Source: Getty Images

MLB EZ Pick Preview 07/16/19

Take a look at the pitchers matchup set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

Anthony DeSclafaniRHP

Game: Reds vs Cubs in Chicago

2019 Season Stats: 5-4, 4.26 ERA, 90 SO

DeSclafani gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings in his last outing. He struck out six and did not factor in the decision. Francisco Lindor provided Cleveland’s only offense against DeSclafani, as he hit a pair of solo home runs to right field. The 29-year-old finished the first half on a strong note Saturday and has a 4.26 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 90:26 K:BB through 86.2 innings.

Zack WheelerRHP

Game: Mets vs Twins in Minnesota

2019 Season Stats: 6-6, 4.69 ERA, 130 SO

Wheeler (6-6) gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven through five innings to take the loss against the Phillies in his last start. He ran into trouble from the start as he allowed a hit to five of the first six hitters he faced and gave up four runs in the first inning. The righty was able to recover and pitch four scoreless frames before being chased from the game in the sixth. The 29-year-old could be a trade candidate for the selling Mets, but this performance did not improve his value. Wheeler has a 6-6 record with a 4.69 ERA through 19 starts.

Who ya got?

Make your pick here.

Posted in MLB, Top Fantasy Picks

Source: Getty Images

MLB EZ Pick Preview 07/02/19

Take a look at the pitchers matchup set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

German Marquez

Game: Tigers vs White Sox in Chicago

2019 Season Stats: RHP 8-3, 4.29 ERA, 113 SO

Marquez has a 5.70 ERA in nine home starts, but he is 4-1 at Coors Field, which shows discipline in handling frequent high-scoring games. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball in his only previous start vs. Houston in 2018.

Matthew Boyd

Game: Astros vs Rockies in Colorado

2019 Season Stats: LHP 5-6, 3.72 ERA, 129 SO

Boyd is 0-5 with a 6.23 ERA in seven career starts at Guaranteed Rate Field. The way the ball travels there on hot summer nights, he’ll have a test keeping the ball in the park, having allowed three homers in both of his past two starts.

Who ya got?

Make your pick here.

Posted in MLB, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Chris Paul and Klay Thompson
Source: Getty Images North America

NBA EZ Pick Preview 04/02/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Russell Westbrook (vs LAL) or Stephen Curry (vs DEN)

Russell Westbrook triple-doubled during Sunday’s narrow loss to the Mavs, tallying 25 points, 11 boards, 11 dimes, three triples, two steals and three turnovers in 38 minutes. As an added bonus, Westbrook finished 4-of-4 from the line, something that hasn’t happened all that often this season (he’s shooting a career-low 65.4% from the stripe). Unfortunately, he also picked up his 17th technical foul of the season in this one after swinging his arm to get Devin Harris off him on a drive to the hoop, and if that isn’t rescinded, he’ll be just one more tech away from invoking another mandatory one-game suspension.

Stephen Curry hit 8-of-14 shots and five 3-pointers for 25 points, five rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block in 27 minutes of Sunday’s ridiculous 137-90 win over the Hornets. Klay Thompson also played 27 minutes and hit 9-of-16 shots and six 3-pointers for 24 points, while Kevin Durant hit 5-of-5 shots for 11 points, two rebounds, nine assists and a 3-pointer in his 27 minutes. Unfortunately for KD, Curry and Klay were on fire and took care of all the heavy lifting against Charlotte. The Warriors are a game up on the Nuggets now with the No. 1 seed in the West, and while all of these guys may get a day off between now and the end of the season, it’s a great sign that the Warriors are still playing at full speed this late in the season. They clinched the Pacific Division title tonight, handed the Hornets their worst loss of the season, and Curry has now made five or more 3-pointers in a career-high eight straight games. They could possibly put Denver away with a win over the Nuggets at Oracle on Tuesday.

LaMarcus Aldridge (vs ATL) or Nikola Jokic (vs GSW)

LaMarcus Aldridge notched 27 points with 18 rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 36 minutes of a 113-106 loss to the Kings on Sunday. This was his 22nd game of the season with a 20-10 line, the most by a Spur since Tim Duncan in 2008-09. LMA also racked up a career-high 10 offensive rebounds, the most by a Spur since Duncan in 2011 (h/t to stat guru Jordan Howenstine). The Spurs play four times next week which includes games against the Hawks and Cavs, so be on the lookout for a possible rest day.

Nikola Jokic was ejected from Sunday’s game vs. the Wizards for two technical fouls. He should have walked away after his first tech but had plenty to say to the officials. Joker suffered a bloody nose earlier in the game when Bobby Portis extended his arm on a dunk attempt and may have still been fired up about that. The good news for fantasy owners is that The Joker had a phenomenal night in the box score with 23 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block.

Trae Young (vs SAS) or De’Aaron Fox (vs HOU)

Trae Young hit the game-winning shot against the Bucks on Sunday, adding a double-double of 12 points (5-of-19 FGs) with 16 assists, five rebounds, two steals, two 3-pointers and just one turnover in 35 minutes. This was Young’s second game-winner in just over a week. He struggled with his shot for most of the game, but hit two big shots in the lane to give the Hawks a hard fought win at home. Young passed Chris Paul for 12th in assists in a rookie season and now owns all five of the top-5 assists performances from a rookie this season. Young might just snatch that Rookie of the Year Award right out of Luka Doncic’s hands at this rate.

De’Aaron Fox is scoring 17.5 points per game and averaging 3.8 rebounds for the Kings.

Klay Thompson (vs DEN) or Chris Paul (vs SAC)

Klay Thompson contributed 24 points (9-16 FG, 6-9 3Pt) and one rebound in 27 minutes Sunday in the Warriors’ 137-90 win over the Hornets. If not for the Warriors turning the game into a runaway victory after three quarters, Thompson likely would have seen enough minutes to make a run at his third 30-point game of March. Thompson settled for cracking 20 points for third time in four contests, during which he has shot 50.8 percent from the field while knocking down 16 treys.

Chris Paul scored 22 points with two rebounds, five assists, two steals and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes against the Kings on Saturday. It’s the first time he’s hit the 20-point mark since Mar. 17, but CP3’s dimes continue to trend down with just 7.8 per game this month. He’s going to turn 34 in May, so his fantasy stock for next season may drop him to out of the top 30 in ADP for the first time in years.

Steven Adams (vs LAL) or DeMarcus Cousins (vs DEN)

Steven Adams hit 10-of-17 shots on his way to 20 points, 15 rebounds, two assists and two blocks over 39 minutes in a three-point loss to the Mavericks on Sunday. Adams dominated the Dallas bigs, and he was quite a force on the offensive glass (nine O-boards), creating numerous second-chance opportunities for the Thunder. He was arguably OKC’s best player in that game, and as an added bonus for 9-cat owners, he didn’t commit a single turnover while he was out there.

DeMarcus Cousins was ejected with a flagrant 2 foul on Sunday vs. Charlotte. He got tangled up with Willy Hernangomez and extended his elbow. It’s not worthy of a suspension, so expect Boogie to be back in the lineup on Tuesday vs. the Nuggets as both teams battle for the No. 1 seed. He finished with eight points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal and three blocks in 11 minutes.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Brad Marchand and Artemi Panarin
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 04/02/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Artemi Panarin (vs BOS) or Brad Marchand (vs CLB)

Artemi Panarin leads the team in assists with 56 helpers and in points with 83.

