Our top choice last night fizzled. Denver scored 117 and a bench player was the star, but it was D.J. Augustin, not Will Barton. It happens; all we can do is turn the page. Every night a whole new DFS season begins and ends, with unique handicapping challenges. On a four-game Thursday, it’s a small but top-heavy player pool.
All eyes will be on Russell Westbrook $11200 and Kevin Durant $10300 in the nightcap, a rematch of Saturday’s classic in Oklahoma City. Stephen Curry $10800 scored 46 points, including a record 12 3-pointers, the winner in overtime from well over 30 feet. However, he tweaked his ankle and sat out against the Hawks on Tuesday night. Draymond Green $8900, Klay Thompson $7900 and Andrew Bogut $4700 did just enough in another OT thriller to keep the Warriors unbeaten at home.
After another off-court tragedy (the death of part-owner Aubrey McClendon) the Thunder blew a 22-point lead last night against the Clippers in L.A., so they are tired and unhappy. KD scored 30 points and blocked five shots in defeat; he had 37 in the previous meeting with Golden State before fouling out in the first minute of the extra frame.
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We avoided DeMarcus Cousins $10700 against the Grizzlies last night, but he was respectable: 18 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and three steals. Rudy Gay $6500 (shoulder) has now missed two straight and is highly questionable as the Kings move on to Dallas with a diminishing 1.9% chance at the postseason. Although Omri Casspi $4700 should start again, and Quincy Acy $3200 is a bargain, the Mavericks are on a nice roll.
Their only loss on this home stand was to OKC and they have scored 120+ in each of the four victories. Chandler Parsons $6900 and Dirk Nowitzki $6200 have been profitable, Wesley Matthews $4900 might be the best value and after nearly losing his job, Zaza Pachulia $5400 double-doubled on Tuesday, limiting previously-hot David Lee $4300 to 14 minutes. J.J. Barea $3900 has been unleashed twice in a row. They are stackable — you can choose up to six and afford Boogie or a couple of studs from other games.
The new, improved Heat are thriving without Chris Bosh (calf) because Hassan Whiteside $8300 has become a beast. For six straight games (since returning from suspension) he’s scored 40+ FPTS, topping 50 four times. Adding Joe Johnson $5700 was also huge. His presence helps Goran Dragic $6700 make better decisions and gives Dwyane Wade $7100 more room. If Luol Deng $6300 can stay healthy at PF against much bigger opponents every night, this team is dangerous. The Suns are a disaster. 15-year veteran Tyson Chandler $4400 is inconsistently motivated; Alex Len $5600, also C-eligible, is getting an extended look as a PF. Mirza Teletovic $5700 often pays his way and one of these nights in garbage time, newcomer John Jenkins $3000 will go crazy.
My sympathy to Pelicans fans. Barely alive mathematically, they dropped a must-win in Houston last night and now face the even tougher Spurs on short rest. Anthony Davis $9800 (toe) scored just 12 points and of his supporting cast, only Norris Cole $4700 provided a spark. It’s a back-to-back for San Antonio as well, but their win at home was relatively easy. A strong defense and superior depth should decide a low-scoring affair. Kawhi Leonard $7700 and LaMarcus Aldridge $6600 are the safe plays, with many others capable of getting hot.
Ironically, the only downside to building around Whiteside is his popularity. He’s about 15-25 FPTS better than the next-best center and will be owned by almost everyone, so there’s incentive to load up at other positions. I’m not concerned about Curry and hope the “questionable” tag scares away potential owners. I’m using three Mavs in the sample lineup, hoping they win easily enough that Dirk will play limited minutes.
|PG||Stephen Curry $10800||Goran Dragic $6700||J.J. Barea $3900|
|SG||Klay Thompson $7900||Wesley Matthews $4900||John Jenkins $3000|
|SF||Kevin Durant $10200||Kawhi Leonard $7700||Joe Johnson $5700|
|PF||DeMarcus Cousins $10700||LaMarcus Aldridge $6600||David Lee $4300|
|C||Hassan Whiteside $8300||Zaza Pachulia $5400||Andrew Bogut $4700|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.