WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – PAUL MILLSAP
Friday’s ten-game NBA slate features plenty of elite fantasy options, leaving you with a number of different approaches to roster building. Here are a few players from each position to consider.
John Wall @ ATL ($9,900) – He is quietly averaging almost 50 fantasy points per game, and he has actually stepped it up recently, with only one game under 40 fantasy points in the last three weeks. He stepped up in a big way in a rivalry game against Boston earlier in the week, and the Hawks’ defense should provide him with plenty of opportunities to keep that momentum going.
Kyrie Irving vs. BKN ($8,300) – He has been at 37.5 fantasy points or more in three straight and four of his last five, and he has been over 50 twice in that span. That consistency and upside makes him a solid consideration in any format, especially in a matchup that could make him the most logical offensive option for the Cavs tonight.
Other Options – Isaiah Thomas ($9,300), Kyle Lowry ($8,300)
Derrick Rose vs. CHA ($5,700) – With the Knicks’ offense struggling to get going, Rose’s usage rate has never been higher this season. His style, dominating the ball and constantly penetrating into the middle of the defense, is not always the most conducive to getting his teammates going. However, it should make his fantasy owners happy, especially against a defense that struggles to keep quick guards in front and also lacks the rim protectors to give a finisher like Rose trouble.
Other Options – Malcolm Brogdon ($4,900), Patty Mills ($4,600)
James Harden @ PHI ($12,600) – With Eric Gordon out Wednesday, he hoisted up 11 threes, finishing with 30 points and 12 assists in a loss to the Celtics. Gordon is likely out again tonight, and against an improved Philly team, Harden is going to need to score big to make sure the Rockets don’t drop another one, giving him the most obvious 60+ point upside on the board tonight.
Jimmy Butler vs. MIA ($8,900) – Part of Miami’s strength in limiting the fantasy production of opposing guards is to keep the game slow, but that style of play is already baked into Butler’s price. A guard who can rebound, rack up some defensive stats, and score, Butler is perfectly poised to be the most productive fantasy option on the floor. I would be shocked if he (and Wade) aren’t motivated to bring the energy in a big way after being called out by Rajon Rondo.
Other Options – C.J. McCollum ($7,100), Dwyane Wade ($7,000), Bradley Beal ($6,800)
Kent Bazemore vs. WAS ($5,100) – Bazemore has 20+ fantasy points in three straight, and he has played 33 minutes a piece in each of the Hawks’ last two games. In those two contests, he averaged 17.5 shot attempts per night, way up from his season average and getting him to a 35-40 fantasy point range makes him a tremendous value at this price.
Other Options – Marcus Smart ($5,700), Caris LeVert ($4,000)
LeBron James vs. BKN ($10,200) – With double-digit assists in three of their last four and four of their last six games, he is turning into the latest superstar who seems like a threat for a triple-double every time out. In fact, he is working on a streak of two in a row, giving him upside that hasn’t been present often this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo @ TOR ($10,000) – With the Raptors relying on their backcourt (they will be without DeRozan) for much of their production, Giannis’ contributions on defense might be the key to whether the Bucks can actually secure a win tonight. I think he has every chance to get to that 50-point threshold you need him to be at to provide the proper return on investment.
Other Options – Paul George ($7,900)
Aaron Gordon @ BOS ($5,400) – Despite the glut in the Orlando frontcourt, Gordon’s minutes haven’t gone away, and his price doesn’t really reflect his current role. His average mpg for the season is still down at 27.4, despite averaging almost 33 a night for the past month, showing just how much less he was playing earlier in the year. His style should make him a tough matchup for the Celtics’ forwards, who will have a hard time containing his athleticism on the boards, giving him a legit chance at his first double-double in some time.
Other Options – Robert Covington ($5,700), Trevor Ariza ($5,400)
DeMarcus Cousins @ IND ($11,000) – Cousins and Anthony Davis are probably the only two options on the board with the same pure upside as Harden. Cousins has scored 60+ fantasy points in four of his last six (and 56.25 in another), posting six straight double-doubles.
Markieff Morris @ ATL ($6,800) – Washington’s dynamic duo at the guard spots have been doing work lately, especially on offense, which leaves Morris in a clear secondary role, but also leaves him with plenty of room to operate in the middle with defenses focused elsewhere. He has scored 30 or more fantasy points in six straight, and as the best front court option on offense, he is scoring in double-digits every night, with his upside dictated by the rebounds and defensive stats he can compile along the way.
Other Options – Paul Millsap ($7,400), Jabari Parker ($7,000)
JaMychal Green @ POR ($4,400) – Green is averaging just about 9 points and 7 boards a game for the season, which aren’t tough averages to hit. But when you throw in a block, a steal, an assist, and maybe a three-pointer or two, you’re in the mid-twenties in terms of fantasy points pretty quickly, not a bad value at this price. He is listed as probable (knee) tonight, so monitor his status if you’re going to go this route.
Other Options – Marvin Williams ($4,800), Al-Farouq Aminu ($4,500)
Anthony Davis vs. SA ($9,700) – In a positive turn of events for the Pelicans, it looks like Davis is going to be available for tonight’s game after appearing to aggravate a leg injury on Wednesday. You’ll definitely want to keep tabs on his status leading up to game time, and keep in mind that in the first week of the season, he only had 18-5 against this Spurs team in a bad loss.
Joel Embiid vs. HOU ($8,400) – After missing Tuesday’s game, he is on schedule to play tonight. This Sixers team is a completely different animal when he’s active. It seems like he has infused a sense of confidence throughout their roster, and no wonder – anytime you have a guy who can get his own shot at will, dominate the glass and protect the rim, it gives everyone around him the chance to play at their best. He’s, in my opinion, the best cash game option possible (if he plays). His upside and his price are only limited by his minutes, but in the time he is getting, he is almost a lock for 40+ fantasy points and a solid mid-to-high priced anchor in the middle of your roster. Make sure you check on his status before game time.
Other Options – Kevin Love ($8,100), Marc Gasol ($8,000)
Greg Monroe @ TOR ($5,300) – A big-bodied scorer like Monroe might present the best mismatch and therefore the best opportunity for success against this Toronto squad. He’s put up 30 shots combined over his last two outings, and he has turned those shots into 45 points. He should be able to get looks over Jonas Valanciunas almost at will, and if he can get to double-digit rebounds, I think he could be a real difference-maker in your lineup.
Other Options – Jonas Valanciunas ($5,800), Robin Lopez ($4,200)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.