With 11 games tonight, there's plenty of ways to win. Our NBA fantasy expert dishes his daily advice.
We’re back on a typical weekly schedule in the NBA, and that means another busy Wednesday. There are 11 games from coast-to-coast today, beginning in Washington and Orlando, and ending in Los Angeles and Portland. Four players carry five-figure price tags, including Steph Curry’s foray back across the $11,000-threshold. We may not go that high, but don’t be surprised if we grab one of his high-priced brethren.
All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.
PG: Ish Smith ($7,200) @ ORL: Smith has turned into a favorite of this column after grabbing a stranglehold of the starting gig in Philadelphia. In 12 games with the 76ers, he’s averaging 34.3 fantasy points. That puts him on the same level as Kemba Walker and Isaiah Thomas, but those two routinely cost $1,200 to $1,500 more than the Philadelphia starter. So long as he’s at this price, you shouldn’t have any second thoughts about getting him in your lineup.
SG: Jimmy Butler ($9,100) vs. GS: Butler’s last 10 games have included, quite possibly, the two best of his career. In that time, he’s averaging 44.3 fantasy points per game, reaching 40 points in seven of the 10 contests. He has a way of getting up for big games, like the one Chicago will play against Golden State on Wednesday. This game also carries an over/under of 215, the highest on Wednesday’s slate.
SF: Omri Casspi ($5,500) @ LAL: Casspi got back up to 30 minutes in Sacramento’s last game, scoring 17 real points and 22.8 fantasy points. He was regularly playing 35-36 minutes per game before his injury, and should be working his way to that level yet again. If he can play, say, 30 minutes on Wednesday, he should turn a profit on that friendly $5,500 price tag. The Lakers have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to small forwards this season.
PF: Ersan Ilyasova ($5,800) @ HOU: You have to pick and choose your spots with a player like Ilyasova, but if you pick and choose correctly, you’ll get solid production at a throw-away price. He has given fantasy owners at least 32.8 fantasy points in three of his last five games, and an average of 14.2 real points over that time. This is, indeed, one of those good spots. The Rockets have surrendered the most fantasy points per game to power forwards.
C: DeMarcus Cousins ($10,700) @ LAL: I’m not always, or even regularly, comfortable playing $10,700 for one player when there are so many options on the table, but it’s hard to get away from Cousins when he’s playing the way he is and has a matchup with a team like the Lakers. They’ve allowed the third-most fantasy points to centers this season, and just gave up 52.5 to Cousins two weeks ago. Cousins has at least 50 points in five of his last seven games, and at least 45 in seven of his last eight. Those are numbers that are impossible to ignore.