Brad Marchand was selected as the NHL’s third star of the month for March. Marchand recorded nine goals and 14 assists in 15 games. He accounted for points in 12 of his 15 outings, while posting four three-point performances. Marchand has amassed 98 points in 78 matches.

Patrik Laine (vs MIN) or Alexander Radulov (vs PHI)

Patrik Laine had 21 goals in his first 24 games but has only nine goals in his last 55 contests.

Alexander Radulov scored his 27th goal of the season in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss against the Vancouver Canucks. Radulov finished with five shots on goal, a blocked shot and a hit across 24:50 of ice time across 31 shifts. He has lit the lamp in three consecutive outings, and he has 10 goals and 15 points with a plus-10 rating across 14 contests in the month of March. He’ll look to score in a fourth straight game when the Stars return to action Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Brock Boeser (vs SJS) or Dustin Brown (vs ARI)

Brock Boeser registered an assist and three shots in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Stars. Boeser has 12 points in 14 March games, only failing to put his name on the scoresheet three times in the month. The consistent production gives him 55 points in 66 games, matching his output from last season. With up to three more chances to set a new personal best, it’s likely Boeser will do so in the final week of the season.

Dustin Brown scored his 22nd goal of the season, but finished the game with a minus-three rating in a 7-2 loss against the Flames on Monday night. Brown finished off a nice passing play in the first period to tie the game at 2-2. The wheels then fell off for the Kings in the third period, resulting in a minus-three rating for the 34-year old. Brown has now amassed 22 goals and 49 points in 69 games this season.

Auston Matthews (vs CAR) or Sidney Crosby (vs DET)

This will be the third straight year that the Leafs qualify for the playoffs – for those counting, that’s every single year since the club drafted Auston Matthews first overall Matthew has 209 game played, 111 goals and 204 points in his NHL career.

Sidney Crosby came in March like a lion but went out like a lamb: He had six goals and nine assists in last month’s first eight games, but only two assists in the final eight.

Nathan MacKinnon (vs EDM) or Connor McDavid (vs COL)

Two of the NHL’s best scorers, Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid, meet when Colorado and Edmonton hit the ice at Pepsi Center. MacKinnon is seventh in the NHL with 96 points and McDavid currently ranks second in the league with 115 points. 

Nathan MacKinnon needs one goal to reach 40 for the first time in his career and two points to reach 400 in the NHL.

Connor McDavid has been named the NHL’s first star of the month for March. McDavid racked up seven goals and 20 assists in 14 games. He picked up at least one point in 12 of his 14 outings, while recording 11 multi-point efforts. McDavid has a career-high 115 points in 75 games this season

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Jamie Benn and Artemi Panarin
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/28/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Thursday’s EZ Pick.

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Alex Ovechkin (vs CAR) or Patrick Kane (vs SJS)

Alex Ovechkin posted his NHL-high 49th goal of the season and he added an assist and plus-3 rating in Tuesday’s 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Ovechkin’s league lead in goals shrunk to four after John Tavares buried four goals in Monday’s game against the Panthers. He answered back with one of his patented Ovie goals on an absolute bomb from between the faceoff circles. Ovie has equaled his total from a season ago, and he needs just one more tally to post his eighth 50-goal campaign. It was also his 656th NHL goal, tying Brendan Shanahan for 13th place on the all-time list.

Patrick Kane has been held off the scoresheet in six of his last 12 games. Kane hasn’t picked up a point in the past two contests and he has one goal during that 12-game stretch. He carried the offense for so long, but his slump at the end could prove costly. Chicago is falling behind the pack in the playoff race.

Jamie Benn (vs EDM) or Artemi Panarin (vs MTL)

Forward Jamie Benn has 52 points (27 goals, 25 assists). He’s one of three offensive catalysts in Dallas along with Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov.

Artemi Panarin found the back of the net during Tuesday’s 4-0 win over the New York Islanders. Panarin put an end to his 12-game goal drought when he scored a breakaway goal early in the third period to make it 2-0 for his team. That was the Russian forward’s only shot on goal in the game. The 27-year-old now has 26 goals and 78 points in 73 games this season. Even though he’s struggled lately, Panarin has still put up great numbers all year.

Blake Wheeler (vs NYI) or Evgenii Dadonov (vs OTT)

The Jets are 25-10-4 at home. Winnipeg is the top team in the Western Conference with 5.7 assists per game, led by Blake Wheeler averaging 0.9.

Evgenii Dadonov has registered 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) over his last 11 games. The 30-year-old winger ranks third on the team in goals (25), while also sitting fourth in assists (38) and points (63). Since 2017-18, he has recorded a team-leading 39 even-strength goals.

Mark Scheifele (vs NYI) or Jack Eichel (vs DET)

Mark Scheifele leads the Jets with 35 goals and has recorded 80 points.

Jack Eichel enters Thursday night’s game with 99 career goals. Eichel is second on the team with 26 goals in 71 games but sits on the doorstep of his first real big career milestone. Once Eichel tallies his 100th goal, he will become only the 31st Sabres player in franchise history to crack the century mark with the team.

Joe Pavelski (vs CHI) or Aleksander Barkov (vs OTT)

Joe Pavelski (lower body) will miss Thursday’s game. Pavelski is close enough that the Sharks considered putting him back in the lineup, but ultimately they’re erring on the side of caution. With the playoffs just around the corner, the Sharks’ top priority has to be making sure he’ll be healthy for the first round.

Aleksander Barkov leads the Panthers with 88 points (34 goals, 54 assists), needing just six more to match Pavel Bure’s franchise record for points in a single season (94). The 23-year-old centers paces the NHL in scoring since Feb. 17, posting 15 goals and 20 assists in 21 games.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook

NBA EZ Pick Preview 03/27/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Wednesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Stephen Curry (vs MEM) or Russell Westbrook (vs IND)

Stephen Curry returned from a rest day to score 26 points on Sunday, making five 3-pointers with nine rebounds, three assists and one steal in 35 minutes. The night off Saturday appeared to do him good, as Steph looked sharp after resting for the first time in Golden State’s past 50 games. He came in shooting just 41.6% from the field since the All-Star break, but made 9-of-19 shots tonight and hit a few key buckets to ward off a late challenge from Detroit. He’s cruising along as a top-10 value but owners should be mindful of the Warriors’ two remaining back-to-back sets — it wouldn’t be surprising if Steph got a night or two off in preparation for the playoffs.

Russell Westbrook hit just 6-of-20 shots for 16 points in Monday’s 115-103 loss to the Grizzlies. He dished out seven dimes with five rebounds, one triple and one turnover, but was outplayed by both Delon Wright and Tyler Dorsey. The good news is that he didn’t pick up a technical foul, so he’s still two away from another one-game suspension. With the Thunder sliding down to 8th in the West, OKC won’t have the luxury of resting Westbrook as long as seeding is up for grabs.

