FanDuel NBA Plays for Monday, February 10th
There’s nothing like a little FanDuel NBA action to cure all that ails you as the work week starts back up on Monday. You too can live the dream with six games on tap tonight and 12 teams full of players waiting to make or break your fantasy lineup. Fortunately you’ve found your way to my Monday night foresight, here to help you sort through all those options and get you on your way to a winning day. I’ll offer you three suggested plays at each position in a variety of price ranges, with at least three names priced under $5,000 to help you find a fit for all your favorite stars.
1. Stephen Curry, GSW v. PHI ($9,900) – Taking a guy who is arguably the best point guard in the league against the most appetizing matchup in the NBA seems like a no-brainer. Indeed playing almost anybody against Philly has been a tried and true FanDuel strategy this season. The one worry here is that this game will be a blowout, with Golden State currently favored by 15.5 points, but even in that scenario Curry will likely be the one powering the blowout. He’s capable of going over 50 fantasy points even if he only plays three quarters, and it’s worth noting that he hasn’t played fewer than 33 minutes in a game since December 31st. I like him more than streaking Brandon Jennings, who is hot but always seems to pull out a bust game when his stock is highest.
2. Brandon Knight, MIL v. BOS ($6,600) – Knight has been up and down this year showing moments of explosive brilliance followed by periods of poor shooting and decision making. That inconsistency has kept his price depressed on FanDuel for a player that offers such dynamic multi-category contributions and plays a ton of minutes. He’s scored 23 or more actual points in three of his last four games and has averaged seven assists, three rebounds, and a steal in that span. Tonight he’ll face a Celtics team that generally plays tight defense but will be without Rajon Rondo in the second game of a back-to-back, which should leave Knight plenty of room to run the Bucks offense and be a reliable source of 30 or more fantasy points.
3. Patrick Mills, SAS @ DET ($4,800) – Mills has done a nice job providing a scoring spark off the Spurs bench and spelling Tony Parker as he works through back trouble. He’s been particularly effective in his last three games racking up 71 points with 14 rebounds and 10 assists against only three turnovers. The Australian Spur is coming off a 48.4 fantasy point game on Saturday, and while I don’t expect him to put up a score that high again all season, he’s starting to carve out a niche for himself on a San Antonio team full of swingman options. Mills has been extremely efficient working with just 20-25 minutes per game and I think he can put up a little more than a fantasy point per minute tonight against a Detroit team that has really struggled to defend backcourt players.
1. DeMar DeRozan, TOR v. NOR ($8,800) – DeRozan has taken his game to another level since the departure of Rudy Gay from Toronto, and I believe he has now surpassed James Harden as the most consistent and explosive shooting guard in the NBA today. Shooting guard is often a position where people try to save salary cap space on FanDuel, a strategy I absolutely understand and relate to, but having a guy like DeRozan in your lineup can be a huge advantage against teams that punt the position. The Raptors star dropped 60 fantasy points on the Clippers on Friday, less than a week after putting 57.8 fantasy points of hurt on the Trail Blazers. Those are the kind of numbers that can easily outdo a pair of mid-tier shooting guards, and with a floor around 35-40 fantasy points and a price tag still hovering below $9,000 DeRozan makes a safe pick with the upside to make your day if he goes off.
2. Randy Foye, DEN @ IND ($6,500) – Foye is having a career year in Denver and has really been a dominant force for the team over the last couple of weeks. He’s playing a ton of minutes and has the added bonus of running the point in Ty Lawson’s absence tonight against the Pacers. Foye has shown the ability to capitalize on Lawson’s absence in the past with an improved effort in the passing department that resulted in as many as 16 assists on January 31st. I’d expect him to be more in the 5-8 range against a tough Indiana defense that is arguably the league’s best. That said, the Pacers have given up the second most three-pointers in the league to guards in their last 10 games. That’s something Foye is perfectly suited to take advantage of, having made 13 threes in his three games.
3. Rodney Stuckey, DET v. SAS ($4,700) – If you don’t have the salary cap space to afford DeRozan and Foye, the pickings are a little slim among cheap shooting guards today. Danny Green has been tremendous lately but seems primed to quickly fall back into his traditional irrelevance, which leaves Stuckey as the best of the worst at the position. The Pistons have a tough matchup against the always solid San Antonio Spurs but Stuckey should be able to play his normal burst scoring role and find his way to 25 fantasy points. He offers a similar productivity off the bench to Patrick Mills but with a more consistent history and additional minutes. Stuckey has managed to average 14.1 actual points per game this year, a very high number for someone stuck in his price range, and he’s on a nice three-game run with 47 points scored against just two turnovers.
1. Josh Smith, DET v. SAS ($8,400) – You have to be a little scared of Smith’s matchup against the Spurs today as San Antonio does a great job handling big men and generally keeps opponents in check. Of course, Detroit is full of big men and Smith will not be getting the focus of Tim Duncan. I love the consistency offered by frontcourt players and particularly big men that hit the boards and play defense, and Smith fits that criteria better than any other small forward in the game. He lacks the consistent dominance of a Durant or LeBron, but he has the game to match those players in fantasy scoring on any given night at a significant discount. Coming off outings of 60 and 52.1 fantasy points, the expectations are likely sky high for Smith tonight. I don’t think he’ll quite manage 50 but even at 45 fantasy points he’d be great value and I think he can do that given the way he’s playing right now.
