PG – Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Curry is coming off easily his least efficient game of the season against the Miami Heat. The two-time MVP scored just 16 points – the first time he’s failed to reach at least 20 this season – and went just 5-of-19 from the field and 2-of-9 on 3-pointers.
Don’t worry too much about Steph, though. Apart from that slight hiccup, he’s been fairly consistent this season, putting up nearly 26 points and 6 assists with 3.8 3-pointers per game. His chances of a bounce-back game tonight should be fairly good considering he’ll be up against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.
You may remember Curry putting up 40 points on the Timberwolves in their preseason exhibition in China. They haven’t improved that much defensively since then, which could spell another big night for the Warriors star.
SG – Tim Hardaway Jr., New York Knicks @ Orlando Magic
After a slow start to the season, Tim Hardaway Jr. is finally showing some semblance of the player the Knicks paid over the odds for to get back this offseason. The Knicks wingman has put up an impressive 21 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 3.4 3-pointers over his last six games. That includes a solid 19 and 5 with 3 3s in last night’s home win over the Charlotte Hornets.
With Kristaps Porzingis needing all the help he can get on the second night of a back-to-back, look for Hardaway to continue being a strong second option for the Knicks against the Orlando Magic. And luckily for THJ, who plays more small forward these days, he’ll be up against a Magic team that have struggled to defend opposing wings this season.
SF – Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves @ Golden State Warriors
Yes, Butler is having a “down” year statistically in his first few games with Minnesota. The perennial All-Star is averaging just 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists through 10 games. What’s wrong? Well, he wasn’t really needed to score in his last two games, which both turned out to be blowout wins for the Wolves.
When Butler has needed to turn it on, though, he’s still been able to deliver. He had 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists in the Timberwolves’ second win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. He also had 23-4-2 with 3 steals in a close win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Given that Butler will likely need to be at his best against a tough Golden State Warriors team, look for him to string together a more vintage Butler line, which should represent terrific value given his current depressed price.
PF – James Johnson, Miami Heat @ Phoenix Suns
Johnson had another one of his signature all-around games against the Warriors last time out. The Heat sixth man had 21-9-6 with 4 3-pointers, 3 steals, and a block in a losing effort. Johnson usually doesn’t string together a bunch of those types of games in a row, but he could potentially make an exception against the Phoenix Suns, whose fast pace is more than conducive to fantasy points.
With question marks surrounding Hassan Whiteside following a second-half benching against the Warriors, Johnson could play a key role once again for the Heat against Phoenix.
C – Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons vs Indiana Pacers
Drummond has been fantasy gold over the last couple of weeks. The Pistons center is averaging 14.6 points, 16.2 rebounds, 2.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks over his last five games, four of which have reached 48 points or higher in FanDuel scoring.
After three days off, Dre should be ready and well-rested to take on the Indiana Pacers, who will be on the second night of a back-to-back. The New Orleans Pelicans duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins both topped 30 points and 10 rebounds as they absolutely dominated the Pacers frontcourt, which was missing Domantas Sabonis due to a calf contusion.
While Drummond’s nowhere near the scorer or 3-point shooter those players are, he should enjoy similar success against a likely fatigued Pacers squad tonight.
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