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Well, yesterday’s return to the NBA went really poorly, so let’s look to recover with a nine-game Friday slate. It was a Boban night last night that I missed out on (boo), so let’s get right down to business finding who the best options are. Check out our general strategy podcast, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Russell Westbrook, OKC ($11,800)
Westy is working on 11 straight triple-doubles, so there’s no reason at all why he can’t be used in all formats tonight. His price has gone down on FD, and the Thunder check in with the third highest implied total on the slate. Utah ranks 13th against opposing PGs, but Westbrook is a matchup nightmare for any opposing team. Dennis Schroder and Jerami Grant returning will ding him a touch, but this offense runs solely through their top two guys.
Other options – Kemba Walker, Trae Young
Mid-tier options – Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, Jamal Murray, Darren Collison
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
Luka Doncic, DAL ($10,000)
Doncic is the cream of the crop on DK (see below), but he’s also more than adequate to play on FD at 10k. Since the Mavericks traded for Kristaps Porzingis and gutted their roster, Doncic has a 34% usage rate and a 38% assist rate. Denver is one of the elite teams in the West, but they are rapidly declining defensively and have allowed the second most FPPG to opposing PGs over the last 15 games. They’re also far worse on the road, and the 19-year old Doncic is a superstar that isn’t priced like one yet.
Other options – Bradley Beal, Donovan Mitchell
Mid-tier options – DeMar DeRozan, Zack LaVine, Jeremy Lamb
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
The price on Doncic ($9100) is ridiculous on DK, and he’s one of the core plays over there. His rebound and assist rates have taken huge steps forward over the last six games which puts him in play for those double- and triple-double bonuses as well. Westbrook ($11,500) is also perpetually underpriced on DK with the near lock of a bonus, and he is a top target in all formats. Further plays on DK include Trae Young ($7800) who has seen his usage rate climb to 28% and his assist rate go to 38% with Jeremy Lin traded. Detroit ranks 25th in overall team defense and 27th against opposing PGs while allowing the second highest 3PT%. I also like Kemba Walker ($9300) more on DK where his price is down a bit. His usage rate is back up where it was at the beginning of the season, and Washington ranks eighth in pace and 24th in overall team defense. The Hornets are currently tied with Toronto for the highest implied total of the night (117.5 points).
Darren Collison ($6600/$5700) currently rates as the top value guard on the slate, especially on DK where he’s very underpriced. With Victor Oladipo gone, Collison has a 19% UR and 35% AR, and that number should go up even more with Tyreke Evans set to miss this one as well. Myles Turner is also questionable which could help even more, and the Pelicans rank sixth in pace and 23rd against opposing PGs. Kent Bazemore ($4700/$4200) is also a core play for me on both sites. It’s not safe to project him for more than 28 minutes, but that’s more than enough to hit value at his price tags. Detroit allows the fifth most steals, the second highest 3PT%, and by far the most FPPG to opposing SGs. Baze checks all the boxes this evening. In the same game, you can use DeAndre Bembry ($4100/$3300) as a punt, but he doesn’t have near the floor that Bazemore does.
Other options – Jeff Teague, Derrick Rose, Reggie Jackson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Delon Wright, Luke Kennard, Justin Holiday, Bryn Forbes
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Kawhi Leonard, TOR ($9500)
Kawhi doesn’t have the best matchup (SA is sixth against SFs), but the SA/TOR game is one of the marquee games of the night (which should mean a full complement of minutes for him), and the Raptors are tied for the highest implied total on the slate at 117.5. Kawhi doesn’t jump off the page, but the SF position is fairly thin on FD tonight so there’s no harm in paying up.
Other options – Paul George
Mid-tier options – Danilo Gallinari, Otto Porter
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Blake Griffin, DET ($9200)
Blake is going to be popular tonight, and with good reason. He’s posting career highs in both usage rate (30.4%) and assist rate (27.1%), and they’ll need to lean heavily on him as they battle for one of the last playoff spots in the East. The Hawks allow the fourth highest FG%, the most assists per game, and the second most FT attempts per game, all while running at the fastest pace in the league. Griffin is underpriced, and is arguably the safest per-dollar play on the slate. He’s a top cash target.
