It’s a busier-than-usual NBA Thursday with eight games, and we may not see as many lopsided high scores as last night. Several teams are in desperate bids for playoff positioning.
The Bulls lost by 21 in Washington and must bounce back at home against the lowly Nets, while the Wizards — now within 1.5 games of eighth spot — have an easy back-to-back in Philadelphia.
Utah sits in ninth place, but only 2.5 games out of sixth, with an easy home matchup against Phoenix tonight. One of the teams the Jazz are chasing is the Blazers, highly unlikely to beat the Spurs (33-0) in San Antonio.
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A plague of injuries has hit the Grizzlies, who lost at home last night then had to travel. The rested Bucks have a big advantage. Hornets at Heat and Raptors at Pacers are typical Eastern Conference battles. I’d like the Hawks more at home to Denver if they hadn’t had to work so hard for that win in Detroit.
John Wall $9800 tops the PG list although he may not need to triple-double again and Kyle Lowry $8200 is easier on the budget. Among potential bargains, Shelvin Mack $5400, Dennis Schroder $4000 and D.J. Augustin $4400 stand out.
At SG, Jimmy Butler $8100 (knee) may not be 100% for a back-to-back, while DeMar DeRozan $7800 and Khris Middleton $7100 are well-rested. Rodney Hood $5600 looks like excellent value and Nik Stauskas $3600 is heating up.
Giannis Antetokounmpo $9400 is a nightly triple-double threat as a 6’11 point forward, but Paul George $8400 costs less and it’s a must-win at home. Lance Stephenson $5500 (wrist) has been great for Memphis, but the real bargain SF could be Doug McDermott $3800.
It’s wide-open at PF. Derrick Favors $7400 gets my nod over Paul Millsap $7700 and Jabari Parker $6100 is a decent midrange option. Taj Gibson $4900 (hamstring) gave way to Bobby Portis $3900 last night; the rookie and Nikola Mirotic $5100 are the only healthy bigs left standing unless Pau Gasol $8000 (knee) makes a surprise return.
Red crosses are piling up at center with Marcin Gortat $6800 (back), Hassan Whiteside $8200 (soreness) and Jonas Valanciunas $5100 (hand) questionable. Brook Lopez $8100 might have a field day, Al Horford $6300 has a good matchup if he’s not exhausted and Bismack Biyombo $4200 is recommended until JV returns.
If you build around the Greek Freak and Favors, there are still many ways to go. For example, to upgrade our sample lineup (above right, in bold below) from DeRozan to Wall, we could replace Horford with P.J. Tucker $4300, Carl Landry $4200 or Tony Parker $4300.
|PG||John Wall $9800||Kyle Lowry $8200||Shelvin Mack $5400|
|SG||DeMar DeRozan $7800||Rodney Hood $5600||Nik Stauskas $3600|
|SF||G. Antetokounmpo $9400||Paul George $8400||Doug McDermott $3800|
|PF||Derrick Favors $7400||Jabari Parker $6100||Bobby Portis $3900|
|C||Brook Lopez $8100||Al Horford $6300||Bismack Biyombo $4200|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.