• We face a true dilemma tonight. Should we spend up for Russell Westbrook, or take our chances with a collection of other good (not super-human) options on this slate of games? I vote the latter and this article will focus on solid, mid-range targets who can collectively argue against an expensive play like Westbrook. Let’s get started!

    POINT GUARD

    GEORGE HILL – UTAH JAZZ (FD- $6,300, DK- $6,300)

    George Hill gets a great match-up against a Cleveland defense ranked second to last on tonight’s slate versus the point guard position. He has been a little banged up, but has been great when on the floor, including a 34 point night against the Nets less than two weeks ago. Hill can produce even when he doesn’t score, and his price tag makes him a safe, quality option tonight.

    It will be worth monitoring Hill’s game status as Thursday will be the second game in as many days for the guard.

    DENNIS SCHRODER – ATLANTA HAWKS (FD- $7,200, DK- $6,400)

    Hill’s match-up is second only to Dennis Schroder‘s. The talented young guard faces the 27th ranked defense against his position in the Memphis Grizzlies who have been in a tail-spin for the past two weeks, losing five of their last six. Schroder has been trending in the opposite direction over his last seven, averaging 21.9 points per, and he gets the minutes to keep it rolling against the Grizz. I will be rostering Schroder in every league tonight.

     

    SHOOTING GUARD

    COURTNEY LEE – NEW YORK KNICKS (FD- $5,000, DK- $5,200)

    Speaking of players who are trending in the right direction, Courtney Lee is on fire. He is very reasonably priced, is playing a terrible Nets defense, and plays 34 minutes per game. He has scored 12 or more in each of his last six games, and I see no reason why that stops tonight. He can rebound as well as score, and should exceed value.

    Despite coming off a mediocre outing on Tuesday, Lee will be the first player I add when constructing my lineups tonight.

     

    DEMAR DEROZAN (FD- $9,300, DK- $8,300)

    DeMar DeRozan has been an almost must-play for me since Kyle Lowry went down with injury. He is expensive, but is still over 3,000 less than Westbrook. He is a scoring machine who, barring a blowout, is going to get a lot of minutes and shots. He will probably be guarded by a solid defender in Andre Roberson, but I still think Derozan has a big night in what should be an up-tempo contest against the Thunder.

     

    SMALL FORWARD

    CARMELO ANTHONY – NEW YORK KNICKS (FD- $8,400, DK- $8,100)

    I really struggled filling the small forward spot tonight, but I always feel confident in Carmelo Anthony. Melo has handled trade rumors and character attacks with pure class, and has performed in a solid fashion throughout the ordeal on the floor as well. He is getting 35 minutes per night, and in his last game against the Nets he posted a 27 point, 7 rebound, 3 assist stat-filler. He gets Brooklyn again tonight, and should be able to put up another big line.

    RONDAE HOLLIS-JEFFERSON – BROOKLYN NETS (FD- $4,400, DK- $4,000)

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson put up a double-double against the Knicks when they faced each other just four days ago, and although he carries significant bust potential, he is also the kind of player who could blow past value. RHJ scored six points in the game before his double-double, but if he stays hot, he could be well worth the risk.

    NOTE: Joe Johnson has been listed as the starter for the injury plagued Utah Jazz, as Rodney Hood and  Derrick Favors are both sidelined. Johnson should see 25 plus minutes and is a great, cheap play at small forward on FanDuel or Draftkings.

     

    POWER FORWARD

    SERGE IBAKA – TORONTO RAPTORS (FD- $6,000, DK- $5,900)

    Serge Ibaka is one of my favorite players on the board for a number of reasons. Aside from a rough night in a blowout win over the Mavs, Ibaka has been scoring at a nice clip since joining the Raptors and his minutes (34 per game) make him very appealing. The Thunder are not great against opposing power forwards, and Ibaka looks to be a fairly dependable option; albeit one with a relatively low ceiling.

    ZACK RANDOLPH – MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (FD- $5,800, DK- $5,400)

    Despite the recent turmoil surrounding the Grizz and their ever-in-flux lineup, Zach Randolph has been a consistent producer for Memphis over the past 2 weeks. He has scored in double figures in five of his last seven games, and has two double-doubles during that stretch.  He is very affordable and has been getting around 25 minutes per game.

    I will be playing Randolph in both FanDuel and Draftkings tonight.

    Note: Marreese Speights makes an excellent play with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan both out tonight for the Clippers.

     

    CENTER

    RUDY GOBERT – UTAH JAZZ (FD- $7,700, DK- $6,800)

    If healthy, Rudy Gobert is a wonderful option tonight. He has double-doubles in each of his last three games, playing 3o or more minutes in every contest during this span. Cleveland is ranked near the bottom of the slate against centers, setting Gobert up for a big night. I expect him to continue his double-double streak against the Cavs.

    WILLY HERNANGOMEZ – NEW YORK KNICKS (FD- $6,000, DK- $6,200)

    Willy Hernangomez definitely comes with risk because of the Knicks minute fluctuations, but his upside and match-up negate any concerns I have about the budding center. Brooklyn is awful against opposing centers, and even without a big points line, Willy can still reach value for his price.

     

    Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments, atbuckner2121@live.com. Thanks for reading and good luck!

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