There are few things I enjoy more than watching the NBA on a Friday night. It’s the beginning of the weekend, there is typically plenty of games to choose from, and the match-ups are usually great with two prime-time games. We’re in for a busy night on Friday and with a nine games set to tip-off, there is little room for error when putting together your lineup.
Because of some injuries to key players such as Kemba Walker and Damian Lillard, Friday night represents the perfect opportunity to find value and win some money. I am going to give you my top plays of the night from each position and breakdown why I expect them to have a big game.
Kyle Lowry ($7,400 on FD and $7,700 on DK) – The All-Star point guard has been extremely consistent for the Raptors this season, putting up an average of 38.8 fantasy points per game. Lowry and the Raptors get the Phoenix Suns on Friday night and they have not been good against opposing point guards all season long, ranking in the bottom five. In what appears to be a high scoring, fast-paced game, look for Lowry to fill up the stat sheet.
Anfernee Simons ($4,800 on FD and $3,500 on DK) – Hear me out, with Damian Lillard set to miss the next 3-4 games, Simons will likely see an expanded role and is also a candidate to slide into the starting lineup. Simons has had stretches of fantastic play this year but has yet to put it together on a consistent level. However, just before the All-Star break he put up 22 points and seven rebounds against the Grizzlies. It also helps having the Pelicans as your match-up as they are the ninth-worst team in the league defending the point guard position. With his low price tag, Simons allows you to spend up in other places while also presenting enough upside to pay off.
Honorable Mention – Markelle Fultz ($5,900 on FD and $6,200 on DK), Collin Sexton ($6,000 on FD and $6,300 on DK)
CJ McCollum ($6,900 on FD and $6,600 on DK) – With Damian Lillard set to miss 3-4 games with a groin injury, the Trail Blazers are without a doubt going to lean heavily on McCollum. The Pelicans are bottom-two in the league when it comes to defending his position, so the stage is set for him to off. Put him in your lineup and do not think twice.
Marcus Smart ($5,400 on FD and $5,900 on DK) – With Kemba Walker already ruled out due to a knee injury, I like Smart at this price. He has been finding his shot as of late, shooting 46 percent from the field in February as opposed to the dismal 36.2 percent he was shooting in December/January. Look for him to stay hot after dropping 31 points vs. the Clippers right before the All-Star break.
Victor Oladipo *FANDUEL ONLY* ($4,600 on FD and $6,400 on DK) – Victor Oladipo is priced too low on FanDuel for you not to take advantage of. Combine his low price to the fact that he is no longer on a minutes restriction and you have a great chance for him to out score his price by a long-shot. It was also announced Thursday that TJ Warren is now questionable for Friday night’s game and if he were to miss, Oladipo would be even more desirable.
Jaylen Brown ($5,700 on FD and $5,900 on DK) – Jaylen Brown has been in and out of the lineup for the past month and has been difficult to trust. However, it looks like he is ready to return to the court Friday vs. the Timberwolves. They currently rank dead last in the NBA at defending the small forward position and that, combined with the fact that Kemba Walker has already been ruled out, makes Brown an attractive play at his price tag. The fourth-year pro is averaging 20.2 points, and 6.4 rebounds on nearly 50 percent shooting from the field this season.
Joe Ingles ($4,800 on FD and $4,700 on DK) – Mike Conley has already been ruled out due to rest, meaning the Jazz will look to Joe Ingles to be their main ball-handler with the second unit. Ingles has thrived in the games that Conley has missed this season and he will get another opportunity on Friday. At his current price tag, Ingles allows you to spend up at other positions while still investing in a guy that can fill up the stat sheets.
Honorable Mention – Trevor Ariza ($4,700 on FD and $4,500 on DK), Gordon Hayward ($7,000 on both FD and DK)
Anthony Davis ($10,600 on FD and $9,900 on DK) – For FanDuel purposes, Davis is the highest player on the board on Friday, but I believe he is worth paying up. The Lakers host the visiting Grizzlies, who will be on the second night of a back-to-back set and to be completely honest, there isn’t anyone on this planet good enough to contain Anthony Davis. Memphis is ranked in the bottom half of the league when it comes to defending the power forward position, so look for Davis to dominate the tired Grizzlies on the board and in the paint. Davis is a no-brainer on Friday night.
Zion Williamson ($7,500 on FD and $8,000 on DK) – Williamson has picked up the pace in recent weeks, as his last two games before the All-Star break he put up 31 & 32 points respectively. The Pelicans travel to Portland to take on the Blazers Friday, who rank dead last at defending power forwards. They don’t have anyone that can contain Williamson and he seems to be getting better by the game. Look for the top pick in this years draft to come up big on Friday.
Honorable Mention – Jayson Tatum ($8,700 on FD and $7,800 on DK)
Steven Adams ($6,000 on FD and $5,500 on DK) – Steven Adams has played really well as of late, nearly averaging a double-double in the month of February. More importantly, he appears to be nearing full health, as evidenced by his increase in minutes during the last two weeks. On Friday, the Thunder take on the Denver Nuggets who pose as a tough test for opposing offenses. However, with Adams’ minutes and health trending upward and his price trending downward, there is some value to be had here.
Myles Turner ($5,700 on FD and $5,000 on DK) – Myles Turner is a better play on DraftKings but is still priced low enough to offer some value on FanDuel. The Pacers take on the Knicks on Friday and could be without TJ Warren. The Knicks are middle of the pack against centers this year but with potentially less mouths to feed, Turner could be needed more than usual.
Honorable Mention – Tristan Thompson ($5,000 on FD and $5,200 on DK)