Game Flow Notes

Vegas Lines

HIGH O/U Suns vs. Magic- The Suns/Magic game could actually be one of the more enjoyable to watch tonight. However, I think the Magic will run away with it after the 3rd quarter. With the highest total on the night at 217, this one should be up and down the court. I love Alex Len for the Suns tonight as he has hit value each of his last 2 games and is getting a lot of court time. For the Magic it will be Vuc, Gordon, and Oladipo scoring tonight. Make sure you check injury news to see if Fournier is in or out on the evening.

LOW O/UJazz vs. Grizzlies- Whoa what a monster matchup here. The one comes in tonight with a scoring total of 194. Usually this would be a battle of the boards, but with Gasol out for the rest of the season, the Grizzlies scoring burden shifts to Zach Randolph and Mike Conley. The two bigs for the Jazz should feast on the glass without the presence of Marc Gasol.


More NBA Friday Night Research

Levitan's LeverageTournament PlaysGame Breakdowns
Player TargetsTop 5's by PositionCheat Sheet


Pace of Play

HIGH PACE Knicks vs. Celtics – This is actually the 2nd fastest game on the evening. With a pace of 99.2 this game will be driven by Isaiah Thomas. Obviously Melo is in play based on matchup and usage, with RoLo making an interesting punt. Pay attention to the starting big men situation in Boston as there may be a sneaky play depending on how the lineup shakes out.

LOW PACE Trail Blazers vs. Raptors – Both of these teams have been slower paced this season. With a game pace of 94.9 this one is the 2nd slowest on the night. Obviously Lillard and McCollum are in play, but a sneaky play on the night could be Jonas Valanciunas as he gets the terrible Blazers frontcourt.

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

TARGETJohn Wall vs. Kyrie Irving – Irving and the Cavs are ranked 19th against opposing PGs. Wall underwhelmed last game, but should look to one up Lebron tonight. I have him projected at 45+ DK points tonight.

AVOIDJose Calderon vs. Isaiah Thomas – I saw a twitter post yesterday that said ‘like if you think Calderon is better than Steph Curry’ — needless to say I didn’t press the like button. IT2 is 1st against opposing PGs and should lock Calderon down tonight.

Shooting Guard Matchups

TARGET Victor Oladipo vs. Devin Booker – Oladipo should have ample scoring opportunities tonight. The Suns are ranked 30th against opposing SGs. If Fournier sits this give Oladipo an even bigger boost (I may even stack both Magic guards tonight.)

Editor’s Note (5:55 PM ET): Victor Oladipo is OUT tonight for the Magic. Evan Fournier will return but look for Mario Hezonja to draw the start again (as he did for Fournier on Wednesday). Hezonja ($3900) had a big night on Wednesday, scoring 35 fantasy points in 37 minutes. He does come with some risk though as he’s heavily dependent on getting shot attempts and the rotations for Scott Skiles and the Magic are always tumultuous but at that price he’s a very strong value option tonight.

AVOID Hollis Thompson/Nik Stauskas vs. Dwyane Wade- D Wade is 1st against opposing SGs. He should have no trouble tonight handling the beaten down SGs of the 76ers.



Small Forward Matchups

TARGET Lebron James vs. Otto Porter- LBJ says the Cavs need an enforcer. I think he needs to become this guy, especially if he wants to get back to a championship. The Wiz are 26th against opposing SFs, but couldn’t hold LBJ anyway. I think he lays down a 50 burger tonight.

AVOIDMatt Barnes vs. Gordon Hayward- Hayward is ranked 1st against opposing SFs. Barnes had a string of good fantasy games, but should came back down to earth during the last outing. I think he goes for only 25 DK points tonight.


Power Forward Matchups

TARGET Paul Millsap vs. Julius Randle – Millsap is projected at 40+ DK points tonight. The Lakers are terrible against big men and Millsap’s fast paced style should give them even more headaches.

AVOIDZach Randolph vs. Derrick Favors – ZBo has seen his usage go up with Gasol out. Favors is ranked 1st against opposing PFs and is a great defender. I think he comes in slightly under value at about 30 DK points tonight.


Center Matchups

TARGET Karl Anthony-Towns vs. Greg Monroe- Monroe is ranked 15th against opposing Cs. KAT has been great this season and has had a historic rookie year. I have him projected at 45 DK points tonight and I think he could get more tonight.

AVOID Marcin Gortat vs. Tristan Thompson – The Cavs are 1st against opposing Cs. Gortat has been good during February, but should have a tough go tonight. I think he only puts up about 25 DK points tonight.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

LeBron James (9,600)- LBJ has a great matchup and he should go ham tonight. I think he is our best shot at 50 burger tonight. Oh and BTW, Kevin Love is out…USAGE!

Save Big Bucks by Drafting

Tyler Zeller (3,200) – Zeller has been getting minutes with Olynyk out. He has hit value during the last 4 games. I think he puts up 20 DK points tonight.

Dud of the Night

Marcin Gortat (6,700) – Gortat has one of the toughest matchups tonight. He had a decent game against the Cavs last time out, but he should struggle tonight. I like Wall a lot better in this matchup.

Injuries to Watch

The list below is not comprehensive. Be sure to check news throughout the day for the latest injury updates.

Editor’s Note (5:20 PM): Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, Kendall Marshall and Nik Stauskas are all OUT tonight for the Sixers. Philadelphia will start Ish Smith, Robert Covington, Hollis Thompson, Jerami Grant and Carl Landry. Of that group, Landry is the only one who might not see a ton of minutes tonight against Miami and the other four are all viable options on an extremely depleted roster. Grant and Smith are the two biggest beneficiaries as both should see more shot opportunities with Noel (around 8 FGA per game) and Okafor (around 15 FGA per game) out.

StatusPlayer
QuestionableEvan Fournier (ORL), Michael Carter-Williams (MIL), Jahlil Okafor (PHL), Jordan Clarkson (LAL), Kobe Bryant (LAL), Tony Allen (MEM)
ProbableNerlens Noel (PHL), Larry Nance (LAL), Rodney Hood (UTA)
OutKevin Love (CLE) Lou Williams (LAL), John Henson (MIL), Kevin Garnett (MIN), Nikola Pekovic (MIN), Nemanja Bjelica (MIN), C.J. Miles (IND), Kelly Olynyk (BOS), Danilo Gallinari (DEN), Brandan Wright (MEM)