PG - Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers @ Phoenix Suns
Ball was simply ballin’ against the Milwaukee Bucks as he put up 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists to become the youngest player ever to notch a triple-double. He also added four blocks, three steals, and three 3-pointers to make it a truly outstanding fantasy night.
That performance was topped only by his first outing against his next opponent, the Phoenix Suns. Ball famously had a near-triple-double in that game as he exploded for a career-high 29 points, with 11 rebounds and 9 assists.
It might not be wise to expect a similar scoring explosion from Ball given his inconsistencies shooting the ball in his rookie year. However, he’s been contributing in just about every other category, which should continue to make him a valuable fantasy play against a Suns team that’s in the top ten in giving up fantasy points to opposing point guards.
SG - Tim Hardaway Jr., New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs’ sheer inability to contain opposing wings reared its ugly head yet again last time out as the Dallas Mavericks’ Harrison Barnes finished with 23 points and 11 boards. It’s hardly just wings who've been capitalizing, though. From point guards to big men, the Cavs have just been way too generous defensively.
But to focus on the wings once again, Hardaway could be in line for yet another monster game against Cleveland. He used the Cavs earlier this season to snap out of his early slump as he erupted for 34 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and 5 3s.
Hardaway had carried that fine form over to November, although he had his first major hiccup in a while as he was limited to just four points against the Sacramento Kings. However, another matchup against the Cavs could be just the game he needs to bounce back immediately and in a big way.
SF - LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers @ New York Knicks
James was relatively subdued against the Mavs, going for a mere 19 points, 11 boards, and 4 assists as he let his teammates do most of the scoring. But it’s hard to see LeBron being so passive for a second straight game, especially since he’ll be visiting Madison Square Garden, which is always a special trip for him.
James has already stoked some fire ahead of the matchup by saying the Knicks made a huge mistake by passing on Dennis Smith Jr. with Frank Ntilikina in the draft. Expect James to receive a rowdier response than usual for that comment, which should just be more fuel to fire him up for tonight’s game.
PF - Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic @ Golden State Warriors
If you take a look at Gordon’s fantasy production, you’ll quickly notice a trend that has emerged over the last couple of weeks. He’ll have one very good fantasy game, either around or over 40 fantasy points per FanDuel scoring, and then he’ll fall down to earth a bit the next. He’ll go back up again the next game, then immediately fall down again. This trend has been happening for ten games now, so there should be something to it.
Gordon was down last time out against the Denver Nuggets as he was limited to just 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists in a blowout defeat. So if the trend holds true, tonight’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors should see his numbers rise once more. However, he’ll also have another factor in his favor, seeing as the Warriors are giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season. If those aren’t compelling enough reasons to start Gordon, I don’t know what are.
C - Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz vs Minnesota Timberwolves
The Jazz suffered a major blow with the news that star big man Rudy Gobert will miss around a month due to a leg injury. With Gobert out, Favors will now have to step in at center. He did so against the Brooklyn Nets, taking advantage of the Nets’ tissue-soft interior to put up 24 points and 12 rebounds with 2 blocks.
The Minnesota Timberwolves should put up somewhat stronger resistance, but Favors did have one of his stronger outings of the season against them with 16 points on 8-of-15 shooting in their first meeting. And even if Favors doesn’t put up another 20-10 game, he could still have all the playing time he needs to put together a nice night. He played 36 minutes against the Nets, enough time to pick up a solid double-double against the T-Wolves, which would still be great value given his relatively low price.
What are your thoughts about the top NBA DFS plays for tonight? Share them in the comments below!