Welcome back to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s NBA Breakdown. Tonight we are looking at a 9 game slate, which is excellent. The NBA has done a great job this year with the schedule, as there are enough games to play DFS most nights.

Of the 9 games tonight, Vegas only has one under 200: UTA/MIN. Six games are under 210: TOR/NO, CLE/NY, CHA/MIL, SA/OKC, ATL/DET and CHI/ORL. Two games are under 220: BOS/PHO and PHI/POR. Only two games have spreads over 9: BKN/DET and LAC/MEM. At this point in the year, too much will happen prior to tip with guys resting to really take the spread seriously right now. The only potential game I may avoid is OKC/SA, as Danny Green is the only member of the SA starting five expect to play.

On to the action!

Points Guards:

Damian Lillard- I love targeting Philly, because they are always massive underdogs, but always seem to stick in games. The bottom line on this one is no one will be able to slow Lillard down. He’s going to have another huge game before the year is over and tonight is a good candidate for that.

Elfrid Payton- Since returning from his injury, Payton has been awesome. Chicago is horrible at guarding point guards [and basically everything else for that matter], and I think with the absence of Vucevic, he may be asked to do more offensively. I don’t know if I am ready to put him in my cash games yet, but he’s getting there.

Matthew Dellavedova- With Kyrie out, Delly should see high twenties and minutes into the thirties. Also, the Cavs are really not a great road team, so the Knicks can certainly keep this interesting, and if they do, Delly should be in for a good night.

Shooting Guards:

DeMar DeRozan- Both he and Lowry were absolutely embarrassing last night with their behavior, which caused them both to be tossed. Tonight is a new night, and New Orleans is a team that will not slow either of them down. I think this is a good spot for a big game for DeRozan.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope- KCP is just a cash game staple. I don’t know what more to say really. He’s a good bet for 24-27 points and you’ll gladly take that at his salary. 

Devin Booker – I am not a big fan of targeting Boston guards, but with Avery Bradley sick and questionable for the night, coupled with how well Booker has been playing, I may have to go that route tonight. Booker has been amazing, and especially with Knight dealing with an injury, could be asked to do a lot tonight.

Small Forward:

LeBron James- It isn’t even so much that Kyrie is out, but LeBron has to do more for this team. He gets irritated at his teammates for their poor defense, but fails to recognize his own shortcomings. He is loose with the ball, leading him to get pick pocketed. He lets guys blow past him with the attitude that the rest of the team should compensate. Sorry man, ain’t gonna work that way. For the Cavs to make it the rest of that way, he’s going to have to turn things up. I suspect he will tonight against his old friend Carmelo.

Gordon Hayward- I love targeting the Wolves, and they should be on tired legs tonight. DON’T LET THIS STOP YOU FROM PLAYING ANYONE IN THIS GAME! These are young guys for the most part and can handle it. I think Hayward will have a big game tonight, and his price tag is extremely fair.

Evan Turner- Turner has a great all around game and I believe it fits in with playing the Suns perfectly. There will be ample opportunities for everything for Turner, and he will likely put up a big game tonight.

Power Forward:

Kevin Love- I think there is a lot of merit to tossing Love and LeBron in a lineup and moving on. They will be shouldering the offense tonight, and Love’s asking price is really, really low given his upside. I think this game will stay close and he should be able to pay off his salary easily.

Jon Leuer- Leuer had a horrible performance last night even before the game got out of hand. Assuming Chandler is still out tonight, Leuer will still be seeing big minutes and with his ability to put up points in a variety of ways, I will be a buyer again tonight.

Amir Johnson- I think his price will just sit here the rest of the season while he turns it up, and he will be 3% owned every night. I will gladly buy a guy with legit 10x upside every night.


Pau Gasol- He isn’t confirmed to play, but if he does, watch out. Orlando cannot stop anyone playing the center position and Gasol is one of the best. He will likely go low owned either way, and has legit 60 point upside against the Magic.

Andre Drummond- I like when Drummond turns it on. This team is much better. The team finally seems to understand it is worth getting him involved, and I think this matchup against Atlanta is perfect for him. They don’t really go small and they don’t have a lot of success against bigs either.

Alexis Ajinca- Ajinca is the ultimate point chasing play, as he is not a great basketball player and Toronto is reasonably good against bigs. Still, his price is cheap and he should certainly have an opportunity to pay off his salary.

Good luck tonight!