LeBron James (vs UTA) or Paul George (vs IND)

LeBron James had 23 points, seven rebounds, 14 assists, a steal and a 3-pointer on 11-of-20 shooting in Tuesday’s 124-106 win over the Wizards. The Lakers are out of the playoffs and play again on Wednesday night against the Jazz, and it would be surprising to see LeBron in uniform for that one. Fantasy owners should plan on being without him Wednesday night. LeBron said after the game that he doesn’t know how many more games he’ll play this season, but that he will go all out when he does play. He also said he considered skipping tonight’s game to go to Chris Bosh’s ceremony in Miami, but decided against it due to the fact the NBA wouldn’t have been pleased.

Paul George will be playing his fourth game against his former team. In two games against Indiana last season, he averaged just 11 points per game, but the Thunder won both. In their only other matchup this season, he scored 36 points in a two-point loss. I think we’ll see “Playoff P” in action, given both the motivation against his former club and the sheer need for the Thunder to get back into the win column.

Damian Lillard (vs CHI) or Bradley Beal (vs PHX)

Damian Lillard didn’t have his best night shooting the basketball, as he was 10-of-30 from the field and 4-of-16 from three, but he finished with 31 points, 12 assists, six rebounds and one steal in a double-overtime win over the Nets. Lillard has scored 30 points or more in four of his last five games, and his average of 28.1 points per game in March is his second-highest for a month this season (29.6 ppg in October). The All-Star point guard is also averaging 8.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game this month, and he’ll have even more on his plate offensively as Jusuf Nurkic was lost to a horrific leg injury. Portland is also without CJ McCollum (knee), meaning that the Trail Blazers will look to solidify its playoff seeding without two of the team’s top three scorers.

Bradley Beal hit 10-of-19 shots and two 3-pointers for 32 points, five rebounds, two assists and a block in 37 minutes of Tuesday’s loss to the Lakers. That just about does it for the Wizards playoff hopes and you have to wonder if Beal starts missing occasional games with nothing left to play for. So far there hasn’t been talk about shutting him down, or even missing games, but given his injury history and veteran/star status, it would be surprising if he doesn’t at least get a couple days off the rest of the way.

CJ McCollum (vs CHI) or Klay Thompson (vs MEM)

C.J. McCollum (left knee) will not travel with the Blazers on their upcoming 4-game road trip. After Monday’s home game vs. the Nets, the Blazers will face the Bulls, Hawks, Pistons and Wolves on the road. That rules McCollum out until at least April 4th. Coach Terry Stotts said that McCollum is “progressing well,” but there’s no guarantee he returns before the end of the regular season.

Klay Thompson put up 24 points (10-17 FG, 4-6 3Pt) to go with two rebounds and two assists in 37 minutes Sunday in the Warriors’ 121-114 win over the Pistons. Thompson took part in all five of the Warriors’ league-high five games during the week, contributing averages of 18.4 points (on 42.5 percent shooting from the field), 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.6 triples per contest. With the Warriors holding just a half-game lead over the Nuggets for the top seed in the Western Conference heading into Monday’s action, Thompson and most of Golden State’s key regulars shouldn’t be subject to the frequent late-season rest they have received in past years.

DeMarcus Cousins (vs MEM) or Steven Adams (vs IND)

DeMarcus Cousins (rest) is set to return for Wednesday’s game versus the Grizzlies, Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News reports. Cousins was sidelined Sunday against the Pistons for rest purposes, as it was the second half of a back-to-back set. Coach Steve Kerr indicated Tuesday that all Warriors will be active in Memphis, so look for him to resume his usual role with the team.

Steven Adams had two points (1-7 FG), eight rebounds, four steals, and three blocks in 32 minutes during Monday’s 115-103 loss to the Grizzlies. Adams was absolutely awful offensively, only salvaging his stat line thanks to his impressive defensive contributions. He has been held to single digits in scoring in three straight tilts and four of the last five, and Adams will look to get back on track during Wednesday’s matchup versus the Pacers.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/26/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Alexander Ovechkin (vs CAR) or Patrick Kane (vs ARI)

Alex Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 48 goals and has totaled 84 points.

Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks with 102 total points, scoring 41 goals and adding 61 assists.

Artemi Panarin (vs NYI) or Evgenii Dadonov (vs MTL)

Artemi Panarin collected a helper in Sunday’s 5-0 win over the Canucks. He added a plus-2 rating with two shots and two PIM in the contest. Panarin has been excellent once again with 77 points (25 goals, 52 assists) in 72 games this year, and he has a good chance of reaching 80 points for the second time as he tries to help guide the Blue Jackets into the playoffs.

Evgenii Dadonov earned two helpers in a 7-5 loss against Toronto on Monday. Dadonov has three goals and 14 points in the last 10 games. He finished the 2017-18 season with 25 goals and 65 points in 74 contests. Dadonov has 25 markers and 63 points through 76 contests this year.

Aleksander Barkov (vs MTL) or Jonathan Toews (vs ARI)

The last time the Panthers played the Canadiens, Aleksander Barkov had a hat-trick, added an assist, and scored a goal-of-the-year candidate on Carey Price. Barkov (15-20-35) rank first in NHL scoring over the last 20-game span for the Panthers. The Finnish forward leads the Panthers in scoring with 34-54-88 totals.

Blackhawk coach Jeremy Colliton juggled his line combinations, putting a slumping Alex DeBrincat with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the top line. They combined for 15 shots but no points on Sunday.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (vs CAR) or Jonathan Huberdeau (vs MTL)

Last April, the Capitals defeated the Blue Jackets in the first round of the playoffs en route to winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Evgeny Kuznetsov led all players in points.

Jonathan Huberdeaus netted two goals in a 7-5 loss to Toronto on Monday night. Huberdeau scored both markers during the third period to bring his total to 25 on the year. He produced a career-high 27 goals last season. Huberdeau already has personal bests in 2018-19 with 59 assists and 84 points in 76 games. He has piled up seven goals and 19 points in the last 10 contests.

Max Domi (vs FLA) or Matt Duchene (vs NYI)

Max Domi, who leads Montreal with 67 points (26 goals, 41 assists), has three goals and an assist in against the Panthers this Season.

Matt Duchene acquired 6 points in 16 games since being acquired from the Ottawa Senators.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Mike Hoffman and Claude Giroux
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/19/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Evgenii Dadonov vs Vladimir Tarasenko

Evgenii Dadonov tallied his 25th goal of the year in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Dadonov got the Panthers on the board 11 seconds into the second period. He has generated three goals and nine points in the last six contests. Dadonov has been red hot alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau on Florida’s top line.

Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body) is ready to return on Tuesday. Tarasenko was injured on March 7 and was held out of the lineup for five straight games as a result. He has 28 goals and 58 points in 66 contests this season.

Mike Hoffman vs Claude Giroux

Mike Hoffman leads the Panthers with a career-high 33 goals. Of those scores, a team-leading and career-best 16 have come on the power play, which ranks tied fourth in the NHL. The 29-year-old winger has notched 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) over his last 17 games.

Sunday night was one of countless examples of Claude Giroux’s quiet leadership. Giroux could not partake in morning skate because he was under the weather and deemed a game-time decision. He ended up gutting it out, playing 23:33 against the Penguins and finishing as a plus-2.

