As tip-off time approaches, keep an eye on the Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin (hamstring), who is questionable tonight after missing back-to-back games. If he sits again, forward Chase Budinger ($2,200 salary, 4.4% of cap) should make a great source of cap relief. Budinger is averaging 31.63 fantasy points in two starts in place of Martin, and he comes at the minimum salary.
There is a healthy mix of big names and value picks available tonight, but we recommend checking on the status of New Orleans Pelicans G Tyreke Evans (ankle) and Toronto Raptors G Kyle Lowry (back) leading up to tip-off time. Evans is questionable tonight, and Lowry left last night’s game early and said afterwards that he doesn’t plan on rushing back. If Evans sits out tonight against the Rockets, G Eric Gordon ($4,700 salary, 9.4% of cap) should make a solid addition to rosters. He delivered 34.00 FantasyScore points with Evans sidelined Sunday. And tonight, Houston will be missing its top perimeter defender, Patrick Beverley (wrist).
FanDuel has succeeded by giving its fans a short-term option: one-day fantasy sports. The Indiana Pacers are eying a longer-term commitment from the New York-based leader in the industry of daily fantasy sports – a lucrative sponsorship deal. The team said Monday it is in early talks with FanDuel and hopes to have a deal worked out by next season. But it could happen sooner. “We are in constant communication,” said Todd Taylor, chief sales and marketing officer for Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “These deals sort of pop up sometimes. We would want to make sure we’ve crossed all of our t’s and dotted our i’s. But if they called us up tomorrow, we would want to move as quickly as possible.”
Featured stud: C Andre Drummond, Pistons at Wizards $6,900 salary | 13.8% of cap. The stat sheet has had Drummond’s name all over it of late. He’s averaging 18.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game over the last four games. That has equated to 42.1 FantasyScore points per game. The Wiz have been one of the worst teams against centers in the last five games . There is no drumroll necessary when selecting your starting center Saturday.
Today’s player pool somewhat thin at the top, but several mid-to-upper-tier assets are worth the Saturday start. Eric Bledsoe ($7,100 salary; 14.2% of cap) is coming off a 65.3-fantasy-point domination of Oklahoma City, and he scored at least 37 on FantasyScore in each of the three games before that. He’s hottest guard option in the pool. Conversely, Kyle Lowry ($8,000; 16.0%) is coming off a miserable 5.5-point showing and has touched 30 fantasy points just three times in 10 games. He faces a good matchup against the New York Knicks, but he’s clearly struggling.
G Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $5,300 salary | 10.6% of cap. He has been playing well recently, topping 30.00 FantasyScore points in four of his last five games. Meanwhile, the 76ers just traded away their best perimeter defender, Michael Carter-Williams, giving Oladipo a great chance to top the 36.25 FantasyScore points he scored the last time these teams met.
As you finalize your FantasyScore lineup for Sunday, make sure to keep an eye on the status of Oklahoma City Thunder F Kevin Durant (foot). He missed Saturday’s game, and in his absence, G Russell Westbrook ($9,000, 18.0% of cap) exploded for 55.75 FantasyScore points. If Durant sits again tonight, make sure to make room in your lineup for Westbrook. Featured stud: G Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors at Indiana Pacers. $9,000 salary | 18.0% of cap. He lit up the Spurs for 53.50 FantasyScore points in his first game out of the break, and he should have another big performance tonight against an Indiana team that he scored 52.75 against earlier this year.
The loss of Blake Griffin (elbow) hasn’t hurt Paul’s fantasy value at all. CP3 has recorded four double-doubles in a row, including a robust 22 points and 16 assists on Thursday. Sacramento has struggled to defend point guards the last 10 games. Paul could match the 48.4 FantasyScore points he has averaged the last five games. – See more at: http://hoopshype.com/blogs/ryan-dodson/daily-fantasy-basketball-double-dip-on-clippers-with-chris-paul-deandre-jordan#sthash.tY2cqE3X.dpuf
There are many big names in the fantasy basketball pool tonight. However, Oklahoma City Thunder SF Kevin Durant ($9,300 FantasyScore salary; 18.6% of your cap) didn’t look healthy Thursday, and Charlotte defends the position well. Thunder PG Russell Westbrook ($9,000; 18.0%) continues to be a must-start. Houston Rockets SG James Harden ($9,300; 18.6%) has a decent matchup against a Toronto Raptors team that has struggled in two of its last five games. Chicago Bulls PF Pau Gasol ($8,200; 16.4%) has a so-so matchup against Phoenix. New Orleans Pelicans PF Anthony Davis ($9,400; 18.8%) is coming off a disappointing 30.3-point effort on FantasyScore Friday, but he faces the reeling Miami Heat. As usual, undervalued players will be critical to allotting space for all the available studs.
Bledsoe is averaging 35.60 FantasyScore points per game this year despite playing alongside two other offensive-minded guards in Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas. After both players were dealt at the deadline, Bledsoe will have the backcourt to himself against a Minnesota defense allowing the second most points per game to point guards.