Friday features a 12-game slate. That means there will be a lot of players to chose from tonight. Here are the studs and value plays I like for tonight’s games.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- John Wall vs. CLE ($9400) – All Wall has done over his last five games is average 46 fantasy-points per game. Tonight he gets a Cleveland defense that ranks 26th against point guards this season Yes, Wall is pricey, but also well worth paying for given his matchup.
- Reggie Jackson vs. BKN ($7700) – Jackson is “only” averaging 39 fantasy-points per game this season, and “merely” 38.7 over his last three games. He costs $1700 less than Wall, and has a slightly better matchup. I like Wall slightly more, but I would have no problem going with Jackson over Wall if I needed to save the money to spend elsewhere.
- Trey Burke @ GS ($5500) – Golden State has been below average against opposing point guards this season, and Burke has been playing well — just over 30 fantasy-points per game over his last five games.
- Jameer Nelson vs. LAL ($4500) – This pick is pretty simple. Nelson gets 25+ minutes per game; Nelson is facing a horrible point guard defending team. You might not get 40 fantasy-points from Nelson, but you can count on 20+.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Gordon Hayward @ GS ($7600) – Heyward was a bit of a disappointment in his last game, he was also sick so he can be forgiven. He is healthy now, and facing a defense that seems to be allergic to defending opposing shooting guards.
- Eric Bledsoe @ PHI ($7500) – In case you had not noticed, Philadelphia is still really bad. Bledsoe has not been great lately, but he should have a nice game for you tonight against the NBA’s worst team. Oh, and the 76ers have been giving up 46.3 fantasy-points per game to opposing SG the last five games — worst in the league against the position during that span.
- Gerald Green @ PHI ($5000) – This makes two weeks in a row for Green on my value shooting guard list. What can I say? I have a weakness for players playing against Philadelphia. As mentioned in the Bledsoe section, no team has been worse against SG than the 76ers have been.
- Danny Green @ MIN ($4600) – I guess Green is my favorite color this week? Or perhaps I am going Green? Danny is a pick somewhat similar to Gerald, at least in terms of his matchup. Danny has been more consistent, so is a safer play; he also has less upside than Gerald has — thus the lower price.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Tyreke Evans @ DEN ($7400) – Sorry, I just cannot recommend LeBron James for $11,100. I do not doubt he will have a good game, using him would just make the rest of your team too weak. I would much rather have Evans and an extra $3700 to spend. Evans is averaging 37 fantasy-points per game and facing a bad Denver defense.
- Kawhi Leonard @ MIN ($7200) – Over its last five games, the Minnesota defense has been allowing opposing small forwards to score 47.5 fantasy-points per game — worst in the league in that span. Like Evans, I would rather have Leonard and the extra money to spend than pay for James tonight.
- Terrence Ross vs. MIL ($4900) – If you look at Ross’ recent game logs, you might avoid him; he has been alternating good and bad games, and coming off a good game. Thing is, he is playing Milwaukee so odds are he will have another good game. The Bucs rank 21st against SF this season, and Ross should be in line for 25+ minutes.
- P. J. Tucker @ PHI ($3600) – A not so secret to success at daily fantasy basketball is to choose guys playing Philadelphia. Tucker is doing so, Tucker is dirt cheap, Tucker is averaging 19.9 fantasy-points per game this season, and had 27.3 in his last game. If you need a cheap player with the potential to easily return quadruple value, Tucker is your guy.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Tim Duncan @ MIN ($8300) – This actually might be my riskiest pick of the night. No doubt Duncan is a good play, if he gets 30 minutes. The problem is, you never know when San Antonio will decide to rest Duncan. I am not all that worried since Duncan only played 16 minutes against Philadelphia on the 17th.
- Zach Randolph vs. BOS ($7800) – Boston is allowing the second most fantasy-points per game to opposing power forwards this season — 49.8 per contest. Randolph managed 44.5 fantasy-points in his last game and was facing a better defense and playing on the road. He should be in store for a big game, at home, against the Celtics.
- Nene Hilario vs. CLE ($5000) – Safe with upside is the way to describe Nene tonight — night. Cleveland is horrible against opposing power forwards, Nene has not score fewer than 15.5 fantasy points in his last four games — and is averaging 23.44 fantasy-points per game in that span. Plus, it is always fun to own a guy named “Nene”.
- Ed Davis @ DAL ($4200) – This is mostly a price pick. Davis does not have a good matchup tonight at all — Dallas has been the second toughest team against power forwards so far. Davis’ worst game this season was 12.5 fantasy-points, and he has averaged 22.8 per game. Perhaps he will not even reach his average, but you can expect at least triple value from him with minimal risk.
- Nikola Vucevic @ CHA ($8600) – Sure, picking the highest priced center is the easy way out, still, the easy way out is not always a bad thing. Charlotte is allowing opposing centers 51.5 fantasy-points per game over their last five games; Vucevic is averaging 40.3 per game his last four. He has also been a little better on the road than at home this season and will be playing on the road tonight.
- Al Horford vs. DET ($7000) – Horford has not been all that great lately. He is only averaging 25.2 fantasy-points per game over his last five games. I am counting on him facing a horrible defense — Charlotte ranks 30th against opposing centers — to propel him to a good game tonight.
- Marcin Gortat vs. CLE ($6100) – I know that Gortat is barely below the average you get to spend per roster spot. I also think he is a huge value. Gortat has everything I like in a good fantasy pick. He is playing a bad defense — Cleveland ranks 24th against centers this season. He is averaging 29.9 fantasy-points per game, 29.8 his last three games, his worst game in his last six contest was 24.75 fantasy-points. I love guys who have upside, a nice price, and come with minimal risk.
- Zaza Pachulia @ TOR ($4000) – I already suggested a “Nene”, it is only fair that I recommend a “Zaza” too? That probably does not qualify as quality fantasy advice. Let me try something else. Toronto might be having a nice season, but it has nothing to do with their “defense” against opposing centers as have allowed 54.0 fantasy-points to opposing centers the last five games. Pachulia has gotten 25-35 minutes his last three games, and did just manage 39.75 fantasy-points against a defensively-challenged New York Knicks team. As with any Milwaukee player not named Brandon Knight, Pachulia is a risk, but there is a good deal of potential from his for $4000 too.