• Good afternoon, it is Friday March 8 and we have a nice nine-game slate on our hands for tonight. It is always good to get back into the groove after a short two-game slate like Thursday. Tonight’s slate should be a fun one. We have value, stud options and plenty to choose from. When looking at the top options I’d rank James Harden and Russell Westbrook above Nikola Jokic and Paul George, but they are all always in play. Let’s jump right into this.

    Point Guard

    Ben Simmons vs. Rockets $9,100 – I am going to continue rolling out these Sixers while Embiid is out. Simmons is still not priced right and could triple-double in any spot. I like another Sixer a little more on this slate, but it would be foolish to not mention Simmons. Nonetheless, he is not my favorite point guard option on the slate, but viable.

    Kemba Walker vs. Wizards $8,100  – We do not need to think about this one too much. Walker is severely underpriced in one of the best fantasy matchups on paper. I was all over Luka Doncic the other night because of this matchup and I will not be shying away from Walker on tonight’s slate. He is by far my favorite point guard on the slate.

    Frank Jackson vs. Raptors $3,200 – Jrue Holiday has already been ruled out and we know his minutes and usage need to go somewhere. Jackson should see a boost and while I am not expecting too much from him, he is still a value play. He likes to shoot and even if this game gets out of hand it should not impact Jackson’s minutes. This game is simple for me – if you think it is going to stay close than Elfrid Payton is a great play at $5,000. Jackson is in play either way, but does not offer up the same ceiling as Payton.

    Shooting Guard

    Jeremy Lamb vs. Wizards $5,600 – I like Lamb for many of the reasons I like Walker. This matchup is too juicy and there will be points scored. Lamb has seen his DK points per minute rise since moving to the bench, but his minutes really haven’t changed. I would like him to be slightly cheaper, but in this matchup warrants the price and getting some exposure to this game may be crucial.

    Avery Bradley vs. Jazz $4,700 – Ughh, I hate recommending Avery Bradley on any slate. His early-season form keeps popping in my head, but Bradley has slowly turned it around his being shipped over to Memphis. He’s averaging 27 DK points over his last five games, but what is more impressive is his shot attempts. In that span Bradley has taken 77 shot attempts.

    Gary Harris vs. Warriors $4,000 – Harris finally saw his normal allotment of minutes, but his price isn’t reflecting that just yet. This will be a great game and the Nuggets are going to need their best defenders for as many minutes as possible to stay in this one. I wouldn’t be expecting another 35 DK points, but a cool 28-30 seems optimal at Harris’ price.

    Small Forward

    Justise Winslow vs. Cavs $6,200 – Winslow continues to be one of the safer options on the slate, but still holds some upside as well. The Cavs are dreadful and it isn’t just against opposing point guards. Goran Dragic is currently being considered questionable, but I would not be surprised to see him sit out another game. These teams have met up three times already this season and Winslow is averaging 40 DK points per game in those meetings. If this game stays intact for four quarters I think it’s safe to predict Winslow for 35 DK points. I am not going overboard on this game, but Winslow feels like the safest play in it.

    Will Barton vs. Warriors – $5,900 – Fast paced games are made for Barton. He has been getting the minutes and he is starting to look like the old Will Barton we used to know. Barton has faced the Warriors already this season and dropped 29 DK points. Now, that doesn’t sound too great, but he did it in only 23 minutes. Over the last four games Barton is averaging 33 minutes, so I will be expecting 30 DK points at the very least if this game stays intact.

    Royce O’Neale vs. Grizzlies $3,300 – Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto have already been ruled out and in the past we’ve seen Royce take advantage of the opportunity when Donovan Mitchell slides over the point guard. It’s an ugly matchup, but he is another guy that would still see some fourth quarter run regardless of the score of the game. Kyle Korver has been playing great and should se an uptick with the guards out as well, but if it gets out of control he would be one of the first ones sitting.

    Power Forward

    Kevin Love vs. Heat $7,800 – Love is the workhorse for this team and as long as he is on the court that is not changing. This isn’t the same matchup we were targeting him in on Wednesday, but the minutes and rebounds are safe and we have to expect a nice scoring game from Love soon. I am expecting much less ownership tonight than he had versus the Nets and the upside is the same, we just might not feel as safe about it versus the Heat.

    Tobias Harris vs. Rockets $7,400 – I am jumping right back onto the Harris bandwagon. After a horrible game the last time out I am hoping for a solid bounce back here for Harris. The matchup is a solid one and I am not expecting P.J. Tucker to hold him back. The Rockets like to shoot from deep and that could lead to longer rebounds for Harris.

    Danilo Gallinari vs. Thunder $6,200 – This is a game that should garner some ownership and for good reason. I do not love the personal matchup if Gallo draws Paul George, but this team is trying to win games and Gallo is the primary offensive weapon. I think he is just a tad underpriced. Gallo is averaging 33 DK points per game over the last five games and in three meetings this season against the Thunder he is averaging 38 DK points. We might not need to go here on this slate, but he is a viable option and should be low owned.

    Center

    Nikola Vucevic vs. Mavericks $9,200 – This is a dream spot for center. The Mavs are terrible at rebounding and Vucevic is one of the league’s best rebounding centers. He is at more than a fair price and should see a slightly depressed ownership with Jokic only being $900 more in a matchup versus the Warriors.

    Clint Capela vs. Sixers $6,700 – Capela was injured when these two teams met up earlier in the season, but they did play two times last season and wait for it; Capela crushed. In the two meetings last season Capela averaged 14.0 points and 17.5 rebounds per game. That was with Joel Embiid on the court.