Nathan MacKinnon vs Tyler Seguin

Nathan MacKinnon notched one goal and one assist in a 3-0 win over New Jersey on Sunday. MacKinnon assisted on the first of Tyson Barrie’s two goals in the contest before adding his 37th goal into an empty net to seal the win. MacKinnon became just the second player in club history to produce consecutive 90-point seasons after Peter Forsberg accomplished the feat in 1997-98 and 1998-99.

Dallas is also a team that appears fairly top-heavy up front, ranking 29th in the NHL in goals per game (2.51) despite possessing three high-end offensive talents in Tyler Seguin (27 goals, 65 points), Jamie Benn (26 goals, 48 points) and Alexander Radulov (22 goals, 57 points).

Sidney Crosby vs Evgeni Malkin

Sidney Crosby leads Pittsburgh into a matchup against Carolina. He ranks fourth in the NHL with 92 points, scoring 33 goals and recording 59 assists.

Evgeni Malkin (injured) is tagged as week-to-week. The injury is believed to have occurred when Malkin took a hard cross-check by Robert Bortuzzo to the ribs on Saturday. 

Aleksander Barkov vs Vincent Trochek

Aleksander Barkov had two helpers in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Anaheim. Barkov recorded the secondary assist on goals by Evgenii Dadonov and Aaron Ekblad in the contest. He has dished out 13 helpers and has two goals during a six-game point streak. Barkov has career-highs this season in goals (30), assists (53) and points (83) through 72 games.

He was injured for about two months, but even in a shortened season we’ve seen the levels of production that Vincent Trocheck can bring. He’s averaging over two hits per game, about 2.7 shots per game, would fly past 50 blocked shots had he played 75 games, and sits with roughly a penalty minute per contest. Perhaps the point production is a bit lacking but it’s worth noting his current shooting percentage (5.8 percent) is about half his three-year average from 2015-18 (11.4 percent). If you double his current goal total to account for the shooting percentage drop, he’s up to 0.31 goals per game coming off three seasons of 0.33, 0.28, and 0.38 goals per game. In other words, things are pretty much normal here.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Stephen Curry and James Harden
Source: SL / Getty Images North America

NBA EZ Pick Preview 03/19/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

James Harden vs Stephen Curry

James Harden played through a strained neck and hit just 8-of-24 shots, 4-of-12 3-pointers, and didn’t even attempt a free throw to finish with 20 points, two rebounds, 10 assists and a steal in Sunday’s win over Minnesota. The good news is he played and the Rockets have four games this week, but they have a back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta and Memphis, and Mike D’Antoni seems to be in “rest guys” mode. It’s quite possible that Harden rests for one of those games, but at this point of the season, you kind of have to go with the guys who got you here. And Harden is definitely one of those guys. Even if he only plays in three games, he should still rack up some ridiculous stats, and he hopefully got his bad game out of his system tonight. He also took a hard fall and was having his neck worked on throughout the night, but the chances of him playing in at least three games this week seem to be good. And in case you’re wondering, outside of All-Star games and the playoffs, the last time he didn’t attempt a free throw in a regular-season game appears to have been Jan. 2 of 2015. Crazy.

Stephen Curry hit 9-of-25 shots during Monday’s loss to the Spurs, finishing with 25 points, seven boards, eight dimes, six triples, three steals, one block and two turnovers in 37 minutes. Curry got off to a slow start in this one, missing his first seven shots, and overall, he just seemed a bit off. He did, however, have a hashtag StephGonSteph moment to close out the first quarter, drilling a 60-footer to beat the buzzer, which accounted for his fourth-career make from beyond 50 feet. Curry has been in a mini-slump over the past five-games, connecting on just 37.5% of his field goal attempts, but the counting stats have remained stellar.

Chris Paul vs Jimmy Butler

Chris Paul returned from a rest and hit 8-of-12 shots, 6-of-7 3-pointers and 3-of-3 free throws on his way to 25 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists, a steal and one 3-pointer in Sunday’s 117-102 win over the Wolves. He dominated, and we mean dominated, Tyus Jones tonight, and is hot heading into a four-game week for his fantasy owners. He was rested on Friday, but looked like a well-rested, well-oiled machine Sunday night. Hopefully Mike D’Antoni isn’t planning on resting him in the upcoming four-game week, but just keep in mind that the Rockets do have a back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Hawks and Memphis, both of which are road games. We’re starting Paul in Week 23 where we own him, and his six 3-pointers tied his season high.

Jimmy Butler went 8-of-16 from the field and 9-of-13 from the line on his way to 27 points during Sunday’s win over the Bucks. Butler added six rebounds, three assists, three steals, two turnovers and a surprise two triples over his 34 minutes of floor time, and his defense was instrumental in Philly pulling off the win in Milwaukee.

Ben Simmons vs Kemba Walker

Ben Simmons flirted with a poor man’s triple-double during Sunday’s win over the Bucks, registering eight points, nine rebounds, nine assists and three turnovers in 35 minutes. Simmons got off to a sluggish start, going just 2-of-6 from the field through the first half of action, and he didn’t attempt a single shot through the entirety of the third quarter. Some of that had to do with him taking a backseat to the Joel Embiid show, and some of it had to do with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s suffocating defense, but he should have a more productive outing on Tuesday against the Hornets.

Kemba Walker was held to just 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting during Sunday’s blowout loss to the Heat, adding two triples, four boards, four dimes, one steal and three turnovers in 36 minutes. The Heat did a nice job of taking the ball out of Walker’s hands, blitzing him every time he touches the rock, and he finished the first half of action with just five points on 2-of-8 shooting. It didn’t get much better for him after halftime, and with the Hornets dropping this one they now sit 1.5 games behind the Heat for the No. 8 spot out East. Charlotte has lost 12 of their last 17 games, and have a tough schedule to close out the year, so their postseason hopes are looking pretty grim at the moment.

Draymond Green vs Tobias Harris

Draymond Green racked up 10 points for Golden State on Monday night. The Warriors hve now dropped to 47-22 on the season and are now tied with Denver for top spot in the Western Conference standings.

Tobias Harris finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one 3-pointer, one steal and zero turnovers through 34 minutes of floor time against the Bucks on Sunday.

De’Aaron Fox vs Trae Young

Sacramento is fourth in the Western Conference with 25.6 assists per game, led by De’Aaron Fox averaging 7.2.

Trae Young scored 20 points on 9-of-18 in Sunday’s loss to the Magic, adding six rebounds and five assists with just two turnovers. Young went 0-of-5 from distance, but still managed his third straight game of 20 or more points, doing much of his damage on a flurry of mid-range runners. The 20-year-old has shot an impressive 27-of-47 (57.4 percent) from the floor over his last three games.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Nikola Jokic and Andre Drummond
Source: Getty Images North America

NBA EZ Pick Preview 03/18/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Monday’s EZ Pick.

