Friday night’s ten-game slate on the second night of action following the All-Star break features plenty of top options even with some notable fantasy juggernauts inactive, such as Cleveland, Houston, Golden State… There are still plenty of ways you could go in structuring your lineup, so here are a few players to consider from every position and price range.
John Wall @ PHI ($10,100) – There is no one on this Philly team who can even pretend to be able to stay in front of Wall, and when he makes it into the lane, his only opposition will be Okafor. He might be big, but he’s not the same as having either Noel or Embiid in there, never mind both. He controls the offense enough to have double-digit assist upside, and in this matchup, he has the potential to go for 30 points, which is enough to make him an upside play in any lineup.
Isaiah Thomas @ TOR ($9,000) – As much as I love Wall tonight, the $1,100 savings is enticing here, especially since IT had 44 points and seven assists in a win in Toronto earlier this month. This Celtics team is going to look to start off the second half playing well in front of their home crowd after a quiet trade deadline, and Thomas will be a big part of that.
UPDATE: Kyle Lowry is OUT tonight against the Celtics.
Other Options –
Kyle Lowry ($8,400)
Yogi Ferrell @ MIN ($5,300) – With Deron Williams gone, the Mavs are essentially handing the reins over to Yogi for the duration of the season. Prior to Williams’ return from injury, Yogi was playing 30+ minutes every night, and he was averaging just about 13 points and 5 assists, totals he should be able to match or beat on a nightly basis in his new role.
Other Options – T.J. McConnell ($5,500)
DeMar DeRozan vs. BOS ($7,800) – He missed the last game against Boston, but in the previous matchup he led all scorers with 41 points on 16-for-29 shooting from the floor. He was only 1-for-2 from three, which makes sense for a defense that can be elite at guarding the perimeter, but struggles against teams that are going to continuously penetrate and bring the ball a bit closer to the rim. DeRozan can just let Lowry create looks for him all night long in this matchup, and if he is finishing, he has the upside here to be very useful.
Dion Waiters @ ATL ($6,900) – Waiters seems to have solidified a nice role for himself on the Heat, averaging just over 17 points per game so far in 2017, with 15 or more shot attempts almost every night. In a nice matchup with a Hawks team that struggles to close out on shooters, Waiters should be able to have an efficient and productive night tonight for your fantasy squad.
Other Options – Dwyane Wade ($7,200)
Seth Curry @ MIN ($4,500) – He had double-digit points in 15-of-17 games heading into the break, and continued starting even after Williams returned from injury, showing just what the coaching staff thought of his contributions. And now with Williams gone permanently and Ferrell in the starting lineup, Curry should continue to see the opportunities that have made him a decent cash game option at this price for the last month.
Other Options – Tim Hardaway, Jr. ($5,700)
Jimmy Butler vs. PHO ($9,400) – Playing at home after surviving on the Bulls through the trade deadline, Butler should be plenty motivated to have a big night here, but more importantly, he has the matchup for it. This is a Suns team that could cause Chicago to play at a increased pace, and Butler is a player who can thrive in that environment, with the athleticism to create his own shots and consistently finish in transition.
Other Options – Andrew Wiggins ($7,900), Gordon Hayward ($7,300)
Robert Covington vs. WAS ($6,300) – With the Sixers’ roster cleared out, Covington could be back into a role eating up minutes at multiple positions. His upside fluctuates because of his own efficiency, which is what’s frustrating about him – he’s hard to predict. He could have a nice matchup and just not play well, but the opportunities will definitely be there for a player who should be able to see five or more open looks from three every night as defenses focus on the paint.
T.J. Warren @ CHI ($4,600) – With Tucker off to Toronto, there is plenty of room for an expanded role for Warren for the Suns. He had been averaging just under 30 minutes a night since the beginning of January, and he was able to grab you 11 points and four rebounds. I don’t think the Suns have a choice but to give him more minutes, and in the short term, that should mean enough value at this price to make him useful in any format.
Other Options – Harrison Barnes ($6,000)
Blake Griffin vs. SA ($8,600) – With most of the top options at PF in tough matchups tonight, and plenty of value to be had further down the list, it’s a position where it might make a lot of sense to save some money tonight. But with the way Griffin has been featured in the Clippers’ attack recently, he has enough upside to make him a viable GPP consideration anyway. He went into the break with a couple of down games, but prior to that, he had seen a week straight of 50+ fantasy point production, a level that makes him very useful at this price.
Dario Saric vs. WAS ($6,400) – With the potential for increased usage now with Noel and Ilyasova out of town, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see his price a solid $1,000 higher a week or so from now. With Embiid out short term, he was already on a run of four straight games with 38+ fantasy points, and if anything, you would expect that to only go up from here, especially for these next four games while Embiid is still not playing.
Other Options – Paul Millsap ($7,400)
Taj Gibson vs. LAL ($5,000) – Gibson should slide nicely into a role alongside someone like Enes Kanter on this roster. He can guard the center position, freeing up Kanter, and that could lead to enough minutes to make Gibson a very viable fantasy option, contributing in multiple fantasy categories.
Other Options – Bobby Portis ($5,000)
Rudy Gobert @ MIL ($7,100) – He went into the All-Star break on a run of five straight double-doubles, a streak he will look to continue tonight in this matchup with the Bucks. Even without a lot of scoring, that is a floor that makes him playable in a cash game lineup, and he also had ten blocks over that same span, which is a nice bonus.
Other Options – Nikola Jokic ($10,800), Brook Lopez ($6,900)
Jonas Valanciunas vs. BOS ($5,200) – Boston can’t rebound, and rebounding is what Valanciunas does best. His season average is at 9.8 per game right now, but he should be able to get to double-digits in this matchup, which should allow him to grab an easy double-double. He only played 12 minutes last time they faced each other, but in their previous matchup, he went for 18 points and 23 boards.
Other Options – Jahlil Okafor ($5,200)
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