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Stephen Curry, GSW (vs. POR), PG/SG ($10,300):
Defenses to Avoid
Phoenix Suns at Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers have been struggling lately, scoring an average of just 85.1 points over their last seven losses. Other than Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao, they've struggled to find a consistent rhythm on offense, adjusting to the newly arrived Luol Deng on the wing. They're fifth-worst in the league in terms of offensive rating, averaging just 98.6 points per 100 possessions. On a night with multiple offensive-minded teams, daily players can search elsewhere for value plays for Sunday's slate.
Offenses to Use
Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors: The Blazers and Warriors are both offensive-minded teams that are loaded with fantasy options throughout the roster. The Blazers feature a league-best 110.6 offensive rating, and a pace of 97.87 possessions per game (ninth-fastest). They've displayed their offensive proficiency throughout the entire season, most recently in Saturday's 115-104 win against the Timberwolves, where six players hit double-digits in scoring. Meanwhile, the Warriors score 104.2 points per 100 possessions, and run at a pace of 99.11 possessions per game (fourth-fastest). Consider the Blazers-Warriors matchup a producer of strong fantasy lines Sunday.
Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns
Second game of a back-to-back: Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers
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Curry has been on fire over his last four games, averaging 30.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 2.0 steals, and 4.3 three-pointers made during that span. He'll have a good opportunity to torch the Blazers, who give up 28.0 points (third-worst), 7.0 rebounds (fifth-worst), 9.9 assists (twelfth-worst), and 2.3 steals (thirteenth-worst) per game to opposing eligible point guards. Although he's an expensive option, he's demonstrated the consistency to warrant a hefty price tag for daily play, making him a prime option for guards in Sunday's slate.
Other suggestions: Ty Lawson
(at SAC), PG ($8,400), Isaiah Thomas
(vs. DEN), PG ($8,100), Deron Williams
(at BOS), PG ($6,600)
Victor Oladipo, ORL (at NOP), PG/SG ($6,700):
Oladipo is averaging 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 1.0 three-pointers made over his last five games. He's been developing in his rookie season as a solid all-around fantasy contributor, able to stuff the stat sheet on any given night. With Nikola Vucevic
(concussion) doubtful for Sunday, Oladipo should remain in the starting lineup, giving him more opportunities to perform well. The Pelicans give up 40.5 points (third-worst), 11.3 rebounds (fifth-worst), 10.6 assists (worst), 3.2 steals (seventh-worst), 1.2 blocks (second-worst), 4.6 three-pointers made (eighth-worst), 13.1 three-pointers attempted (fourth-worst), and 44.2 percent FG (eighth-worst) to opposing eligible shooting guards.
Other suggestions: Monta Ellis
(vs. DET), PG/SG ($7,800), Wesley Matthews
(at GSW), SG/SF ($6,000), Vince Carter
(vs. DET), SG/SF ($4,800)
Wilson Chandler, DEN (at SAC), SG/SF ($6,000):
Chandler has been one of the most consistent Nuggets this season and has been scoring at a rather efficient clip over his recent stretch of games. He's averaging 21.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.0 blocks, and 3.2 three-pointers made over his last five games, numbers certainly worth his modest price tag. He'll be facing the Kings on Sunday, who will be without Rudy Gay
(Achilles) once again. The Kings have struggled to defend the small forward position this season, giving up 36.0 points (worst), 6.2 assists (seventh-worst), 3.0 steals (fifth-worst), 1.3 blocks (eighth-worst), 4.2 three-pointers made (third-worst), 10.1 three-pointers made (sixth-worst), and 47.9 percent FG (second-worst) per game, making Chandler a solid choice for Sunday's tilt.
Other suggestions: Josh Smith
(at DAL), SF/PF ($7,400), Nicolas Batum
(at GSW), SG/SF ($7,000), Shawn Marion
(vs. DET), SF/PF ($5,500)
Dirk Nowitzki, DAL (vs. DET), PF/C ($7,000):
I've always found it amusing how Nowitzki's price tag has remained ridiculously low this season, despite his consistent play throughout the season. While he hasn't been particularly on fire over recent stretches, his price tag is certainly exploitable, particularly for Sunday's matchup. The Pistons have solid low-post defense, but Greg Monroe
may struggle guarding Nowitzki from the perimeter, where he's shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc this season. Nowitzki has the ability to post semi-elite numbers, and it's an enigma that his price tag floats around the likes of mid-tier options in fantasy.
Other suggestions: LaMarcus Aldridge
(at GSW), PF/C ($10,300), David Lee
(vs. POR), PF/C ($7,800), Tobias Harris
(at NOP), SF/PF ($6,600)
Robin Lopez, POR (at GSW), C ($5,400):
Lopez remains one of the low-priced options available at the center spot who have the potential to post double-doubles at a high rate, in addition to contributing in blocks. Lopez is averaging 13.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.6 blocks over his last five games, and he's logged three double-doubles during that span. The Warriors give up 18.0 points (fifth-worst), 10.7 rebounds (seventh-worst), 2.5 assists (sixth-worst), and 1.2 blocks (twelfth-worst) per game to opposing eligible centers. Consider Lopez a budget option at the center position for Sunday.
Other suggestions: Andre Drummond
(at DAL), PF/C ($7,700), Anderson Varejao
(vs. PHO), PF/C ($6,800), Miles Plumlee
(at CLE), PF/C ($4,800)
(Achilles) had an MRI reveal a strain and is wearing a walking boot before being re-evaluated.
(knee) hopes to return this season sometime after the All-Star break.
(foot) is out for the season.
(back) will be re-evaluated in early March and could possibly sit out longer.
(Achilles) hopes to return before the All-Star break.
(back) hopes to return next week.
(knee) will miss another two weeks.
(hamstring) hopes to return by mid-February.
(elbow) will be re-evaluated after Sunday's game.
(elbow) is without a timetable to return.
(ankle) will miss approximately one more week.
(ankle) will miss approximately one more week.
(ankle) is expected to miss a couple of weeks.
(toe) is expected to miss about another week.
(finger) will miss three-to-four weeks.
(hand) will miss approximately two more weeks.
(shoulder) will miss approximately two more weeks.
(knee) is out for the season.
(leg) is still without a timetable to return.
(knee) is without a timetable to return.
(ankle) is a game-time decision Sunday.
(knee) practiced Saturday and is considered probable to play Sunday.
(concussion) is traveling with the Magic on their road trip, but is highly doubtful to play.
(illness) was a late-scratch Friday and is probable to play Sunday.
(hip) is questionable to play Sunday.