Close but no cigar. Tonight begins the comeback tour.
Last Lineup’s Best Picks:
De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings (42 Fantasy Points vs 36.6 FPPG)
Nemanja Bjelica, Sacramento Kings (39.5 Fantasy Points vs 23.2 FPPG)
Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets (32.5 Fantasy Points vs 25.5 FPPG)
Tonight’s Starting Lineup:
PG – Rajon Rondo, Los Angeles Lakers (DK Salary $6,800, 29.0 FPPG)
The Lakers are an absolute mess of a team right now. Brandon Ingram is out for the year, Lonzo Ball is being rested for the season, and there are reports of tension between Magic Johnson and the rest of the Lakers front office. Through all the turmoil, bet on Rondo to pick up the slack. The journeyman Point Guard has had an up and down March, but still put together a few incredible performances, including a 48 Fantasy Point game against the Bucks on 3/1 and a 60.5 Fantasy Point game against the Clippers on 3/4. Now with his fellow guards resting, Rondo’s performance should elevate significantly. The Lakers take on a Bulls team that is 29th in OPRK against Point Guards; Rondo should carry the load for LA.
SG – Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks (DK Salary $5,400, 28.5 FPPG)
Despite being the 2017 Rookie of the Year, Brogdon is still not a household name. Perhaps that’s because he’s overshadowed on an NBA-best Bucks team that features Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. And yet, he is a major contributor to Milwaukee’s success. His past 3 games haven’t been exceptional, but prior to that he had an 8-game stretch of scoring 30+ Fantasy Points. The Bucks face a Pelicans team that is in the bottom third of the NBA in OPRK against PG/SGs and is without top defender Jrue Holiday. Expect Brogdon’s performance to pick up.
SF – Moe Harkless, Portland Trail Blazers (DK Salary $4,500, 17.7 FPPG)
I have no idea why Harkless is still priced under $5,000 DK, but never argue when the gods grant you a gift. Since mid-February, Harkless has been on a tear and has seen an uptick in his minutes. Over his past 9 games, the former St. John’s standout has scored under 23 Fantasy Points only once and is averaging 27.7 FPPG over that stretch. Especially against a Clippers team that is 25th in OPRK against SF/PFs, Harkless is an incredible value pick.
PF – Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (DK Salary $6,800, 56.5 FPPG)
In the famous words of former President George W. Bush, “Fool me once, shame on…shame on you. And fool me, you can’t get fooled again!” Anthony Davis recently screwed us with a last-second scratch due to “back spasms,” but he’s now listed as active against New Orleans. With his impending departure this summer, New Orleans has limited his minutes to about 20-21 per game. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect AD to put up his average 56.5 FPPG. Over his last 7 games with reduced playing time, Davis is still averaging 37.7 FPPG. For $6,800 DK, a player with 37.7 FPPG and the potential to still explode on any given night is good value. The Pelicans face a Bucks team that is third worst in OPRK against PF/Cs. The matchup is compelling enough for me to take the former number 1 pick.
C – Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers (DK Salary $7,100, 37.5 FPPG)
Nurkic is a strong Center who can rack up fantasy points. In his previous 4 games, he has scored below 37 Fantasy Points only once, while compiling 44.8 Fantasy Points against OKC and 60.3 Fantasy Points against Charlotte. Last night’s game against Phoenix was not his best, but Nurkic has a history of rebounding well following poor performances. In his last 3 games after scoring under 30 Fantasy Points, Nurkic has posted 40.3, 48.5, and 60.3 Fantasy Points. Especially against a Clippers squad that is a lowly 26th in OPRK against Centers, Nurkic should bounce back nicely tonight in LA.
G – Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers (DK Salary $8,600, 43.9 FPPG)
Like Brogdon, Simmons is a former Rookie of the Year who has found his way onto tonight’s lineup. Unlike Brogdon, Simmons is one of the most effective fantasy performers in the league. Over his past 8 games, the former LSU Tiger is averaging 48.1 FPPG. His ability to put up major fantasy numbers is largely due to him averaging close to a triple-double: 17.0 PPG / 9.2 RPG / 7.9 APG / 1.4 STLPG. As the 76ers look to secure their spot in the playoffs, expect Simmons to dominate a tanking Cavaliers team.
F – Danilo Gallinari, Los Angeles Clippers (DK Salary $6,700, 33.0 FPPG)
It’s been a while since Gallinari was on the Knicks, but what I remember most from his tenure was a grown man sitting next to me at the Garden, who screamed like a rooster every time Gallianari scored. I guess it was to celebrate his Italian heritage, but it was annoying as all hell. Anyways, Gallinari is a consistent performer who warrants a spot in tonight’s lineup. Over his last 5 games, the former first-rounder hasn’t scored less than 34 Fantasy Points and is averaging 37.1 FPPG. With the Clippers coming off a solid win against the Celtics and looking to capitalize against a Portland team that is 28th in OPRK against SF/PFs, Gallinari should dominate tonight.
UTIL – Malik Beasley, Denver Nuggets (DK Salary $3,900, 19.2 FPPG)
The Nuggets are so stacked with talent that Malik Beasley is often overlooked. And yet, Beasley was consistently hitting over 20, 30, and even 40 Fantasy Points before Denver reduced his minutes. However, it appears that Beasley’s minutes are returning and so should his production. With the Nuggets hosting the Timberwolves tonight, look for Beasley to take advantage of more playing time against a team that ranks 25th in OPRK against PG/SGs.
Purveyor of truth. Breaker of chains. Foolish fan of the Mets, Jets, and Knicks.