Feb 25, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson (6) reacts to dunking the ball during the first half against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Three of the five games in the league tonight start at 9pm eastern or later, so there is no turbo tonight, just the late night. There are plenty of players to choose from, and none of the terrific bargains that the Memphis Grizzlies gifted us with in the early games.
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Here are my late night FanDuel lineups for March 12:
Jordan Clarkson, Lakers ($5,800): Lost in the recent success of Jeremy Lin has been the solid play of Jordan Clarkson. He is still getting 28 or more minutes per game, and has averaged 27.7 fantasy points per game since hitting rock bottom against the Celtics with 13.8 points in just 17 minutes on February 22nd. Lin is expected to play tonight, but the fact that he missed practice with a thigh injury suggests that Clarkson will get the lion’s share of the minutes. With what he has been doing with those lately, he is worth playing.
Worth The Cost:
Tony Parker, Spurs ($6,300): Parker has been on fire since his lackluster 9 fantasy point effort against the Suns at the end of February. In March, he has averaged 38 fantasy points per game and 32 minutes per game. He will continue seeing an extended run until he cools off. The Cavaliers could provide some resistance tonight, but I still wouldn’t bet against a rejuvenated Parker getting to 4.5x value (28.3 fantasy points).
Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers ($7,900): His production has been sporadic, which you can expect when he is on a team with LeBron James and Kevin Love. I like him tonight because as good as Tony Parker has been on offense, the defense hasn’t been there. The Spurs are giving up tons of points to opposing PG’s, which makes Irving look like a solid play tonight.
Alexey Shved, Knicks ($5,600): Talent-wise, he probably deserves to keep starting for the Knicks, but that will likely change when Tim Hardaway, Jr. comes back. That could be as soon as tonight against the Lakers. Shved will still have some value, just don’t expect a 40+ fantasy point outburst like Tuesday night.
Trey Burke, Jazz ($5,400): His production has been all over the place. He has been a low as 7.5 fantasy points and as high as 36.6…..all in the span of six games. That is nearly a 30 points swing, and you just don’t know what you are going to get.
A: Parker and Clarkson ($12,100)
B: Clarkson and Shved ($11,400)
Next: A Big Drop After Harden
Mar 11, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) points against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports
Iman Shumpert, Cavaliers ($4,000): Shumpert had a nice game on Tuesday against Dallas. He played 32 minutes because they needed the defense on Monta Ellis, and he responded with a nice all-around game (7 points, 4 rebouns, 6 assists, 6 steals). He could see a lot of minutes tonight against the Spurs as well. They might elect to try to guard Kawhi Leonard with Shumpert. At any rate, I would expect Shumpert to play somewhere around 30 minutes tonight, which could make him a good value. It will depend on how the game goes.
Danny Green, Spurs ($5,300): Green has topped 20 fantasy points in each of the last three games with Manu Ginobili out. Manu is questionable again tonight, so if he doesn’t play, Green is a solid play for his price.
Worth The Cost:
James Harden, Rockets ($11,300): He had an off night against Portland last night. The Blazers hounded him the best they could. The side effect of that was Corey Brewer taking over the fourth quarter. Utah is terrific on the interior, so that means that the Rockets backcourt will have to manage the bulk of the scoring again tonight. I am guessing that Harden doesn’t have two off games in a row. And how good has Harden been this year to consider 18 points, two rebounds, six assists, and three steals an “off” night?
Wayne Ellington, Lakers ($5,400): Ellington has four straight games of over 20 fantasy points and has averaged 22.5 fantasy points per game in that span. That leaves him right at 4.5x value. Tonight he takes on a Knicks team that should allow him plenty of open shots. Ellington is noe of my favorite options tonight. He has been productive against every team not named Charlotte since the break, and that included tilts against the Grizzlies, Mavericks, and Pistons.
J.R. Smith, Cavaliers ($5,800): This will depend on how many minutes that Shumpert’s improved play nets him. Smith is a shooter mostly, but is still a decent rebounder. That said, his scores can still suffer if his shot is not falling. The Spurs are a decent defensive team, so don’t expect him to get much more than 4x value.
A: Ellington and Green ($10,700)
B: Harden and Shumpert ($15,300)
Next: SF Has The Best Options
Mar 10, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots a free throw against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ariza, Rockets ($5,600): Like Brewer, he has topped 20 fantasy points just twice in his last five games. The Jazz might be without Gordon Hayward, and if they are, Ariza becomes a much stronger play. If Hayward is in the lineup though, he could pose a real problem for Ariza. Much like the gauntlet of Tayshaun Prince-Jeff Green-DeMarre Carroll that he ran last week.