    Steven Adams vs. Clippers $6,200 – If you read Vucevic’s breakdown than you have a good idea why I listed Adams as well. The Clippers are right next to the Mavs when it comes to a great matchup for opposing centers. In three meetings this year Adams is averaging 37 DK points per game and we know he always has a safe floor as well. Adams is viable in both tournaments and cash games.

    Honorable Mentions

    Aaron Gordon, Robin Lopez, Kenrich Williams

    Remember to monitor the news and adjust accordingly. More value will certainly appear throughout the course of the day and adjusting our rankings is a must. Thank you guys for checking out the article and if you have any questions or comments you could always find me on Twitter @MikeApotria.

Fantasy News

  • LeBron James - F - Los Angeles Lakers

    LeBron James played through a left knee contusion on Sunday and put up 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Lakers beat the Kings by a score of 111-106.

    James looked like he'd miss some time after coming up limping from a slip-and-fall on Friday but powered through and might've unofficially ended Sacramento's faint playoff hopes. He played 35 minutes and rounded out his big performance with two steals, a block, three 3-pointers and marks of 9-for-22 from the field and 8-of-9 at the charity stripe. There will be more nights off in Bron's future but the big minutes here have us hopeful that he'll be able to deliver top-flight lines whenever he's active.

  • JaVale McGee - C - Los Angeles Lakers

    JaVale McGee continued his late-season surge in Sunday's win over the Kings, going 8-of-8 from the field for 17 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and five blocks in 29 minutes of action.

    A missed free throw was the only thing standing between McGee and a perfect night. He disappeared for parts in the middle of the season but is back looking like the early-round stud he was to open the campaign. That's two straight monster games and three in his last five, so McGee should be locked and loaded into all fantasy lineups the rest of the way.

  • Kyle Kuzma - F - Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma tied for the team lead with 29 points in Sunday's home win.

    Kuzma led the Lakers to a big third quarter that ultimately was enough to hold off the Kings, and he rounded out his line with six boards, a block and five threes on 10-of-22 from the field. He also logged a team-high 40 minutes and might be the safest Laker to use in fantasy down the stretch. He's a late-middle round guy because of his weak stat set but we're not expecting Kuzma to get the same maintenance days that the other, older Lakers will.

  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - G - Los Angeles Lakers

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drew a start with Reggie Bullock (right foot) out on Sunday night and posting 16 points (5-of-15 shooting), seven rebounds, four assists and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes.

    Caldwell-Pope will be a standard-league option for points, threes and steals if Bullock continues to sit but if the Lakers are at full strength he's a low-end specialist and waiver wire fodder. Lance Stephenson was the big winner off the bench with eight points, seven rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes but there's no need to react to that in any way, shape or form. If the Lakers give a timeline for Bullock it would really clear up the decision on KCP, so hope for some news on that front tomorrow morning.

  • Rajon Rondo - G - Los Angeles Lakers

    Rajon Rondo played 37 minutes on Sunday night but only turned it into three points, five rebounds, nine assists and a steal.

    Rondo's only make on six attempts did come from behind the line, but there's not enough here to hang on unless you're in need of assists. The fact that he does have four games next week keeps him closer to the radar than he would otherwise, but Rondo has alternated big and moderate-minute games over his last five. It wouldn't be surprising if the Lakers dialed back on his time with their season over, adding a little bit more risk in case you weren't feeling frisky enough. Alex Caruso had six points and two boards in 18 minutes tonight as the backup point guard.

  • De'Aaron Fox - G - Sacramento Kings

    De'Aaron Fox set a new career-high with six steals in Sunday's loss to the Lakers, salvaging an otherwise lackluster night that included nine points on 3-of-16 shooting, four rebounds, six assists, a block and a 3-pointer.

    Fox's shooting probably tanked a few fantasy teams this week, as owners could only watch their percentages dip in the final game on the last night of weekly matchups. That said, it's still been a wildly successful season overall and Fox brought home quality numbers outside of the scoring categories.

  • Marvin Bagley III - F - Sacramento Kings

    Marvin Bagley had a big game in Sunday's loss to the Lakers, scoring 25 points (10-of-19 FG) to go with 11 rebounds, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers.

    Bagley logged 36 minutes tonight, falling two short of a career-high while forcing Willie-Cauley Stein and Nemanja Bjelica into observer roles for most of the night. Keep him locked into lineups as he should continue to feast even with the Kings bowing out of the playoff race. The 3-of-8 from the line tonight hurts, but everything else looks to be coming together quite nicely.

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic - G - Sacramento Kings

    Bogdan Bogdanovic had his highest scoring game of the month on Sunday night with 17 points, four assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes against the Lakers.

    Bogdanovic scored 28 points on February 27 but prior to that, his last game with 17 or more points was on February 13 — the last one before the All-Star break. He's really hit the brakes over the last couple of months but tonight's work is far more indicative of what we expect to see from Bogdanovic. Hopefully he can get back on track to end the season.

  • Buddy Hield - G - Sacramento Kings

    Buddy Hield finished Sunday's loss to the Lakers with 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and five 3-pointers on 6-of-21 from the field.

    A big chunk of Hield's fantasy value comes from his ability to shoot efficiently (.462 on the season), at least relative to most of his positional peers, but he just didn't have it tonight. The Kings' playoff hopes took a major blow in this one and they might opt to give him a night off once they're officially eliminated given the immense role he's played all season, but until that happens Hield is a set-and-forget player.

  • Harrison Barnes - F - Sacramento Kings

    Harrison Barnes was quiet on Sunday, going 3-of-7 from the field for 10 points with four assists and two triples.

    This is what happens when a volume scorer doesn't get any volume. It's surprising that he didn't get more looks with Sacramento's backcourt having a terrible night from the field but Barnes had been a pretty reliable scorer up to this point with double digits in every game in March and 15 or more points in all but one game prior to this one. Keep him in lineups if you need help in that department.