Check out a quick breakdown of every game on Friday’s NBA slate. We’ll take a look at the Vegas lines and totals, recent trends, and a few players you can be targeting for tonight’s action.


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Brooklyn Nets @ New York Knicks

Over/Under: 193

Line: Knicks -3.5

The Nets have gotten up to five wins on the season, and are coming into this one looking for their third in a row. They’ve gotten there with, not surprisingly, good performances from their big men. Thaddeus Young and Lopez making the most obvious fantasy choices, with at least some modicum of consistency and upside. But if you’re just looking upside and nothing else, Jarrett Jack has the ball in has hands enough to give himself plenty of chances to produce, which he does, sporadically.

For the Knicks, the issue is the fact that they don’t score a lot of points, but the also have lots of different options, who all are capable of playing a large role on offense on occasion. All that just makes them hard to predict, but in this matchup Afflalo could be in line for a nice performance.

Targets
 
  • Kristaps Porzingis ($8,100)
  • Brook Lopez ($7,600)
  • Thaddeus Young ($7,100)
  • Arron Afflalo ($4,600)
h2. Phoenix Suns @ Washington Wizards

Over/Under: 212.5

Line: Wizards -1

Is it just me, or does it kinda sorta feel like this game might as well be 2-on-2? Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe vs. John Wall and Bradley Beal just about covers it as far as both this analysis and the outcome of the game goes. Wall plays better defense than Knight, and Bledsoe plays better defense than Beal, and maybe it’s that simple.

If you’re looking for inexpensive options elsewhere in the two rosters, the injuries to the Wizards’ frontcourt has led to more minutes for Jared Dudley and Otto Porter, so they could both serve as usable inexpensive options.

Targets
 
  • John Wall ($8,300)
  • Eric Bledsoe ($8,200)
  • Otto Porter ($5,300)
  • Jared Dudley ($3,800)
h2. Milwaukee Bucks @ Detroit Pistons

Over/Under: 194

Line: Pistons -6.5

The second lowest-scoring game on the board according to Vegas, it’s no surprise: these are two teams who play a slow offensive style and solid defense. Unlike the Knicks though, they also feature so few legitimate fantasy producers that all the production that does exist is consolidated enough that they can have useful performances even in low-scoring games.

It is simple enough: for Milwaukee, it’s Middleton, Antetokounmpo and Monroe, and for Detroit, it’s Jackson, Morris and Drummond (at least for the most part). The way he’s going right now, Drummond is the best player on the floor, so he is hard to get away from, and beyond that you should find some reasonable production from all of these options.

Targets
 
  • Andre Drummond ($9,000)
  • Reggie Jackson ($7,500)
  • Marcus Morris ($6,100)
  • Khris Middleton ($5,700)
h2. Los Angeles Lakers @ Atlanta Hawks

Over/Under: 202

Line: Hawks -11.5

We all know what the current story line is for the Lakers, and it’s not good. The Hawks are 12-9, good for 8th place in the East, and they are favored by 11.5. The Lakers have lost seven of their last eight, and, playing like this, it’s hard to picture them winning regularly. The only reason their games consistently have totals over 200 is because they don’t defend any position well, so every opponent is expected to have an explosive offensive game. Feel free to start the Hawks at your leisure here. Atlanta is middle-of-the-road on defense at best these days, but luckily, their biggest deficiencies are up front, making LA’s most reliable fantasy option, Julius Randle (a second year player coming off a major injury), somewhat attractive as a play in this one.

For the Hawks, his price tag hasn’t quite caught up, but Thabo Sefolosha has been starting and getting a lot more minutes than Bazemore over the last two games. If that keeps up for this one, you are definitely getting a value play at this price. And a value play with a nice matchup is hard to turn down.

Targets
 
  • Al Horford ($6,700)
  • Jeff Teague ($6,700)
  • Julius Randle ($6,200)
  • Thabo Sefolosha ($4,600)
h2. Houston Rockets @ Dallas Mavericks

Over/Under: 209

Line: Mavs -5.5

The last time James Harden scored fewer than 50 fantasy points was November 20th. That’s two weeks ago today, in case you were still doing the math. In the six games over that span, he’s averaging 58 fantasy points a night, and the Mavs, sitting at 4th in the West, are occupying the space the Rockets thought was theirs prior to the year, so you know they’ll be frenzied in their pursuit of a win tonight.

The Rockets have decided Howard is not playing in this one, the first of a back-to-back that includes a home game against Sacramento tomorrow. All of a sudden this game becomes much more appealing to potential Zaza owners, especially with Motiejunas also likely missing. With the way Dallas’ roster is built, they likely are going to have to just let Pachulia stay out there, try to take advantage of his mismatches, and cover up for him on D. They just don’t have the personnel to try to run out a small-ball lineup that’s going to be able to keep up with Houston.

Targets
 
  • James Harden ($10,500)
  • Deron Williams ($6,600)
  • Zaza Pachulia ($6,300)
  • Terrance Jones ($4,900)
h2. Cleveland Cavaliers @ New Orleans Pelicans

Over/Under: 207.5

Line: Cavaliers -5

It’s always fun to see two of the best players in the world on the court together, even if they aren’t matched up directly. There are no major injuries here, or at least no new ones (looking at you, Kyrie). But with this line and total, Vegas is expecting both of these teams to crack 100, and to me, that means they are predicting a huge game out of Davis. The Cavs play solid D – they aren’t a very appealing matchup for anyone on the Pelicans except him, so it’s a wonder how he’ll get the support he needs offensively to keep this one close. The hope it likely that Tyreke Evans doesn’t just keep up the pace he’s had so far in his two games back, but actually improves on it, because he is probably the second best player on their roster when he is healthy. He played 32 and 31 minutes on back-to-back nights, had last night off and should be right back at it in this one. He had 20 points in one game and 10 in the other, but that will start to level off somewhere in the middle (hopefully closer to 20). But more importantly to me, he is averaging 5.5 rebounds and 9 assists in the two games to go along with a block and a steal, all of which is the kind of production which helps improve both a player’s consistency and upside.

Targets
 
  • Anthony Davis ($10,700)
  • LeBron James ($10,000)
  • Tyreke Evans ($6,800)
  • Mo Williams ($5,500)