The slate begins as a promising one, but you must be careful with only five games tonight. This is a delicate piece of machinery you’re driving. Now’s not the time to scoop up the dude you believe in even though he’s had four straight games of 25 or fewer fantasy points. And no, I’m not talking to myself … but I’m thrilled Devonte’ Graham broke that streak last night. Hopefully, today isn’t as heavy as the last, so while we’re here, let’s make a few bets.
2 / 5
One time I was on the sidelines covering a high school football game. A player ran back to the sidelines, asked the team manager for a Gatorade, chugged half, gave it back, and the manager wished him luck. The player, a linebacker, responded, “Me cago en todo lo que se menea,” which literally means, “I shit on everything that moves.”
That’s what Nikola Jokic is doing right now. He just had 35-15-6, he’s averaging 24-12-12, and he’s the most playable big in the league right now. He also faces the Dallas Mavericks tonight, and they aren’t stopping him.
This one hurts because he might be my favorite player in the league, but unless he goes off, you’re in a tough spot. Without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving is probably the better play at roughly around the same price, even against the Philadelphia 76ers. Luka Doncic is more expensive, but for good reason. Ben Simmons hasn’t averaged more fantasy points but is generally reasonably priced given his triple-double potential, combined with his defensive stats. Lillard has Minnesota, so he can go off, but he isn’t the safe choice, not while he’s shooting less than 42 percent from the field so far. He should break his funk soon, but let him do it first because it ain’t like he’s cheap.
3 / 5
Once you maneuver past the elites, tonight gets extremely difficult. As mentioned earlier, the Nuggets and Mavs will face one another, which sets up a possible bounce-back fantasy performance for the versatile wing. Richardson is only shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from the floor. However, the Nuggets thus far had the second-worst defensive rating in the NBA before last night’s games, and opposing teams are shooting 39.4 percent from three against them. This feels like it could be another high assist game for Luka, which will be useful for Richardson, who has double-digit shot attempts in every game this season, while logging 31.3 minutes per. Others to consider: Keldon Johnson again, Tyus Jones, JaMychal Green, and Jarrett Allen.
4 / 5
Honestly, the middle-tier is grimmer than I’d thought. Plenty of you, even the degenerates, probably haven’t really seen Nance play much because of who he represents. So far this season, he’s averaging 8.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists (!!), and 2.6 steals (!!!!). He’s tailed off in his last two efforts, but he has a decent match-up against the Memphis Grizzlies. With Darius Garland and Dante Exum out, Nance should also earn more opportunities. Plus, his position gets sketchy after Anthony Davis, Tobias Harris, and the above mentioned Johnson. Otherwise, you’re betting on Rudy Gay, Carmelo Anthony, Robert Covington, or Kyle Kuzma. Nance has earned it; give him a look.
5 / 5