What's up, bballers and shot-callers? This analysis is courtesy of the FanDuel Daily NBA Lineups Tool.
I did some analysis on today's game slates and feel that the following 3 players are most likely the keys to any lineup for Main games. However, let's first talk about 3 guys on the board tonight who are arguably some of the league's heaviest hitters: James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins, and Anthony Davis.
Harden is probably good for the 54.5 pts he is projected to get against SAC, given that SAC is ranked 17th worst in the league against the SG position. However, their last two meetings yielded 45 & 46.2 pts respectively. The Vegas odds predict a game score of 224.5, so it'll likely be a high scoring affair. However, Harden comes at a heavy price of $12,500, leaving little room in your cap space to buy some corn dogs and a couple of brews with (his cost is inflated by the 87.1 he got the other night). Given the previous meetings between these two teams, I am passing on him tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins (aka Boogie) is also likely to Boogie down against HOU, like my man KRS-One. But I think he is going to have a tough time busting through that 50 fpt ceiling. Houston defends decently enough against the Center position and rank 13th in the league. The last time Boogie and HOU got down, he netted 50.3 on the dot. However, mostly because of his cost and how tough that match-up could be for him to break 50, I'm passing on Cousins.
Anthony Davis is up against TOR. Toronto are no slouches and defend well against the PF position (ranked 7th in the league). Secondly, Davis is not as good on the road as he is at home: the point differential is almost 5 pts. This, coupled with the fact that he has been averaging 40.4 over his last 3 games, puts his projected point total to only 43.1. For the cost and his low potential, I'm passing on Unibrow tonight.
Ok, you're probably wondering why I left out Russell Westbrook, right? Well, he costs a grip. Secondly, he's going up against San Antonio who give up a stingy 37.7 points to the PG position (ranked #1). Even though San Antonio lost their last two games, I still feel Westbrook will have his hands full with them, and I think their is more downside than upside.
Now for my top 3 picks: Kyle Lowry, Danilo Gallinari, and Mason Plumlee.
Kyle Lowry against New Orleans Pelicans (NOP) is an interesting matchup. NOP is ranked 27th worst in the league guarding against the PG position and ranks 28th overall in total defense. Lowry has been on fire lately, averaging 47.8 over his last 3 games. His projected point total for tonight is 41.3, so I'm going with Lowry.
The Denver Nuggets are dealing with a lot of injuries right now with Jokic out, Mudiay and Murray questionable, and Chandler and Faried probable for tonight's game against the LA Lakers. Danilo Gallinari has averaged 39.0 fpts over the last two games and will have to carry the scoring load tonight if Faried doesn't play. Based upon that scenario, I'm going with Gallinari.
Lastly, Mason Plumlee against Charlotte is another interesting matchup. Cody Zeller is out for CHA and Roy Hibbert is starting in his place. Roy isn't the same player he used to be and Plumlee is a tough and rugged big man, so this could be a good night for Plumlee. Plus, CHA ranks 22nd in the league against the Center position, giving up 38.4 points per game. Plumlee is also averaging 36.1 over his last 3 so I'm pulling for him to get up into the 40 fpts range.
Bonus tip: Consider Carmelo Anthony for tonight. Melo is going up against WAS and they are ranked 20th against the SF position. Melo has also averaged 42.5 over the last 3, although that is partly due to the 4 OT game against ATL. But with Porzingis all but disappearing in January, Melo has had to carry more of the weight, even more so with D Rose if he's out tonight. Kawhi Leonard was an honorable mention against OKC, but the last two games he's gone under 40, with San Antonio losing both contests.