By Ramon Scott, @rsstreams
FanDuel hosted the World Fantasy Basketball Championship last night in South Beach, Miami, Florida, and noted DFSer Jesse L’Hommedieu, of Rochester, N.Y., came away with the $100,000 top prize behind his 12 percent owned 40-point producer Dion Waiters, who finished over 8x for the key play on the night.
Tonight, meanwhile, a six-game NBA card on Saturday night is featured on FanDuel with the $150,000 Slam, which includes three late West Coast starts.
The overall playoff top-seed Golden State Warriors are in action against visiting Minnesota, but they are 20-point favorites against the overmatched Timberwolves. This is the expected high score of the night with a total of 214, which would put Golden State on pace for over 115 points, but the already-strong rotating team will likely have bigger bench contributions.
Miami still faces a must-win situation in its home game against Toronto. The Heat were just three-point favorites overnight against the Raptors, who played at Orlando last night.
Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge is considered OUT for tonight’s home game with Utah with a foot injury, while injuries to late-season fantasy star Nerlens Noel (ankle, out), Chicago’s Jimmy Butler (calf, questionable), Memphis’ Mike Conley (foot, questionable) and Utah’s Trey Burke (back, questionable) are the other main injury considerations.
Because of the nature of late-season sits, extreme caution and constant monitoring of lineup changes must be followed. Just last night, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving was rested, but it didn’t become public knowledge until right near roster lock.
Nikola Vucevic – Vuch is still just 8.6k and we should get that and then some tonight against the Knicks. Orlando has long been out of contention, but still are playing with a winning passion. Vucevic’s rebounding has been down the last couple of games, but he should have a big near 40-point fantasy night against the Knicks.
Elfrid Payton – Elfrid started slow last night and still made his loft projection to extend his profitable production streak to seven games. He took just seven shots last night, but had eights assists, six rebounds and four steals. Let’s focus on the Magic tonight.
Victor Oladipo – It was Victor’s turn last night, as he had 34 fantasy points against the Raptors. He has been averaging nearly 40 minutes a game for the last month and has taken almost 20 shots per game in four of the last five games.
Tobias Harris – While a blowout by the Magic is expected, don’t expect the Magic to be resting the starters if the game is one-sided. Orlando is on a back-to-back, but Harris has played plenty of minutes since returning from injury.
Mareese Speights – It is hit-and-miss sometimes with the Warriors reserves, however, we can note that Speights has exceeded his modest expectations in five of the last seven games with spotty minutes. Certainly he plays a larger role in the blowout tonight for just 3.7k.
Andrew Bogut – Our favorite fantasy Warrior of late, as he has easily made projection in six-straight, including a near 40-point fantasy night at New Orleans last Tuesday. His minutes can be up-and-down, but his production rarely is.
Luol Deng – Deng has been playing strong minutes and making his value, thanks in large part to his rebounding prowess. He is averaging over 25 fantasy points over the last five games, so we will take that here in another key home game.
Goran Dragic – Dragic fell short of expectation last time out, but had three strong outings before that. Kyle Lowry was back in Toronto’s lineup last night, but Dragic needs to get close to 30 fantasy points in this huge game.
Pau Gasol – Chicago is expected to blow out Philadelphia here, so Pau may not make his usual quota. Still, he is so solidly in the high 30s fantasy-wise, hard to think he won’t get to that point here just into the fourth quarter.