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Stephen Curry vs Russell Westbrook

Stephen Curry netted 33 points in 33 minutes on Saturday, adding five triples, seven boards, three assists, two steals and four turnovers in an easy win over the Thunder. Curry scored his 16,000th career point in this one, becoming just the fifth player in Warriors’ history with 16,000 career points, and with his five trey-bombs, he improved his season total to 289 – which ranks as the fourth-most threes in a single season in NBA history. Steve Kerr hinted he could rest some of his stars on the upcoming Monday-Tuesday back-to-back set, so owners will want to confirm Curry’s status prior to both those games.

Russell Westbrook has been suspended for Monday’s game after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season on Saturday. Dennis Schroder should benefit the most in Westbrook’s absence, while Paul George will soak up extra usage and Raymond Felton should join the rotation. For every two techs Westbrook gets after No. 16 he’ll face another suspension, so hopefully he can keep his cool in the final 11 games for which he’ll be active. This also means he’ll play just two games in Week 23, a brutal turn of events for his fantasy owners.

Kevin Durant vs Anthony Davis

Kevin Durant (ankle) will return to the lineup on Monday vs. the Spurs. He arrived early at the arena to get some extra shots up and went through a full shootaround. Despite his questionable tag, coach Steve Kerr was expecting him back in the lineup tonight prior to this update. This is the first game of five for the Warriors this week which includes two back-to-backs, so there’s a good chance KD will be rested at some point.

Anthony Davis returned from a one-game rest with 15 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and one block in 22 minutes against the Suns on Saturday. That’s still a pretty awesome line for his fantasy owners and he’ll continue to put up high value points even with his minutes limit. The good news is that the Pels are done with the back-to-back sets, but they could still sit The Brow with even the smallest injury.

Paul George vs Kawhi Leonard

Paul George scored a team-high 29 points during Saturday’s blowout loss to the Warriors, adding 13 rebounds, four 3-pointers, two assists, one steal and two turnovers in 38 minutes. Golden State did an excellent job of running George off the 3-point line, and overall, their 3-point defense was phenomenal with them holding OKC to 13-of-41 shooting from beyond the arc. PG-13 has struggled against the Warriors this season, but he should be better on Monday vs. the Heat, particularly with Russell Westbrook likely to be suspended for that game.

Kawhi Leonard (load management) is out for Monday’s game vs. the Knicks. Kawhi played three games in a row for the first time in over a month, so this was inevitable against the Knicks. With Serge Ibaka (suspension) out and Kyle Lowry (ankle) questionable, Pascal Siakam is set up for a monster game. The last time Kahwi sat, Norman Powell had 15 points, four assists and three triples in 24 minutes, while OG Anunoby had an 11-3-1 line with two steals and a block in 24 minutes.

Damian Lillard vs Kyrie Irving

Damian Lillard scored 34 points (13-of-29 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs) with six rebounds, five assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 38 minutes against the Spurs on Saturday. C.J. McCollum left the game early in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury, after which Lillard scored 26 of his 34 points. Lillard posts per-36 minute averages of 34.7 points, 5.9 boards, 6.1 dimes, 1.8 steals and 3.4 triples with a 35.6 usage rate and a 58.0 TS% without McCollum this season. If he is out for any period of time, Lillard’s role within the Blazers’ offense will only rise, making him an elite play with their 3-4-4 schedule over the next three weeks.

Kyrie Irving just missed a triple-double during a 129-120 win over the Hawks on Saturday, scoring 30 points with 11 rebounds, nine assists, one steal, two blocks and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes. He just dropped a 30-point triple double on Thursday for the second of his career, and Irving is on some kind of heater since getting a game off on Mar. 6. In those four, he averaged 27.3 points, 7.5 boards, 9.3 dimes, 1.3 steals, 1.3 blocks and 3.0 treys with Boston hitting 115-plus points in each of those. As long as he’s not resting, Irving has massive upside every time he steps on the floor.

Nikola Jokic vs Andre Drummond

Nikola Jokic was ejected from Saturday’s game during the fourth quarter, finishing with 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two 3-pointers and four turnovers in 34 minutes. During Thursday’s game, Jokic didn’t get his first bucket until the fourth quarter, so the Nuggets made sure to get him going early in this one and he wound up scoring 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting through his first 10 minutes of play. On the season, Jokic has been operating with a 27.1 usage rate, but his usage was at 35.1 tonight, and Mike Malone has indicated during recent interviews he wants him to be more aggressive on offense. The ejection was petty, so he shouldn’t face any additional punishment from the league.

Andre Drummond helped the Pistons earn their ninth straight home win on Sunday with 15 points, 17 rebounds, two steals and one assist in 33 minutes. That gives Drummond his sixth consecutive season with at least 1,000 rebounds. He didn’t block any shots today but also committed just one turnover, while making 5-of-8 FGs and 5-of-5 FTs. His efforts helped cement the Pistons’ hold on the No. 6 seed in the East, while giving coach Dwane Casey his third straight win vs. his former team. That’s no small feat, given Toronto’s position near the top of the standings.

Devin Booker vs Jrue Holiday

Devin Booker scored 40 points with five rebounds, 13 assists, one block, seven turnovers and three 3-pointers in 41 minutes during a 138-136 overtime win at New Orleans on Saturday. The Suns got lucky in this one with the Pelicans calling for a timeout when they ran out, so Booker hit the go-ahead free throw. The Suns have won five of their last eight games and they’re only 2.5 games “up” on the Bulls for top lottery odds. Booker has played excellent ball lately as a top-25 player since the break, so keep him locked and loaded.

Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) and E’Twaun Moore (quad) will remain on the sidelines for Monday’s matchup with the Mavericks. Holiday and Moore were scheduled to be re-evaluated today, and while we didn’t get word on those results, the fact that they’ve already been ruled out for Monday’s game isn’t a great sign. Alvin Gentry has hinted that both these guys could be headed for a shutdown, and with each missed game, that scenario becomes more and more likely. Frank Jackson and Kenrich Williams will continue to start with these two on the sidelines.

Luka Doncic vs Draymond Green

Luka Doncic (right knee contusion) is being listed as probable for Monday’s matchup with the Pelicans. Doncic sat out Saturday’s game, but it looks like the knee contusion will only force him to spend one game on the sidelines. With Doncic expected back in action on Monday night, Dorian Finney-Smith or Tim Hardaway Jr. could return to the second unit and Trey Burke could drop out of the rotation entirely.

Draymond Green scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting Saturday, to go with three 3-pointers, eight rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block and two turnovers in 34 minutes. Green had his 3-point stroke working for him in this one, drilling two treys through the first quarter of action, and this was the first time he had multiple three-balls since January. Green has been shooting his worst 3-point percentage (24.6) since his rookie year, but he’s been knocking down a somewhat more respectable 30.4% of his 3-point attempts since the All-Star break.

Kevin Love vs Lauri Markkanen

Kevin Love (lower back contusion) is questionable for Monday’s game vs. Detroit. Love has been productive lately but the Cavs are likely to play it safe any time he’s banged up, so his inclusion on the injury report is ominous. Cleveland does play four games next week, though, so even if he misses Monday’s game he could still put together a solid three-game slate.

