NBA Thoughts 2/13/17
Welcome to another NBA Monday where the week kicks off with a delightful 11-game slate. We’ve got big tournaments around the industry, so I’ll break down a few of my favorite GPP plays.
Steph Curry — The Warriors visit the Nuggets in Denver tonight in what should be an absolute fantasy goldmine of a game. It features a 240 (!) total with the Warriors favored by 12. It has taken some time for Curry to adjust to the presence of Kevin Durant and, for awhile, his shooting numbers were down and with that his fantasy production was also suffering. But Curry looks “back” to me and is playing with a lot of the swagger we saw the last couple years that was missing at times in the early part of this season. This is an ideal matchup for Steph who should primarily be guarded by Jameer Nelson, a poor defender who has played more minutes than he’s used to. Nelson has no chance of sticking with Steph here who is doing a lot more ball handling and pull up threes over the last couple weeks. I don’t expect Curry to carry all that much ownership tonight, and this is somewhat of a gut call as he’s certainly not cheap. But I think we see Curry drop 40+ actual points on the way to one of his biggest fantasy performances of the season.
I wrote all that with the assumption the Warriors were fully healthy. Klay Thompson just got ruled out and that gives Steph a considerable bump. All in.
T.J. Warren — Regular readers of the column will already know about the T.J. Warren spot tonight. The Pelicans cross-match defenders here, and Solomon Hill, the Pelicans’ best wing defender, will most likely be assigned to Devin Booker, while the near-elite defense of Jrue Holiday will be locked up on Eric Bledsoe. That leads us to one of the best funnel situations in the NBA with Buddy Hield, a woeful defender in his rookie season, trying to defend T.J. Warren, who is a good scorer and will take a lot of shots if given the right matchup. These two teams have already squared off twice this season, and Warren has averaged 36 minutes per game, taken 33 shots across two games, and scored a fantasy point per minute. Warren is priced up a bit right now, but that should serve to keep his ownership in check. I’m expecting Warren to hit 30+ fantasy points fairly easily yet again tonight.
Jeff Teague — He’s definitely more of a play on dynamic pricing sites like DraftKings and Fantasy Draft, and this is GPP only with a low-total matchup against the Spurs, but there is a lot to like about this specific matchup. The Pacers are at home against a traveling Spurs squad, and Kawhi Leonard will be locked up on Paul George for basically the entirety of this game. That leads Jeff Teague to run the show with the pick and roll and he should be defended by Tony Parker who is very poor against pick and roll ball handlers. Teague is an elite GPP play tonight who has big upside and should go overlooked by the majority of DFS players.