Even with just four games tonight, there's still plenty of ways to win. Our NBA fantasy expert dishes his daily advice.
We’re back to a typical Thursday night, with just four games on the slate. Since this is a national television night, however, we can always bet on finding a disproportionate number of star players on Thursdays, and this week is no different. The most interesting positions on Thursday are in the backcourt, where there’s a surprising number of top-dollar options at point guard, but a dearth of the same at the 2-guard spot. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant lead the way in terms of cost. Is it worth it to pick both of them when they’re the only five-figure players on the board?
All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.
PG: Rajon Rondo ($8,400) vs. NY: Pairing Westbrook and Durant is an actionable strategy with this slate, but we’re not going to do that here. Rondo is back to being his old self, racking up assist numbers that of which other point guards could only dream. In six of his last nine games, he has assist totals of 20, 13, 16, 19, 10 and 13. The over/under on Knicks-Kings is 207, and Sacramento is favored by six points, which places their team total at a robust 106.5.
SG: Jimmy Butler ($8,200) vs. LAC: Butler is the highest-priced shooting guard on Thursday. Next up is Joe Johnson at $5,800. In cash games, you can’t afford to fade Butler. He’s averaging nearly 13 more points per game than the next most productive player at his position on an average night. There’s a very real chance Butler outscores any two other shooting guards combined on Thursday, especially given the matchup with the Clippers.
SF: Kevin Durant ($10,300) vs. ATL: In this Westbrook vs. Durant scenario, we sided with the latter, thanks to the presence of other desirable options at point guard. Durant is easily the most attractive small forward available on Thursday, scoring at least 47.7 fantasy points in four of his last seven games. The over/under on this game is 212, the highest on the board, and the Thunder are laying seven points. That gives them a team total of 109.5, the highest of any team in action on Thursday.
PF: Serge Ibaka ($6,100) vs. ATL: It might be a four-game slate, but we’ve already spent a lot of money. We need to go cheap at both power forward spots, and Ibaka lets us do that while also providing a ceiling that exceeds 40 points. He should be able to get after the boards against Atlanta’s undersized frontcourt and, like Durant, will take advantage of a game with the highest over/under on the night.
C: DeAndre Jordan ($7,500) @ CHI: In Jordan’s last five games, he’s averaging 16.8 rebounds per night. The Bulls, meanwhile, continue to give significant minutes to the Pau Gasol-Nikola Mirotic pairing, though Taj Gibson did start on Wednesday. Either way, this frontcourt is going to have its hands full with Jordan, and the price does not reflect that fact.