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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets, Fantasy Team and Preview

Oklahoma City Thunder: This looks like the game of the night. We have a slate-high total of 237 points here and the Thunder are 2-point ‘dogs in Houston. Chris Paul is playing these days, but it’s not like we really ever let micro matchups scare us away from Russell Westbrook. Westbrook’s scoring numbers are down quite a bit this season, but he’s still stuffing the stat sheet. Russ has triple-doubled in 8 consecutive games, which is ridiculous. Paul George was a guy people were reluctant to play with Russ healthy, but he’s been arguably the best player in the league this season.George boasts a 31.3% usage rate on the year and he’s averaging 1.40 FPPM himself. Houston’s wing defense gets a little better with Iman Shumpert now in the fold, but Iman Shumpert isn’t scaring anybody away from George. With so much of the production swallowed up by Westbrook and George, the rest of the Thunder rotation guys tend to go overlooked. Dennis Schroder has quietly put up at least 26 fantasy points in 6 straight games.Ferguson starts on the wing, but his weak per-minute production makes him a GPP dart at best.Jerami Grant looks like a lock to play 30-plus minutes in a matchup against a Rockets team that has really struggled on the glass lately. Houston ranks just 28th in rebound rate over the last month, so there’s upside here for Grant and Steven Adams up front. Adams holds a massive side advantage over Kenneth Faried. He’s been quiet lately, but this looks like a pretty good get-right spot for him with Clint Capela still out.

Houston Rockets: The Rockets have the second-highest implied team total on the slate. CP3 hasn’t shot the ball well at all this season, but he’s affordably priced and the Thunder have climbed all the way up to No. 2 in the league this season in pace. Paul looks like a great way to get exposure to this game at his price point in all formats. Now that his minutes are back to normal he looks like a strong option.Some like to stay away from James Harden with Paul in the lineup, but he’s remained dominant even with CP3 back. If we take Capela, Eric Gordon (questionable) and Carmelo Anthony off the floor, Harden has an absurd 50.2% usage rate on the season, and he’s averaging 1.94 FP/min. He would’ve breezed his way to another 70-fantasy point night the other night in Sacramento if the Kings had shown a pulse. He has the highest floor and ceiling of any player on the slate, and nobody has been able to slow him down all year.Eric Gordon is cheap, but his usage plunges with Harden and Paul also in the lineup. I don’t expect Shumpert to keep playing 30 minutes every night like he was in Sacramento of late, but he does figure to eat into the playing time of guys like Gordon, Austin Rivers and Gerald Green. P.J. Tucker is never a fun roster, but he’s going to play 35ish minutes tonight in a pace-up spot against OKC. He’s fine, but I’m not sure he’s a necessary evil on this slate. Kenneth Faried has been a beast since joining the Rockets. He should play all the minutes he can handle tonight against Adams up front. He’s not cheap anymore, but he is averaging 1.19 FP/min since signing with Houston. Adams is a tough defender, but Faried has been a walking double-double of late.



Houston Rockets


C: Kenneth Faried

PF: PJ Tucker

SF: Eric Gordon

SG: James Harden

PG: Chris Paul

BENCH: Iman Shumpert,Austin River, Gerald Green, Nene Hilario, Isaiah Hartenstein

INJURIES: Clint Capela(Out), Eric Gordon(Questionable)

Oklahoma City Thunders


C: Steven Adams

PF: Jerami Grant

SF: Paul George

SG: Terrance Ferguson

PG: Russell Westbrook

BENCH: Dennis Schroder, Patrick Patterson, Abdel Nader, Hamidou Diallo, Raymond Felton

INJURIES: Andre Roberson(Out).


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