Monday January 26th, 2015

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 its 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: D.J. Augustin, Pistons, +32.8

With Brandon Jennings out for the season with a torn Achilles, Augustin broke out of a shooting slump to nearly lead the Pistons past the Raptors on Sunday. After entering the game shooting 38.4 percent from the field, he made 12 of 20 shots en route to 35 points, eight assists and four rebounds to nearly triple his 17-point projection. If the Pistons are going to continue their playoff push, Augustin will need to keep the offense humming.

Forward: Kris Humphries, Wizards, +20.3

Humphries' playing time is a fraction of what it used to be with the Nets, but he has been an effective player in limited minutes for the Wizards this season. In 33 minutes in Sunday's win over the Nuggets, he piled up 21 points, 14 rebounds and an assist. Because he is behind Marcin Gortat and Nene in Washington's frontcourt rotation, Humphries is a risky option in Basketball Throwdown.

Center: Hassan Whiteside, Heat, +36.6

Whiteside continued his breakout season by leading the Heat to a road win over the Bulls. He recorded a triple-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks in just 25 minutes. Whiteside has been extremely efficient on both ends of the floor over his last nine games, averaging 12.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.0 blocks while shooting 70.4 percent from the field. As long as Whiteside's projection remains, he is a great option in Basketball Throwdown.

Today's picks

Guard: Eric Gordon, Pelicans vs. 76ers, 8 p.m. ET

After a slow start to the season and sitting out more than a month with a shoulder injury, Gordon has shown flashes of his old form recently. In his last eight games, he has averaged 16.1 points, 5.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 44.4 percent on three-pointers. Since scoring 22.3 points per game in 2011, injuries have derailed Gordon's career, but when he is fully healthy he is a good option. His 23-point projection is within reach against the lowly 76ers on Monday.

Forward: Blake Griffin, Clippers vs. Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. ET

Griffin's 42-point projection is daunting, but he has beaten his projection in four of his last five games. He has averaged 26.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 62.2 percent from the field. Griffin has led the Clippers to four straight victories and will need to have a strong game against the Nuggets on Monday.

Center: DeMarcus Cousins, Kings at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET

Cousins is the top center in fantasy basketball and has a 44-point projection against the Knicks. On the season, he is averaging 24.2 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. The Knicks have no chance to match his combination of size and strength in the paint. If New York can keep the game close, Cousins should blow past his projection.

- Paul Palladino

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