There are four high-salaried superstars to consider in daily fantasy on a five-game NBA Thursday. With a $50,000 salary cap for an eight-man roster, we can afford to use two studs and still assemble a strong lineup.
Anthony Davis $10000 is my top selection because the Pelicans are beset by injury problems. Eric Gordon (finger) will miss at least a month and Tyreke Evans $7700 (knee) is far from healthy. Jrue Holiday $6500 is expected to start, with Ryan Anderson $6000 always a threat to get hot off the bench and Dante Cunningham $3400 a potential bargain. When Evans sits, Norris Cole $4100 gets extra run; he’s a decent add in deep leagues until Gordon returns.
Despite being hacked intentionally all night, Andre Drummond $8800 double-doubled in just 23 minutes and all five Pistons starters scored 17+ points in a road win over the Rockets. Aron Baynes $3100 played 25 minutes and rewarded his DFS owners handsomely — 8 PTS, 9 REB, 2 BLK, 1 AST. Drummond, Reggie Jackson $7300 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope $5800 have the best matchups in this back-to-back.
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The headliner is a nationally-televised clash between two of the league’s five best teams. The Clippers have had two days off since beating Houston in overtime, while the Cavs toyed with the Nets last night. Kyrie Irving $7000 played just 21 minutes, perhaps saving his energy for Chris Paul $9800. L.A. has won 11 of 12 since Christmas, even with Blake Griffin (quad) sidelined. DeAndre Jordan $7500 can dominate inside against Timofey Mozgov $3400 or Tristan Thompson $4800, and J.J. Redick $5600 has drained 16 3-pointers in three games. Obviously LeBron James $9700 is a nightmare matchup and Kevin Love $7200 was the best player on the court last night.
As expected, DeMarcus Cousins $10600 and the Kings steamrolled the Lakers last night on the road. Boogie scored 36 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Tonight they host the Hawks, who won by six in Portland. Rajon Rondo $8500 is having a better year than Jeff Teague $5800, but that’s priced in. Rudy Gay $6800 blocked six shots in a full stat line and gets the nod over Kent Bazemore $5600. You know Paul Millsap $8200 will battle Cousins despite the size difference, but the key matchup could be at center. Al Horford $6900 is a tough cover for Willie Cauley-Stein $3400, who was terrific last night (12 PTS, 10 REB, 2 BLK in 29 MIN) and should be scooped off waiver wires. We might see more of Omri Casspi $6000 and less of WCS, but the price on the big rookie is tempting.
It’s possible the Spurs will beat the Suns by 30 (they are “only” 14-point favorites) but in the opener of a road back-to-back, it won’t be surprising if they play just well enough to win, while limiting minutes for the veterans. Tony Parker (hip) is out, so Patty Mills $3500 will start against Brandon Knight $7200. Phoenix is hurting, with Mirza Teletovic $4700 (ankle), T.J. Warren $4400 (knee), Jon Leuer $4400 (back) and Markieff Morris $4900 (shoulder) all questionable. Even 100% healthy, nobody is capable of stopping Kawhi Leonard $8300 or LaMarcus Aldridge $7100, but the big minutes will go to P.J. Tucker $5000 and the most shots to rookie Devin Booker $5000, fresh off a 32-point explosion.
Least exciting is Memphis at Denver. The score was 91-84 when they met two weeks ago in Tennessee, and Mike Conley $6200 is back. The Nuggets match up better if Jusuf Nurkic $4600 can start against Marc Gasol $7600. A healthy, motivated Danilo Gallinari $7100 has been tremendous and rookie Emmanuel Mudiay $5800 is maturing. Kenneth Faried $5900 is reasonably priced whether he’s up against Matt Barnes $5100 or Zach Randolph $6400. The Grizzlies have won three straight and are well-rested enough to make it four, but don’t count on individual heroics.
In the sample lineup above, I’m saving at the guard and wing spots to load up with bigs. If you use CP3, LBJ or DMC along with Davis, the supporting cast won’t be as strong. Good luck!
|PG||Chris Paul $9800||Jrue Holiday $6500||Patty Mills $3500|
|SG||K. Caldwell-Pope $5800||J.J. Redick $5600||Devin Booker $5000|
|SF||LeBron James $9700||Danilo Gallinari $7100||P.J. Tucker $5000|
|PF||Anthony Davis $10000||Paul Millsap $8200||Tristan Thompson $4800|
|C||Andre Drummond $8800||DeAndre Jordan $7500||Willie Cauley-Stein $3400|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.