Lauri Markkanen had 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and one block in 23 minutes during Sunday’s blowout road loss in Sacramento. Markkanen was one of just two Bulls starters with double-digit points tonight, joining Zach LaVine, and coach Jim Boylen opted to bench his key guys for most of the second half. This was a fluky result for Markkanen, in other words, but at least it wasn’t a total loss — he also shot 4-of-8 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line with one 3-pointer. Expect much better vs. the Suns (Monday) and Wizards (Wednesday).

Klay Thompson vs Kyle Lowry

Klay Thompson scored 23 points on 9-of-21 shooting Saturday, to go with three 3-pointers, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals, one block and one turnover in 34 minutes. Thompson passed up Peja Stojakovic for the No. 17 spot on the NBA’s all-time 3-point list in this one, and he was aggressive in seeking out his shot with Kevin Durant (ankle) on the sidelines. As a team, the Dubs dropped in 40 points through the first quarter of action, which accounted for the most points OKC has allowed through any first quarter this year, and they never really let up at any point throughout the game.

Kyle Lowry (ankle) has been upgraded to probable for Monday’s game against the Knicks. Lowry has missed the past two games, but it appears there’s a chance he’ll be able to make it back to the court tonight. If he does play, he could see some more shots falling his way with Kawhi Leonard (rest) unavailable, but he could also take an early seat on the bench if the game turns into a blowout, so he’s not the best DFS target.

DeMarcus Cousins vs Steven Adams

An MRI on DeMarcus Cousins’ sore right ankle revealed no structural damage and he is being listed as day-to-day. Boogie will sit out Monday’s game against the Spurs, and there’s a decent chance he’ll miss Tuesday’s game vs. the Timberwolves, but even if he skips those two he’d still have the opportunity to play in three games this week. Kevon Looney will likely get the start in his place tonight, and Andrew Bogut will have the opportunity to make his Dubs’ debut.

Steven Adams scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting (1-of-4 from the line) on Saturday, adding nine rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks and two turnovers in 33 minutes. Adams did tweak his left ankle midway through the third fighting for a loose ball with Stephen Curry, which required a trip to the locker room, but he eventually returned to the game during the fourth quarter despite the Thunder being down by 20. Adams is one of the toughest dudes out there, so he’ll likely play through the pain, but owners would be wise to just confirm his status prior to Monday’s game against the Heat.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Steven Stamkos and Patrice Bergeron
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/14/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Thursday’s EZ Pick.

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Alex Ovechkin vs Nikita Kucherov

Alex Ovechkin earned his 1,200th career point in a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Ovechkin’s milestone came on John Carlson’s third period power-play goal. He reached 1,200 points in his 1,072 career game. He’s the 49th player to ever reach 1,200 points.

Nikita Kucherov collected an assist on Monday against the Maple Leafs, inching his league-leading point total to 111. He had two goals against the Red Wings on Saturday.

Jamie Benn vs Blake Wheeler

Captain Jamie Benn has 33 points in 38 career games vs. the Wild.

Blake Wheeler is expected to be available to play on Thursday night. Wheeler skipped Wednesday’s practice after he took a couple of shots to the head on Tuesday against San Jose. He has seven goals and 16 points in the last 10 games.

Evgenii Dadonov vs Brad Marchand

Evgenii Dadonov picked up an assists and added a plus-1 rating in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Red Wings. He has 5 assists in his last 3 games.

Brad Marchand’s two goals and an assist weren’t enough in Boston’s 7-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Marchand started off his night by feeding Patrice Bergeron on a two-on-one to open the scoring shorthanded. However, things fell off the rails from there for Boston, allowing five straight goals in a span of 21 minutes. The Bruins then scored three straight to close out the second frame to make this one interesting, with Marchand getting on in tight off a rebound and getting his second off a Bergeron faceoff win. Marchand is now just the sixth player in franchise history to record at least four consecutive seasons of 30+ goals. The 30-year-old winger has 30 goals and 85 points in 69 games this season.

Phil Kessel vs Alexander Radulov

Phil Kessel scored a goal and an assist, both on the power play, in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Capitals.

Alexander Radulov has totaled 9 points over the last 10 games for Dallas with six goals and three assists.

Yanni Gourde vs Mike Hoffman

Yanni Gourde had two assists on Monday against the Maple Leafs.

Mike Hoffman collected his 30th assists (61 points) of the season in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Red Wings.

Claude Giroux vs Evander Kane

Claude Giroux saw his season-high eight-game point streak end in Monday’s 3-2 win over the Senators despite playing 24:40.It was the ninth time this season Giroux has topped the 24-minute mark in a game, all under interim head coach Scott Gordon. However, the Flyers are just 3-4-2 when Giroux logs 24-plus TOI.

Evander Kane joined the Sharks for Thursday’s morning skate. Kane won’t return on Thursday against the Panthers, but he’s getting very close. He missed a little over two weeks.

Viktor Arvidsson vs Patrik Laine

Viktor Arvidsson leads the Predators with 28 goals, adding 11 assists and recording 39 points.

Patrik Laine needs to step up his game, and soon. After scoring 21 goals in the first two months of the season, Laine has scored just eight times in his last 45 games. That’s a pedestrian rate for someone who tore up the league in his first two years.

Tyler Seguin vs Sidney Crosby

Tyler Seguin earned an assist in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Buffalo. Seguin has contributed a helper in each of the last three games. He has 27 goals on 271 shots this season as well as 63 points in 69 contests.

Sidney Crosby scored two goals in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals. The Penguins fell behind two goals midway through the contest but Jake Guentzel got them back in the game at the 12:37 mark of the second period. Crosby then tied the game less than a minute later when Justin Schultz sent him on a breakaway with a great lob pass. Crosby then needed just 61 seconds to finish off a great tic-tac-toe sequence with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel for his second of the night. Pittsburgh’s captain is up to 33 goals and 90 points in 67 games, becoming the only active NHLer with at least six seasons of 90+ points.

Patrice Bergeron Steven Stamkos

Patrice Bergeron notched one goal and one assist in a 7-4 loss to Columbus on Tuesday night. Bergeron opened the scoring four minutes into the contest with a shorthanded goal. He set up a goal by Brad Marchand near the end of the second stanza. Bergeron has 26 goals and 65 points in 54 games this season.

Steven Stamkos has 34 goal this season and 382 in his career. He is one shy of tying Lecavalier’s career franchise record.

Mark Scheifele vs Jack Eichel

Winnipeg has scored 235 goals and is third in the Western Conference averaging 3.4 goals per game. Mark Scheifele leads the team with 32.

Jack Eichel has been suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head on Colorado’s Carl Soderberg. Eichel got a two-minute penalty on Saturday for the hit. He won’t get to play in Buffalo’s upcoming two-game homestand, but he will be eligible to return on March 16 versus Carolina.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Klay Thompson and Chris Paul
Source: Getty Images North America

NBA EZ Pick Preview 03/13/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Wednesday’s EZ Pick.

