With this being a Saturday slate where we focus on the later games, the slate will be only a five-gamer tonight. Given how small the slate is, I am only going to give two picks for the guard and forward positions while giving one pick for the center position. The biggest game we have on this slate is the Rockets heading to Boston to play the Celtics. Even with Kemba Walker out with injury, there are still a bunch of intriguing players to draft for your lineup from this game. My first pick at the guard position will be in this game.
James Harden (1X) Houston @ Boston
Harden and Russell Westbrook are basically your only options for this spot. I am siding with Harden here just because he has overall been a more consistent player. Harden is averaging 60.4 fantasy points per game for the season while Westbrook is at 51. In addition to that, in their last matchup against the Celtics, Harden put up 66 fantasy points while Westbrook put up 59.5.
The difference with this game is Kemba Walker will not be playing so Westbrook will be seeing a much tougher defender this time around. With Marcus Smart likely to match-up with Westbrook most of the game, I would expect Harden to carry the majority of the load. We have seen him score 66 fantasy points against Boston before and he is poised to do it again tonight.
Ricky Rubio (1.45X) Phoenix vs Golden State
Rubio has been a very positive addition to the Suns this season as he has given Devin Booker a real backcourt mate that can take the pressure off him. He has had a nice season averaging 12.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 34.8 fantasy points per game. However, since coming back from the all-star break, he has turned his game up a notch. In that stretch, he is averaged 17.8 points, 10.3 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 4 steals and 50.1 fantasy points per game. If you factor in the multiplier of 1.45X, he averaged an amazing 72.7 fantasy points per game in that time period.
I expect things to continue to roll along for Rubio as he gets to face the hapless Warriors. Golden State is ranked 28th in fantasy points allowed per game, 29th in fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards and 24th in defensive efficiency. Rubio has made a huge mark in this stretch with the number of steals he has recorded. The Warriors are a good matchup in this regard as well as they allow the third-most opponent steals in the NBA. Everything suggests Rubio is going to have another great night and be a steal at 1.45X.
Jayson Tatum (1.25X) Boston vs Houston
Jayson Tatum has officially made the leap to a potential NBA superstar. There was a lot of hope after his rookie season and pessimism after a disappointing sophomore campaign. Now all of the hype and optimism surrounding the 21-year-old is back. In the month of February, Tatum is averaging 30.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.2 blocks and 51.6 fantasy points per game. If you factor in his multiplier of 1.25X, his average goes up to 64.5 fantasy points per game.
The way Tatum is rolling right now, you just have to continue to ride him. With Kemba Walker still out, there is no doubt that he is the #1 option for this Celtics offense. Houston is also ranked 21st in fantasy points allowed to opposing small forwards. With this game being another primetime ABC game, I expect Tatum to roll again and make it worthwhile having him in your lineup.
Aaron Gordon (1.4X) Orlando @ San Antonio
Aside from getting completely jobbed in the dunk contest, Aaron Gordon has had a tremendous month of February. His averages this month are 19.9 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.3 steals and 45.5 fantasy points per game. A significant jump from his season averages of 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.8 steals and 32.6 fantasy points per game. When you factor in his 1.4X multiplier to the February average, he is scoring 63.7 fantasy points per game.
Like Jayson Tatum, you just want to ride the streak that Gordon has right now while his multiplier is at 1.4X. In addition to that, the Spurs are a good opponent for him. The Spurs are ranked 19th in fantasy points allowed to opposing power forwards and 26th in defensive efficiency. In addition to that, the Spurs allow the fifth-most assists to power forwards which plays right into Gordon’s hands as he is a power forward that can pass. While Dwyane Wade would probably give my pick of Gordon a 9/10, Gordon will make this pick a 10/10 tonight.
Marquese Chriss (1.65X) Golden State @ Phoenix
Chriss was a big disappointment when he was with the Phoenix Suns. He had a very hard time adjusting to the NBA when he was drafted and it led to the Suns losing faith in him quickly. However, he has seemed to have found a home in Golden State. He has gotten a lot of chances to play and he has taken advantage of them. He has played particularly well in the month of February averaging 14.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 30.8 fantasy points per game.
While these are not eye-popping numbers for someone at 1.65X, the opponent Chriss is facing really makes him appealing. He is facing his former team and there is not much mutual respect between Chriss and the Suns. Chriss showed recently how much desire he has to beat his former team as he put up 18 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks and 45 fantasy points in a game on Feb. 12. I expect similar fire from Chriss again and think he can at least get in the high 30’s. If he does that with his 1.65X multiplier, he will be close to recording 60 fantasy points.
This article expresses the personal views of the writer and does not reflect the view(s) of SuperDraft in any way.
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