Oct 16, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles around Denver Nuggets guard Jameer Nelson (1) during the second quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports
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Portland guard Damian Lillard is one of the most steady performers in FanDuel NBA tournament play, averaging over 40 fantasy points a night.
Any concerns about lingering effects of an ankle injury that kept Damian Lillard out for five consecutive games were erased Thursday night.
Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts kept Lillard on the court for nearly 36 minutes, with his inspired play carrying the team to a victory.
Lillard only needed 14 shot attempts to log 21 points, as he connected on 4-of-10 attempts from three-point range to go along with 10 assists and five rebounds. The outing was his fourth 20-point, 10-assist, five-rebound effort of the year, and his 11th performance with four or more made shots from three-point range.
For the year, Lillard is averaging 26.8 points, 6.3 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 made three-pointers per game.
Despite his lofty averages, Lillard could be snubbed from the Western Conference All-Star team for the second straight year.
The first returns of All-Star balloting has Lillard receiving 117,857 votes, sixth most among back court players in the conference.
Only performances such as his fantastic return from makes leaving Lillard off the roster, with the point guard position loaded in the Western Conference with Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and James Harden all competing for spots, even more difficult.
While Lillard may not be a sure addition to the All-Star team, he is well deserving of a roster spot in FanDuel NBA leagues.
In his last 20 appearances, Lillard has posted 40 or more FanDuel NBA fantasy points on 10 occasions and is averaging 41.2 fantasy points per game, the 10th most in the league.
For Saturday night, Lillard is facing a Pistons team that surrenders an average of 22.6 points and 9.3 assists per game to opposing point guards, one of eight teams allowing the opposition to score 45 or more fantasy points to point guards.
Lillard’s stock in FanDuel NBA leagues has increased as of late because of his increased production setting up teammates for easy looks, as he has dished out 10 or more assists in three of his last four games.
With his exceptional scoring, assist, rebound and three-point numbers, Lillard is an ideal candidate for any FanDuel NBA lineup.
Dec 22, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) brings the ball up court against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Boston defeats Indiana 109-102. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
A 24-point effort from Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas Friday night against Philadelphia extended his 20-point scoring streak to 20 consecutive games, five more than anyone else in the league this season. Thomas is averaging 27.7 points per game, fifth most in the league, as he is shooting 45.2 percent from the field and is one of six players shooting over 90 percent from the free throw line this season.
Starting point guard George Hill is set to miss his 25th game this season, with his latest injury stemming from an elbow to the face, sending him into the concussion protocol. Shelvin Mack is slated to start for the 10th time this season, and even at a low cost in FanDuel NBA tournament play, he is a worthwhile roster addition, as he is averaging 12.4 points and 3.7 assists per game. Mack is coming off a 17 point performance against the Raptors, hitting 7-of-9 attempts from the field.
Dec 26, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade (3) reacts after dunking against the Indiana Pacers in the final seconds of the game during the second half at the United Center. The Bulls won 90-85. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Dwyane Wade missed all five of his attempts from inside the arc Thursday night against the defending champion Cavaliers, but connected on 3-of-4 attempts from three-point range. Wade had been bothered by swelling in both knees, forcing him to miss Monday’s game against the Hornets, but he logged 27 minutes against Cleveland. For the year, Wade is averaging 31 points in FanDuel NBA tournament play, but hasn’t reached the mark in any of his last four games.
Consecutive 30-minute performances have propelled New Orleans guard Buddy Hield into strong consideration for FanDuel NBA lineups. During the two-game run, Hield has produced averages of 17.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while totaling eight made three-point field goals during the run. Hield has posted 29.2 FanDuel NBA tournament points over the past two outings, more than double his season average.
Dec 8, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Terrence Ross (31) defends during the first quarter in a game at Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Raptors won 124-110. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
The last five games have been exceptional for Jimmy Butler, as he is averaging 32.6 points on 49 percent shooting from the field, 8.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Even with his shot not falling against the Cavaliers, Butler supplemented his production in FanDuel NBA tournament play by dishing out eight assists, and grabbing six rebounds while scoring 20 points. Butler has scored 40 or more fantasy points in each of his last three appearances and is averaging 42 fantasy points for the year.
Andrew Wiggins scored just eight points 2-of-15 shooting Tuesday night against Philadelphia, Andrew Wiggins took twice as many shots Friday night, producing 41 points, his second 40-point performance of his career. Wiggins is averaging 22.3 points per game, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists a night, and his two steals against Washington extended his streak to seven straight games with at least one steal.
Dec 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) shoots past Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) during the first half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Davis has found a way to further excel over the past three games, producing at least 20 points and 17 rebounds in each. Even while averaging 21 points and 18 rebounds a night, New Orleans has lost two of three, dropping its record to 14-23, the 11th best in the Western Conference. Davis is one of three players averaging over 50 points in FanDuel NBA tournament play and his valuation of $10,800 is his lowest in 20 games.
While Dirk Nowitzki has yet to provide his usual impact scoring, as he is averaging 11.8 points, 10.1 below his career average, his value in FanDuel NBA play is increasing because of his rebounding totals. Nowitzki has pulled down 16 rebounds in his last two games, with 15 coming on the defensive end. Thursday night against the Suns, Nowitzki connected three times from three-point range, his highest total since opening night.
Dec 31, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) dunks the ball during the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Rudy Gobert swatted away three shots Thursday night, increasing his average for the year to 2.6 per game, the highest total in the NBA this season. Along with the lofty shot blocking total, Gobert totaled 15 points and 16 rebounds, his fourth outing with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds and he has been an elite rebounder all season. In 37 appearances, Gobert has totaled 10 or more rebounds 31 times.
Mason Plumlee submitted one of his finest performances of the year Thursday night against the Lakers, totaling 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists. With an average of 4.2 assists per game, Plumlee is tied with Marc Gasol for the second highest total among all centers in the NBA.