It’s NBA All-Star week, with only three days of daily fantasy action before the league takes its annual hiatus. In traditional head-to-head leagues, the two “short weeks” are combined.
Russell Westbrook $11300 and Kevin Durant $10700 are certainly capable of scoring 70 points or more in Phoenix. The question is, will they have to? Enes Kanter $4900 had an impressive double-double (14 & 15) in just 20 minutes against the Warriors. The Suns have lost 13 of 14 and are missing their two best guards, plus an important reserve. If Archie Goodwin $5900, Devin Booker $6000, Markieff Morris $6200 and Tyson Chandler $4700 keep the game competitive, the Thunder stars can earn those lofty salaries.
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The other two most expensive players on a ten-game slate are both PF. DeMarcus Cousins $11200 was very good yesterday in a loss to the Celtics (31 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST) but a road back-to-back against Cleveland is not the easiest spot. Anthony Davis $10000 leads the Pelicans into Minnesota, where Karl-Anthony Towns $8200 and Gorgui Dieng $6500 were spectacular in beating the Bulls on Saturday.
It’s the fourth straight road game for the Raptors, though they have enjoyed three full off-days since Kyle Lowry $8700 was brilliant in a win over Portland. DeMar DeRozan $8000 had a game-high 29 when these teams last met. Brandon Jennings $3900 almost single-handedly shot the Pistons back into that one as Toronto blew a 20-point lead and won by only four.
Gotta like the Pacers at home against the worst team in the league. Unless Kobe Bryant $6100 plays as well as he did on Saturday in San Antonio, Paul George $8500 might not see much of the floor in the second half. Though Ian Mahinmi $4700 (back) regained his starting job after sitting out four games, former Laker Jordan Hill $5600 stayed hot off the bench. Julius Randle $6400 (ankle) is questionable for a difficult matchup with Myles Turner $6300.
The Clippers are 9-point favorites in Philadelphia, with Chris Paul $9500 and DeAndre Jordan $7900 far more accomplished than their Sixers counterparts. When Ish Smith $7100 (ankle) missed the last game, T.J. McConnell $4100 stepped up (17 PTS, 6 AST) as they beat Brooklyn. Jahlil Okafor $6300 had his best night in weeks — 22 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks — and with a repeat could make this closer than expected.
Our picks Will Barton $5700 and Emmanuel Mudiay $5600 led the improved Nuggets over the Knicks yesterday. Technically this is a road back-to-back, but the only travel was a short taxi ride to Brooklyn. Jeffrey Lauvergne $3100 outplayed Nikola Jokic $6500 and both will be needed against Brook Lopez $7800, so the price is right on the Frenchman if you want to punt C or Util. Thaddeus Young $6700 has also been sharp for the Nets.
With Jimmy Butler (knee) sidelined, E’Twaun Moore $4900 has had two superb starts (out of three) and Pau Gasol $8700 is the primary option. The Hornets are very good at home, only 2.5 games back of Chicago in the standings, and getting healthy again. Nicolas Batum $6700 was one dime short of a triple-double and Kemba Walker $8100 scored 43 points in his first two starts after getting his knee drained.
We strongly suggested the Magic would beat Atlanta yesterday and are even more confident that the Hawks will win the rematch at home. Jeff Teague $6000 and Kent Bazemore $5200 were the high scorers, with Nikola Vucevic $7400 and Evan Fournier $4500 leading Orlando. Paul Millsap $7900 didn’t have his greatest game and should be motivated for revenge tonight.
Nothing against the five Premium studs on today’s Short List, but our sample lineup consists of five strong second choices and three potential bargains. If there were more ultra-cheap guys with upside, we’d consider a stars-and-scrubs approach.
|PG||Russell Westbrook $11300||Kyle Lowry $8700||Emmanuel Mudiay $5600|
|SG||DeMar DeRozan $8000||Will Barton $5700||E’Twaun Moore $4900|
|SF||Kevin Durant $10700||Nicolas Batum $6700||Kent Bazemore $5200|
|PF||Anthony Davis $10000||Thaddeus Young $6700||Jordan Hill $5600|
|C||Pau Gasol $8700||Karl-A. Towns $8200||Jeffrey Lauvergne $3100|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.