Check out SpreadSheet Sports’ awesome NBA projection and optimal DFS lineup tool and save $5
Kemba Walker – I’m bypassing Russell Westbrook tonight in favor of Kemba Walker. Kemba is much cheaper than Westbrook tonight, and he has been playing extremely well of recent. In his last four games, he has over 40 fantasy points in all of them. Against the Chicago Bulls, he posted 57.75 fantasy points in 36 minutes of action. He is the primary offensive weapon for the Charlotte Hornets, and he gets a great matchup tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. Use him in all formats.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: I’m a big fan of Kemba Walker, but it’s going to be hard to go away from Westbrook tonight. The Thunder take on the top team in the East, and this game should be extremely fun. Still, I do like Walker.
Brandon Jennings – This is rather risky considering that Brandon Jennings role in Orlando has not been defined yet, but he definitely has some potential. It looks like his opportunity in Orlando is going to be a lot better than in Detroit. In his first game, he played 25 minutes, scored 18 points, and posted 28.75 fantasy points. His price tag is starting to come up, but if he is going to consistently see around 20-25 minutes per game, he can be used in all formats. He has huge upside, and he should be used in tournaments against the terrible Pacers’ defense.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: Jennings certainly comes with risk, but if he can find a way to play 30 minutes tonight, he could be the best play on the board. That most likely won’t happen, but the Magic have never been scared to do some crazy things with their rotations.
LeBron James – LeBron James has really turned it on of recent. He has over 50 fantasy points in three straight games, and he is pushing closer to 60 fantasy points in two of those three games. Tonight he gets a great matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder are not a bad defensive team. In fact, they are a very good team overall. That generally makes James play better. Continue to use him until his price tag comes up above $10,000, which is going to happen very soon.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: James is going to take the Cavs on his shoulders tonight, as they take on a great team in the Thunder. He’s a bit too cheap, and LBJ is a great option tonight.
Doug McDermott – Doug McDermott is a great tournament play tonight, as he faces the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are one of the worst teams in the league against opposing small forwards, and McDermott has proven that he can score when he wants to. In his last game, he posted 30 regular points and 38.5 fantasy points in 31 minutes against the Toronto Raptors. He generally does not get to shoot as much as he did last game, so avoid him in 50/50 contests. He is a tournament-only play.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: The problem I have with Doug McDermott is that even though he’s the best shooter on the court whenever he steps out there, he REFUSES to shoot the ball. If he isn’t wide open, he isn’t taking the shot, and it makes no sense. He’s a great GPP option, though.
Nikola Vucevic – Nikola Vucevic is the best center option on the board tonight. I originally was going to recommend Andre Drummond, but I can’t possibly avoid Vuc2.0 tonight. He has over 45 fantasy points in three straight games, and his price tag is just simply too low. He gets a semi-tough matchup tonight against the Indiana Pacers, but he is essentially matchup proof right now. Against the Atlanta Hawks, he posted over 55 fantasy points in 43 minutes of action. Use him in all formats.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: Vucevic is most likely my favorite center option as well.
Nikola Jokic – Nikola Jokic should only be used in tournaments tonight. He has really struggled of recent, but that is because of his inconsistent minutes. He only played four minutes in his last game. He should play closer to 20-25 minutes tonight, and he has insane upside. He was constantly posting around 40 fantasy points per game prior to the All-Star break. He should be avoided in 50/50 contests at all costs. As a side note, the Boston Celtics are horrible against opposing centers.
Justin’s Rapid Reaction: I absolutely hate this play, and it has nothing to do with Jokic as a player. In his last game, the Nuggets gave him 4 minutes, and that’s flat out a Jokic. See what I did there? Regardless, I’m not going to play him.
Damian Lillard – If everyone could just remember one year ago what happened in the few games after the All Star Break when Damian Lillard announced that he felt he was snubbed. Okay, now take a look at his first game back from the break this season, when he was once again snubbed. He scored a ridiculous 78 fantasy points against a tough Golden State team. He’s going to take the Blazers on his back, more than he already has, and the Jazz don’t have anyone that can slow down Damian Lillard. He’s going to score whenever he wants tonight, and he’s a great option in all leagues.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: Damian Lillard is attempting to make a statement. Use him in all formats.
Jordan Clarkson – The Lakers offense always seems to have one person that goes off each night, and recently it has been Clarkson. That isn’t to take away how well Kobe Bryant has been playing, but Clarkson has been on fire recently. He has scored 35+ fantasy points in three of his last four games, and now he gets a great matchup against an injured Chicago team. Clarkson has been shooting extremely well, but he’s getting a lot of his fantasy points in other categories, which is extremely encouraging. I don’t love him in cash games because of his ability to flop on any given night, but he’s a great GPP option.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: Clarkson is one of the best guards the Lakers have. Regardless, I like Lou Williams better.
Kevin Durant – Since we failed to mention Russell Westbrook, it only makes sense to put KD here. He is the other half of the Thunder’s offense, and he makes a great option today. KD has somewhat struggled over his last couple of games, but he was playing out of this world before that. He shouldn’t have any problems scoring today, as no one in the NBA can stop him, and he should continue to add peripheral stats. He has tremendous upside, but I’ll likely be using him more in GPPs, while I try to fit Westbrook into my cash game lineups.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: Kevin Durant is always a great option.
Mirza Teletovic – Teletovic is clearly a winner of the Markieff Morris trade, but he’s also a winner of the Tyson Chandler and Alex Len injuries. If they are both out tonight, Teletovic will slide into the starting lineup and easily hit value. Even if they play, he’ll likely be able to hit value at his low price tag. He’s coming off a huge 38 fantasy point game, in which he played 34 minutes because of the injuries to the Suns. Keep track of the Chandler and Len injuries, as Teletovic’s value will drastically decrease if they play, but he’ll still make a great GPP option if that’s the case.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: Jon Leuer looked solid last game, so I’m not sure that Teletovic is the clear winner. However, he is a great option.
Rudy Gobert – This seems like a matchup made in heaven to me. The Blazers have really struggled to rebound the ball this season, and Gobert is one of the best rebounders in the NBA. He has struggled against Portland twice this year, but that doesn’t worry me. Gobert is finally playing well after his injury, and that will continue tonight. He has double-doubled in five consecutive games, and I would be shocked if he doesn’t double-double tonight. He can be used in all leagues for his price tag.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: Gobert is one of my favorite players in the league. I’ll never say no to this.
Zaza Pachulia – Pachulia has been a rebounding machine this season, and once he gets going, it’s extremely difficult to slow him down. He gets a great matchup against a weak Sixers frontcourt, and Pachulia is coming off a huge game against the Magic. He’s playing around 40 minutes per night, and that should easily be enough time to dominate the Philly frontcourt. Pachulia hasn’t been playing well recently, which is why his price is so low, but he seems like an easy pick for value tonight.
Jason’s Rapid Reaction: I likely will not be going this cheap at center.
Both Writers Will Gladly Respond to Questions and Comments on Twitter at @BalesSJustin and @thedominatordfs.