With eight games on tap for Friday night, the NBA doesn’t have a full schedule, but at least a few of the top fantasy options in the game are active, so you’ll still have plenty of interesting choices to make. Here are a few players you can consider for each position, and from every price range.

Point Guard

Studs

Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. N.Y. ($10,700) – I liked him a couple of days ago at New York because the Knicks just don’t have anyone with a shot of keeping him from doing whatever he wants with the ball in his hands or crashing the glass, and he responded with 27 points and 13 boards. And now he’s got the Knicks again, and this time at home, so if anything I am expecting a slight improvement and not a drop off. The Knicks’ defense hasn’t gotten any better since Wednesday. 

Isaiah Thomas vs. PHI ($8,300) – Coming off back-to-back 60+ fantasy point outings and three straight with 50+, the Celtics guard is showing off his full arsenal every night, and right now, on good rest, he is drawing the Sixers. Last time these two teams met, it was a one-point game in which Thomas led all scorers with 37 (and seven assists). 

Other Options – John Wall ($10,100), Mike Conley ($6,600)

Value

UPDATE Chris Paul is “most likely back” tonight against the Kings, per Doc Rivers.

Austin Rivers @ SAC ($5,300) – With Chris Paul out, Rivers gets the biggest boost, as he was out there for 44 minutes Wednesday, up from his season average of closer to 25. He’s obviously not going to be as consistent a weapon as someone like Paul, but he can shoot, and right now that makes him one of the more reliable options on this Clippers squad (he went 10-for-16 from the floor and 2-for-4 from 3 in that 44-minute effort against the Grizzlies earlier this week). 

Other Options – Raymond Felton ($4,700)


Shooting Guard

Studs

James Harden @ ORL ($12,200) – He might have watched Westbrook score 49 last night, but his 26-8-12 certainly contributed to the Rockets’ two-point victory. With 50+ fantasy points every night, it’s no wonder he is the most expensive player on the board by more than $1,000. With more upside than anyone else going tonight, I think he has to be a consideration (179 fantasy points over just a two-game span last week should have been evidence enough). 

Other Options – Bradley Beal ($6,900)

Value

Eric Gordon @ ORL ($5,800) – The 3-point barrage continues. His shooting has been an unexpected threat from the Rockets all season long, and Harden is happily letting Gordon help boost his assist total every night with a couple of easy ones to Gordon spotting up on the wing. He has 20 made triples in the last four games for the Rockets, and Orlando doesn’t exactly have the lock-down, close-out defenders it would take to slow him down.

UPDATE Chris Paul is “most likely back” tonight against the Kings, per Doc Rivers.

Jamal Crawford @ SAC ($4,900) – The other beneficiary of another potential Chris Paul absence (30+ fantasy points in each of the last two games), the Clippers just don’t have a lot of options on offense right now, especially in a half-court set. Paul masked some of that with his ability to lead a break and find the open man even in 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 situations, but right now they have no choice but to rely on outside shooting. In a good matchup with the Kings, there should be plenty of looks to go around for both Crawford and Rivers. 

Other Options – Sean Kilpatrick ($5,300)


Small Forward

Studs

LeBron James @ BKN ($10,500) – A cash-game lineup staple, he gives you that $2,000 discount off Harden that helps cushion the blow if he “only” gets you around 45 fantasy points. He is just so involved in everything the Cavs do that he can produce fantasy points for you with a myriad of different stat lines. Whether it’s 31-8-7 like Wednesday, or the 23-11-3 against Boston last week, he’s consistently close to the 50+ fantasy points you’re looking for while giving the Cavs whatever they need. 

Jabari Parker vs. NY ($7,300) – He only had 15 points in this matchup on Wednesday, but he was out there a bunch, playing 37 minutes, and missed a couple of easy ones that would have made his final numbers look better. I expect to see him improve on those totals tonight, at home, while still playing the suspect defense that will help us get a useful performance out of Carmelo as well. 

Other Options – Carmelo Anthony ($7,900)

Value

Dario Saric @ BOS ($4,500) – The last time these two teams met he had 27 points and 11 boards, and he has the kind of size and mobility that can give the Boston frontcourt fits. He’s been seeing a few extra minutes, and turning them pretty efficiently into a few extra fantasy points, a trend I think will continue tonight. 

Other Options – Aaron Gordon ($4,900)


Power Forward

Studs

Joel Embiid @ BOS ($7,700) – He didn’t play in their last meeting, a one-point Celtics win, and you know Philly would love to trot him out there tonight to see if he is the difference-maker. He didn’t practice yesterday due to an illness and is listed as questionable, so you’ll need to be monitoring your lineups right up until tip-off tonight. If he plays, he has the potential to shred this defense on a per-minute basis while he is out on the floor tonight. 

Kristaps Porzingis @ MIL ($7,000) – Another player you have to continually monitor today, he has missed the last three Knicks’ games, but practiced in full yesterday and is expected to play. Against this Bucks squad, he has the potential for a 20-10 double-double if he gets anywhere even near his full complement of minutes, which would make him a nice value at this price.

Other Options – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900), Kevin Love ($9,600)

Value

Ersan Ilyasova @ BOS ($6,000) – The fact is, he is a much better fit out there in the front court with Embiid than either Noel or Okafor, making those other two imminently expendable. If you’re building a team around Embiid, I like pairing Ilyasova with him, and that makes him a valuable piece when you’re building a fantasy lineup as well. With 29 or more fantasy points in four straight (and a high of 43), he is providing you plenty of stability at this price to make himself useful for any format contest. 

Other Options – JaMychal Green ($5,000)


Center

Studs

DeMarcus Cousins vs. LAC ($10,900) – A bad matchup on paper doesn’t mean anything when Griffin is out, and we’ve seen Cousins annihilate DeAndre Jordan in the past. He ended up with 38-13 last time these two teams met, and as someone who is always the best option the Kings have, there is no reason to expect a different result this time around. 

Draymond Green vs. MEM ($7,500) – Green is the player who needs to be at his best for the Warriors to play the perfect game against a team like Memphis. His versatility is what made this roster work in these matchups over the past couple of years, and the seven points, seven boards and zero blocks he had in their last matchup is a big part of the reason the Grizzlies won by 21 points. I expect him to assert himself and help lead the team to a victory in this rematch tonight. 

Other Options – Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,600)

Value

Serge Ibaka vs. HOU ($6,400) – Seemingly out of nowhere, he has been shooting 40 percent from 3 this season, making him a perfect stretch four, with the only problem being that he’s on a team that didn’t really need a stretch four and doesn’t seem to know how to use one. But the Magic are definitely going to need to score to stay in what should be a fast-paced game here tonight, and he could see more than his usual share of looks on the offensive end as a result, making him a decent value play here. 

Other Options – Amir Johnson ($3,800) 

 


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.