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Stephen Curry vs Russell Westbrook

Stephen Curry hit just 6-of-20 shots and 4-of-15 3-pointers for 18 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, three steals and a block in 35 minutes of Sunday’s ugly 115-111 home loss to the Suns. Curry, Kevin Durant (who left with an ankle injury) and Klay Thompson combined to hit just 9-of-34 shots from downtown, and the Warriors were just 10-of-43 from 3-point land as a team. They’ve lost six of their last 10 games, and a home loss to the Suns is not what the doctor ordered. GSW has a big game on Wednesday at Houston, and it will be interesting to see how they fare in that one. Regardless of their recent struggles, the Warriors are still the No. 1 seed in the West, holding a 1.5 game lead over the Nuggets.

Russell Westbrook produced 23 points (9-19 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 3-6 FT), 11 rebounds, eight assists, one steal, and one block in 37 minutes during Monday’s 98-89 win over the Jazz.

Bradley Beal vs Devin Booker

Bradley Beal nearly triple-doubled in a 121-115 win over the Kings on Monday, scoring 27 points with nine rebounds and nine assists. He also recorded four steals with three triples, hitting 9-of-20 from the field and 6-of-8 from the line. It’s a fantastic start to the week from Beal and his fantasy owners will continue to benefit from one of the best remaining schedules in the NBA — the Wizards play three more times this week and follow that up with two straight weeks of four games each. He’ll be locked in as a top-10 fantasy asset as long as his team is in striking distance of the No. 8 seed.

Devin Booker hit 13-of-23 shots, two 3-pointers and 9-of-9 free throws on his way to 37 points, eight rebounds, 11 assists and two steals in 41 minutes of Sunday’s 115-111 win over the Warriors in Oracle Arena. Booker was awesome and took over the game in the fourth quarter, helping the Suns snap an 18-game, five-year losing streak against the Warriors. The Suns have won five of their last seven games, and have now beaten both the Bucks and the Warriors in the past week. And despite all of that goodness, the Suns are still just 16-52 on the season, trailing only the Knicks for the league’s worst record.

Andre Drummond vs Nikola Vucevic

Andre Drummond reached the 20-rebound mark for the 15th time this season Monday, as he accounted for 20 rebounds, 13 points (5-of-14 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), three assists and one steal. Drummond could have put up an even higher rebound total if the outcome were in doubt, as he and the rest of the Pistons starters sat for much of the fourth quarter in the 103-75 loss to the Nets. The seventh-year center has grabbed 20 or more boards in two of his last three games, and over the last five he’s averaging 19.0 points, 18.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 57.1% from the field, 33.3% from three and 64.7% from the foul line.

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 26 points and 10 rebounds on Sunday against the Grizzlies. The Magic have outscored opponents by 2.9 points per 100 possessions with Nikola Vucevic on the floor this season. When Vucevic is on the bench, Orlando gets outscored by 5.9 points per 100 possessions.

Rudy Gobert vs Clint Capela

Rudy Gobert amassed 15 points (5-8 FG, 5-7 FT), 12 rebounds, four blocks, one assist, and one steal in 35 minutes during Monday’s 98-89 loss to the Thunder.

Clint Capela scored 19 points (8-12 FG, 3-3 FT) while adding 15 rebounds and two assists in 31 minutes during Monday’s 118-106 win over the Hornets.

Donovan Mitchell vs D’Angelo Russell

Donovan Mitchell hit 8-of-22 shots and 6-of-8 free throws in Monday’s 98-89 loss to the Thunder. This was a monster line from Mitchell, as he racked up five assists, four rebounds, five steals, one block and three triples in 37 minutes. Mitchell has put his slow start to the season well behind him and looks like the player who helped knock out this OKC team from the playoffs last season. He’s averaging just under 30 points per game for the past month and is peaking for the fantasy playoffs.

D’Angelo Russell played 24 minutes Monday vs. the Pistons, finishing with 11 points (5-of-13 FGs), seven assists, three rebounds, two steals, one blocked shot and one three-pointer. Russell did not have his best night scoring-wise, but he did tally seven assists and help lead the Nets to a 28-point win over the Pistons in Brooklyn. The fourth-year point guard is shooting just 39.0% from the field, 30.6% from three and 46.2% from the foul line over his last five games, which is a bit of an issue for those who have him on their rosters. However, given how well the All-Star guard has played throughout the entire season it’s fair to assume that this slump will come to an end soon enough. And even with the shooting issues Russell has been a top-100 player over the last month.

DeMarcus Cousins vs Hassan Whiteside

DeMarcus Cousins tallied 13 points (5-11 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT), five rebounds, two assists and two blocks across 28 minutes in the Warriors’ 115-111 loss to the Suns on Sunday.

Hassan Whiteside is averaging 12.8 points and 12.1 rebounds for the Heat.

Chris Paul vs Klay Thompson

Chris Paul scored 10 points (3-8 3Pt, 2-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT) while adding 10 rebounds, four assists and a block in 29 minutes during Monday’s 118-106 win over the Hornets.

Klay Thompson hit 10-of-22 shots and 4-of-15 3-pointers for 28 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block in 36 minutes of Sunday’s 115-111 loss to the Suns at Oracle Arena. Thompson had a great night everywhere but from beyond the arc, and the Warriors’ poor 3-point shooting as a team is a big reason they lost this game. The loss snapped an 18-game, five-year winning streak over the Suns, and the Warriors will look to rebound on Wednesday with a big game at Houston.

Josh Richardson vs Spencer Dinwiddie

Josh Richardson couldn’t get anything going during Sunday’s blowout loss to the Raptors, finishing with just eight points, two rebounds, three assists, one steal and one turnover over 26 minutes. Richardson (right hamstring soreness) will play Wednesday against the Pistons. He has been expected to play since earlier this afternoon. This isn’t a back-to-back set and it’s one of the biggest games left on the schedule, so expect J-Rich to get close to a full workload, especially getting the green light before warmups are over. Get him in your lineups.

Spencer Dinwiddie shot 5-of-11 from the field and 7-of-7 from the foul line in Monday’s win over the Pistons, scoring 19 points with two rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers. Dinwiddie was one of seven Nets to score in double figures in Brooklyn’s 28-point win, and he’s scored 15 points or more in five of the six games he’s played in since returning from a thumb injury. During this stretch, the backup guard is averaging 18.4 points, 5.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game with shooting splits of 45.6/33.3/72.4.

Goran Dragic vs Evan Fournier

Goran Dragic scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting (2-of-4 from the line) Sunday, to go with one 3-pointer, four rebounds, three assists and two turnovers in 21 minutes off the bench.

Evan Fournier was ejected early on Sunday, scoring zero points in 14 minutes with 0-of-4 shooting, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Wes Iwundu took over for Fournier after his ejection, with Terrence Ross (28 minutes) also chipping in to balance the load. Fournier came in averaging 3.0 triples in March, with enough steals and points to justify playing him in most fantasy formats. This was a brutal outcome but the good typically outweighs the bad, giving him mild appeal as a source of scoring, threes, assists and FT%.

Trevor Ariza vs Justin Holiday

Trevor Ariza totaled 11 points (5-14 FG, 1-7 3Pt), 10 rebounds and three assists across 37 minutes in the Wizards’ win over the Kings on Monday.

