WATCH: DK NBA RECAP – JONAS VALANCIUNAS
There is a huge 11-game slate for the main NBA contests on Friday night, with virtually every one of the top options available. Let’s get to the targets.
Stephen Curry vs. HOU ($9,500) – In what should end up being a very high-scoring game, Curry has the easy upside of 50+ points for a $3,500 discount over Westbrook in a home game against Houston. He is shooting almost exactly 50% from three at home for the season and he’ll end up with more than his fair share of looks in this one tonight, making Steph someone to build around in any format.
Kemba Walker vs. DEN ($8,100) – In a very nice matchup with a Denver team that will force the tempo, Kemba could see even more opportunity than usual here, and he is already getting up 20 shots a night. He has 50+ point upside here, but his floor is lower than the 40 you need to feel great about him as a cash game play.
Other Options – Russell Westbrook ($12,900)
Jeff Teague @ TOR ($6,400) – His price is down after a bad night Wednesday, but without an injury reported, there is no reason to expect him to play only 20 minutes again tonight. If he gets his normal minutes allotment, in a nice matchup, he could improve on his averages over the last two weeks, 17 points, 7 assists and a pair of boards, even with Wednesday’s dud included.
Other Options – T.J. McConnell ($6,200)
James Harden @ GS ($12,200) – He is actively competing with Russ for the MVP, and a huge night against the Warriors would be a nice statement game down the stretch – and it is certainly a possibility. He put up a triple-double against them on Tuesday, going for 24-13-11 on 5-for-20 shooting. Even a small uptick in efficiency could mean a monster performance for him tonight.
Other Options – Klay Thompson ($7,100)
Jrue Holiday vs. SAC ($6,700) – The Pelicans are going to be able to score in this matchup, and whatever focus the Kings have will defensively should be on the frontcourt, understandably, which is going to free up Jrue as a creator on the perimeter all night long. He is essentially operating as the point guard the majority of the time he is out there, and getting someone that heavily involved in his team’s offense at this price is good value for any contest.
Andre Iguodala vs. HOU ($4,600) – He has been at 30+ minutes in each of his last three games, and he is doing enough across multiple categories to be averaging over 30 fantasy points a night with that much time on the court. He seems like a good fit for extended run in this matchup, and at this price, you don’t need any more than that to make him a great cash game option.
Other Options – Monta Ellis ($4,500)
LeBron James vs. PHI ($10,000) – Pay close attention to what the Cavs do with their lineup in this one. They might decide to rest some starters, and whomever of the big three doesn’t sit is going to see plenty of usage. LeBron keeps plugging away with lots of minutes when he is active, and the Cavs aren’t really running away from anyone of late, which gives him a nice floor to use as a cash-game staple for your lineups.
Gordon Hayward vs. WAS ($7,300) – At the end of last month, in a win at home against the Wizards, Hayward played 40 minutes, snagged 9 boards and put up 30 points on 11-for-22 shooting. The Wizards’ guards in that matchup combined for 55 points, beating the Jazz defenders off the dribble in a way their top-ranked defense is not accustomed to, and they turned to Hayward for the scoring boost they needed to keep up, a scenario still very much on the table tonight.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9,300)
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot @ CLE ($4,500) – He drew the start on Wednesday and has played over 30 minutes in each of his last two in the absence of Robert Covington. He has grabbed 19 boards combined in his last two games, with a block in each, giving him a solid floor in the 20s if he can keep up that production.
Other Options – Khris Middleton ($6,100)
DeMarcus Cousins vs. SAC ($9,600) – Short of fouling out in the first half, what is going to stop him from doing everything in his power to single-handedly eviscerate the Kings tonight? In this matchup, I think Cousins has an opportunity to have the top fantasy performance of the night. Wednesday night was also probably the best night yet for Davis and Cousins both producing at the same time (59 points and 29 rebounds between them), so you can take some comfort in the possibility of a higher floor than we’ve gotten used to over the past few weeks.
LaMarcus Aldridge @ OKC ($7,000) – In a game where the focus is going to be all about Russ and Kawhi, Aldridge has a great matchup against a weak OKC front court, and he could step up with a big night in what should end up being a close, high-scoring game. He has been at 30+ fantasy points in eight straight and has 40+ upside tonight.
Other Options – Draymond Green ($7,800)
Trevor Ariza vs. GS ($5,900) – Ariza doesn’t need to score big to have a nice fantasy night. He’s recorded an absurd 15 steals in his last three games, and he is consistently contributing with rebounds, assists and defensive stats, giving him a nice floor and making him a cash game option for me tonight.
Other Options – Harrison Barnes ($5,700)
Rudy Gobert vs. WAS ($8,200) – Always one of my favorite plays, he should be able to rack up some defensive stats to pad his performance against a pair of penetrating guards who like to challenge the lane, and the Wizards don’t have the right bodies to keep him off the glass. If he can manage to score for the Jazz in this one, he has the potential for a very big night in what should end up being a close game.
Other Options – Nikola Jokic ($9,100)
Greg Monroe vs. DET ($5,300) – Monroe will very likely see 25+ minutes tonight, and for the season, he is averaging more than a point per minute the entire time he is out there (26.6 fantasy ppg/ 22.4 mpg). He will see time on the floor against Drummond and should find himself with double-digit attempts and a chance at 30 fantasy points in this one.
Brandan Wright vs. DAL ($3,400) – With Marc Gasol and JaMychal Green both out for tonight’s game, Wright is a huge injury fill-in in this matchup with the Mavs. On Wednesday he got the starting nod for Gasol, played 28 minutes and took 10 shots from the field, finishing with 13 points, four rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Other Options – Pau Gasol ($5,200)
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.