This week the Friday schedule is a little lighter than usual. The past few weeks there have been 12 games on Friday Nights, this week there are ten. Still a nice player pool, just smaller than what you usually see. Here are the players I like in tonight’s slate of games:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Michael Carter-Williams vs. CHA ($9100) – There are a number of solid, expensive point guard options Friday. Problem is, when you spend over $10000 on a player, it makes building the rest of your roster tough. Carter-Williams has a favorable matchup, is playing at home, and has been playing well lately — except when facing Boston. My “stud” point guard picks are both value picks; I think they return better value than the four most expensive PG tonight.
- Kylie Irving vs. BKN ($9300) – Good players do not play poorly for long. A good way for a player to snap out of a slump, is by facing a bad defense. Hey look, Irving is facing the 27th best defense against point guards this season! Perhaps this is more a gut call than anything else, but I like Irving against the Nets.
- Trey Burke @ ORL ($5500) – Orlando has been the second worst team against point guards this season, and the worst over the last five games, having allowed 59.3 fantasy-points per game to opposing PG in their last five games. Burke had 34.8 fantasy-points the first time he faced Orlando, there is no reason he cannot match that total again with the Magic defense playing even worse now than it was in their first matchup.
- Tony Wroten vs. CHA ($5300) – Wroten’s poor game against Boston is a boon to fantasy owners as it means he has a nice price. Wroten had topped 20 fantasy-points in his first two games after coming back from his knee injury; he should give you 20+ points tonight facing a weak Charlotte defense.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Bradley Beal vs. MIA ($6200) – It is pretty tough to find any stud shooting guards tonight. There are not all that many expensive SG to chose from, and they all have tough matchups. Beal does not have a tough matchup, he has a very easy one, and is averaging 31.2 fantasy-points per game in his last five games. I see Beal being on a lot of my teams Friday.
- Dwayne Wade vs. WAS ($8400) – There is no doubt that Wade has a brutal matchup Friday; Washington has been the second best team at defending opposing shooting guards. Plus, Wade is only averaging 27.8 fantasy-points per game in his two game against Washington this season. Things is, Wade is playing very well lately, and even just that average game against Washington would give you better than triple value from Wade.
- J. J. Redick @ DEN ($4900) – Over their last five games, Denver is allowing 46.8 fantasy-points per game to opposing shooting guards — 4th worst in the league. While Redick has not been great lately, he has averaged 24.0 fantasy-points in his last six games, and has scored at least 15 fantasy-points in every game this month. Redick is a safe pick with decent upside given his matchup.
- Lou Williams @ DET ($4500) – Detroit has been nearly as bad against shooting guards lately as Denver has been; the Pistons are allowing opposing shooting guards to score 46.0 fantasy-points per game over their last five contests. Like Redick, Williams is not likely to get you 40+ points tonight, but is a good bet to get you 20+. Exciting? No, but I will gladly take quadruple, or better value from any player.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Josh Smith vs. TOR ($7500) – Over the last five games, Toronto has been the fifth worst team defending small forwards. Smith is averaging 34.0 fantasy-points per game in his last five games, that includes a game against Dallas in which Smith only played 19 minutes It is doubtful Smith only plays 19 minutes on Friday.
- Gordon Hayward @ ORL ($7600) – Sometimes I wonder if I get into a rut when making my fantasy picks. I seem to end up recommending a lot of players facing teams like Charlotte, Orlando and Philadelphia. However, I think to be in a rut, you have to be struggling, and players do not struggle against those teams very often. Hayward is hot, his opponent is bad, ergo, Hayward is a good play.
- Wilson Chandler vs. LAC ($6000) – Chandler has scored between 21.5 and 45.5 fantasy-points in each of his last ten games; he has averaged 29.6 fantasy-points in his last five contests. The Clippers are below average against opposing small forwards, and Chandler is at home tonight. I think that paints the picture of why I think Chandler is a good pick.
- Evan Turner vs. MIN ($4600) – Garbage time is a fantasy owner’s friend, and few teams provide a better opportunity for garbage time than Minnesota does. Look for Turner to see 25+ minutes against a bad Minnesota defense. Turner probably will not match the 43.5 fantasy-point game he put up against Washington on the eighth of this month, but it would not be a shock if he had a similar game against the Timberwolves.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Paul Gasol @ MEM ($8700) – Sure, there are more expensive power forwards Friday, but not any with a more favorable matchup than Gasol. Gasol is averaging a solid 36.1 fantasy-points per game in his last four games and 41.7 per game for the season. I must be missing something, I do not understand why he is only the 5th highest priced PF tonight.
- Serge Ibaka @ LAL ($7100) – Remember when the Lakers were good? No really, they were good once. They are not good now, they are really not good defensively — you might perhaps even say horrible. Ibaka should have a field day against the Lakers who, among many other “distinctions”, rank 26th against PF this season.
- Boris Diaw vs. POR ($5100) – This one is much more about injuries than matchup. Kawhi Leonard is out, Tony Parker is hurting, that means more playing time — and thus stats — for Diaw. Do not be shocked to see Diaw put up a similar total to what he did the last time he played Portland — 33 fantasy-points.
- Channing Frye vs. UTA ($4900) – The fun thing about daily fantasy is that you get to use players who would never be on your fantasy team — or perhaps just seldom in this case. I look for blocks and rebounds first when I add a PF to my yearly fantasy team. But, daily leagues use points-based scoring; how a guy gets the points do not matter. Frye will get plenty of fantasy-points against a defensively-challenged Utah team on Friday.
- Marc Gasol vs. CHI ($8900) – What can I say, I expect both of the Gasol brothers to have good games tonight. Marc is playing very well lately. He put up 44.8 fantasy-points in his last game, is averaging 42.8 fantasy-points in his last five games; Chicago ranks 26th against opposing centers this season.
- Andre Drummond vs. TOR ($8900) – Change is not always a good thing; I had Gasol and Drummond as my stud centers last week too. Thing is, they are both great plays again this week. Drummond just logged a 65 point-fantasy game against Dallas, is averaging 44.1 fantasy-points in his last five games, plus Toronto struggles defending centers.
- Jonas Valanciunas @ DET ($6200) – Valanciunas has topped 25 fantasy-points in five of his last six games while averaging 30.7 fantasy-points per game in that span. Detroit ranks 29th against opposing centers this season. Sure, Valanciunas is not as cheap as my usual value selection, but I think a player likely to get you five times value should be considered a value play.
- Kosta Koufos vs. CHI ($3100) – So, you only have $3100 to spend for a player, but still want a guy with some upside? May I interest you in Kosta Koufos? I mean, he has the cool sounding name. Need more? How about the fact that he has averaged 23.25 fantasy-points per game in his last two games? You also get a player playing for a team playing their third game in four days, which should mean more time for bench players — like Koufos. I do not know about you, but I am sold.