WATCH: Looking for a value big? Domantas Sabonis provides huge upside
After a limited three-game schedule last night, the NBA is back in a big way to start the weekend with a nine-game Friday night slate. The 18 teams on the floor all will be coming off an off-day — except for the Cavaliers, who were trounced in Toronto by a Raptors team that was missing Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.
LeBron James and Co. will try to bounce back against the Pacers in one of the night’s most interesting matchups, while in other notable action, the Warriors will visit the Bucks and the Trail Blazers will visit the Pelicans in a matchup of Western Conference playoff hopefuls.
As you analyze each of tonight’s nine games and start to fill out your fantasy basketball lineup, make sure to take a look at these top targets.
StudJohn Wall ($9,400) — Wall has at least 45 DKFP in five straight games and gets a great matchup tonight when the Wizards face the Magic. Last season, he had over 55 DKFP in two of his three meetings with the Magic, including last year’s season-high of 75.5 DKFP with 52 real points. Wall has been getting a crazy workload lately, playing 42 minutes in each of his last two games, and he had 35 points, 11 assists and 66 DKFP against the Jazz in his most recent game Wednesday.
Other Options — Tyreke Evans ($8,300), Kemba Walker ($7,600)
ValueMalcolm Brogdon ($5,500) — Even with Eric Bledsoe ($6,900) in town, Brogdon still has been a useful fantasy option lately, and he should be able to hold off Tony Snell ($3,500) and keep his starting spot if he keeps being so productive for the Bucks. Over his last six games, Brogdon has averaged 34.2 minutes per contest, supplying 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists to power him to 28.0 FPPG. He has at least 24 DKFP in each of those six games and is coming off an impressive 40.25 DKFP against Orlando in 37 minutes Wednesday.
Other Options — Jarrett Jack ($4,600), Isaiah Canaan ($3,900)
StudChris Paul ($10,600) — CP3 has stepped in as the main man in Houston’s offense with James Harden (hamstring) out. Paul has put up great numbers with at least 48 DKFP in four straight games, which he capped off with an immense 70.25-DKFP outing against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday. In that game, Paul had 37 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds while taking a Harden-like 29 shots. Tonight, Paul gets a great matchup against the Suns, and he should be able to keep right on rolling if his usage stays elevated.
Other Options — Jimmy Butler ($9,200), Eric Gordon ($7,400)
ValueJamal Murray ($5,800) — Murray has a high ceiling, and even his “off” games still put him around 25 DKFP because he’s getting so many looks right now for the Nuggets, who host the Grizzlies tonight. Murray has at least 25 DKFP in eight of his last nine games and has reached over 40 DKFP three times during that stretch while averaging 34.7 FPPG. His shot has cooled off with back-to-back games under 40 percent this week, but he did have 31.5 DKFP against Memphis the first time he faced them this season. Murray is worth a look because his ceiling is so high, and his high usage should continue.
Other Options — Allen Crabbe ($5,100), Bojan Bogdanovic ($4,200)
StudLeBron James ($11,500) — There’s a chance we get full-on angry LeBron tonight after his team was embarrassed on national TV by the short-handed Raptors. James was held to just 36.25 DKFP despite shooting 9-of-16 from the field, and he has been under 40 DKFP in three of his last four games. However, in his one game over that threshold he went off for 75.0 DKFP against the Magic, and before that stretch, he had three straight games over 50 DKFP. He had 61 and 60 DKFP in his two meetings earlier this season with the Pacers, so it should be a good matchup for him to vent his frustration in tonight. Based on his recent play, James is higher risk than usual, but he still offers an incredible amount of upside, especially with no Isaiah Thomas (rest) to soak up shots.
Other Options — Khris Middleton ($6,800), Michael Beasley ($5,900)
ValueJaMychal Green ($4,700) — Green is coming off a monster game against the Pelicans on Wednesday when he had 20 points, 14 boards and 47.0 DKFP. That was his third double-double of the season — all of which have come in his last 10 games (26.3 FPPG average). He’s playing on a struggling Memphis team, but he is getting good enough run to be a good value play tonight in Denver.
Other Options — Trey Lyles ($5,800), Dragan Bender ($4,300)
StudKevin Durant ($10,200) — Durant only played 31 minutes in his return from a calf injury last time out, but he was extremely efficient, producing 40 points and 55.5 DKFP while shooting 14-of-18 from the field and 6-of-7 on 3-pointers. He and the short-handed Warriors lost that game to the Clippers, but they’ll try to bounce back on the road in Milwaukee tonight. Stephen Curry (ankle) is questionable, and if he is out, Durant will have to carry more of the offense, making him an even better play. It appeared on Wednesday that he’s back to full strength and should be ready to return to his role as an elite play.
Other Options — DeMarcus Cousins ($10,800), Domantas Sabonis ($6,400)
ValueThaddeus Young ($5,400) — Young usually gets some extra playing time and usage when the Pacers are missing Myles Turner (elbow, out), and he fell just one rebound short of a double-double Wednesday, finishing with 12 points, nine boards and 28.25 DKFP against the Heat without Turner. Young should be around that level of production tonight against the Cavs, who he posted 42.0 DKFP and 32.25 DKFP against in two games earlier this season.
Other Options — Ryan Anderson ($4,600), Marreese Speights ($3,900)
StudKarl-Anthony Towns ($8,900) — Towns has been a double-double machine this season for the Timberwolves, producing one in seven straight games and in 35 of 43 games this season. He is averaging 19.0 points, 14.7 rebounds and 46.4 DFKP over his last seven games and gets a great matchup tonight against the Knicks’ iffy interior defense. When the Timberwolves hosted Kristaps Porzingis ($7,800) and the Knicks last season, Towns went off for 47 points, 18 rebounds and a massive 80 DKFP. Given the matchup and his current form, he’s actually a little underpriced — even though he costs almost $9K.
Other Options — Nikola Jokic ($8,100), Dwight Howard ($7,300)
ValueMarcin Gortat ($4,900) — Gortat has at least 19 DKFP in four straight games, including a pair of games with over 33 DKFP against the Knicks and Bucks. He gets another good matchup at home tonight against the Magic. Gortat isn’t known as much of a scorer, but he has averaged 13.5 points per game over the Wizards’ last four games while adding seven rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game as well. He’s fairly reliable and has double-double upside against Orlando.
Other Options — Bismack Biyombo ($5,600), Tristan Thompson ($3,900)
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