Although he sat out on Wednesday with a bruised knee, DeMarcus Cousins $10300 is expected to return tonight in Phoenix. It’s like an exhibition game for both lottery teams — better for fantasy purposes than a struggle between playoff clubs battling for position. An injury to Tyson Chandler (back) has given Jon Leuer $4100 a chance to shine for the Suns and P.J. Tucker $4700 is their hardest worker but Devin Booker $6600 has the best matchup.
Stephen Curry $10500, Draymond Green $8100 and Klay Thompson $6800 put their all-time record home unbeaten streak on the line tonight against the desperate Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki $7200 had a 40-point night, Deron Williams $5600 double-doubled in both games against Portland and surprisingly, so did Salah Mejri $3800. Whether or not the 7’2″ rookie continues to start, he is clearly ahead of Zaza Pachulia $3200 and outplayed David Lee $4800 in the split with the Blazers. Wesley Matthews $4400 is vitally important with Chandler Parsons (knee) gone.
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In another meaningless affair, Denver visits the Lakers. It should be high-scoring, with potential DFS bargains like D.J. Augustin $4600, Darrell Arthur $4200 and Will Barton $5100. Although Jusuf Nurkic $3900 was short of breath in the fourth quarter on Wednesday, he’s getting closer to a timeshare with Nikola Jokic $5900. For the home team, Kobe Bryant $5200 (shoulder) just played in a back-to-back, making him questionable. If he’s ruled out, D’Angelo Russell $6200, Jordan Clarkson $4900 and Lou Williams $4900 all gain value and join Julius Randle $6000 as decent plays.
Kyle Lowry $8400 (elbow) didn’t appear in Wednesday’s loss to the Celtics but should return tonight in Houston. Patrick Patterson $3900 (ankle) is more questionable; Jason Thompson $3200 is a capable replacement. With a comfortable second seed, the Raptors can give everyone some rest down the stretch. Tied for the final playoff spot in the ultra-competitive West, James Harden $10400 and Dwight Howard $6800 have more at stake.
Minnesota is developing some brilliant youngsters while the Wizards can’t afford to lose. Though John Wall $9700 is the centerpiece, value plays include Markieff Morris $5000, Otto Porter $5100 and Marcus Thornton $3100. Both centers are worth the money; Karl-Anthony Towns $8300 is more consistent but the pressure is on Marcin Gortat $6500.
Also unbeaten at home this year and 13-point choices to stay that way, the Spurs host the de-clawed Grizzlies. Kawhi Leonard (quad) is out, with Danny Green, Boris Diaw and Patty Mills being rested. That leaves Tony Parker $4600 and LaMarcus Aldridge $7100 surrounded by cheap guys with upside. Kyle Anderson $3000 will start, Bojan Marjanovic $3000 and Jonathan Simmons will get minutes and Kevin Martin $3000 could be unleashed.
Hornets-Pistons will be a playoff-style dandy. Nicolas Batum $7000 and a red-hot Jeremy Lin $3900 are attractively priced, while Andre Drummond $7600 will try to atone for a poor game in Charlotte two weeks ago and Marcus Morris $5100 is shooting it well for Detroit.
Giannis Antetokounmpo $9600 tops the SF list by a wide margin but I don’t like the Bucks in Atlanta. Punting that position with Anderson leads to this extreme sample lineup with two expensive superstars, two midrange stars and four “scrubs” who might all outperform their cost.
|PG||Stephen Curry $10500||Kyle Lowry $8400||Jeremy Lin $3900|
|SG||James Harden $10400||Devin Booker $6600||Wesley Matthews $4400|
|SF||G. Antetokounmpo $9600||P.J. Tucker $4700||Kyle Anderson $3000|
|PF||DeMarcus Cousins $10300||LaMarcus Aldridge $7100||Jon Leuer $4100|
|C||Karl-A. Towns $8300||Andre Drummond $7600||Salah Mejri $3800|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.