The following is a breakdown by position of players worth targeting for tonight's slate of games. I'll feature a few “Top Targets” and give you the “Best of the Rest” to include other options that are set to hit their relative value as well. Salaries and position eligibility are specific to FanDuel for the purpose of this article, but some values are likely to translate to other sites.
Kyrie Irving $8300-
After his controversial benching three games ago, Irving has come back strong with B2B 41+ fpts games. He gets the Kings tonight (with a 204 o/u) at home, where he averages nearly 8 more fpts per game. Kyrie offers a lot of stability on a night with few reliable PG options.
Jose Calderon $5400-
Only Kyrie looks worth his price tonight...so dipping to Calderon for a steady 25 fpts makes sense. His game has spiked the last couple games with 30+ fpts in each, coinciding with Monta's hamstring issues (Ellis played just 28 mins last game). Maybe the streak continues if Ellis is less than full health.
Isaiah Thomas $7900-
IT2 mentioned after last game that he's been playing through a sprained left wrist. It's difficult to downgrade him after he dropped 48 fpts on the Wizards that same night. Most likely he'll come in just under price with a 35 spot or so, but he has a great matchup against Kyrie and is the safest target above Calderon for his price. Note: Keep an eye out for any negative reports on Thomas today that would indicate his wrist injury is a bigger deal than has been made.
BEST OF THE REST
Nick Calathes $5100-
Conley has been upgraded to day-to-day and could return tonight vs. WAS. IF he's ruled out then Calathes gets another plug-n-play recommendation. He has ranged between 23-30 fpts over his last four, and I would peg him for that as a starter yet again. In that case, prefer him slightly over Calderon on this list as Calathes has played big minutes in this role (36 mpg) and is a bit of a discount.
Kirk Hinrich $3900-
Captain Kirk is not reliable while on a 25 minute limit. His production has spiked the last couple games, but is unsustainable based on a 14-24 shooting clip over that stretch. Also, he faced the Lakers and Warriors in those games so take that as you will. But, on a night with so few PG's projecting to exceed their cost, plugging Kirk and hoping for 20 fpts allows to stack other positions with better toptions.
Steve Blake $6400-
The Jazz offer a much better matchup than his dud against the Bulls last time out. Even so, he played 40 minutes in that game...which is exactly what to expect with Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Jordan Farmar sidelined. He put up 37 & 45 fpts the two games before, and I think he'll settle somewhere in the 30-35 fpts range...especially with Nash dinged up again.
Gerald Henderson $5900-
I'm putting Gerald here because he's less risk than the options that follow. He plays 35 minutes and has hoisted 17+ shots in four of his last five. The odd game out was a B2B blowout loss @ PHX. Henderson has topped 33 fpts in three of those five and the Bobcats are just 3 point underdogs at home against DAL. Monta Ellis is normally a great matchup...and even moreso on a bum hamstring.
Gordon Hayward $7100-
He mostly looks good due to the Lakers matchup. The Jazz have been scoring just 85-90 points over their last five and Hayward's production has fallen off a bit over that stretch. Tonight they project to hit 100 and are only 1 point underdogs @ LAL, making him a much better target than he's been recently. He plays around 40 mins in most games and Trey Burke complained about a sore back that is giving him issues. If Burke is hampered at all then Hayward could take over more ballhandling duties, as evidenced by his 11 assists last game vs. MIA. Against the Lakers, he's posted 36 & 48 fpts in 39 & 38 mins.
BEST OF THE REST
Courtney Lee $5400-
IF Conley is out, expect the 25 fpts Lee has put up in 39 mins over his last five.
Dion Waiters $5200-
His price has crept up after some big games lately. As a bench player he takes on more risk as a boom-or-bust type option, but there's no denying what Waiters can do on offense when he's in the game. He has topped this price with some ceiling in five of nine, but also posted 11, 3 & 5 fpts in a few of the others. All that being said, here's what I like about Waiters tonight...the Cavs won their last two games, with Waiters taking 18+ shots and playing 33+ mins. Perhaps this gets him out of Mike Brown's doghouse and into a more consistent role. CLE is a pick'em in a 204 o/u game at home against the Kings.
Wesley Johnson $5300-
He's the only guy at SF tonight that has a decent chance to exceed his cost. The Bulls bottled up WesJ along with most of the Lakers starters last game, so chalk it up to a bad sample and feed off his 35-40 min expectation with all of the injuries in LA. He scored 30-37 fpts in the three games leading into the dud, and a home date with the Jazz could be just what he needs to find his stroke again.
