Russell Westbrook or DeMarcus Cousins? SI.com dishes fantasy advice for February 29.
The NBA celebrates leap day with a seven-game slate, which is actually a bit light for a typical Monday. Many daily fantasy owners will be looking at the Thunder-Kings game and asking themselves a question with a not-so-simple answer: Westbrook or Cousins? Russell Westbrook and DeMarcus Cousins have been the two most bankable fantasy commodities not named Stephen Curry this season. Westbrook costs $11,000 on Monday, while Cousins checks in at a cool $10,900. There’s little wiggle room to build a winning team with both of them on the roster, but you probably don’t want to fade both, either. Find out our choice, as well as the rest of our starting five, below.
All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.
PG: Russell Westbrook ($11,000) @ SAC: Didn’t have to wait long, did you? Westbrook is on an absolute tear, scoring at least 46.1 fantasy points in each of his last 10 games. He and the Thunder may have suffered a stunning loss to the Warriors on Saturday, but Curry posted his 40th double double of the season, a new career high. The Kings, which have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to point guards this year, have no hope of slowing him down Monday night.
SG: Khris Middleton ($7,700) vs. HOU: Middleton has at least 18 points in eight of his last nine games, and at least 20 in six of those contests. He has turned into one of the most reliable cash-game players, averaging 19.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.6 steals in February, giving him a strong production floor he rarely fails to deliver for his fantasy owners. Houston, meanwhile, has surrendered the ninth-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards, and this matchup boasts a healthy 212.5 over/under.
SF: Jeff Green ($5,400) vs. BKN: Green got his first start as a Clipper on Friday and he made the absolute most of it. The eighth-year player out of Georgetown scored 22 points and grabbed five rebounds in 31 minutes, giving the Clippers some much-needed scoring punch from the small forward position. It’s something they’ve lacked all year, and now that Green can provide it, don’t expect him to return to a sixth-man role anytime soon. The Nets are in the bottom-third of the league in fantasy defense against small forwards.
PF: Zach Randolph ($6,500) @ DEN: Randolph no longer has a huge ceiling, but he has been a steady scoring presence for Memphis in the wake of Marc Gasol’s season-ending foot injury. He has put up double-digit points in 11 straight games, and is averaging 17.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in February. Those aren’t world-beating numbers, but they are profitable at a $6,500 price tag. Denver has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to power forwards this season.
C: Marcin Gortat ($6,900) vs. PHI: We’re going back to old reliable at the center position once again, and why not? Gortat is one of the surest double-double threats in the game, although he has fallen short in two of his last three games. A matchup with the 76ers sets up quite nicely for him. In two games against them this year, Gortat has averaged 16.5 points, 12 rebounds and one block. Once you get beyond Cousins, Gortat provides the most bang for your buck at the center position on Monday.