We’ve got five games to choose from Thursday, which is about as busy as the NBA gets on this day of the week. The overall player pool is relatively weak, especially at shooting guard, where the most expensive player, Will Barton, checks in at $6,400. The sheer lack of choice there, however, does give you the freedom to spend a bit more willingly at the other four positions.
All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.
PG: Reggie Jackson ($7,200) @ NO: Jackson is one of the more volatile players in the game, but he has found a measure of consistency of late. In his last three games, he has posted an average of 35.9 fantasy points, never falling south of 32.6. The expected pace in this game should suit him well, as should the 205 over/under. In those three games, Jackson is putting up 18.7 points, 7.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per night.
SG: Kent Bazemore ($5,000) @ SAC: You’ll want to find investment in Hawks-Kings tonight. It has the highest over/under on the board at 217, and the Kings are only slight favorites. That means both teams regulars should get their usual complement of minutes. Bazemore went through a bit of a slump at the start of the new year, but he found his stroke on Wednesday, scoring 23 points on 8-for-15 from the floor, including 3-for-6 from three.
SF: Rudy Gay ($7,300) vs. ATL: Time to get invested on Sacramento’s side of things. Like Jackson, Gay is one of the most volatile fantasy players in the league, but when he’s good, he’s typically good for at least 38 points. He has at least 40 fantasy points in his last five games, and 35 or more in five of his last seven. Atlanta isn’t necessarily a defense you want to attack at small forward, but this is no worse than a neutral matchup for Gay, especially in a game that carries a 217 over/under.
PF: Paul Millsap ($8,700) @ SAC: Any time you’re paying, say, $8,500 or more for a player, you need to be completely sure that he will, at worst, hit his production floor. No player is a safer bet to do so than Millsap. Sure, he might not have the ceiling of the players with five-figure price tags affixed to their names, but he reaches the lower bound of his production range just as consistently. It would be a shock for him to fail to do so against a Sacramento defense that has surrendered the second-most fantasy points per game to power forwards this season. In fact, he should be at or near his ceiling Thursday.
C: Andre Drummond ($8,800) @ NO: Let’s all hope that Houston didn’t create a new blueprint for handling the Drummonds of the world last night when they purposely took five fouls immediately in the third quarter to get in the bonus. No one wants to watch that brand of basketball. It might be smart strategy, but it’s boring basketball. I’d much prefer to watch Drummond abusing a defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to centers on the year.