We have a huge 12 game slate for Friday night and a lot of ways to go. We have some big totals, some big spreads and a lot of quality options to consider. Here are some that stand out at each position.
Reggie Jackson ($7200) – The Pace should be hot with a high total in this game between OKC and the Pistons. It’s a revenge game for Jackson, but more importantly it is a good matchup against a team that allows point guards to outperform. Jackson has been seeing a few less minites as he has been banged up a bit and even left Monday a little early. If they are going to keep it close here, he will need to be on the floor and helping his team. I expect him to play a few more minutes than he has recently and that should help him reach value in this paced up game.
Chris Paul ($8400) – Paul was banged up about a week or so ago, but after three straight 40+ fantasy point performances, he is back. This is great timing too, because New Orleans is allowing a ton of fantasy points to opposing point guards this season. Paul has also seen his price drop to $8400. If you get a discount on a superstar who has upside in a good matchup there is little reason not to take it.
Zach LaVine ($4800) – Zach LaVine can fill up a stat sheet and has put up some huge numbers when he is given the opportunity to. He may get one of those chances here on Friday as Ricky Rubio is questionable. When Rubio is out, we have seen Lavine easily put up 30 fantasy points. He would need 29 at his price to make value, so it’s a great spot to target him on Friday.
Isaiah Canaan ($3800) – Canaan has been moved into the starting lineup and has been playing the shooting guard role lately. He has seen 30+ minutes in the last three games and is returning 25-30 fantasy points. That may not seem like a huge number, but it is for a guy who is under $4000. Canaan’s price has not caught up to his performance and minutes in this new role.
James Harden ($10100) – James Harden is always a GPP play, because he has the most upside of any player at the position by a good margin. He also faces the Philadelphia 76ers here who have allowed the most fantasy points to every position early on this season and are arguably one of the worst teams in the league. The two drawbacks from Harden are price and potential blowout. While I understand both of those concerns, there is enough value today to fit in Harden and those 50+ fantasy points he scores on the regular are very valuable.
Bradley Beal ($6600) – Beal missed a few games, but seems to have hit his stride on the return. He faces a Celtics team that is one of the fastest paced teams in the league. Beal went for just shy of 40 fantasy points against them a few weeks ago, and his Washington team is also playing at a high pace this season. This could be one of the highest scoring games on the slate and one thing Beal does well is score. His shot has looked good this year to, so he is a major weapon who tends to outperform in up and down games when he has a lot of open looks.
J.R. Smith ($5300) – Smith’s price is slowly rising, but it’s not expensive yet. He has averaged about 30 fantasy points over his last six games which has been 5-7 times value on a slightly cheaper price. He is seeing 35 minutes per game, which is why he is a safe cheap option to continue to look at. J.R. has a solid floor and the explosive upside to have a big game. His minutes create a nice floor for h as well, so at worst he will not kill you as long as the Cavs are short handed.
Kawhi Leonard ($8400) – Leonard is the one Spur with the safest minutes. He is a solid option for cash as he plays good minutes and fills up the stat sheet. In fact he is approaching 40 minutes a game in his last few and putting up around 40 fantasy points to go with it. Denver is a fast paced team that has given up a ton of fantasy points this season. Kawhi is the perfect guy to take advantage of that hot pace.
Rudy Gay ($7200) – We do not know if Demarcus Cousins is definitely out or not yet, but his back is acting up and he is listed as questionable. We do know that Gay has put up some numbers over the last few years when Cousins has been out though. Gay plays Minnesota who is a high paced team. He plays a little more of stretch four role when Cousins is out, so it helps his rebounding as well. The increased usage and shot attempts are a big deal as well when Cosuins is off the floor and Gay is still reasonably priced for a guy with an expanded role.
Robert Covington ($5100) – It must be black Friday if we are getting this good of a deal on Robert Covington today. Covington was slowly working back into shape from injury, but has now firmly regained his hold on the small forward spot here. He has played at least 32 minutes and scored at least 32 fantasy points in each of his last three games and while the price has come up, it’s still not high enough for his recent production. At %5100m, you need about 30 fantasy points. He has done that with upside in each of his last 3. The upside would give him 6 or 7 times value and make him one of the top plays again for the price tag.
Kevin Love ($8300) – I do not know if it’s the bad taste he left in people’s mouths last year or not, but Kevin Love is flying under the radar and quietly having a great fantasy season so far. He has gone over 5 points per thousand in 5 of his last 7 games which makes him a guy you need to look at for cash games. Both LeBron and his coach have already said that they are going to be getting Love more involved and the numbers so far bear it out. He is shooting the ball well, rebounding, and taking on more of a scoring role. All those things are good for fantasy. I do not love his upside here, but he is a solid point scorer who has been safe to use because of his consistency.
Kristaps Porzingis ($7300) – The legend continues on the 19 year old European draft pick. His minutes are up and he is playing the 5 now alongside Carmelo Anthony. These two guys are causing mismatch problems for opposing defenders and Kristaps is starting to get some blocks too which is providing a nice boost to his fantasy scores. His price has risen again, but he threw up 43 + points in two of the last 3 which is about what he needs to reach value here. Miami does play slower and lower scoring games, but Porzingis is contributing across the board and has seen his usage go up with his minutes.
Cody Zeller ($3700) – It’s not a sexy upside play, but if you need a cheap option to fit in some studs, then Zeller could be your guy. He is back to playing 20+ minutes and scoring 20+ fantasy points, so we like the price point to go with the increased role. Its not the best upside play, but it’s a safe 18-22 points at a very low price if you need it.
Tristan Thompson ($6000) – Thompson has seen increased minutes since Mozgov went down and has put up nice numbers. He is playing over 30 minutes and putting up 30 fantasy points. The problem is he is barely reaching five times value now and his price has risen from where we originally loved him. He has some safety for cash games, but his upside is lacking as a tourney play.
Dwight Howard ($7200) – I love the fact that no one is talking about Dwight Howard right now. I love it even more that his matchup today is against the Sixers. The last two games were against Memphis who play slow and have one of the better defensive centers in the game with arc Gasol. Now Howard gets to go to a faster paced matchup against one of the worst defensive centers in the game in Jahlil Okafor. We have also said that Okafor is a tad undersized for a center. That means Howard is in a great spot to dominate this matchup. People are off of him, because he did not put up huge numbers against Gasol. The thing I like is that he played big minutes, so you know that will translate into success in a better spot. Spots do not get much better than this and his likely low ownership will be a bonus.
Nikola Vucevic ($6600) – Vucevic was out and then he came back and was limited. His price dropped to reflect that fact. Last game though he saw his normal starters role and minutes and was able to produce. At the cheap price tag he has today, he is another guy it is hard to ignore. I expect him to have about 30+ minutes of floor time and he can get me a number between 35-40 easily if he does. That means value for Vucevic with tourney upside as this price is criminally low.
Nikola Jokic ($4600) – Jokic has been good lately and is being given a chance to shine. With the injuries to the Denver Front court, he is playing 25minutes or more per game now. He has a lot of potential to put up consistent double doubles and can get 35-30 points for you nightly. That would be more than enough to pay off the salary, so he is another cheap option that you can consider to afford some of the studs you feel you must have.