We only have a small six game slate for NBA basketball on Friday, but 4 of the six do have totals above 202. Most of the games are expected to stay close with the lone exception being the Lakers visit to Atlanta. Quite a few of these games should expect hot paces and we really do have to consider guys in every game as some of them are in really good spots. Here is a list of guys who I think you should take a deeper look at today.
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John Wall ($8300) – Wall is in a great spot today. He plays in the game with the highest total at 212 and it is a pick em, so the game should remain close throughout. That likely means full run for the starters in this one. Phoenix and Washington both play pretty fast and Phoenix has been giving up big games to point guards this season. Wall has back-to-back 30+ point, 10+ assist games that have yielded over 60 fantasy points each. He is playing very well right now and gets a good matchup. He has returned 8 times value in those two starts and would get that type of return here again if he can repeat his recent performances.
Jeff Teague ($6700) – You can pretty much sum this pick up by saying Jeff Teague is the point guard against the Lakers today and move on. The Lakers have been bad at stopping opposing guards all season. This game has a high total and Teague has been consistent lately. He is not a guy to use in tournaments as his ceiling is not often reached, but he is a solid 5-5.5 times value every single time he steps on the floor. His price of $6700 is a slight discount to the high end options and I would have no problem coming down to him if I needed the money to get someone else I loved at another position. He probably will not win you a tournament, but he can help you crush in your cash games.
Raymond Felton ($3700) – There is only one guy at the moment that makes sense for me on the low end and that is Raymond Felton. JJ Barea is still out, so the crowded backcourt is a little less crowded. Wes Matthews is playing more minutes and so is Deron Williams, but the rest of them are going in Felton’s direction. Felton has between 20-30 fantasy points in five straight games. That does not sound too sexy, but it’s great value for a guy who has been between $3200-$3700. Felton is the cheap option I have the most faith in to play his 25-30 minutes and get me 20-25 points for 6 times value or better. At $3700, he allows you a path to roster more than one of the studs you want on the day.
Jordan Clarkson ($5800) – I do not really like the available options to pay up for here today, so I will be looking more into the mid-range at shooting guard. One guy who I really like is Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson is finally getting a consistent 35ish minutes per game and has put up consistent value of 5 times or more when he has seen that much court time. He even had a 50 fantasy point game a few back, so you know he is capable of that massive upside. Atlanta is a solid defensive team, although not as good this year as they were last season. The weakest link is probably Korver at the shooting guard spot and that is where Clarkson sees a lot of his minutes. His price has come up, but a 30-40 point effort is likely and that still returns solid value for a guy under $6K.
J.R. Smith ($5300) – J.R. Smith is not a guy who really fills up a stat sheet, but he is a viable fantasy option. He is playing 33+ minutes on a regular basis and getting double digit shots in each of those games. His other numbers seem a bit low for a guy who spends 30+ minutes a night on the floor, but his price is still low as well. JR might only get you 4 rebounds or 3 assists and a steal, but as long as he gets his 14-18 real life points, he still makes value. He is a compiler of stats more than a guy who stuffs the stat sheet. His minutes naturally lead to a few stats falling into his lap. As long as the price remains low, he can still go 5-6 times value on a consistent basis and be a solid play.
Wesley Matthews ($4600) – Wes Matthews has been banged up to start the year. This was a guy who you had to pay $2000 more for most of last year, so we know he has the ability to put up some big fantasy numbers. Now he is also given the opportunity to do so. He has played 34-40 minutes in each of the last few games, so he should have no problem hitting the 25 point mark and making value. That does not seem like a ton of points and it really is not, but 27 points in 6 times value for him and would make him a great play n your lineups. He has 30 last out in over 40 minutes of work. His stats rise with his playing time, so with the added court time, he is a viable option.
Carmelo Anthony ($8000) – Melo is my target when I look to pay up today. His price has dropped and those who watch game logs will not be using him off a few sub par performances. The guy deserves a break though as he was battling the flu. His minutes were kept down and he was not 100%. This has caused his price to drop down to exactly $8000. We have been used to paying $1000 or more for him, so I would be willing to take the price break here. Melo usually puts up around 40 fantasy points with upside, so at $8000 that gives his floor a value of five times salary and would put him at six to seven times salary if it goes any higher.
