Tonight we have what I believe is the smallest slate of Friday games so far this season. Still, we do have nine games which leaves plenty of fantasy options, just fewer than we are used to. Here are the guys I like this evening:
POINT GUARD TARGETS
- Kyrie Irving vs. SAC ($9000) – Sure, it is easy to suggest Irving after his monster 75.5 fantasy-point game against Portland. Being an easy call does not mean it is also not a solid suggestion though. Only once in his last ten games has Irving not scored over 30 fantasy-points; he has scored over 60 twice. He also faces a weak defense tonight.
- Jeff Teague vs. POR ($7600) – If you cannot afford Irving, perhaps I can interest you in Jeff Teague? He is facing the team that just gave up the 75+ fantasy-point game to Irving after all. Teague had 38.3 fantasy-points the first time he played Portland this season, and their defense was playing better then than it is now.
- Mario Chalmers vs. DAL ($4800) – Value often also entails risk, that is the case with Chalmers. Chalmers is playing well lately — 30.5 and 37.5 fantasy-points in his last two games — but, consistency has been an issue for him all season. Still, Dallas has issues defending point guards, and Chalmers is playing well, so I think he can log another good fantasy game on Friday.
- Greivis Vasquez @ BKN ($4200) – Vasquez is sort of a cheaper, less reliable Chalmers, at least on Friday. He has the nice matchup like Chalmers; like Chalmers he has been playing well lately. Also, like Chalmers, consistency has been an issue. The matchup should help Vazquez maintain the recent consistency, at least one more game.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
- Wesley Matthews @ ATL ($5900) – As usual, shooting guard will be the toughest position to fill tonight. There really are not many good options, especially in the higher price range. Looking just at matchups, Matthews is the highest priced SG with a favorable matchup. No, it is far from a ringing endorsement, plus he is priced below the median player price, but good shooting guard options are scarce.
- Monta Ellis @ MIA ($7200) – I might have been a little hasty on calling my judgement about the shooting guard options. Ellis does not have an ideal matchup, but it is also not a bad one. What makes him a nice option is the fact that he has been playing well lately — 35 fantasy-points per game in his last six games — and he has been better on the road than at home.
- J. R. Smith vs. SAC ($5000) – Smith has cooled down some since his hot start after being traded to Cleveland. Never the less, he has averaged 25 fantasy-points per game over his last six games, and defense is not something that Sacramento is all that good at. Smith probably will not have a monster game, but it would be shocking if he did not top four times value against the Kings.
- Kevin Martin @ PHI ($4600) – Martin is a very good value. Not only is he playing against Philadelphia, but he also still has the “coming off a lengthy injury” discount. Martin is going to be on a lot of my teams tonight.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
- Rudy Gay @ CLE ($7700) – I am not sure that the options for studs small forwards are any better than those at shooting guard. LeBron James is hurting, Gordon Hayward is sick. That leaves Gay as the highest priced solid option. No, he is not going to win a GPP for you, but he might just keep you in the money in one, or at least not lose you money.
- Andrew Wiggins @ PHI ($7000) – When in doubt go with the player facing a bad team. Opposing teams do not get much worse than Philadelphia — even if they have been “better” lately. Like Gay, Wiggins is probably not having a monster game, but you can pretty much count on him giving you 20+ fantasy-points.
- K. J. McDaniels vs. MIN ($4600) – Yes, I know I am listing a lot of players in the Minnesota/Philadelphia game. What can I say? Both teams have some major defensive issues. For Minnesota their biggest issue is having allowed the most fantasy-points to opposing small forwards this season.
- Luc Richard Mbah A Moute @ MIN ($4000) – As noted above, Minnesota has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season. Moute is the 50/50 Yang to McDaniels’ GPP Yin. Moute is not going to have a huge game, but you can count on 20-30 fantasy-points for only $4000.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
- LaMarcus Aldridge @ ATL ($9500) – The way Aldridge has been playing lately makes you wonder if more players should consider having thumb injuries and putting off surgery. In his last two games, Aldridge has scored 107 fantasy-points. Atlanta has been below average at defending power forwards this season, so Aldridge should be in line for another good game tonight.
- Thaddeus Young @ PHI ($6600) – I know it is a shock, but Philadelphia has issues defensively against power forwards. They have allowed the second most fantasy-points to power forwards over the last ten games, the third most over the last five games and for the season. Young has been hot lately, averaging 34.1 fantasy-points per game over his last six games, plus has been considerably better on the road than at home this season.
- David Lee @ UTA ($5500) – Lee had 34 fantasy-points the last time he faced Utah; he has also been a better fantasy player on the road than at home this season. Lee has averaged 28.3 fantasy-points per game over his last five games making him a nice value given his $5500 price tag.
- Patrick Peterson @ BKN ($4000) – I avoided the temptation of going with a Timberwolf or 76er here, though it was not easy. Brooklyn has allowed an average of 51.5 fantasy-points per game to opposing power forwards in their last five games, while Patterson has averaged 26 fantasy-points per game in his last five games.
- AL Horford vs. POR ($7600) – Sometimes my criteria for a player are pretty simple. I like guys playing well — Horford has averaged 38.2 fantasy-points per game his last five games. I like guys facing defenses having issues — Portland has allowed over 52 fantasy-points per game to opposing centers over their last ten games. And, I like guys who are not too expensive — Horford costs only $7600 on Friday.
- Gorgui Dieng @ PHI ($7000) – Cannot resist the dark side, also known as the lure of a guy facing Philadelphia. Dieng has been playing well even with Nikola Pekovic back. It does not hurt that Philadelphia has allowed the most fantasy-points to opposing centers this season.
- Omer Asik vs. LAC ($4400) – This selection is about price and history — albeit a brief history. Asik only costs $4400 tonight; he had 27.5 fantasy-points the last time he faced the Clippers. Perhaps his upside is not the highest, but you would be very happy with 30 points from a guy who costs $4400.
- Tyler Zeller vs. HOU ($4100) – Zeller’s worst game in his last seven was 17 fantasy-points while he has topped 25 fantasy-points in two of his last seven. Like Asik, he does not have huge upside, but is a good bet to return around five times value, and is cheap.