PG - Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers (FD - $6500, DK - $6200)
Jamal Murray has been having an impressive last couple of weeks. In his last nine games, he has gone for at least 32 fantasy points per FanDuel scoring in seven of them, which is promising consistency from the second-year guard. He is coming off a terrific all-around performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves as he went for 21 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.
Knowing my luck at predicting Murray’s play, he will likely fall back down to earth. Nevertheless, his matchup against a Philadelphia 76ers team that is among the league leaders in giving up fantasy points to opposing point guards is an ideal matchup for him to keep his hot streak going.
SG - Rodney Hood, Utah Jazz vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (FD - $5500, DK - $5700)
Rodney Hood is one of the more frustrating players in fantasy because of how inconsistent he is. Just see his last six games where he has had three games between 37 and 41 fantasy points mixed with three games in the teens. He hardly seems to string together back-to-back great games, which is concerning after he went off for 40 fantasy points last time out against Golden State.
Nevertheless, he will be up against a Cavs team which has reverted to their usual poor wing defense over the last couple of games and allowed 40-year-old Vince Carter to go off for 24 points. While Hood’s floor will be lower than others, his 40-point ceiling at his price is still a relative bargain.
SF - Josh Richardson, Miami Heat @ Orlando Magic (FD & DK - $6500)
The Heat were absolutely punked by the Brooklyn Nets last night as they were drubbed by 25 points on their home floor. Josh Richardson was one of the few Heat players who could have held their heads up high following such an embarrassing defeat. He put up a team-high 19 points in 28 minutes, but unfortunately did not get to do much else besides that.
It should be reasonable to expect a reaction from the Heat players tonight against the Magic. Richardson, in particularly, used last week’s matchup with the Magic to bounce back from a poor performance against the Pelicans. Richardson went off for 20 points, seven rebounds, and five assists on Orlando and could be in line for a similarly strong showing tonight.
PF - Dario Saric, Philadelphia 76ers @ Denver Nuggets (FD - $6500, DK - $6200)
Dario Saric bounced back from his disappointing outing on Christmas Day in a big way against the Portland Trail Blazers. Saric went off for 25 points (10-12 FG, 5-6 3-PT FG), nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals, which is more like the type of production he has delivered over the last few weeks. Saric is averaging 16.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.0 3-pointers this month.
The Sixers will once again be without Joel Embiid tonight against the Nuggets, which will give Saric another great opportunity to shine. He’s gone for at least 30 fantasy points in four of the last five games which Embiid has missed. And in the last game Embiid missed against Toronto, Saric was one assist shy of a triple-double as he exploded for 18 points, ten rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and a block. While it might be too much to expect those types of numbers against the Nuggets, a 40 fantasy point night should be well within reach.
C - Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers @ Atlanta Hawks (FD - $6100, DK - $6800)
Back-to-back great fantasy outings from Jusuf Nurkic have sadly been too few and far between this season. His consistency has just not been there like it was last season. But after his price dropped precipitously in FanDuel following a couple of particularly poor performances, he responded with a 21-point, 12-rebound effort against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. While Nurkic’s letdown potential is high, his price remains relatively low in FanDuel, which makes him a highly attractive value pick against an Atlanta Hawks team that is still in the top five in fantasy points allowed to opposing centers.
What are your thoughts and feelings about tonight's fantasy slate? Share them in the comments below!