2. Jeff Green, BOS @ MIL ($6,300) – Green has been one of the most frustrating players of late on FanDuel with dominant games interspersed between stretches of disappointing mediocrity. Green has even struggled in games where matchups suggest he should have thrived, something that will be put to the test tonight as he faces a weak Milwaukee defense that could be missing several key players to due to injuries. All signs point to Green having a fine game at or above 30 fantasy points, particularly with Rajon Rondo out and the team needing his offensive contributions more than usual. One thing Green does consistently is get minutes and opportunities, and it will be up to him to deliver on the mathematical omens that indicate his value tonight.
3. Khris Middleton, MIL v. BOS ($5,100) – Middleton is coming off of back to back 36 fantasy point nights with an expanded scoring role in the ever-shifting Milwaukee roster rotation. He hits threes and plays defense, two things that promote a consistency in his game and make it possible for him to have truly big nights when he gets the 35 or more minutes he’s had in his last two games. His offensive game is clicking right now and expectations for him should be no lower than average facing a Boston defense that is middle of the pack against small forwards. As with any player that relies on their jump shot for a large portion of their fantasy points, Middleton could have an off night at any time, but priced at just $5,100 he should be reliable to deliver fine value around the 25-30 fantasy point range.
1. Tim Duncan, SAS @ DET ($8,600) – It’s hard to argue with anyone recommending Kevin Love on any night, but with the T-Wolf star questionable with a quad contusion and priced for perfection at $11,300 it’s hard to be confident that he’ll offer plus value tonight. That leaves Anthony Davis and Tim Duncan as the next two big men up and I like the old man out of the two with a better matchup tonight and putting up consistently better value for his price. Duncan rarely plays outrageous minutes but he always does something when he’s on the court and is a virtual lock to top 30 fantasy points every night he plays. He’s been in top form lately with 58.7, 53.9, and 42.4 fantasy points in three of his last four games and he should be able to work his magic against a Detroit front line that seems formidable on paper but in reality doesn’t defend competent bigs very well.
2. Jared Sullinger, BOS @ MIL ($6,500) – Sullinger is as hot as any player over the last 10 days particularly when you take his mid-range price into consideration. The second-year budding Boston superstar is averaging 40.5 fantasy points over the last 10 days, albeit against a slew of favorable matchups in Philly, Orlando, Philly again, and Sacramento. Well, he gets another great matchup tonight against Milwaukee and with Rajon Rondo out he’ll need to land his sixth straight double-double and get back up into the 20+ point scoring territory he became accustomed to last week. This guy will likely be owned all over the place and won’t necessarily get you a big advantage in tournaments, but that does nothing to deter me from considering him a near must-play tonight if only to keep pace with the pack.
3. John Henson, MIL v. BOS ($5,700) – I really like Henson as a player and he’s only been held back by injury and the madness that is Larry Drew’s rotation. Neither of those should be a huge issue tonight with Henson healthy and Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova questionable to play. Even if those guys find their way onto the court, I see a nice chunk of minutes piling up on Henson’s stat sheet and they should be joined by plenty of points, rebounds, and blocks. Take advantage of Henson’s low-hanging price and free up some salary to spend on securing points at a guard spot or two to avoid the always treacherous frontcourt bargain roulette. Just make sure to check for late-breaking updates in the injury department to get a fully accurate sense of what to expect from the Bucks frontcourt tonight.
1. Dwight Howard, HOU @ MIN ($9,100) – Dwight Howard should be the best center in the NBA with the physical tools and talent that he has, but he just doesn’t bring it every night and that makes him a really frustrating player to own and follow in fantasy terms. Fortunately we can usually tell just by looking at the stats if he’s on one of his effortful runs or if he’s just playing a tall foil to the run and gun game in Houston. The key is his rebounding and defense, and Howard is riding a high on those effort stats right now. He’s also scoring quite a bit and with his price perpetually floating well below $10,000 due to his occasional disappearing acts, he’s easily the best value of any player with a good shot at surpassing 50 fantasy points tonight. He’ll be facing off against an underwhelming Ronny Turiaf and if Kevin Love is limited or misses the game there should be little competition for rebounds under either basket in Minnesota.
2. Jonas Valanciunas, TOR v. NOR ($5,500) – Valanciunas has quietly become one of the top value centers on FanDuel with a growing consistency that had been his biggest weakness prior to this season. The 7-foot Raptor has averaged a double-double over the last 10 days and has really stepped up his scoring contributions. His minutes have been up and down primarily due to foul trouble, but even when he’s played 20 minutes instead of 30 he’s delivered solid value and been a significant presence in Toronto. He has a favorable matchup tonight against New Orleans and seems certain to provide plus value in the 25-35 fantasy point range, as long as he can avoid fouling out of the game in the first quarter.
3. Zaza Pachulia, MIL v. BOS ($4,300) – This one depends entirely on the state of the Milwaukee frontcourt tonight with Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova questionable, the absence of either of whom could lead to a sneaky 25+ minute value night for Pachulia. He’s coming off a 31.5 fantasy point night where he filled in for Sanders for most of the game, but he also had 24 fantasy points in each of his two previous games as well. That’s the kind of consistent production that signals value in a low-priced player, even if it’s only temporary. I am very partial to spending my salary cap on frontcourt players, particularly at power forward and center, but if you need to go cheap tonight at center you can’t do much better than Pachulia who also has a plus matchup against the motley crew of centers that Boston will bring to the table.