-Jrue Holiday is the latest guy to become a regular at the top of the column. He went bananas in the first quarter again Tuesday and went off in the game for 29 points with 5 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals, and 4 threes. Holiday has become an All-Star caliber player even if it’s just because he’s finally getting consistent playing time, approaching 40 minutes most nights. He’s easily the best player on the struggling Sixers and this should continue going forward.
-LaMarcus Aldridge seemingly has gotten more confident since his wrist injury became an issue. On Tuesday, he scored 28 points with 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 block. He’s getting a ton of looks every game and all of the Blazers starters are playing heavy minutes as the highest scoring starting unit in the league. Nicolas Batum (22-7-7-2-2) and JJ Hickson (19 & 13 w/ 2 blocks)both played exceptionally well also, while the backcourt struggled a bit.
-Ty Lawson played well in a good matchup, which is always a great sign for anyone as he finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, which is a line we haven’t seen from him much this season. Lawson and Iguodala (9 points) have struggled to play well in the same game. Danilo Gallinari continued his improved play with another 25 point outing.
-Dwight Howard returned from injury to score 31 points while grabbing 16 rebounds and posting 4 blocks and he looks plenty healthy again and it was his best game of the season versus a decent frontcourt. He’s still not shooting free throws well, but no one is going to care if he keeps posting lines like this. Kobe Bryant dropped his usual 30+ points and totally locked up Brandon Jennings in the game.
-Eric Bledsoe made another start for the injured Chris Paul and showed a little more of his immense upside last night with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Paul is looking iffy for Thursday and Bledsoe is well worth owning in most leagues due to the chance that this lingers.
Top Lines to Target:
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
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DEN @ OKC
HOU @ DAL
CLE @ POR
WAS @ SAC
(Guys I am trying to get into lineups tonight, ranked on comparison to perceived value.)
My early daily DraftDay Freeroll lineup is to the right.Check out our EFF Matchups to determine the best plays for yourself.
Value Play: John Wall
Westbrook is shooting over 45% in January and gets another spectacular matchup tonight with the Nuggets in a fast-paced matchup. Hill is back to his old tricks, producing solidly when healthy and he gets the Magic tonight. Irving should bounce back from a tough game versus Damian Lillard who is perpetually torched on defense (Check Lawson’s line above). Wall is still on a minutes limit, but his price has finally dropped to factor it in.
Value Play: Lance Stephenson
Mayo’s game has changed since Dirk returned, but it looks like it was for the better and he’s got a solid matchup with the Rockets in a high-scoring affair tonight. Johnson is coming off a big game and he’s been solid lately and facing his former team who struggles to guard big shooting guards. Matthews should bounce back from a few tough games tonight in a great matchup with the Cavs shooting guards. Stephenson has been a pleasant surprise for the Pacers and fantasy owners and should be solid again tonight.
Value Play: Landry Fields
Batum is simply one of the most exciting players to own in fantasy, he can rack up huge numbers in any category on any night and has an insanely good matchup with Cleveland at home tonight. I have a feeling this may be Lebron’s best game of the season tonight as he should handle Barnes and Klay with ease. Deng has been solid and plays as many minutes as anyone in the NBA and gets a great matchup with the slow footed Fields and offensive minded DeRozan. It’s impossible to argue with Fields playing time for his price.
Value Play: Tyler Zeller
Dirk took a backseat in a thrashing of the Wolves, but he should bounce back in a great matchup tonight that may even allow him to play some center. Boozer has been a double-double machine and gets the Raptors tonight. Aldridge is on fire, but he’s probably due for a letdown. Zeller played his best game this season last time out and will look to continue that tonight.
Value Play: Zaza Pachulia
Cousins gets another great matchup and he is just outmuscling everyone in his way right now. Horford usually plays better offensively out of the power forward position he will be playing tonight with Josh Smith suspended. Hickson was a monster again last night and gets an even better matchup tonight. Pachulia should be starting at center and he played 38 minutes last time Smoove was out.