Thabo Sefolosha ($4600) – The Hawks shook up their starting five and the biggest beneficiary is Thabo Sefolosha who is seeing a few extra minutes now. He has actually averaged about 35 minutes since the recent change and has put up numbers in the mid to high 20s for six times value or more. As long as Thabo is the starter and his salary remains in the mid $4000 range, he is a viable option to roll out as a salary saver. He does not have elite upside, but he is a good bet for 5-6 times his value in this new role and allows you the savings to fit in an extra stud without sacrificing overall upside.
Jared Dudley ($3800) – Dudley has more risk as a cheap option as his price rises, but his minutes are pretty high too. He is seeing close to 30 minutes a game right now. He has not produced a ton with them, but he is a guy who is in play based off the increase. Dudley has a floor of only about 15 points even with the added playing time, but he can also throw up 25 fantasy points pretty easily for only $3800.That would put him at six to seven times value and make him a guy you almost can not live without. While I would not expect Dudley to be the reason I won a tourney, I could see him being the path that allows me to pay up for an extra stud or two that could be the difference.
Anthony Davis ($10700) – Anthony Davis may lack elite upside on the value scale, but a guy who can put up 50-60 points is always a welcome addition to any roster. Davis had a rough start to the year, but is now consistently putting up over 5 times value. That is not easy to do when your price reaches just shy of $11K. He can score, rebound, block shots, and pick up a few assists. He is a doube double machine and a solid player on both ends of the floor. The Cavs do have a tough defense, which is the drawback with him today. Still he has put up some insanely good numbers and is a guy on the upswing. There is enough value to easily fit him in today and it is not a good idea to have no exposure to his upside in tournament play.
Paul Millsap ($8300) – If you like money, you better learn to like Paul Millsap. This is especially true in your cash games. Millsap hovers around the $8000 mark and his fantasy points hover right above 40 a game. That means he is returning 5-6 times value on a regular basis and is one of the best options to consider nightly. He is the Hawk who plays the most consistent minutes and the most minutes period. In a solid matchup where they are expected to put up a ton of points, Millsap is the guy I would want a piece of against a horrible Lakers defense.
Julius Randle ($6200) – I am not really looking to go much lower at the position here, but when Randle has been this good, do you really even need to contemplate it? Byron Scott challenged Randle to do more of the little things out on the floor and he answered by putting up a string of double doubles. Randle can always find his was into a few points, but is he is going to see these increased minutes and do some rebounding, then he is worth every penny you have to pay up for him. Randle has gone 5-7 times value in 6 of his last 7. That helped remind us all how good he was before the injury and why he was such a high draft pick.
Andre Drummond ($9000) – Drummond is arguably the most dominant inside force in the game, especially with DeMarcus Cousins thinking he is a three point shooter right now. Drummond has a floor of about 20 and 12 with the upside being games where he grabs 20 rebounds and scores 30 points. His price has come down a tad and is sitting right around the $9K mark. His 45+ fantasy points lately have been a solid return for that price tag. Detroit needs him to score for them to have a chance at winning this game, so he should have some upside and see a lot of court time.
Brook Lopez ($7600) – Brook Lopez is the Rodney Dangerfield of NBA DFS centers. The guy gets no respect. He is always under owned and seemingly underpriced. Lopez averages over 40 fantasy points and has a ceiling into the 50s. The Nets literally run their half court offense through him and that alone gives him a safe solid floor. The Metrics I use give Lopez an intrinsic value of slightly over $8000. As long as he remains a discount to that number, he remains a viable option to roll out in any game format. The low ownership we see on him daily is just an upside bonus.
Zaza Pachulia ($6300) – I may be an irrationally large fan of Zaza and his game, but it’s served me well lately in NBA DFS. Zaza has 40+ fantasy points in 4 of his last 7. That has been good for 7 times value in over half his games in the last two weeks. He has reached 32 or more for a five times floor in six of the last 8, so he is also a pretty solid cash game play. Zaza has played over 30 minutes a game lately and come away with double doubles in 7 of the last 8. That is consistent outperformance of his salary and makes him a guy we need to consider as long as the price does not jump too high.
Alex Len ($3800) – Len is one of the best salary saving options on the day. As long as Tyson Chandler is out, he should see big minutes. Many will be scared off of him after a 15 fantasy point performance last out and a price increase to go with it. He was in early foul trouble in that game trying to stop Andre Drummond. He re-entered the game in the second half and picked up a few more quick ones. He produced at a point per minute type clip two games ago and when he was on the floor here. If he sees 25+ minutes he should be able to get 20-25 fantasy points or more. With a dirt cheap price and that kind of upside, he is definitely someone worth considering.