Here’s a preview of the NBA action for the next seven days with some players worth considering for your daily fantasy basketball roster.
Friday, February 10th
Games on schedule: 12
Teams on back-to-back: Boston, L.A. Lakers, Oklahoma City
Jeremy Lin, New York (Salary: $5,234) vs. L.A. Lakers
NBA fans are buzzing about Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin. Lin was recently handed the starting point guard role for the struggling Knicks. In two starts, he has exploded for an average of 25.5 points and 9 assists. In this matchup, he gets to face a Lakers team on a back-to-back that struggles to defend point guards. At this salary, he is as much of a “must start” as there gets in daily fantasy basketball.
Everyone on the Heat, Miami (Salaries: varying) at Washington
The Wizards have given up the third most fantasy points per game this season. They’ve got no chance of stopping the well-oiled Heat offense. It’d be wise to try to get at least two Heat players on your roster for this day’s games.
Everyone on the Bulls, Chicago (Salaries: varying) at Charlotte
Michael Jordan gets to watch his old team come to town and stomp the team he now owns. The Bobcats have been the most generous defense in daily fantasy basketball this season. Be careful with Derrick Rose, however. Although he has started each of the team’s last two games, he has averaged just 16 minutes of playing time as he battles a back injury.
Saturday, February 11th
Games on schedule: 8
Teams on back-to-back: Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland
Gary Neal, San Antonio (Salary: $5,983) at New Jersey
Neal has been one of the benefactors of Manu Ginobili’s injury. His playing time has gone up as of late. At this price, and against a soft New Jersey defense on a back-to-back, he is a solid start.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers (Salaries: $14,178 and $15,887, respectively) at Charlotte
These two should have a field day against a Bobcats defense that likely got wasted by the Bulls the night before. Lob City.
Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia (Salary: $12,516) at Cleveland
The Sixers are quietly turning in a very impressive season. Leading the way for them on the fantasy front-lines has been Iguodala who should have a solid night against a defense unlikely to stop him.
Sunday, February 12th
Games on schedule: 6
Teams on back-to-back: none
Kevin Martin, Houston (Salary: $12,240) at Golden State
The Golden State defense has been laughably bad this season. Leading the way on the team’s poor effort has been offensive-minded guard Monta Ellis who will likely receive the task of “guarding” Martin in this matchup.
Rudy Gay, Memphis (Salary: $12,805) vs. Utah
Utah has been vulnerable to players with Gay’s skill-set all season. He can make a living off the mid-range jump shot all night vs. the Jazz and is worth a start.
Brandon Knight, Detroit (Salary: $8,440) vs. Washington
One of the few outside weapons on the Pistons is rookie lottery pick Brandon Knight. He is quietly putting together a solid rookie campaign and should have an easy time harassing the Wizards with his outside jump shot.
Monday, February 13th
Games on schedule: 6
Teams on back-to-back: Golden State, Miami, Utah
Marcin Gortat, Phoenix (Salary: $12,926) at Golden State
One of the really only bright spots for the Suns this season has been their center Marcin Gortat. He should have a great game against a weary Warriors team that gets crucified at the rim every night.
Thaddeus Young, Philadelphia (Salary: $9,284) at Charlotte
Speaking of teams that get crucified at the rim, the Bobcats get to face one of the league’s most unheralded players on Monday, Thaddeus Young. He’s been getting a lot of opportunities lately with an injury to Spencer Hawes and general uninspiring play from Elton Brand.
Trevor Ariza, New Orleans (Salary: $9,666) vs. Utah
It’s tough to find a matchup that one can get excited about Trevor Ariza’s prospects in, but this is one of them. Utah is on a back-to-back and as mentioned before struggles defending players of Ariza’s nature.
Tuesday, February 14th
Games on schedule: 9
Teams on back-to-back: Miami, Phoenix
Teams on a back-to-back-to-back: Utah
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City (Salary: $17,843) vs. Utah
Someone in the league office really hates the Utah Jazz. They’re pitted against the explosive Oklahoma City Thunder in their third game in three nights. Durant is precisely the type of player prone to steam-rolling the otherwise decent Jazz defense. Including him in your lineups on Tuesday is almost not even optional.
Rudy Fernandez, Denver (Salary: $6,867) vs. Phoenix
Fernandez appears to be one of the primary benefactors from the injury that has sidelined Danilo Gallinari for a month. Phoenix is adept at shutting down big men like Nene Hilario and Al Harrington, but they’re among the worst in the league at defending a guy like Fernandez. He is a great buy at this price.
Jeremy Lin, New York (Salary: $5,234) at Toronto
Until DraftDay updates player salaries to more accurately reflect Lin’s substantial fantasy value, you pretty much have to start him in all your lineups on Knicks game days.
Everyone on the Bulls, Chicago (Salaries: varying) vs. Sacramento
Be sure to include at least a couple of Bulls players for this matchup against the porous Kings. They are as bad as can be at defending the play of big men so Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah are especially worth a look.
Wednesday, February 15th
Games on schedule: 13
Teams on back-to-back: Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York, Oklahoma City, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto, Washington
Teams on back-to-back-to-back: Phoenix
Joe Johnson, Atlanta (Salary: $11,616) at Phoenix
A virtually non-optional start on Wednesday is Joe Johnson facing a “three in three” Phoenix defense.
Jason Terry, Dallas (Salary: $9,757) vs. Denver
Denver has been getting killed by three-point shooters all season. Jason Terry comes off the bench but plays more minutes than everyone on Dallas but Dirk. He also attempts far more three-pointers than anyone else. He’s a solid play here.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers (Salaries: $14,178 and $15,887, respectively) vs. Washington
Paul Pierce, Boston (Salary: $13,914) vs. Detroit
This is about as solid of a spot to start Pierce as you’ll find. Rajon Rondo is also worth a look for this game.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City (Salary: $14,914) at Houston
The mediocre Houston defense has been simply awful defending at the rim. Russell Westbrook is one of the most aggressive guards in the league on offense. He should find ample opportunities for easy lay-ups and assists.
Thursday, February 16th
Games on schedule: 3
Teams on back-to-back: Boston, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, New Jersey
Teams on back-to-back-to-back: Portland
Mo Williams, L.A. Clippers (Salary: $10,110) at Portland
The Portland defense is great, but starting players facing a three-in-three D is usually a pretty good idea. Consider giving Mo Williams a shot.
Roy Hibbert, Indiana (Salary: $11,674) vs. New Jersey
One of the few true centers in the league, Roy Hibbert, is nearly averaging a double-double this season. He went for 18 and 14 against the Nets on January 31st. A repeat of that output would more than justify paying his salary on Thursday.