Worth The Cost:
LeBron James, Cavaliers ($10,800): LeBron flirted with 50 fantasy points Tuesday night for the first time in his last three games against Dallas. He might get close against San Antonio, but the Spurs do defend well. They aren’t going to hold James under 30 fantasy points, but they could hold him under 40. If you are going to spend this type of money, Harden is the safer bet because of his opponent and the lack of other good options at SG. There is more to choose from at SF. If you can get both James and Harden, which you should be able to with the Grizzlies benching their entire team, you have the potental for 100 fantasy points from two guys. Then you only need 200 from the other seven.
Kawhi Leonard, Spurs ($8,300): Leonard has been raking lately. He has seven straight 30+ point fantasy games, and has averaged 40.9 fantasy points per game during that span. He is a very low-risk option even at the price. You have a very suitable substitute if you can’t afford, or don’t trust, LeBron James tonight.
Corey Brewer, Rockets ($4,300): Brewer can score points in a big hurry, as you saw last night against Portland when he single-handedly brought the team back. Brewer is a bit of a risk since he doesn’t start, but his hot hand lately should afford him more minutes. He has played more than 25 minutes in five straight games now, but has only topped 20 fantasy points in the last two. That makes him somewhat of a risk.
A: Leonard and Hayward ($16,100)
B: James and Brewer ($15,100)
Next: Kevin Love Looks Like A Strong Play
Mar 10, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) smiles as he warms up prior to the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Ed Davis, Lakers ($6,100): Davis appears to be the starter again, though he, Carlos Boozer, and Jordan Hill all rotate at the PF and center positions. That keeps all of their minutes in the mid to high 20’s. Davis has four straight games of 20 or more fantasy points, and has done that in seven of the last ten games. He is a solid play against the Knicks tonight.
Andrea Bargnani, Knicks ($5,500): Don’t look now, but Bargs has four straight games of over 20 fantasy points, and has done so in nine of his last ten. The only team that he struggled against was Sacramento, which is understandable. He likely won’t struggle against the Lakers tonight, making it a virtual certainty that he streak will continue. That makes him a solid bargain tonight.
Worth The Cost:
Kevin Love, Cavaliers ($8,100): If you have read this column for an extended period of time, you know that I rarely list Love here. Tonight against the Spurs is an exception, especially if Tim Duncan doesn’t play. Love has topped 30 fantasy points in three of his last four games, and in five of his last seven. That is a trend that is likely to continue against San Antonio tonight.
Derrick Favors, Jazz ($7,900): Favors is matchup-proof at this point. He has not been under 20 fantasy points since December, and has not been below 25 since the middle of January. He has averaged 36.3 fantasy points over his last ten games. That puts him a little above that coveted 4.5x value every time he takes the court. There is no reason NOT to play him!
Terrence Jones, Rockets ($6,700): Jones did well against LaMarcus Aldridge last night, but the Jazz are an entirely different animal. They are in the top three of defensive frontcourts in the league. Jones might have a good game, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
A: Favors and Bargnani ($13,400)
B: Love and Bargnani ($13,600)
Next: Gobert Or Bust!
Feb 27, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward J.J. Hickson (7) shoots the ball against Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) during the first half at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Hill, Lakers ($5,800): Hill now has eight straight games with more than 20 fantasy points, but he has not scored more than 28. That is very good consistency though, and that is about all you can ask for on a lighter night. If you can’t afford Gobert, Hill is a suitable play, especially against the Knicks.
Cole Aldrich, Knicks ($4,200): Aldrich put up a strong performance on Tuesday against a tough Jazz frontcourt. That should get him a little more playing time tonight against the Lakers, but who knows. The rotations that the Knicks are using now are as frustrating at Boston’s or Milwaukee’s. Still, Aldrich has six straight games of 18 or more fantasy points, so even if he doesn’t start, he likely won’t hurt you either.
Worth The Cost:
Rudy Gobert, Jazz ($7,700): Gobert has averaged 34.4 fantasy points since the trade of Enes Kanter to Oklahoma City. That is an average of almost 5x value. He has a nice matchup against Houston, who is still without Dwight Howard. Gobert is easily the best option at C, and you won’t have to break the bank to get him.
Timofey Mozgov, Cavaliers ($5,300): The Spurs are weak at center, but Mozgov has had trouble staying on the court because of foul trouble, poor play, or both. He has only played 30 minutes or more once since the break, and that was on Tuesday against Dallas. The minutes are simply too inconsistent to rely upon him.
A: Gobert ($7,700)
B: Aldrich ($4,200)
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