–Kobe Bryant had the most un-Kobe-like game I’ve seen from him in years on Friday. He was basically playing point guard despite Steve Nash being healthy and on the court. Bryant had 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting adding 9 rebounds, 14 assists, 3 steals and a block for a ridiculously well-rounded line as the Lakers looked as good as they have all season. We may be seeing more like this going forward if it continues to be this effective.
–Dwight Howard returned to the starting lineup for the Lakers after being given full clearance on his shoulder. I had people on Twitter telling me all day that he was terrible and that he should never be played, but this is fantasy basketball people. The storylines don’t matter, the team’s records don’t matter and his overall affect on the game don’t matter. It’s all about stats and Howard is one of the best at putting them up when healthy. He finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and 2 blocks.
–Elton Brand was moved into the starting lineup for the Mavericks after outplaying Chris Kaman for a little over a week now. He didn’t disappoint either with 8 points, 13 boards and 2 blocks in 25 minutes. He’s not ever going to go crazy unless a team just gives him 15-footers, but he can keep giving owners solid games with this type of playing time.
–Ersan Ilyasova continued his hot streak last night with 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting (with 5 threes) with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. Ilyasova certainly looks back. He’s been on a three game tear like few others have had this season and his minutes increased for the third game in a row. Look for him to keep the momentum rolling next time out.
Top Lines to Target:
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
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BKN @ HOU
GSW @ MIL
SAC @ DEN
(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: JJ Barea
Holiday is coming off a couple slow games, but gets a juicy matchup with the Knicks tonight at home, where he’s been a stud. Lawson is coming off a solid game and gets a matchup with the lowly Kings. Walker has another home game versus the depleted backcourt of the Wolves tonight. Barea continues to be forced into heavy minutes and should provide value again today against the Bobcats.
Value Play: Bradley Beal
Ellis faces his former team the Warriors, who were just dismantled by Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson last night. Johnson should bounce back from a tough matchup with a good one against the Rockets. DeRozan finally broke out of his slump last game and has another good matchup tonight. Beal appears to be over his wrist injury.
Value Play: Derrick Williams
Melo is just so good and such a focal point of the Knicks offense that he rarely disappoints. Turner has been very solid in the last couple games with Jason Richardson out and that should continue tonight at home against the Knicks. Gallinari has been a different player of late and he gets a nice matchup with the Kings tonight. Williams took 17 shots last night, which is a great sign for him going forward.
Value Play: Ed Davis
David Lee is going to pick things up real soon, the minutes and shots have been there and he was more than solid in a tough matchup with Chicago last night. Boozer double-doubled early last night and wasn’t needed as much the rest of the way last night, look for him to continue his improved play versus the Wizards tonight. Ilyasova is as hot as anyone in the league and David Lee and Carl Landry have never scared anyone away. Davis continues to be underpriced and has a great matchup with the Cavs tonight.
Value Play: Chris Johnson
Lopez has an excellent matchup with a Rockets team that loves to go small and he’s been very consistent of late. Noah is coming off a huge game, into an even better matchup and he’s back to playing heavy minutes nightly. Amir Johnson will continue his high-energy play from the starting lineup for the Raptors and Tyler Zeller should have little chance to contain him. Johnson provided solid value in over 20 minutes again last night and he’s got a much better matchup tonight with the Bobcats.