Thursday April 9th, 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.

Wednesday’s overachievers

Guard: Gerald Green, Suns, +20.4

After averaging a career-high 15.8 points last season, Green’s playing time has dropped off this season and scoring has fallen to 11.8 points per game. In Wednesday’s loss to the Mavericks, he made 10 of his 19 shots en route to 30 points, two rebounds, two assists and a block. In his last three games, Green has averaged 23.0 points while shooting 50% from the field and 45.5% from beyond the arc.

Forward: Kenneth Faried, Nuggets, +24.2

Faried has had an up and down season after signing a contract extension last year. He led the Nuggets to a 119–101 win over the Lakers on Wednesday, finishing with a season-high 29 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocks while making 10 of his 14 shots. The Nuggets have been out of the playoff race for a while, but Faried will be a good fantasy option for the rest of the season.

Center: Zaza Pachulia, Bucks, +17.0

Pachulia has been an effective player this season for the Bucks and had a double-double in Wednesday’s loss to the Cavaliers. He made eight of his 13 shots and piled up 19 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, two assists and a block. Despite Pachulia’s big game, the Bucks couldn’t overcome Kyrie Irving’s 27 points or LeBron James’ near triple-double.

Today’s picks

Guard: Goran Dragic, Heat vs. Bulls, 8 p.m. ET

Since joining the Heat, Dragic’s stats are nearly identical to his numbers this season with the Suns. He has beaten his projection just twice in his last seven games, but is poised to break out against the Bulls on Thursday. Dragic is coming off a 28-point, five-assist, four-rebound, two-steal game against the Hornets on Tuesday. The Heat have fallen a game behind the Nets and Celtics for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Forward: Draymond Green, Warriors vs. Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. ET

With the Warriors having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, they are likely to rest players during the final week of the season. Green sat out three games with a shin injury, but returned to form in his third game back on Tuesday, recording 24 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block against the Pelicans. Assuming he plays, Green should beat his projection against the Trail Blazers.

Center: Joakim Noah, Bulls at Heat, 8 p.m. ET

Following a career season last year, Noah’s fantasy production has been hurt by injuries and a minutes restriction. With the Bulls fighting for playoff seeding and homecourt advantage, however, he should play a big role on Thursday against the Heat. The Bulls are tied with the Raptors for the No. 3 seed and only have a one-game lead over the Wizards for the No. 4 seed.

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