WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS
With a solid eight-game slate of NBA games Friday night, there are still a few elite options to choose from, and plenty of ways to go in building your roster. Here are a few names to consider at every position, and from all price ranges.
Isaiah Thomas @ DEN ($8,700) – Thomas on his best nights is scoring from deep, mid-range and in the lane. But even at his worst, he is getting to the line and hitting two or three threes a night, which is great for his floor. These are two traits he should be able to take advantage of against a Denver team that is lacking in perimeter defense and will also allow Boston to play at their fastest possible pace.
Kemba Walker vs. ORL ($8,100) – The opportunity should be there for all of Charlotte’s primary options against this depleted Orlando team, Kemba most of all. He has put up 43 or more fantasy points in six straight, and this might be his best matchup of that entire stretch, so there is no reason to expect tonight to be the night he trails off.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,100)
Ricky Rubio vs. GS ($6,900) – With LaVine out, Rubio’s production has taken a step up, especially in his assist totals, which has made him an obvious value at this price. He has recorded a triple-double and a double-double with six rebounds in his last two games, playing well over 30 minutes in each. He should continue to have a central role here tonight and should be able to see more than enough opportunities in an up-tempo game to return value at this price.
Other Options – Jeremy Lin ($5,000)
James Harden @ CHI ($11,600) – Harden is always going to be a top consideration every time he plays. This is especially true when his salary is below $12k. He has scored 108 points in his last three games and should continue to see even more chances than usual with shooters like Ryan Anderson continuing to be banged up. He has gone over 52 DKFP in his last three games, exceeding 61 DKFP in two of those games.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,500), Bradley Beal ($7,500)
Avery Bradley @ DEN ($5,400) – He came back from injury and slid right into his former role, despite the glut of guards on the Celtics’ roster. A great two-way player, his price hasn’t rebounded enough to accurately reflect his usefulness at this point, in my opinion. This could be the game where you see him jump back up into the 35-40 fantasy point range he occupied prior to the injury.
Jeremy Lamb vs. ORL ($3,300) – With 20+ fantasy points in three straight games, he is taking advantage of the minutes he’s receiving (averaging just under 25 per game over the past week). He can get to double-digits in scoring in this one, which makes him a solid candidate for output in the range of 25 fantasy points, very useful at this price.
Other Options – Seth Curry ($6,700)
Jimmy Butler vs. HOU ($9,400) – Houston is going to force Chicago into a faster pace than they’re used to (and which, more importantly, is faster than what’s baked into the Bulls’ prices), and of anyone on Chicago’s roster, that change should benefit Butler the most. He’s gone over 42 DKFP in three of his last four games, and with the increased pace, Jimmy could see more rebound and assist opportunities, boosting his upside. Keep in mind, Butler is only SF eligible tonight.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,100), Paul George ($7,800)
Khris Middleton vs. IND ($6,600) – Middleton continues to see right around 30 minutes a night, or more. His size and athleticism make him an obvious boon to the Bucks, and his ability to produce in multiple categories make him a great fantasy option. Any player who can turn 28 minutes and nine shot attempts into 33.5 fantasy points (as he did last time out) is someone I think you can rely on.
Harrison Barnes vs. BKN ($6,400) – He is playing 35 minutes a night for this Dallas team lately, and his overall fantasy output is something of a victim of his own team’s pace and style. But against a Brooklyn team that will try to keep the tempo up and will struggle to close out on shooters, Barnes could see a bump in both opportunities and efficiency tonight.
Other Options – Tyreke Evans ($5,200)
Paul Millsap vs. TOR ($7,400) – Millsap is the centerpiece of the Atlanta offense right now, to the point that I do wonder why he is not more expensive at times. This matchup with Toronto shouldn’t do anything to scare you off a player under $7,500 who has scored 40 or more fantasy points in four of his last five (and 37.0 or more in six straight).
Other Options – Draymond Green ($8,000)
Serge Ibaka @ ATL ($6,300) – He has really found a nice role on his new team, getting up double-digit shot attempts every night. In the right matchup, like this one against Atlanta, he has double-double potential with a floor right around 30 fantasy points. In my opinion, this makes him an excellent cash game option.
Aaron Gordon @ CHA ($5,900) – There is not really anyone left to challenge him for either minutes or rebounds, and he’s stepping up to some degree to fill that void for Orlando. Over their last five games, he is averaging 15 points and seven boards in just under 30 minutes a night, the kind of production that is extremely useful to an actual NBA team and can therefore also be useful at the right price for your fantasy squad.
Other Options – Ersan Ilyasova ($4,400)
Karl-Anthony Towns vs. GS ($10,600) – There are enough inexpensive options tonight at center that it might be a good position to shy away from when you’re thinking about grabbing a stud, but if you decide you can’t live without KAT it’s hard to blame you. He has had 50+ fantasy points in five of his last seven (and 60+ in two of those), and with a floor that appears over 40 fantasy points, he is the kind of centerpiece on his team that can be utilized in any format DraftKings contest.
Other Options – Dwight Howard ($6,900)
Cody Zeller vs. ORL ($5,200) – I basically like all the Hornets tonight because all of their starters and primary contributors could see nice production in this matchup with this Orlando team. The Magic just aren’t able to generate a lot of resistance on either end of the floor right now, meaning you should be able to get 25+ fantasy points out of Zeller. As an added bonus, the Hornets do not have much depth in the front court, so Zeller’s minutes should be secure.
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. WAS ($4,900) – He is still inconsistent, even with the minutes opened up in front of him. However, even just the 11 points and six rebounds he is averaging over the past two weeks is enough to net you 24 fantasy points, making him a strong option, especially in cash games.
Other Options – Mason Plumlee ($5,900) (Check Nikola Jokic’s status).
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.