LeBron James $11000-
A hefty price no doubt but here is the reasoning...Bron posted 57-60 in three straight before the embarrassing loss against the Jazz. Expect him to bounce back in a big way on the road against PHX who he torched for 47 fpts in 33 mins on 11-14 shooting in late November blowout. The Suns have shaped up as a solid team as the season has progressed, so MIA is only favored by 3 in a 210 o/u affair.
Kevin Durant $12300-
It's a big game for the Thunder tonight at Portland and that means a heavy dose of Durantula. It's increasingly difficult to justify his high price, but in two games against POR w/o Westbrook he dropped 54 & 59 fpts so maybe he really is worth the investment. Working against him is that both of those games were at home, where he averages 5 more fpts than road games. And, of course, Bron is $1300 cheaper. Consider Durant a luxury upgrade if you can find the extra cap space.
BEST OF THE REST
DeMarre Carroll $6200-
Carroll has been a horse for the Hawks when needed. His fpts log reads 26 41 15 37 33 29. The 26 was vs. MEM, 15 vs. IND. On Jan. 4th he put up 30 fpts in 39 mins against the Bulls, and I expect him to fall somewhere close to that mark tonight as well.
Rudy Gay $7700-
Perhaps a better GPP option tonight, Gay struggled last game after missing with an illness over the weekend. If he has more of his legs under him tonight it's not hard to imagine him matching the 20-5-3-3-1 (37 fpts) line he dropped against CLE/Deng on Jan. 12 in just 30 mins.
Marvin Williams $5200-
Marvin stayed hot (29 & 30 fpts) through Favors and Evans returning the last couple games. Normally I'd say his efficiency in those games (5-8 from range and played just 28 mins in each) is unsustainable...but a date with the Lakers can make any starting PF blush. On a night with so little dependable cheaper value, plug Marvin and move on.
LaMarcus Aldridge $10200-
Aldridge sat a few extra minutes last game but still managed a super efficient 48 fpts in 34 mins. Expect him to play as much as necessary in a homecourt showdown with the Thunder, who he has annihilated this season to the tune of 54 fpts per game over a three-game sample.
Taj Gibson $6400-
IF Boozer (GTD-limited at shootaround) is announced out, Gibson is a candidate for another 45+ min effort against undersized ATL tonight. At this price he is a near certainty to reach value as a starter in that role, averaging 39 fpts in 42 mins over six games as a starting PF.
BEST OF THE REST
Jordan Hill $4300-
For a dirt cheap option at PF, Hill is worth a look. He's been extremely productive in limited time the past couple games with 32 & 24 fpts in 26 & 20 mins. He may not be as reliable as other options since he's coming off the bench, but the Lakers are void of inside production without Pau and Hill is at least an attractive GPP option in case he picks up extra minutes tonight against the Jazz.
Derrick Favors $6400 -
He's flying under the radar after struggling to hit 20 fpts in either game since returning from injury. Facing Sacre and Kaman could prove to be just what he needs to get back on track. So, while he's only hit the 30 fpts mark once in his last six games played...seeing a 30-35 effort tonight should surprise no one in this matchup.
Al Jefferson $9800-
AlJeff is a monster. He's poured in 50+ fpts in five of six with 23 shots per game despite Kemba playing the last two. The odd game out in that five-game stretch was a B2B @PHX after he dropped 72 fpts on the Lakers the night before. His consistency gives him a leg up on Cousins for just $200 more.
Joakim Noah $8600-
He's a little more appealing if Boozer sits, Noah is a rock solid option at this price but without the game-to-game ceiling that AlJeff and Cousins offer at $1k more. It's easy to expect around 40 each night from him with his diverse fantasy contributions.
Chris Kaman $5100-
If he was starting he might bump to the top of the list at this price, but Kaman is coming off too huge games off the bench (45 & 37 fpts in 28 & 25 mins). He put up 23(!) shots in those 28 mins last game, and knocking down 13 of them against Taj and Noah is nothing to sneeze at. He's probably more of a 25-30 fpts average guy right now, with risk if he's not as productive or gets in foul trouble like the two previous games. But, on a night with so few cheap plays...Kaman is priced perfectly to take a chance on his upside. Definitely should mix him in for GPPs at the very least.
BEST OF THE REST
Samuel Dalembert $3900-
My favorite cheap starting Center, Sammy has scored 19-32 fpts over his last four...all of which are acceptable at this price.
Tyler Zeller $3700-
IF Varejao is announced out, Zeller will start in his place and could be a source of value at his minimum price. Keep in mind that he was quite inconsistent in a recent starting stint. Also, facing Cousins poses additional foul risk that reduces his expectation.