for them in particular, as Memphis is the worst in the league on FanDuel NBA over their past five games, and being on their third game in four nights (second consecutive) probably won’t help in that regard.
After a disappointing start to the season, Optimus Dime has broken out in a big way, averaging 55.7 FPPG over his past three contests. The issue, of course, is that his cost has skyrocketed to the point where he could be the most expensive player in your lineup instead of second or third.
That’s probably OK on a night where neither the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook nor the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry are playing, but his ability to return value bears additional scrutiny as long as his price hovers around the elite tier.
James Harden, Houston Rockets ($10,700) vs. Denver Nuggets: The Beard played reasonably well (by his standards) in the last meeting with Denver, with 28 points, eight boards, five assists and three steals in a home loss that surely contributed heavily to Kevin McHale’s subsequent exodus from Space City. Since then, Harden has played MVP-caliber basketball on a more consistent basis, falling below 42 fantasy points just once in his past 10 contests.
The Nuggets are a tough team to figure out. They experienced an inevitable free fall shortly after the upset win at the Toyota Center, but surprisingly they have won three of their last four games, with the Toronto Raptors among the victims in that run.
Despite their “giant killer” potential, the Nuggets are ranked just 21st overall in both points allowed (102.5) and defensive rating (106.2). They’re 10th worst against 2-guards on FanDuel NBA, which isn’t terrible, but since Harden isn’t your garden variety player at that position he still merits strong consideration in this evening’s matchup.
Paul George, Indiana Pacers ($9,800) vs. Toronto Raptors: PG-13’s ascension to the $10K club didn’t last long, but he seemed to fall victim to his team’s schedule more than anything else. He has three duds in his past five games, but two of them came on the latter end of back-to-back sequences and the other was courtesy of the Miami Heat, a generally strong defensive team (second overall in opponents’ PPG) that set their sights on George after he schooled them in the earlier matchup this season.
Tonight the Pacers welcome a Raptors team that will be playing their second consecutive game and their third in four nights, while Indiana gets a short break after playing on Saturday, and George is at his best after a single day off (32.5 vs. 27.0 PPG overall). Toronto is middle of the pack over their past 10 games against opposing SFs but that’s just a minor drawback when it comes to a player of George’s caliber. Look for him to bounce back in a big way tonight.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans ($10,700) vs. Portland Trail Blazers: Just when he looked to be trending upward, the Brow has disappointed lately with a couple of sub-par outings prior to his 46.6 fantasy point performance at Chicago on Saturday.
A trip to the Pacific Northwest should be the continuation of a new streak, as the Trail Blazers are second-most generous overall to opposing power forwards on FanDuel NBA over their past five games. In the earlier meeting this season Davis had 25 points and 10 boards, but with teammate Tyreke Evans back in the fold that should hopefully be his floor in a game that should be high scoring. You know what to do.