The Warriors’ season-opening unbeaten streak is already a record, for the NBA and all major sports leagues. The pressure keeps mounting, as every opponent wants to knock them off. Fatigue is definitely a factor; Indiana is the fifth stop on a 7-game road trip and the third in four nights for Stephen Curry $10700, Draymond Green $8100 and Klay Thompson $6400.
That trio played 32-34 minutes in Sunday’s romp over the Nets. Expect 36-40 tonight, with Andre Iguodala $5200 and Shaun Livingston $3300 the key reserves. Paul George $10200 has never been better and his supporting cast is affordable. George Hill $5700 will try to hold Curry to 30. With Monta Ellis $5600 (back) not 100%, Rodney Stuckey $4700 provides better value off the bench. C.J. Miles $5800 has been off-target in three of his last four but can light it up.
The highlight of a 6-game NBA slate could also be the key to winning cash at DraftKings in daily fantasy contests. Pick an 8-man lineup without exceeding the $50K salary cap. You don’t need to have the highest score; the top 20-25% win cash in tournaments and there are 50-50 pools where half the field gets paid.
Plays of the Day
The $375K Tipoff Special costs only $3 per team (one entry is FREE with your first deposit at DK) and pays the top 29,140 finishers from up to 143,750 teams. First place wins $50,000. The deadline is 7:00 EST; enter before it fills and you can make lineup changes until each player’s game begins — last-minute adjustments to breaking news can really pay off.
Although Russell Westbrook $10400 and Kevin Durant $10100 are mega-stars wherever they play, the FedEx Forum is unwelcoming to visitors. KD was hurt on Nov. 15 when Russ scored 40 there and the Grizzlies prevailed.
OKC will need big games from Serge Ibaka $6200 and Steven Adams $3800 to contain Zach Randolph $6300 and a red-hot Marc Gasol $7300. Possible Memphis bargains include Mike Conley $6700, Courtney Lee $4000, Matt Barnes $4400 and Mario Chalmers $4100.
James Harden $10800 should be unstoppable and his Rockets have won three straight. Dwight Howard $7000 will battle with Brook Lopez $7700; either or both could earn their salary. Thaddeus Young $7100 is also sharp for Brooklyn, and Shane Larkin $4300 has become a useful sixth man. Houston starts Clint Capela $5500 at PF, with Terrence Jones $5100 providing energy off the bench and Donatas Motiejunas $4300 (back) slowly getting up to speed. Jones is being challenged to improve.
Unexpectedly rested on Saturday, LeBron James $10000 will be fresh. The Trail Blazers lost a close one in Milwaukee last night. Damian Lillard $8700, Ed Davis $5000 and Allen Crabbe $3400 played well but this is where the Cavaliers snap out of a three-game funk. Kevin Love $8300 has cooled off Mo Williams $5300 (knee) is questionable, so J.R. Smith $5300 and Matthew Dellavedova $4500 must chip in. Richard Jefferson $3200 scored 16 points in 38 minutes of a rare start but will return to a minor role.
For a team that has lost three straight, the Kings look dangerous. DeMarcus Cousins $10500 just needs to reduce the long-range jumpers and attack the rim. Rajon Rondo $8500, Rudy Gay $6900 and Darren Collison $4800 are all contributing. The Jazz can’t replace Rudy Gobert (knee) but Derrick Favors $7900 is trying — 35 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday’s overtime win — and Gordon Hayward $7000 is also stepping up. Rookie Trey Lyles $3100 was a surprise starter, but Trevor Booker $4600 is more valuable off the bench. Trey Burke $3900 is a sweet price if he remains in the same groove as his last two.
Orlando visits the Nuggets, who salvaged the last two games of a road trip. Elfrid Payton $6400, Victor Oladipo $6600 and Nikola Vucevic $7000 are all playable. Denver’s leading scorer Danilo Gallinari $7000 (knee) is questionable; sixth man Will Barton $5900 may be the best fantasy value but Kenneth Faried $5800 should see a big boost in minutes and usage if that tender ankle responded well.
What do we do at the absolutely loaded SF position? LeBron has the easiest matchup, PG-13 will be inspired and Durant is always a threat. In DFS, the answer “none of the above” is always possible. There aren’t enough ultra-cheap “scrubs” with sufficient upside in tonight’s player pool to afford multiple 5-digit salaries. My sample lineup features Harden, three midrange guys and four potential bargains. As always, it’s subject to change between now and 7:00.
|PG||Stephen Curry $10700||Mike Conley $6700||Trey Burke $3900|
|SG||James Harden $10600||Will Barton $5900||Courtney Lee $4000|
|SF||LeBron James $10000||Gordon Hayward $7000||Matt Barnes $4400|
|PF||DeMarcus Cousins $10500||Derrick Favors $7900||Kenneth Faried $5800|
|C||Marc Gasol $7300||Nikola Vucevic $7000||Steven Adams $3800|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.