WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – MYLES TURNER
In a 10-game slate Friday night that includes Cleveland, Golden State, Westbrook and maybe-Anthony Davis, you could go a lot of different ways with your lineup. Here are a few options at each position and from every price range to help you sort through it all.
Russell Westbrook vs. BKN ($12,300) – You should consider Westbrook – it’s not rocket science. He’s the premier option among any position tonight in my opinion, and his 61.7 FPPG average tells you all you need to know about his season so far. His usage rate is one of the highest in the NBA, and although he is the most expensive player on the slate, his nightly triple-double threat is always worth consideration.
Kemba Walker vs. ATL ($8,200) – In his last three games, he has gone for 30 once and 40 once, and is hitting threes with as much volume and efficiency as anyone. Averaging basically four assists and five rebounds, you need the scoring for a big game, but the ten steals he has in his last four games definitely elevates his upside.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($9,400), Isaiah Thomas ($7,900)
D’Angelo Russell vs. SA ($6,300) – He’s averaging just over 30 fantasy points per game, and is a player who comes by his average with some great highs and a pretty low floor, making him more of a GPP play than a cash-game option in my opinion. But against San Antonio, he should be able to get more than his fair share of looks as they avoid their interior defense, so tonight could be one of the nights where he helps a lot more than he hurts.
Other Options – Jrue Holiday ($6,000), Ish Smith ($5,500)
DeMar DeRozan @ DEN ($8,600) – He just keeps pouring it on, with 30+ points in four of his last five. In this matchup, which should be fast-paced and in which he isn’t going to face any stellar individual defenders, there is no reason to expect tonight to be the night he slows down.
Other Options – C.J. McCollum ($7,400), Avery Bradley ($7,000)
Marcus Smart vs. GS ($5,500) – The Celtics played the Warriors close a couple of times last season, but the sheer pace of the Warriors should create more volume for all of the Celtics. Smart is getting almost 35 minutes a night lately, and any increase in volume should allow him to stuff the stat sheet in enough different ways to make himself a very useful fantasy contributor.
Monta Ellis vs. PHO ($5,300) – Much more of a cash-game option than a GPP consideration, he continues to play a ton of minutes on an efficient team, contributing in a lot of different ways. All of the Pacers should have a little bit of value baked into their price playing against the Suns, a matchup that will inevitably lead to more volume.
Other Options – Bojan Bogdanovic ($4,300)
LeBron James vs. DET ($10,000) – He’s a single rebound away from averaging a triple-double. He’s as consistent as it gets, and on a night against a Detroit team where he might be the scorer with the best matchups, you could see a big point total from him, which is when he realizes his highest upside.
Paul George vs. PHO ($8,100) – Another Pacer who I see as having built-in value in this matchup with the Pacers, George also has the added benefit of a few great games recently. He has been over 45 fantasy points in three of his last four, and I think he’ll get you at least to that point again tonight.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($9,500), Kawhi Leonard ($8,800)
Kent Bazemore @ CHA ($5,200) – He is getting close to 30 minutes a game, and double-digit shot attempts on most nights. His scoring has been up and down, but he has been doing enough to fill other parts of the stat sheet to keep his floor elevated and mean a good shooting night for him – definitely possible in this matchup – is nothing but upside.
Other Options – T.J. Warren ($6,100)
Anthony Davis vs. POR ($10,800) – He is expected back tonight, and if he is, you have to consider him. I think he has as much upside as Westbrook at a savings of $1,400. He has 50+ fantasy points in three of his last four, and after a full participation in practice Thursday, it seems like the thigh contusion was minor and he should be at or close to full strength.
Blake Griffin @ SAC ($8,300) – He has 39.5 fantasy points or more in seven straight games, all the value you need at this price to make him a great cash-game play. But in that stretch, he also has two games with over 45 fantasy points, giving him just enough upside to play in a GPP as well. He is getting 15+ shots a night, and averaging over nine boards a game, making him a threat for a double-double every time he’s on the floor.
Other Options – Kevin Love ($8,000)
Trevor Booker @ OKC ($5,300) – He is averaging just over 9 points and 8 boards a game, so he is a much lower-end threat for a double-double every night than Griffin, but against an OKC team that should push the pace compared to how Brooklyn usually plays, his efficiency (51.6% from the floor) could mean he’s in line for a slight bump in both of those averages.
Other Options – Terrence Jones ($6,200), Thaddeus Young ($5,000)
DeMarcus Cousins vs. LAC ($9,300) – He is a guy who has been getting you right around 50 fantasy points a night for the past two weeks, and he usually seems to step up against players he sees as some kind of competition. It’s hard to cite motivation in any kind of quantifiable way, but he turns in his 25-9 against everyone, and it could always just be more.
Draymond Green @ BOS ($8,000) – He was all over the court in the two games against Boston last year, and he presents a lot of matchup problems for a Celtics’ squad that could very well be without Horford again tonight. If Horford is active, I might rethink this pick in a GPP, but he should still do enough to make him a solid choice in a cash game.
Other Options – Dwight Howard ($7,200)
Jonas Valanciunas @ DEN ($5,600) – Another beneficiary of what looks like a good matchup in Denver, he will probably only be out there for something like 25 minutes in this matchup, but he should be able to play efficiently as long as the Raptors can keep him on the floor, making him, to me, almost a lock for double digits in rebounds and scoring tonight.
Other Options – Brook Lopez ($6,500)
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.