The Vegas Lines
Highest Scoring Games
Golden State Warriors v. Denver Nuggets – This is the highest scoring game on the slate with the Warriors expected to win by a wide margin. The spread here is closing in on 20, yes 20. Denver plays little D and Golden State plays a lot of offense, so this should be a high paced game with a ton of scoring, especially on the Warriors side.
Lowest Scoring Games
Cleveland Cavaliers v. Philadelphia 76ers – It is very easy to see why this game should be one of the lower scoring ones on the day. Philly averages the least amount of points of any team in the league and the Cavs are giving up the second fewest number of points. Philly should really struggle in this one and the game total may not even reach 190.
Pace of Play
Fastest Projected Games
Sacramento Kings v. Houston Rockets – This is a match up of the second and tenth fastest teams in the league. Sacramento plays at a break neck speed and also is weak on the defensive end. That is what makes a high usage guy like James Harden so interesting today. Give a guy with high usage and a high fantasy scoring average a few more chances and he should have an even safer floor and a chance for a higher ceiling than usual.
Slowest Projected Games
Miami Heat v. Indiana Pacers – Despite all the offensive talent in this game, both teams play at a bottom ten pace this season. Slow paced games tend to hurt the expensive stars that rely heavily on actual points scored for their fantasy stats. Guys like Dwayne Wade and C.J. Miles are two good examples of players who may underperform when given fewer offensive possession. Most of their fantasy points are a direct result of their points scored so be careful of using too many guys from this game.
Defense vs. Position
Best PG Matchups
Stephen Curry v. Denver Nuggets – This is a dream match up for the reigning MVP. Denver plays at a fast pace and allows the fourth most points to opposing PGs. Steph has been hanging big numbers on everybody so far this year, so there is no doubt he can have a big game. The only concern here is that he has too big a game early and sits out the end of what Vegas expects to be a 20 point blow out.
Jarrett Jack v. Los Angeles Lakers – Jack is reasonably priced and takes on the Los Angeles Lakers who have carried over there issue’s with slowing down point guards from last season. Jack has a tempting price and a juicy match up here, so a big game for him is very likely.
Worst PG Matchups
George Hill v. Miami Heat – George Hill has been playing a ton of minutes and putting up some nice fantasy stat lines. The problem here is that this should be a low paced game and Miami has allowed the third fewest points to opposing PGs this season. Hill is a guy that has been outperforming his salary, but today might not be the best day to use him.
Best SG Matchups
Bradley Beal v. Boston Celtics – Beal is very reasonably priced and has put up a few big games already this season. The Celtics have struggled against shooting guards and have allowed the most fantasy points to them up until this point of the year. The total here is higher then most Wizards games and that means they are playing paced up. With Beal being one of their bigger scorers, this could be a game he explodes for a big number at a pretty reasonable price.
Worst SG Matchups
NONE – None of the guys that fit this section are worth rostering, in my opinion.
Best SF Matchups
Rudy Gay v. Houston Rockets – Trevor Ariza is known as a solid defensive player, but so far the small forwards have been going off on him this year. Gay usually handles a heavy offensive load when Cousins is out and those two factors combine to make this one of the better spots to target on Friday.
Worst SF Matchups
Trevor Ariza v. Sacramento Kings – I am not trying to pick on Ariza here, but he is in for a bad night on both ends of the floor. Sacramento has allowed the third fewest fantasy points to the position and Ariza has not exactly been playing well to start the year. He will also be expending a lot of energy trying to check Gay on the other end, so this is not the best place to look for him to outperform his salary.
Best PF Matchups
Kevin Love v. Philadelphia 76ers – Kevin Love is more involved on the offensive end of the floor this year and gets a match up with the team allowing the third most fantasy points to the position. Cleveland is expected to blow out Philly here and LeBron is usually content to play a few less minutes and let his teammates step up when that is the case. Love’s price is still pretty friendly and the match up here is ideal for a big game out of him.
Worst PF Matchups
Chris Bosh v. Indiana Pacers – The Pacers are one of the top five teams in the early going against the power forward position. Bosh has been underperforming early based on his salary in the scoring department anyway. His fantasy scores have still been ok because he has really ticked up his rebounding numbers from last season. This is not a great match up for him here, so I would not be looking to roll out Bosh in a low paced game in a tough spot.
Best C Matchups
Brook Lopez v. Los Angeles Lakers – Brook Lopez is basically the offense for the Nets. They run everything through him and he is easily the best scoring option they have. The Lakers have allowed the third most points to opposing centers this year and play at a high pace. In a paced up game against weak center defense, Lopez should be in line for a great game as a high usage guy.
Worst C Matchups
Andre Drummond v. Phoenix Suns – Drummond has been a monster to start the year with averages of over 20 points and just shy of 20 rebounds per game. The problem here is that Phoenix and their free agent acquisition Tyson Chandler are one of the best at defending the center position. Drummond has been so good that I am not saying to fade him here, but it’s going to be tough for him to reach his ceiling against the team allowing the second fewest points to fantasy centers so far this season.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden ($10000) – Harden plays in a paced up game against a Sacramento team with the second most possessions per game on average. The total here is high at 215 and the spread is reasonable at -6. He should see his full allotment of minutes in a game with a lot of scoring which makes him an ideal candidate to easily reach his floor and have a shot at his ceiling.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting
Marcus Thornton ($4000) – Thornton has been getting the start and putting up some decent numbers as well for the Rockets. This is a great game to target because of the expected hot pace. Thornton has seen his price rise $500 up to $4000 for tonight’s matchup, but he has put up 25 points regularly over these last three starts and has been one of the best value guys to use lately for salary savings without sacrificing upside.
Dud of the Night
LeBron James ($9900) – My bold call of the night is going to be the LeBron James fade. LeBron is a monster and there is no denying that, but he tends to play less minutes and play more of a distributor role when his team does not really need him. The spread on this game is huge and the Sixers will struggle to score for the reasons we pointed out above. Whether it’s cause of the slower pace or the blow out factor, he might not be asked to do a ton today and he really needs to in order to pay off the price tag.