The big game tonight is on ESPN with the Timberwolves visiting Cavs team that continues to flounder. The Cavs are 6-13 since Christmas and blew a monster lead last night in Orlando to get run off the court in the second half, and Cleveland has been even worse in nationally televised games lately. The old LeBron would’ve answered all this talk with a huge game, but against Jimmy Butler and while he’s checked out waiting for some trades, he may not answer that call. Time to play some Wolves.
SG/SF Jimmy Butler MIN $9.5K vs Cleveland
If we’re going to focus on Timberwolves, then Butler better be in the lineup. He’s been an under-the-radar MVP candidate with a tidy 22/5/5/2 line on the season, and he’s had at least 40 fantasy points in six straight games, raising his season average above 40 for the first time. He’ll spend much of his time guarding LeBron but should find little resistance at the other end, and this could be a chance for a handful of points on lazy-pass steals too.
PF/C LaMarcus Aldridge SAS $8.4K vs Phoenix
The Suns are worst in the league against power forwards, and against most everything else for that matter. Aldridge is an All-Star for a reason. He’s carried the Spurs offense most of the season, and he is over 30 points in four of his last ten games and over 45 fantasy points in five of them. He should flirt with 30 points and double-digit boards and have his way with Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender.
SG/SF Andrew Wiggins MIN $6.1K vs Cleveland
Andrew Wiggins vs the Cavs alert!! Wiggins was a number one pick for Cleveland but never got to wear the uniform after being traded for Kevin Love, and he always reminds the Cavs of their mistake when he plays them. Wiggins averages over 29 points in seven games against Cleveland, and tonight he gets them on national TV coming off a disheartening back-to-back against the Magic. The Cavs are laughably bad right now and their defense is ripe for the picking. Wiggins will be ready.
SG/SF Lance Stephenson IND $5.8K vs New Orleans
This looks like one of the day’s highest scoring games, but Indiana could be missing three starters. Darren Collison is out and both Oladipo and Turner are questionable. That could mean a throwback Lance game, and Stephenson is averaging a 14/9/5 the last two games. It won’t be pretty or efficient, but it’ll be entertaining and Lance is Born Ready for big moments like this.
SG/SF Josh Jackson PHX $5.7K vs San Antonio
Josh Jackson struggled to find his way the first 50 or so games of the season, but he has really gotten it going of late. The rookie is averaging 16 points and seven boards, and he’s adding a steal, block, assist, and three per game to fill up the box score. He’ll have his hands full against San Antonio, but with Devin Booker sidelined and in a rare Phoenix national TV home spotlight, this could be his chance to remind viewers why he was such a hot pick on draft night.
SF/PF DeMarre Carroll BKN $5.5K vs Detroit
Brooklyn is incredibly thin right now with both Randae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert nursing injuries, so Carroll should get plenty of playing of time and shots. He had five threes and 21 points last night and plays a Detroit defense that is surprisingly soft against forwards.
PG Cory Joseph IND $4.6 vs New Orleans
We’ll play both Lance and CoJo to soak up all those extra Pacers minutes and shots with the usual starters ailing. Joseph will start with Collison sidelined and, though he hasn’t had many big games recently, he could break out against a Pelicans team among the worst in the league against point guards.
SF/PF Anthony Tolliver DET $4.3K vs Brooklyn
Detroit’s bigs are thin with Willie Reed suspended, and Andre Drummond is not at 100% with a sprained ankle. That should mean a lot of minutes for Tolliver, maybe even as the lone big where he could give rookie Jarrett Allen fits around the perimeter. Tolliver is averaging 26.8 fppg over his last five games, with over three makes per game behind the arc. When he gets heavy minutes like he did in two of those games, he tends to grab a handful of assists too.