PG - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder @ Denver Nuggets
As expected, Westbrook hasn’t quite been at his peak fantasy-wise this season now that Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have joined him on the Thunder. The reigning MVP is having a particularly rough stretch offensively lately, averaging just 17.6 points on 37 percent shooting over his last five games. But because Russ is Russ, he’s still averaging a near-triple-double with 9.4 rebounds and 9.8 assists.
But with three straight losses, including an embarrassing defeat to the Sacramento Kings, it might be time to expect Westbrook to start putting matters into his own hands. That could turn out to be good news on the fantasy front as he takes on a Denver Nuggets team that’s giving up the fifth-most fantasy points this season. Westbrook has fond memories of the Pepsi Center, which is where he claimed his historic triple-double last season. Expect him to put on a show once again tonight.
SG - Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings vs Philadelphia 76ers
Getting sent down to the bench has done wonders for Hield, who has finally worked himself out of his dreadful shooting slump in November. In three games this month, the second-year Kings guard is averaging 17 points on 61 percent shooting and 2.3 3-pointers, with 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals. He had a season-high 21 points on a perfect 4-of-4 on 3-pointers in the Kings’ big win over the Thunder.
Hield will have just about the most advantageous matchup he can have to keep his hot streak going tonight as he faces the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers have been surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season, so Hield’s upside to produce a ton of value for DFS is definitely very high.
SF - Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers @ Washington Wizards
Speaking of second-year players, Ingram is quickly becoming a much more consistent player for the Lakers in his sophomore year. The young forward has been on quite a roll lately, putting up 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.2 steals over his last five games.
That streak of strong performances could’ve been longer had it not been for one poor game in between that five-game stretch and his first meeting with the Wizards. During that game, Ingram recorded his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 boards. And seeing as how the Wizards are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season, Ingram’s a good bet to go off for another big game tonight.
PF - Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers @ Sacramento Kings
Simmons just continues to amaze. The Sixers rookie struggled with his shot against the Utah Jazz, which is completely understandable, but that didn’t stop him still putting together an unbelievable stat line of 16 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 3 steals. That was good for 52 points in FanDuel scoring, the fourth time in five games he’s eclipsed the 50-point mark.
Simmons is quickly earning a reputation as a sure thing in fantasy, and he’ll have another great opportunity to produce another productive game against the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are inside the top ten in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards, although Simmons isn’t your ordinary point guard.
Another thing the rookie will have going for him is the possible return of Joel Embiid. Not only should that reduce the attention of the defense on him, but it could also help his assist totals. He had 'just' six assists against the Jazz after picking up at least eight in his previous seven games. Unbelievable.
C - Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers @ Houston Rockets
After a slow start to November, Love came out and put together by far his best performance of the season with 32 points, 16 boards, 2 steals, and a block against the Milwaukee Bucks. Granted, it’s hard to see him having quite as good a performance in back-to-back games, and that showing will likely see his price for DFS skyrocket for tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets.
Still, that matchup gives Love a lot of potential to provide value for DFS. The Rockets obviously continue to play at a fast pace, and with hardly anyone else providing consistent support for LeBron James, Love should have his fair share of looks on offense.
What do you think about tonight's NBA DFS picks? Share them in the comments section!