We have only four NBA games to consider this evening. Russell Westbrook $10600 is poised to notch another triple-double as Oklahoma City hosts the Rockets, after Kevin Durant $10400 (elbow) skipped practice yesterday. When KD is absent, or less than 100%, Westbrook’s already sky-high usage rate goes up.
James Harden $10500 (foot) is also less than 100%, though you know he’ll try to play in this huge game against his former club. A sticky situation for Dwight Howard $7200 could lead to a fine or suspension. Michael Beasley $4900 has been a productive model citizen for Houston and Donatas Motiejunas $3200 is finally healthy. The Thunder should win their fifth straight, with Serge Ibaka $5700, Enes Kanter $5200 and Randy Foye $3100 all reasonably priced in an entertaining shootout.
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How about those Hornets? Down 30-7 against one of the league’s best and they came back to win. Courtney Lee $3400 led the starters with 17 points and Nicolas Batum $7300 was everywhere, but Jeremy Lin $3300 was the hero off the bench, scoring 29. They travel to Brooklyn tonight, where Kemba Walker $8300 is certain to play better. Brook Lopez $7400 (illness) should return to join Thaddeus Young $7100 and Bojan Bogdanovic $5500 as the main weapons for the Nets.
Except for Chris Bosh (blood clots) the Heat are reasonably healthy. Goran Dragic $6500 has minor neck and elbow issues but still double-doubled in Saturday’s big win over Cleveland, as did Hassan Whiteside $8000. Veterans Dwyane Wade $6500, Joe Johnson $5200 and Luol Deng $6100 are all contributing, while rookie Josh Richardson $4300 continues to lead the second unit as possibly the best value of all.
The last Pelican standing can turn out the lights. Six men — Jrue Holiday $8200, Toney Douglas $5100, Tim Frazier $3900, Omer Asik $3500, Dante Cunningham $3600 and Luke Babbitt $3700 — scored 102 of their 109 points in a remarkable upset of the Clippers on Sunday. All of those bargain salaries will soon rise, with Anthony Davis is out for the year. They are unlikely to beat Miami but will try to keep it respectable.
The Lakers host Memphis in the nightcap. It’s a road back-to-back for the Grizzlies, who edged away late to beat Phoenix. Lance Stephenson $6500 returned to a bench role but scored a team-high 16, Zach Randolph $6800 double-doubled (14 & 13) and newcomer Jordan Farmar contributed, though he’s not in the DK player pool yet. Matt Barnes $5600 has assumed a leadership role. Assuming Kobe Bryant $5300 (shoulder) sits out again, Lou Williams $5000 should stay hot and for not much cap space, Marcelo Huertas $3600 and Larry Nance Jr. $3300 have upside.
Today’s sample lineup is built around Westbrook and Whiteside, avoiding Durant and Harden. There are so many excellent bargains for a change that a stars-and-scrubs approach seems obvious.
|PG||Russell Westbrook $10600||Jrue Holiday $8200||Tim Frazier $3900|
|SG||James Harden $10500||Nicolas Batum $7300||Josh Richardson $4300|
|SF||Kevin Durant $10400||Matt Barnes $5600||Michael Beasley $4900|
|PF||Thaddeus Young $7100||Zach Randolph $6800||D. Motiejunas $3200|
|C||Hassan Whiteside $8000||Enes Kanter $5200||Omer Asik $3500|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.