Other options – Lauri Markkanen
Mid-tier options – LaMarcus Aldridge, John Collins, Julius Randle
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
At $8900, Blake is a borderline core play for me, and it may be even worth fading Westbrook to build your lineups around a Griffin/Doncic tandem. Blake is chalk I think you want to eat this evening. Speaking of Doncic, remember that he’s also F eligible on DK. Jaren Jackson ($6400) is questionable himself, but if he plays he should be looking at a good amount of extra run with Jonas Valanciunas sidelined. The Clippers have plummeted in ranking against opposing frontcourts and also rank ninth in pace. Aaron Gordon ($6600) is another interesting mid-tier play as his price is in virtual purgatory on DK. His rates fluctuate a lot, but Chicago ranks 27th in overall team defense and 28th in rebounding rate. He’s great in GPPs, and fine as a last piece in cash. Paul George ($10,800) also continues to be a better value on DK than on FD, but he’s strictly GPP territory for me tonight.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($6100/$5500) is seeing his price finally start to creep up, but it doesn’t yet account for the 25% usage rate and 19 shots per game he’s seen since Victor Oladipo went down. Tyreke Evans’ absence will only help too, and Myles Turner is also questionable. The Pelicans rank sixth in pace and allow by far the most FPPG to opposing SFs. The rest of the value forwards are really going to depend on injury news. Karl-Anthony Towns is currently questionable, and if he sits you’re going to want both Taj Gibson ($3800/$3800) and Dario Saric ($5200/$4800) against the Knicks who rank dead last against opposing PFs. Saric is a good play anyway. Ivan Rabb ($3800/$5600) is overpriced on DK no matter what, but he can currently be used as a punt on FD at near minimum prices. If Jaren Jackson happens to sit, Rabb is a 100% lock on FD and he’d all of a sudden be playable on DK as well. Thaddeus Young ($6200/$6000) and Damontas Sabonis ($6100/$5500) also stand to gain big if Myles Turner sits, and they face a soft New Orleans defense.
Other options – Rudy Gay, Will Barton, Nicolas Batum, Jeff Green, Bobby Portis, Marvin Williams, Luke Kornet, Derrick Favors
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Karl-Anthony Towns, ($10,800)
Towns should go absolutely bonkers on the Knicks…if he plays. New York ranks 29th in overall team defense, 19th against centers, and 26th in rebounding rate, and Towns’ rates have been unreal since Minnesota traded their players away and shifted their focus to more running and less defense. The problem is we have a ready-made punt at center, so you really don’t need to spend the funds here.
Other options – Nikola Vucevic, Nikola Jokic, Andre Drummond, Rudy Gobert
Mid-tier options – Myles Turner, Steven Adams, Cody Zeller
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS
Towns ($10,400) is also the top play on DK, if you discount Griffin as a center. It’s Griffin’s teammate in Andre Drummond ($9000) that catches my eye a lot on DK as opposed to FD where he’s overpriced. $9000 leaves plenty of room for value with the double-double bonus, and Atlanta ranks 26th against centers and 18th in rebounding rate. You can’t ignore Nikola Vucevic either, as his price has dropped below $10,000 again on DK which it really shouldn’t have. He has been the whole offense for Orlando and they’re pushing hard for a playoff spot again. Chicago has fallen all the way to last in defensive efficiency against centers and also ranks 28th in rebounding rate. Nikola Jokic ($10,100) seems way underpriced for GPPs on DK, as he has the triple-double bonus working for him as well.
Joakim Noah ($4000/$3800) is going to be chalk tonight, which has scary undertones, but it’s something you’re going to have to take on. Noah should take on Valanciunas’ role tonight and gets to face the Clippers who have allowed the most FPPG to opposing centers this season. Noah should be able to get up to 25 minutes (especially if Jaren Jackson also sits), and he’s averaged 13.2 PPG and 11.7 RPG per 36 minutes since coming to Memphis. He can’t really hurt you at such a cheap price tag, so lock him in first and build from there. Cody Zeller ($6400/$5200) is another player I want to give a long look at, especially on DK where you can play more than one center. Bismack Biyombo is out for Charlotte and Zeller has played 34 and 29 minutes the last two games. Washington ranks 28th against centers and dead last in rebounding rate, and Zeller is cheap access to the Hornets’ super high implied total.
Other options – Dwight Powell, Ivica Zubac, Jahlil OkaforFantasy Basketball