PG – Elfrid Payton, Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers
Payton has been a man on a mission since going to Phoenix. He’s averaging 17.8 points and 8.7 assists in 35 minutes per game. He went into the break with a strong 13-point, 11-rebound, 12-assist triple-double against the Utah Jazz. It’s clear that he’s going to get all the playing time he wants moving forward. And tonight, he’ll have a great chance to keep his hot streak going as he faces a Clippers defense that’s working on a back-to-back and just got torched for 44 points by Stephen Curry.
Also consider: Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks
Ball looks set to make his return to the court following a month-long absence due to a knee injury. There’s obviously some considerable risk that the rookie could be a bit rusty in his first game back, and that the Lakers might have him on a minutes restriction. However, the Mavs are a nice matchup for him to ease back into the game. Moreover, his price is such that if he can get anywhere close to his pre-injury numbers, he’d be incredible value.
SG – DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors vs Milwaukee Bucks
DeRozan’s price has dipped to its lowest point in a long time following a disappointing last few games before the break. However, DeRozan had a strong All-Star game and will also have a terrific matchup against the Bucks to help him get back into the swing of things. In two meetings this season, DeRozan is averaging 36 points in 36 minutes against the Bucks, with five rebounds and six assists. That includes his career-high 52-point, five-rebound, eight-assist effort on New Year’s Day.
Also consider: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat @ New Orleans Pelicans
Wade is admittedly a long-shot play, but his upside given his relatively cheap price makes him an intriguing one. He’s already shown what he’s capable of doing back in a Heat jersey as he had ten points, 11 rebounds, and six assists against the Raptors. He’ll have every chance to reach that sort of upside as he takes on a Pelicans team that has a bad second unit which Wade can punish.
SF – TJ Warren, Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers
It was a rough week for Warren just before the break as he was held below 20 points three times in his last four games. That has now seen his price drop pretty significantly. However, this should be a great opportunity to buy low on Warren, who has proven to be a much more consistent player than he’s shown. The fact that he’ll be facing a Clippers team which has been consistently burned by small forwards makes Warren all the more intriguing. Warren lit the Clippers up for 22 points, ten rebounds, and four assists in their latest meeting in December.
Also consider: Josh Richardson, Miami Heat @ New Orleans Pelicans
Similar to Warren, Richardson is also a nice buy-low candidate. The Heat swingman had under 200 fantasy points in FanDuel in two of his last three games, which is very uncharacteristic for him. Luckily, he’ll return from the break with a great matchup against a Pelicans team which has also been horrific at defending wings in recent games.
PF – Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks
Randle has been on a roll for close to a month now. Over his last 12 games, the Lakers forward is putting up nearly 20 points and nine rebounds with three assists in 30 minutes. Randle’s assist totals will likely dip with Ball back, but he can still provide a ton of value with his scoring and rebounding numbers alone. The Mavs know this all too well - Randle has burned Dallas for 24.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in their first two meetings this season.
Also consider: Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz vs Portland Trail Blazers
Favors went into the break on absolute fire. He put up 17.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in his last three games, exceeding 6x value in all three games. One of those games was a strong 15-point, 11-rebound double-double against tonight’s opponents, the Blazers. He remains pretty reasonably priced and should continue to provide good value against a flimsy Blazers frontline which has been torched by power forwards lately.
C – Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets
Towns had a rare off-night as he was limited to just ten points on 2-of-9 shooting against the Lakers prior to the break. However, he was still able to salvage his night by grabbing 18 rebounds with four assists and two blocks. KAT usually bounces right back from those poor performances, and he’ll have the perfect matchup to do so again when he faces the Rockets. He hasn’t disappointed in his first two meetings against Houston, and is averaging 28.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, 4.0 blocks, and 1.5 steals against them en route to two 60-plus fantasy point nights.
Also consider: Alex Len, Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers
With Tyson Chandler injured, Len came out of nowhere to drop a remarkable line of 14 points, seven boards, five blocks, and three steals against the Jazz just before the break. Chandler’s status against the Clippers remains uncertain, so Len could once again get the opportunity to shine and provide monstrous fantasy value.
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