Like last Friday, we have an 11-game slate tonight. That means plenty of fantasy options, and also a large variety of lineups in the contests tonight. Here are the player I like for Friday Night’s action:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Kyle Lowry @ GS ($10700) – As I have mentioned more than once, I am not a huge fan of using a player who costs over $10,000 since it makes building the rest of my team such a challenge. But, I am making an exception for Lowry. He is only the third highest priced point guard tonight. Over his last four games he has averaged 50.3 fantasy-points per game. He has been better on the road than at home this season. Plus, the Golden State defense has been allowing 52.2 fantasy-points per game to opposing PG — 5th worst during that span.
- Kemba Walker vs. CLE ($9400) – If you cannot swing Lowry, Walker is a nice consolation prize. Cleveland has allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season — 50.2 fantasy-points per game. Walker had 38.8 fantasy-points the last time he played the Cavaliers, is averaging 37.9 fantasy-points per game at home this season, and 36.3 fantasy-points per game over his last six games. Walker is still expensive, but a pretty good value despite his price.
- Marcus Smart vs. DAL ($4800) – So, you are looking for a cheap point guard with the potential for a nice game on Friday? Might I interest you in Marcus Smart? He has topped 24 fantasy-points in two of his last three games, he is averaging 16.2 fantasy-points over his last four games, plus is facing a Dallas defense that ranks 29th against point guards this season.
- Jameer Nelson vs. DAL ($3800) – No matter what split you look at, Dallas has issues against opposing point guards. Over their last ten games, the Mavericks have allowed the second most fantasy-points to opposing PG, even worse than their season average. Nelson is not as “exciting” a pick as Smart is, but I think he has more upside with a similar amount of risk.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- James Harden @ NO ($11700) – Yes, I know harden is the easy way out. He is, after all, the highest priced shooting guard tonight, but for good reason. Harden is averaging 51.3 fantasy-points per game on the season, 57.1 per game in his last five games, and his worst game in his last ten contests was 38.8 fantasy-points. He is also facing the 28th ranked defense against shooting guards on Friday.
- Kobe Bryant vs. MEM ($9300) – No, my New Year’s resolution was not to spend more money on my fantasy players, I just happen to like the expensive players more than usual tonight. Kobe has a nice matchup, is coming off of a 60.8 fantasy-point game, and has averaged 41.4 fantasy-points per game against Memphis this season.
- Lou Williams @ GS ($4500) – Despite a disappointing 9.75 fantasy-points in his last outing, Williams is still averaging 23.1 fantasy-points per game in his last four games. Golden State is a little better against shooting guards than point guards, but still well below average, making Williams a nice pick for $4500.
- Gerald Green vs. PHI ($4400) – Green sure seems to make this column a lot. No, he is not a fantasy stud or anything. What he does have is a very particular set of skills. Mostly, those skills combine is a way that he scores 21 or so fantasy-points most night. He is nothing exciting, but can be a key component of a money winning team. The fact that is is playing Philadelphia does not hurt either.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Gordon Hayward vs. ATL ($7900) – Sorry, I just could not go with another very expensive option at small forward. Atlanta has allowed opposing shooting guards to score 39.5 fantasy-points per game this season — 11th worst in the league. Hayward has over 30 fantasy-points in three of his last four, and four of his last six games, so is a pretty safe pick.
- Josh Smith @ NO ($6900) – If your goal is to avoid risk, then you should also avoid Smith. He has been a good fantasy player since joining Houston, yet he also already has a six fantasy-point game with his new team. Smith has a solid matchup, and nice upside; he just also comes with a good bit of risk given his $6900 price tag.
- C. J. Miles @ MIL ($5300) – Miles’ production lately makes Smith look consistent. Over his last four games, Miles has scored: 27.5, 8.25, 17.25 and 45.75 fantasy-points. Since I put him on this list, I am obviously expecting something closer to 45.75 than 8.25. Milwaukee has struggled against small forwards this season, and Miles has been better at home than on the road — 21.2 fantasy-points per game at home versus 17.7 per game on the road.
- Tony Allen @ LAL ($3500) – Add Allen to my list of unexciting picks for Friday. Nothing personal, I am sure he is a nice guy and fun to hang out with. What he is not, is likely to get you a monster game. That is fine, you will be quite happy if he gives you the 22.0 fantasy-points he has averaged over his last three games. As an added bonus, he has been consistently solid lately, having scored between 17.75 and 28.25 fantasy-points in each of his last four contests.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- Dirk Nowitzki @ BOS ($7400) – This one is pretty simple. Boston has allowed the most fantasy-points per game to opposing power forwards this season. Dirk is still a good power forward. For $7400, Nowitzki seems like a steal to me.
- Markieff Morris vs. PHI ($6700) – No team has been worse at defensing power forwards over their last five games than Philadelphia has been. The 76ers are allowing opposing PF to score 55.2 fantasy-points per game against them in their last five games. Morris just put up 32.0 fantasy-points against Oklahoma City, he should be able to come close to matching that total against a bad Philadelphia team.
- Kris Humphries @ OKC ($4100) – This slate of games is not a good one if you are looking to save money at power forward. Humphries has topped 18 fantasy-points in four of his last five games, including a 37.75 fantasy-point game against Boston. He has some nice upside for his $4100 salary tonight.
- Marcus Morris vs PHI ($4300) – If you are struggling to find a player in any given contest, a good place to start is by players on any team facing Philadelphia. Even better, a power forward against the 76ers. Marcus has averaged 25.0 fantasy-points per game over his last five games; he is also playing against Philadelphia on Friday.
- Tyson Chandler @ BOS ($7000) – Are you interested in getting 32 fantasy-points from your center tonight? Might I interest you in Tyson Chandler? He has averaged 31.4 fantasy-points per game this season, had 32 the first time he played Boston, has averaged 32.1 fantasy-points per game on the road, and 32.9 over his last four games. I am not sure about you, but the numbers seem to indicate to me that we should expect something around 32 fantasy-points out of Chandler tonight.
- Andre Drummond @ NY ($9900) – The Knicks have been giving up a mind-blowing 64.6 fantasy-points per game to opposing centers over the last five games. Drummond have averaged 47.4 fantasy-points over his last three games, plus has been a better fantasy player on the road than at home. Is Drummond yet another expensive option? Yes. Is he worth the price? You bet.
- Cole Aldrich vs. DET ($5300) – Detroit has not struggled as much against centers as New York has lately, but they are not very good — as in the fifth worst team against opposing centers this season. Aldrich has been a very good fantasy player recently, having averaged 32.3 fantasy-points per game over his last four games, and having scored at least 20 fantasy-points in each of his last five games.
- Bismack Biyombo vs. CLE ($4500) – With Al Jefferson out, Biyombo is going to see a significant bump to his playing time. In the first game Jefferson missed, Biyombo played 26 minutes and tallied 23.75 fantasy-points. Those are realistic expectations for Biyombo against a Cleveland team that has had issues against opposing centers this season.