Friday December 5th, 2014

Ready to show your friends you know more about the NBA than they do? FanNation's Basketball Throwdown fantasy basketball game is your best option. You pick a guard, forward and center who you think will exceed their fantasy projections. The scoring system takes into account points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and turnovers. The team that surpasses their projections by the most wins, so picking a lineup of Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Joakim Noah is no sure-fire path to victory. You can also bet anywhere from $1 to $500 on each night's matchup or play for free.

I'll give you my picks each day and a recap of yesterday's top performers so you can get bragging rights over your friends.

Sign up for tonight's Basketball Throwdown here.

Thursday's overachievers

Guard: Klay Thompson, Warriors, +12.3

Thompson led the way on Thursday night as the Warriors cruised past the Pelicans to improve to a league-best 16-2 record. He scored 23 points and added five assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block. Since singing a four-year, $70 million contract extension in October, Thompson has proven to be worth the money. He has upped his scoring to 21.0 points per game and is shooting a blistering 46.3 percent on three-pointers.

Forward: Anthony Davis, Pelicans, +21.5

Davis continued his MVP-level play this season on Thursday against the Warriors, but didn't receive enough help from his teammates to get the victory. He piled up 30 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals. With his versatile game seemingly gaining new facets each day, Davis doubles as the best player in the league and the best fantasy player so far this season. Cover worthy indeed.

Center: Andrew Bogut, Warriors, +5.7

Bogut's numbers are modest, but he is the perfect big man to anchor Golden State's defense. He had eight points, 11 rebounds and four blocks during Thursday's blowout win over the Pelicans. In a starting lineup featuring four three-point shooters, Bogut's rim protection and rebounding are ideal complements. As long as Bogut is healthy, the Warriors are a true contender in the Western Conference.

Today's picks

Guard: Goran Dragic, Suns at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. ET

With Isaiah Thomas not expected to play due to an ankle injury, Dragic should see extended playing time tonight. He played excellent on Tuesday, piling up 34 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists. The Mavericks are the No. 1 scoring team in the league and the Suns are No. 6 so it should be a track meet tonight in Dallas. Dragic's numbers are down from last season, but that is mostly from reduced playing time.

Forward: Jabari Parker, Bucks vs. Heat, 8:30 p.m. ET

Along with Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins, Parker was named Rookie of the Month for November and is a good bet to repeat in December. While his playing time has varied from game to game, he has shown flashes of the potential that led to him being the No. 2 pick in the draft. Last Saturday against Houston, he attempted 14 free-throws and he followed that up with a 22-point game against the Cavaliers.

Center: Tyson Chandler, Mavericks vs. Suns, 8:30 p.m. ET

Chandler has been revitalized by his return to the Mavericks this season. He is anchoring the defense while averaging 11.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks as Dallas has jumped out to a 15-5 start to the season. He has been a standout in Basketball Throwdown, beating his projection in each of his last five games. A matchup against the undersized Suns will give Chandler a chance to put up more big numbers tonight.

- Paul Palladino

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