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If you’re a basketball fan then this time of the year is sure to get your blood flowing. I’ll be flipping back and forth between the conference tournament games and some key NBA matchups. There’s still another week and a half until the brackets come out, so until then I have a solution that scratches the itch. Play some daily fantasy here at Fanball if you haven’t tried it already and find out for yourself why people love it so much. I’m sure if you’re the type of person who always gets in that bracket pool at the office, you’ll love the thrill of daily fantasy. There’s nothing more exciting then watching that shooting guard you picked hit three pointer after three pointer, or that Point Guard you picked dish out another assist to the Power Forward you paired with him. Now let’s get to the good stuff and provide you with some insight on what players to target in tonight’s five game slate.
Russell Westbrook – PG - $12,900
OKC vs PHX
You’re probably reading this and thinking duh, obviously Westbrook is the top player tonight, but there’s good reason for it. In his last game vs Phoenix he put up 72.8 Fanball points and the time before that he dropped 54.5. It’s a dream matchup for Westbrook, facing a tanking team that might be the worst in the league. The Suns have given up the 2nd most Fanball points to Point Guards on the season along with the 2nd most points per game, assists, and the most steals and blocks. The Brodie is almost guaranteed a double-double, having six over his past eight games and will surely bring it tonight after Tuesday's home loss to Houston.
Kemba Walker – PG - $9,000
CHA vs BKN
If Charlotte has any hopes of a playoff berth, they’ll need Kemba’s A game. Sitting six games back it’s put up or shut up time for the Hornets. Over his past eight games his top Fanball score was against the Nets and I’d expect another strong showing tonight. Coming off a terrible performance of 20 Fanball points, Kemba has a chance to redeem himself. He tends to be a good bounce back candidate, putting up some of his best games on the season after bad ones and hasn’t had back to back 20 some games since November 2017. In fact, the last two times Walker was that bad he’s come back with scores of 43.9 and 42.9. Brooklyn has given up 42.7 Fanball points per game to Point Guards on the season, so look for Kemba to reach value.
Dwight Howard – C - $8,200
CHA vs BKN
This is another Hornet I’ll be targeting tonight for the same reasons as Kemba Walker. In Howard's last game vs Brooklyn he put up 45.3 Fanball points with an impressive double-double which actually featured more rebounds (24) than points (15). Over his past 10 games he’s been remarkably better at home than away. At the Spectrum Center he’s averaged 40.5 Fanball points as opposed to 28.6 on the road. The Nets have been terrible vs Centers this season and even worse lately. Over their past 10 games, the Nets have given up an insane 56.6 Fanball points to Centers and rank dead last in opponent points per game and rebounds.
Ben Simmons – PG - $10,200
PHI @ MIA
The 76ers at Heat game featured the lowest over/under of the five games tonight. With an implied point total of 104.5, I’m looking elsewhere for my players. In his most recent game vs Miami, Simmons put up just 26.2 Fanball points, not even half the number of points he would need to reach value tonight. He would need 56.1 Fanball points to get to 5.5 times his salary. That’s a mark he’s failed to meet in 17 of his past 18 games.
Hassan Whiteside – C - $7,500
MIA vs PHI
If you’re looking for a safe cash game player you may want to look elsewhere. Whiteside has been wildly inconsistent scoring lows of 12.4 and 18.7, but highs of 57.8 and 49.7, just in his last 5 games. His 49.7 Fanball score came against Thursday night's opponent Philadelphia. In that game he received 34 minutes of playing time, matching up against Joel Embiid. When given 30 plus minutes Hassan always produces. In every single game that he played 30 plus minutes, Hassan scored between 36.5 and 55.9 Fanball points. Assuming Whiteside gets the majority of the minutes at Center he should be able to take full advantage of the 76ers. Philly has been ravaged lately by bigs, giving up the 2nd most Fanball points to Centers over their past five games.
Andrew Wiggins – SG - $6,300
MIN vs BOS
The opposite of Hassan Whiteside in terms of fantasy production, Wiggins has been very consistent lately since receiving a larger role in the offense after Jimmy Butler's injury. Over his past five games Wiggins has scored between 27.8 and 32.4 Fanball points in every single one. What he lacks in upside he makes up for with consistency, playing between 35 and 38 minutes, and scoring between 21 and 27 points. His matchup with Boston might not be as bad as you think. The Celtics have surrendered the 10th most Fanball points to Shooting Guards over their last 10 games.
Low Tier Values
Nemanja Bjelica – SF - $4,800
MIN vs BOS
His salary has slowly creeped up along with his minutes as Bjelica has carved out a role in Minnesota. Over his past five games, Bjelica has averaged 25.1 Fanball points by being an all-around role player. Boston has given up the 8th most Fanball points, 10th most points per game, 2nd most rebounds, and 3rd most steals to Small Forwards over their last 10 games. Bjelica should be able to take advantage, racking up nine points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game, and a combined eight steals over his past five games.
Jeremy Lamb – SG - $4,400
CHA vs BKN
Once again we'll be looking to target Brooklyn, this time with Jeremy Lamb. With his salary he would need 24.2 Fanball points to hit 5.5 times his value and coincidently he’s averaged 24.6 for the season. He’s got an amazing matchup tonight vs the Nets who have given up an astronomical number of Fanball points lately, 73.8 over their last five games to be exact. It is worth noting that Lamb put up only 19.8 Fanball points in his only matchup with Brooklyn this year, but should have an opportunity to come off the bench and put up some points in a great spot.
Patty Mills – PG - $3,400
SAS @ GSW
Sure it’s not a great matchup, but when it comes to cost vs production, Patty is your guy. Mills has averaged 31.4 minutes along with 21.7 Fanball points over his last five games. He would need a mere 18.7 Fanball points to hit value, something he’s done in four of his last five. There’s always some risk in rostering the Spurs, because it seems like the points and minutes are so spread out from night to night, you never know what you’re going to get. Paying just 3.4k is worth the risk though, and it does come with some upside. Just a few games ago Mills dropped 35.3 and Golden State has actually given up the 5th most Fanball points to Point Guards over their last five games.
Evan Bletz is a freelance contributor for SportsHub Technologies, Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by Evan or other SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Technologies and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.