The Grizzlies have one of the best matchups of the day vs. the Atlanta Hawks, which makes Justin Holiday an interesting target.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis
Source: Getty Images North America

NBA EZ Pick Preview 03/12/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Giannis Antetokounmpo vs Anthony Davis

Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 27 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, one block and one 3-pointer in a 121-114 road loss at San Antonio on Sunday. The Spurs game-planned for the MVP front runner and did a good job containing him tonight. “When he gets downhill we have to try to keep him out of the paint,” Spurs center Jakob Poeltl said before the game. “That’s how they really get going, by getting into the paint and kicking out to their three-point shooters. Yeah, It’s going to have to be a team effort on Giannis for sure.” He still racked up a terrific fantasy line, even if his team didn’t get the victory, and continues to hover around top-five value in almost any format.

Anthony Davis (back) returned to action on Sunday, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, one steal, four blocks and three 3s in 21 minutes. AD continues to be a beast even when only on the court for 20-ish minutes, and the Hawks obviously offered a very friendly matchup on Sunday. The four blocks were the most he’s had in a game since early January. Davis has averaged 15.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 3.0 blocks and 1.3 triples in his four games so far this month.

Karl-Anthony Towns vs Nikola Jokic

Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) has been upgraded to probable for Tuesday’s game against the Nuggets. Coach Ryan Saunders said that KAT would be a game-time call, but Towns himself said he’ll be good to go for tonight’s game, so we should get official word on his status in a few hours. Assuming he plays, that would likely shift Taj Gibson back to the second unit, and he could be extremely busy with Derrick Rose (elbow), Andrew Wiggins (quad) and Jeff Teague (foot) all questionable.

Nikola Jokic made just 5-of-10 from the field for 16 points during a 122-105 loss to the Warriors on Friday, adding six rebounds, four assists, four steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes. The Warriors continue to really limit Denver when Jokic is on the floor with Jokic’s -29 in this loss. In the previous two, he only had a -22.3 net rating, so that could be something to watch in a playoff matchup. It’ll be a while until we see that and Jokic has been an absolute star in fantasy. He has one more week of a subpar schedule, then Jokic’s 4-4-4 after that could help lead to fantasy titles.

Damian Lillard vs Ben Simmons

Point guard Damian Lillard has been on fire against the Clippers with an average of 31.3 points in three contests versus Los Angeles this season. Lillard scored 18 points against the Suns two nights after exploding for a season-best 51 points during a 129-121 overtime loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 50-point effort was the fifth of Lillard’s career. Lillard (12,540 career points) needs 23 points to pass LaMarcus Aldridge as the second-leading scorer in franchise history. Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler (18,040) is Portland’s all-time leader.

Ben Simmons tallied 15 points (6-10 FG, 3-5 FT), four rebounds, six assists and a steal over 35 minutes Sunday against the Pacers.

Jrue Holiday vs DeMar DeRozan

Guard Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) is sidelined and will miss Tuesday matchup against the Bucks.

DeMar DeRozan produced 28 points (10-20 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 8-9 FT), six assists, four rebounds, two steals, and one block in 36 minutes during Sunday’s 121-114 victory over Milwaukee.

Luka Doncic vs Kevin Love

Luka Doncic (left knee strain) is questionable for Tuesday vs. the Spurs and was spotted getting treatment to the side of Dallas’ practice. In case you missed it, Doncic said he felt a “pop” during Sunday’s game but it sounds like he escaped with a minor injury. The Mavericks have plenty of incentive to be cautious, so they won’t throw him out there if he’s not at or close to 100 percent.

Kevin Love (rest) will not suit up for Tuesday’s game against the 76ers. It’s the second night of a back-to-back, so Love will get his standard rest day. Larry Nance (ribs) is questionable, so we could see a lot of Ante Zizic and Marquese Chriss tonight, with Zizic offering a bit more upside.

Tobias Harris vs Lauri Markkanen 

Tobias Harris racked up 16 points (7-16 FG, 2-5 3Pt), eight rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block in 35 minutes Sunday against the Pacers.

Lauri Markkanen knocked down three 3-pointers en route to 17 points on Sunday, shooting 6-of-13 from the field to go with six rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal in 26 minutes against the Pistons. Markkanen hasn’t been shooting the ball all that well of late, sitting at just 37% over his last five games. The Bulls losing big against Detroit really limited his ability to have a bigger game, but he still produced a nice line. After producing top-30 fantasy value for much of the last few months, Markkanen has fallen out of the top-100 over the past week of play. Even with these recent struggles, he’s still a must-start player down the stretch.

Tim Hardaway Jr vs CJ McCollum

Tim Hardaway Jr. would see a big boost in value if Doncic is ultimately ruled out. He’s seen a usage bump of +6.4% with Doncic off the court since joining the team on Feb. 6.

C.J. McCollum made 11-of-14 from the field for 26 points during a blowout 127-120 win over the Suns on Saturday, adding three rebounds, four assists, one block, one steal and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes. It was 24-23 at the end of the first, but the Blazers just poured it on with 42 points in the second quarter and 36 in the third. McCollum has caught fire with four 25-plus scoring games over his last five, averaging 23.8 points, 3.2 boards, 3.4 dimes, 0.8 blocks, 0.6 steals and 3.8 treys. He is getting hot at the right time and it looks like he’ll play in 80-plus games for the fourth straight season.

Otto Porter Jr vs Khris Middleton

Otto Porter made 6-of-12 shots (2-of-2 FTs) for 17 points on Sunday against Detroit, adding six rebounds, one assist, one block and three 3-pointers in 26 minutes. Porter was limited to fewer than 30 minutes of action for the first time in four games, in large part because the Bulls got blown out. His move to Chicago has seen him return to the fantasy relevance owners had gotten used to over the past few seasons. Porter has been in the top-10 in nine-category leagues across the last two weeks and is a must-start option when healthy.

Khris Middleton has averaged 6.7 rebounds and added 19 points per game over the last 10 games for Milwaukee.

Jamal Murray vs Eric Bledsoe

Jamal Murray has averaged 16.4 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 40.2 percent over the last 10 games for Denver.

Eric Bledsoe had 21 points on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs.

CJ McCollum vs Lou Williams

The Trail Blazers, who just split a two-game homestand, are beginning a three-game road trip that includes visits to the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs. “It would have been nice to get a little more time at home, but that’s life,” shooting guard CJ McCollum told reporters after practice Monday. “You got to be ready to get back on the road, win a lot of games on the road against tough teams, teams that need every game. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready to play.” McCollum scored 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting Saturday in Portland’s 127-120 victory over the Phoenix Suns. It marked his third straight game with 25 or more points. McCollum is averaging 22.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games against the Clippers this season.

Lou Williams put forth one of his best efforts of the season Monday, as he scored 34 points (14-of-21 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs) with five rebounds, five assists and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes. Williams moved past Dell Curry into the top spot on the NBA’s all-time bench points list, as he has 11,148 points to Curry’s 11,147. And Lou Will sat for a significant portion of the fourth quarter, as the Clippers led the Celtics by a comfortable margin. Williams is one reason why the Clippers have won five straight, as he’s averaging 26.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game during the streak. Over the last two weeks he’s been ranked just outside of the top-100 in nine-category leagues, but over the last week Williams is ranked fourth. It’s fair to say that he’s got it rolling right now.

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