Another Friday, another 12 games from which to chose your fantasy players. That means you have a myriad of options, which will make for some interesting contests. Here are the players I like in tonight’s slate of games:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Michael Carter-Williams @ BKN ($9100) – I am a pretty easy to please person. What I want when I spend $9100 for a point guard, is a guy with a good matchup, who is playing well, and is unlikely to have a bad game. Carter-Williams is a perfect fit. He is facing a team that ranks 27th against opposing PG, has averaged 48.9 fantasy-points his last five games, and has had over 30 fantasy-points in each of his last six games.
- Deron Williams vs. PHI ($8200) – Deron is not as good of an option as Carter-Williams is tonight, but he is $900 cheaper. He has the added bonus of playing against Philadelphia, which as we know, is not very good. Deron had 48.5 fantasy-points the last time he faced the 76ers too.
- Cory Joseph vs. LAL ($5300) – As you might know, San Antonio is well know for resting players, they tend to rest injured guys longer than the average team, and not play them against bad teams — like the Lakers. While it does sound like Tony Parker plays tonight, it is doubtful he ends up playing 30 minutes. Joseph should be in line for 30 minutes against a Lakers teams that ranks 30th against point guards this season.
- C. J. Watson @ ORL ($4000) – Watson is not the pick with the highest upside. His best game this season was only 26.25 fantasy-points after all. However, his worst game has been 15.75 with a season average of 21.1 fantasy-points per game. So, you pretty much know what you are getting with Watson, between five and six times value. I will take that for $4,000.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Eric Bledsoe @ PHO ($8300) – Kobe Bryant is the big name at shooting guard Friday, but I would take Bledsoe over him without a second though. Bledsoe has a much better matchup — the 26th best defense against shooting guards versus the 2nd best — is at home rather than on the road, plus Bledsoe is averaging more fantasy-points per game over the last ten days than Kobe is.
- Dwayne Wade @ UTA ($7700) – As someone who has been playing fantasy basketball for years, I take no joy in recommending Wade. I have seen too many teams — in season long leagues — ruined by drafting Wade. But, this is daily fantasy, so you do not care if Wade misses a month, only that he plays tonight. Wade is a good player when healthy. He is healthy, and has averaged 34.3 fantasy-points per game in his last seven contests.
- Alec Burks vs. MIA ($5600) – Wade is a good offensive player, but his defense leaves much to be desired. Miami ranks 27th against opposing shooting guards this season. Burke has done well against weak defenses this season, most recently scoring 35 fantasy-points against Denver and 29 fantasy-points against Sacramento.
- Gerald Green vs. DET ($4700) – The Green pick is pretty similar to my Watson selection in the point guard section. Chances are, Green is not going to give you 40+ points. Chances are also very good that he gets you at least 20, and probably around 25. He has averaged 24.3 fantasy-points per game in his last six games, and Detroit is not good at defending opposing shooting guards.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Kevin Durant @ MIN ($10300) – What can I say? I wanted to recommend Durant at least once this season? He is $1000 cheaper than LeBron James, and has a more favorable matchup. He also just put up 47.3 fantasy-points against Milwaukee — which is better than Minnesota (though than can be said about many teams). If you can swing Durant’s price tag, he is a nice option tonight.
- Nicolas Batum @ CHI ($6700) – This one is rally all about potential. Batum has not been as good as expected thus far this season, but we know he can be a very good fantasy player. Batum has yet to have a monster game this season, this would seem like a good time. Chicago ranks 28th against opposing small forwards this season, and Batum has been slowly putting up bigger games as the season has progressed. I think he finally has a monster game here.
- DeMarre Carroll vs. ORL ($5700) – Over his last four games, DeMarre Carroll has averaged 31.19 fantasy-points per game. In his last game, Carroll put up 40.75 fantasy-points against Philadelphia. While Orlando is not as bad as Philadelphia, they are not all that much better defensively, at least not against shooting guards — Orlando ranks 22nd against SG this season.
- Paul Pierce vs. LAC ($5100) – The Pierce pick is sort of similar to the Green and Watson ones. Pierce is a pretty safe play as he has only had one bad game this season. Unlike the other two, Pierce has had a couple of big games — over 40 fantasy-points. Pierce is a pretty safe pick, he is pretty cheap, and has some upside; sounds like a pretty good combination to me.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Paul Millsap vs. ORL ($8900) – Orlando has been the second worst defense against opposing power forwards the last five games, allowing opposing PF to average 51.7 fantasy-points per game in that span. In his last six contests, Millsap has averaged 35.4 fantasy-points per game. All those numbers add up to a good game for Millsap against Orlando on Friday.
- Zach Randolph vs. CHA ($7100) – Randolph is another player I have never been a big fan of in yearly leagues. Nothing personal, I just like to get blocks from my power forwards; Randolph has one block this season. But, we only care about fantasy-points here. He is facing the team allowing the third most fantasy-points to opposing power forwards the last five games, an even 50 per game.
- Luis Scola @ TOR ($4600) – Scola is one of those players who seems to be able to put up good fantasy-point totals even with limited playing time. Despite averaging only 22.5 minutes a game this season, he is averaging 22.7 fantasy-points per game. I cannot imagine him playing less than 20 minutes against Toronto, so he will be good for at least 20 fantasy-points.
- Patrick Patterson vs. IND ($4600) – Patterson gets more playing time than Scola does, he just does less with it. Not to say Patterson is a bad pick. He is pretty much a lock for play 24 or more minutes against a slightly below average defense against power forwards. He has also averaged 24.6 fantasy-points per game in his last six games.
- Marc Gasol vs. CHA ($8500) – 56.4. That is how many fantasy-points per game Charlotte has given up per game to opposing centers in their last five games. While Gasol “only” managed 33 fantasy-points the first time he played Charlotte this season, he just put up 46.8 fantasy-points against Dallas, and is averaging 39.2 fantasy-points per game this season. Those are a lot of numbers; to put it less numerically, Gasol is a good play.
- Andre Drummond @ PHO ($8400) – Yes, I did pick the two highest priced centers. But, they are not really all that expensive — at least not compared to the most expensive players at the other positions — and are both just good plays. Like Gasol, Drummond has a nice matchup as Phoenix ranks 27th against opposing centers this season. Plus, Drummond has been playing well lately, averaging 36.6 fantasy-points per game over his last five games.
- Robin Lopez @ CHI ($5300) – It seems like I have a running theme with my value plays tonight: guys who lack upside, but are pretty good bets to return at least quadruple value. Lopez is a bit more of a risk than some of the guys I covered earlier, but also has had some nice games. I expect a nice game against Chicago which has issues against big guys.
- Kelly Olynyk vs. NYY ($3900) – Once in a while you just have to mix things up, try something new. Olynyk really is not my usual type of player. His playing time is inconsistent, his matchup looks bad, he did not even manage 17 fantasy-points in his last game. The thing is, I just think he has a good game. I looked through his game log and saw big games against Washington, Detroit, and Memphis. He can do that against the Knicks too. Plus, it is not like $3900 is a huge amount to spend for a risky player — he is the type of guy you will need to have on your team if you want Durant.