Tuesday January 27th, 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 out-performs its projections by the largest amount 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.

Monday's overachievers

Guard: Arron Afflalo, Nuggets, +15.6

Afflalo bounced back from a poor shooting game on Sunday to nearly lead the Nuggets to an upset win over the Clippers on Monday. He made eight of 13 shots en route to 18 points, six assists, three rebounds, three steals and a block. While the Nuggets have lost seven straight games, Affalo has played better recently. In his last 13 games, he is averaging 17.5 points while shooting 45 percent from the field. With the Nuggets out of the playoff picture, Affalo would be a great addition to several contenders.

Forward: Anthony Davis, Pelicans, +19.5

Davis continued his MVP-caliber season on Monday, leading the Pelicans to a blowout win over the 76ers. He finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and three steals. Since returning from a three-game absence, Davis has averaged 27.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 2.5 blocks over his last four games. He leads the league in blocks and is averaging 24.5 points on the season despite taking just 17.0 shots per game.

Center: Gorgui Dieng, Timberwolves, +9.6

The return of center Nikola Pekovic has cut into Dieng's playing time, but he earned extended minutes on Monday by grabbing a season-high 18 rebounds to go along with six points, three blocks, two assists and a steal. Dieng has been a valuable rebounder and rim protector for Minnesota this season so it will be interesting to see how the team integrates Pekovic into the lineup.

Today's picks

Guard: Klay Thompson, Warriors vs. Bulls, 10:30 p.m.

Thompson is in the midst of the hottest shooting stretch of his career and is a good bet to beat his 35-point projection on Tuesday. Fresh off scoring 52 points on Friday and another 31 on Sunday, he has cemented his status among the elite shooting guards in the NBA. He has beaten his projection in four of his last five games and faces a struggling Bulls defense on Tuesday.

Forward: LeBron James, Cavaliers at Pistons, 7:30 p.m.

James has led the Cavaliers to a six-game winning streak while returning to his dominant form. He has averaged 29.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists during the last six games as the Cavaliers have rebounded from a six-game losing streak. While the Pistons have been a pleasant surprise over the last month, they don't have anyone to matchup with James on the perimeter.

Center: Andre Drummond, Pistons at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m.

In the same way the Pistons have no answer for James, the Cavaliers have no answer for Drummond down low. Timofey Mozgov is a solid center, but he doesn't have the athleticism to stop Detroit's big man. Drummond has averaged 12.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over the past month and should beat up the Cavaliers in the paint tonight.

- Paul Palladino

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