WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – KYLE LOWRY
For Friday’s 10-game slate, we may be without the Cavs, Warriors and Thunder, but there are still a few big names to choose from to headline your roster. Here are a few names to consider for each position, from every price range.
Giannis Antetokounmpo @ CHI ($9,300) – Chicago’s success at defending more traditional point guards doesn’t really apply here. Against a backcourt that tends to turn the ball over, he could rack up defensive stats to help pad his overall output. With his size, he should be able to score in close and at least match his season average of nine boards per game.
Kyle Lowry vs. ATL ($8,300) – He has taken on a more prominent role in the offense over the past few weeks, after DeMar DeRozan had dominated the looks early on. Lowry has scored just 18 and 20 points in his last two games after a stretch where he was at 24 or more in six of seven. In a matchup with Atlanta, where he should be able to get to his spots pretty much at will, I would expect him to be at least in that range again tonight.
Other Options – James Harden ($12,000)
Dennis Schroder @ TOR ($6,600) – His minutes have taken a tick upwards over the past couple of weeks, up to just about 35 from his season average of 30, and he has seen an increase in production along with it, averaging 21-8-3 over his past 10 games. He has had four games with 40 or more fantasy points during that stretch, so even though his price has gone up, he still represents a potential value play.
Other Options – D’Angelo Russell ($5,400), Darren Collison ($5,000)
James Harden vs. NO ($12,000) – With Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins as the only two stars in the same ballpark of Harden’s price tag, he’s obviously someone you’ll consider to anchor your roster, if you can find the right inexpensive pieces to fill in around him. In what should be a high scoring game, his upside is as high as ever, as he will as always spend the majority of the game with the ball in his hands, looking to match or best his 27-11-8 averages.
Bradley Beal vs. DET ($6,700) – Detroit has had some success defending guards this season, but with the way Washington’s team is constructed, they are going to have to have scoring from the combo of Wall and Beal, so the opportunities are going to be there regardless. Beal has elevated his game recently, and his price doesn’t really yet match the upside he has flashed, with 35 or more fantasy points in nine of his last twelve appearances, mainly a result of his 45% shooting from behind the arc.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($9,000)
Eric Gordon vs. NO ($5,500) – Gordon is shooting from the outside as well as anyone in the league, and he is doing it at a pretty high volume, having gone 30-for-55 (54.5%) over his last six games. He is getting enough looks in this offense to give him a relatively stable floor in the high twenties with some upside from there, making him a great option in a cash game lineup for tonight.
Other Options – Wesley Mathews ($5,300)
Gordon Hayward vs. DAL ($7,900) – Hayward is going to need to play a very efficient game here, because Dallas is going to do everything in their power to slow the game down and limit his opportunities. However, he is capable, shooting about 45% from the floor in his appearances this season, a number he could easily beat in this matchup because Dallas doesn’t have the specific defenders they need to be able to get him out of his comfort zone.
Jabari Parker @ CHI ($6,600) – Parker has been on fire lately, with 27 or more points scored in four of his last five games, and twenty or more in six of eight. He has been getting tons of looks as a featured part of the offense – in those four games with at least 27 points, he’s seen a minimum of 17 shot attempts, something that shouldn’t slow down in this matchup with Chicago.
Kelly Oubre, Jr. vs. DET ($4,000) – This one is dependent on the status of Markieff Morris, who missed yesterday’s practice and is questionable for tonight. But when he missed on Wednesday, Oubre got the start and ultimately played 40 minutes. He only took 12 shots, so he was down from his typical per-minute average, but if he gets that amount of time on the court again tonight, I wouldn’t expect to see the same thing happen again.
Other Options – Marcus Morris ($5,300), Otto Porter ($5,600)
Anthony Davis @ HOU ($11,400) – Davis’ floor is actually rather low for a player at this price level, because once every couple of weeks he has a lackluster scoring game that translates to something like 35-40 fantasy points. And while that is good for a lot of players, it’ll kill you when you pay this much for it. You draft him looking for 70 fantasy points, not 40 – but with the amount of minutes he has been playing lately, against a fast-paced Houston team, he could be in line for one of those 35-point scoring performances that leads to a huge fantasy night when you factor in his nightly 12 boards and three blocks.
Paul Millsap @ TOR ($8,000) – If Lowry and DeRozan both find success against this backcourt – definitely possible – Atlanta will need to find some scoring to keep up. Millsap is capable of giving them scoring when it is necessary, and against a Toronto team that will have a tough time handling his size around the rim, he should be able to find success on both ends of the court. I am looking for him to get at least the 47 fantasy points per game he has been averaging over their last six contests (21-9-4 with two blocks and two steals per night).
Other Options – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900), Blake Griffin ($8,200), Serge Ibaka ($6,200)
Julius Randle @ PHI ($6,000) – His minutes have been up lately, which is not surprising considering he has begun playing a bit more efficiently as well. He isn’t the safest option after suffering an apparent hip injury earlier in the week, but if his mobility has improved since Wednesday, he could be in line for a nice night against a Sixers’ frontcourt that will have a hard time keeping him for scoring from the post, especially without Embiid (questionable). Prior to this week, he was on a run of three double-doubles in four games (and he went for 14-9 in the other), so if the injury keeps some owners away, he could be a nice upside choice.
DeMarcus Cousins @ MEM ($10,900) – Cousins only has one game since mid-November with fewer than 50 fantasy points, and the four games he has in the last two weeks with 60 or more make him a solid choice in any type of contest, whether you’re looking for consistency or upside. He is hitting a couple of threes every night to go along with his almost guaranteed double-double, so the floor is solid.
Brook Lopez @ ORL ($6,900) – Lopez is going to need to wade through the waves of big men Orlando can throw at their opponents (although they could be short Vucevic again), but as the only show in town for Brooklyn, he should still be able to dominate the defensive glass and get his normal 15+ looks. This puts him squarely in line for his normal 20-8 kind of line, which translates to decent value and a good cash game option for just under $7K worth of your budget.
Other Options – Anthony Davis ($11,400)
Bismack Biyombo vs. BKN ($5,200) – If Vucevic (who is listed as questionable and has missed each of the last two games) misses again tonight, Biyombo could be in line to return nice value at this price. He is not a huge upside play, but he scored at least 25 fantasy points in each of their last three, with some very repeatable scoring and rebounding numbers. He would make an excellent cash game option if Vucevic is inactive.
Other Options – Jahlil Okafor ($5,100)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.