One. More. Time.
After 81 games of NBA action, the season all comes to end this evening with one final massive slate. 14 games are on tap for tonight, which means there is no shortage of superstars.
Let’s get to it.
-$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
-Even though it’s the last day of the regular season, nothing has changed when it comes to Russell Westbrook. The Thunder have to win and have New Orleans lose to the Spurs in order to make the playoffs, so you know Russ is going to religiously be on the court. He’s going to finish the season with the third-highest usage rate in NBA history and will go out with an ideal matchup against the Timberwolves, who allow the most points per game on the season (106.2). Westbrook, who leads all of basketball with 11 triple-doubles, should at least flirt with number 12 against a Minnesota unit that has coughed up five triple-doubles this year, one of which to Westbrook himself. He’s the top overall play at any position tonight.
-I also really, really like Deron Williams tonight, who has played outstanding down the stretch for the Nets. During the month of April, he’s averaging a healthy 15.4 points, 8.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. And over the last 10 days, he’s averaging a strong 35 DraftKings fantasy points per contest. This is a huge, huge game for the Nets, as they can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Pacers’ loss against the Grizzlies. Williams is a lock for almost 40 minutes tonight in a friendly matchup with the Magic, who are allowing the 10th-most fantasy points, fourth-most rebounds and 10th-most assists to opposing point guards this year.
-The Lakers have actually been kind of fun to target as of late, considering the injuries, pace of play and matchups as of late. Tonight is no different, as they face the second-worst defensive team in the league in Sacramento, who allow 105 points per game. Over the last five games, Jordan Clarkson has played just under 40 minutes per game for the Lakers, averaging a strong 21.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 2.6 steals per game. He’s been really, really impressive lately, and he could be in for a monster line in this game. The Kings and Lakers allow the second and third-most points per game, so this game should be the highest-scoring contest of the night. And with Jeremy Lin and Wesley Johnson both likely out, Clarkson should flirt with 40 minutes once again.
-If Dwyane Wade isn’t rested for tonight’s finale against the 76ers, he becomes my favorite play at the shooting guard position. However, the Heat have been eliminated from playoff contention and Wade is a guy who has been rested so much in his career, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him sit in a meaningless game, hence the asterisk. But if he does play, he gets an elite matchup with the 76ers who allow the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing two-guards this season. Wade has scored at least 19 points in five of his last six outings, but again, keep an eye on the news before tip.
-Now if Wade does sit, Victor Oladipo becomes my favorite option at the shooting guard spot. James Harden is seemingly always in play, but on a night where it’s almost imperative to roster Westbrook, I’m not sure I can pay $10,500 for Harden against the best defense in the NBA in Utah. Enter Oladipo, who is averaging just under 40 fantasy points per game over his last 10 games, and faces a Brooklyn unit that ranks 23rd against shooting guards. Oladipo is averaging 9.2 drives per game on the season, which ranks top-12 in basketball, and is averaging 5.9 points per game on those drives, which is good for the 10th-best in the league. The Nets, meanwhile, are surrendering the 8th-most paint points per game (43.6) and I think Oladipo should be able to run circles around 33-year old Joe Johnson.
-Finally, Jabari Brown is a borderline must-play for me tonight. He gets the best matchup on the board, as the Kings have ranked dead last in defensive efficiency against shooting guards all year long, and over the last two games, he’s played a whopping 46 and 42 minutes. A 207 over/under, two horrid defenses and strong pace, at $4,200, Brown will be in most of my lineups, for sure.
-The Spurs need to win tonight to maintain the three-seed out West, while the Pelicans are in win-and-in mode, so this game should be pretty competitive. Having said that, Kawhi Leonard is an outstanding option tonight, facing a New Orleans unit that will be throwing the likes of Dante Cunningham and Quincy Pondexter at him. Kawhi has been a top-three NBA player over the last month or so, and you’d have to go all the way back to mid-January to find the last time he failed to record at least one steal in a game. Over his last five games, Leonard is averaging an awesome 21.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, two assists and a whopping 3.8 steals per game.
-With Gordon Hayward listed as doubtful, Rodney Hood will see a sizable boost in value tonight against the Rockets. He’s still relatively cheap, and is averaging 33 minutes per game over his last five outings.
-Despite the tough matchup against the Spurs, Anthony Davis is still an elite play in tonight’s must-win contest. Again, if New Orleans wins this game, they lock up the number eight seed in the Western Conference. He’s going to play at least 40 minutes and offers as much upside as anyone else in the NBA.
-The Bulls still want to win to preserve the three-seed in the Eastern Conference, so look for guys like Pau Gasol to play their normal minutes. And it was also just reported that Joakim Noah will sit out this game, which only helps Gasol’s fantasy prospects. On the other side of the ball, Atlanta has been locked in as the number-one seed for a while now, so Chicago could see plenty of run against the Hawk’s bench guys. Gasol could eat up the likes of Mike Muscala and Mike Scott, and it doesn’t hurt that Atlanta ranks 27th in rebounding differential this season.
-There are a handful of tremendous center plays tonight, and because of all the value elsewhere, I see myself paying up tonight. As you can see, the real value comes from the power forward and small forward positions tonight, so guys like Brook Lopez against the Magic intrigue me. Orlando has coughed up the 7th-most fantasy points per game to opposing centers this year, as well as the 8th-most real life points. Lopez, meanwhile, continues to remind folks why he is one of the best offensive centers in the game, and the Nets must win tonight to keep their season alive.
-Hassan Whiteside is also a fabulous play tonight against Philadelphia. If Miami rests some guys, his value sees a bigger uptick, but either way, look for him to abuse the 76ers frontcourt that will be without the services of Nerlens Noel. Philadelphia is allowing the most total rebounds (56), 8th-most offensive rebounds (11.5) and fourth-most blocks per game (5.6) on the year.