We only have a few days left in the NBA season, but Monday’s large slate offers plenty to look forward to. Of course, with many playoff seedings already locked up, some stars will have limited minutes, making it a bit more difficult to gauge. Let’s break it all down.
-$60,000 prize pool.
– First place wins $4,000
– Only $3 to enter (FREE with first deposit)
– Top 4,625 finishing positions are paid.
– Starts tonight at 7:00 PM EST
– Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 8 players
– Roster Format: 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 SF, 1 PF, 1 C, 1 G, 1 F, 1 Utility
Detroit @ Cleveland
Houston @ Charlotte
Milwaukee @ Philadelphia
Chicago @ Brooklyn
New York @ Atlanta
Orlando @ Miami
New Orleans @ Minnesota
Portland @ Oklahoma City
Dallas @ Utah
Los Angeles Lakers @ Sacramento
Denver @ Los Angeles Clippers
Memphis @ Golden State
Teams to Watch
-Dallas may be resting their starters tonight. It appears that Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler will all sit in this game against the Jazz, and while Rajon Rondo is expected to start, don’t expect him to necessarily play starter’s minutes. Guys like Devin Harris and Al-Farouq Aminu are cheap options to consider, but they’ll face the best defense in the NBA tonight.
-There are plenty, plenty of viable point guard options tonight, and, like it has for the past few months, it all starts with Russell Westbrook. He’s coming off a 54-point nine-rebound, eight-assist outing on Sunday that resulted in over 80 fantasy points. The better news? He’s actually playing tonight, as his technical foul from yesterday’s game was rescinded, allowing him to play in a huge game against the Blazers. The Thunder need every game from here on out, and Westbrook faces Damian Lillard and his defensive lapses. This season, Westbrook is seeing a usage rate of 38.1, which would be the third-highest in NBA history of the season ended today, behind only Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Meanwhile, Portland is surrendering the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards this campaign.
-While many may fear the blowout potential in Los Angeles, the Clippers still want to win this game in order to grab home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. So despite being 16-point favorites, I still see Chris Paul as an elite option against the Nuggets. This game should feature plenty of points, as the over/under sits at 218, easily the largest of the night, as well as a very strong pace. Paul is averaging 18.3 points, 10.7 assists, five rebounds and two steals over his three meetings with Denver this year.
-Keep an eye on the Grizzlies throughout the day. Mike Conley, as well as Jeff Green and Marc Gasol, are all questionable for this game against the Warriors. In a situation where they are still fighting for home-court advantage themselves, I’d expect to see them all out there, but if Conley can’t go, Beno Udrih makes for a good value play at just $3,400.
-There is some decent value to be had at the shooting guard position, but other than that, I’m not in love with the position tonight. James Harden is essentially always an elite play, and Houston still has something to play for, so expect him to see a heavy amount of minutes, while getting a solid matchup with the Hornets, who rank 21st against shooting guards this season.
-Even with Westbrook looking on track to play tonight, Dion Waiters is still a decent value. He’s playing big minutes for the Thunder, averaging just under 37 minutes per game over his last five outings. And over his last two games, he’s played a whopping 79 minutes for OKC. Tonight’s game should be fantasy-friendly, and since losing Wesley Matthews, Portland has struggled to defend talented wings, allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to two-guards.
-With Jeremy Lin out for the season, Jabari Brown makes for one of my favorite value plays of the night. Oh, and to make things even better, Wesley Johnson is listed as doubtful, which only ensures Brown’s playing time, which has been very appealing lately, playing at least 34 minutes in three straight games. Oh, and the matchup couldn’t get any better. The Kings rank dead last in defensive efficiency against opposing shooting guards, and Brown isn’t afraid to shoot, averaging a healthy 13 shot attempts per game during that same three-game span.
-With the Pelicans trying to secure the 8th seed out West, Anthony Davis is going to have to play at least 40 minutes from here on out. Whenever a guy with Davis’ ability plays that much, he’s always one of the top options in fantasy. Tonight’s matchup is elite, as Minnesota ranks 23rd in terms of defending power forwards, and they are awful in the restricted area, surrendering the most points in the paint per game this year (47.9). The Wolves are also allowing their opponents to block an average of 5.4 shots per game, the fifth-most in basketball, which bodes well for an elite shot-blocker like The Brow.
-Outside of Davis, Pau Gasol is the best power forward option of the evening. He has been playing well all season long, averaging 18.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and two blocks per game, and gets a great matchup with the Nets, who are coughing up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards. Gasol has 52 double-doubles this season, which is five more than any other player in basketball. That means that just under 70 percent of the time this season, he’s posted a double-double, giving him a very nice floor in fantasy.
-The Nuggets are allowing the second-most total rebounds (55), while DeAndre Jordan leads the NBA in rebounds per game (14.9) and rebounding chances per game (20.3). Need I say more? Denver’s frontcourt is so, so undersized and Jordan should be able to feast on them. In three games against the Nuggets this year, Jordan is averaging three blocks and almost 17 rebounds per game.