Monday December 29th, 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.

Sunday's overachievers

Guard: Lou Williams, Raptors, +20.0

Williams continued his hot play this season to lead the Raptors past the Nuggets on Sunday. He had 31 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal in the victory. In his first season in Toronto, Williams is scoring a career-high 15.0 points in just 23.6 minutes per game. He has been a key contributor during the Raptors' 24-7 start and helped the team avoid a slump since DeMar DeRozan was injured.

Forward: Kenneth Faried, Nuggets, +19.8

Following a breakout summer with Team USA, Faried has not taken the leap many expected he would this season. His numbers are down across the board, but he earned more playing time on Sunday with a big night against the Raptors. Faried finished with 17 points, 19 rebounds and two assists, but the Nuggets lost to fall to 13-18 on the season. After a slow start to the year, Faried has come on strong in his last three games, averaging 21.0 points and 19.3 rebounds.

Center: Cole Aldrich, Knicks, +31.8

The Knicks dropped to 5-28 with a loss to the Trail Blazers on Sunday, but Aldrich had his best game of the season. He finished with 12 points, 19 rebounds, four steals, two assists and a block. Aldrich got extended minutes on Sunday with Amar'e Stoudemire and Samuel Dalembert out of the lineup with injuries. He is unlikely to repeat this performance unless injuries continue to decimate the team's frontcourt.

Today's picks

Guard: Chris Paul, Clippers vs. Jazz, 10:30 p.m.

While Paul's numbers are down slightly from last season, he has beaten his projection in four of his last five games while averaging 20.6 points, 7.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals. The Clippers and Jazz are each in the bottom half of the league in points allowed, so Monday's game should be a high-scoring affair. Despite a solid 20-11 start to the season, the Clippers are currently No. 6 in the highly competitive Western Conference. The Clippers need to take care of business against the Jazz, and Paul should have a big night to lead them.

Forward: Derrick Favors, Jazz at Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

Since returning from an ankle injury, Favors has been a standout for the Jazz. He is coming off a monster game against the 76ers, racking up 17 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks, three steals and three assists en route to 51.5 points. While Clippers forward Blake Griffin poses a challenge for Favors on defense, he should be able to take advantage of him on offense. Favors has steadily improved in each of his five seasons and is averaging 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks this season.

Center: Kris Humphries, Wizards at Rockets, 8:00 p.m.

Humphries is the pick because of his 15-point projection tonight against the Rockets. In his first season with the Wizards, he has been a solid contributor in limited minutes off the bench. Humphries has beaten his projection in each of his last two games, including an 18-point, nine-rebound, three-steal, two-assist performance against the Celtics on Saturday. He should be able to continue his strong play on Monday against the Rockets if he gets enough playing time.

- Paul Palladino

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.