Happy Friday! My winning streak on DraftKings is up to eight straight days now! Alas, this also coincides with a three-day losing streak on FD, so tonight would be nice to have a double win. I’m also hoping for a little #BirthdayNarrative for myself since my firstborn son turns six today, so let’s get right to the picks on this Friday slate. I’ll be in chat helping our subs set lineups, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Stephen Curry, GS ($9700)
Thankfully all the “questionable” Warriors have been upgraded to “probable”, and they’re in a great spot for us to use this evening. The blowout risk is cut being on the road, and Orlando ranks sixth in pace (Golden State is fifth), 28th in overall team defense, and 29th against PGs. Steph is a great value at under 10k, and you’re going to want multiple pieces to this game.
Other options – Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry
Mid-tier options – Kemba Walker, Elfrid Payton
Goran Dragic, MIA ($6200)
The Dragon has two straight busts while playing 23 minutes in each game, but blowouts and foul trouble are responsible for those. Dragic should be back to a full complement of minutes in a close game against the Hornets, and he sees his usage go up to just over 26% with Hassan Whiteside off the court (he’s out for the next 1-2 weeks). Dragic is a fine value at under the average roster cost.
Other options – Mario Chalmers, Darren Collison, Ricky Rubio, Rajon Rondo, Frank Mason
DeMar DeRozan, TOR ($7800)
We got DeRozan at the ultimate value the other day at $7100, but this price tag will do just fine as well. DeRozan is seemingly over his knee irritation, and he popped in 42.8 FD points the other day in a worse matchup than this. Indiana is ranked tenth in pace and the usually slow Raptors are 14th, so we should see above the amount of possessions in this one. DeRozan is one of the safest plays on the slate.
Other options – Victor Oladipo, Bradley Beal
Mid-tier options – Klay Thompson, Donovan Mitchell
Evan Fournier, ORL ($5400)
Fournier hasn’t been shooting well lately which has led to some really subpar scores. However, his price is totally reflective of this at $5400, and he can be used in all formats in the top game environment of the night. Golden State does rank fourth in overall team defense, but that’s balanced out by the massive amount of plays they allow per game. Fournier plays the three at times, and the Warriors rank 23d against SFs.
Other options – Justin Holiday, Nicolas Batum, Avery Bradley, Danny Green
Kevin Durant, GS ($10,100)
Kevin Durant returned last game and was his usual efficient self, posting 44.9 FD points in 42 minutes. That point total is right at his value threshold at his current price, and Orlando’s defense leaves a lot of room for upside (28th in overall defense, 26th against SFs). I do prefer Curry of the two top Warriors for value, but the SF position is usually tougher to fill for cash.
Other options – Paul George, Jimmy Butler
Mid-tier options – Otto Porter
Josh Richardson, MIA ($4500)
Richardson doesn’t have a great deal of upside, but he’s got a good price for cash with an expected usage bump with Whiteside out of the lineup. Richardson routinely gets 30+ minutes no matter the personnel, and he usually plays even if blowouts happen (see the Knicks game the other day). Richardson is especially valuable on FD where the defensive stats are heightened in scoring.
Other options – Kyle Anderson, Joe Ingles, Thabo Sefolosha, Jonathan Simmons, Bojan Bogdanovic
Draymond Green, GS ($8100)
Draymond has been tricky to predict this year with a combination of varied usage and minor injuries here and there. However, he’s the only top PF with a good matchup (Orlando is 24th against PFs) and he contributes so much in the passing and defensive categories that his floor is stabilized even if he’s not the one doing the scoring. Anthony Davis’ price is down on FD which is enticing, but I’d still rather save a bit more here to access a much better game environment.
Other options – Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge
Mid-tier options – Aaron Gordon, Tobias Harris
James Johnson, MIA ($5600)
“Neck Tat”, as we call him in FTA+ chat, never got the chance to flourish last game as the Knicks owned that game from the start (woohoo). However, we’ve already seen this year that he is one of the biggest beneficiaries on the Heat with Whiteside absent. Johnson posts a 20% UR, 12% RR, and 26% AR with Whiteside off the court, and Washington ranks 20th in rebounding rate.
Other options – Damontas Sabonis, Thaddeus Young, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, Kelly Olynyk
Andre Drummond, DET ($8800)
Boogie has been my man crush for so long that I feel like I’m cheating on him with Drummond this year, but as long as both sites continue to underprice the big Detroit center I’m just going to keep winning money off of him. As I said, Washington ranks 20th in rebounding rate, and Drummond’s individual rebounding rate of 26% is ridiculous (plus he has a healthy 22% usage rate as well). Drummond’s value has always taken a hit with his free throw woes, but his 63% FT% is keeping him on the court longer this year. Unless some wild value opens up later, Drummond is a cash lock for me.
Other options – DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Marc Gasol
Mid-tier options – Nikola Vucevic, Dwight Howard, Myles Turner
Robin Lopez, CHI ($5300)
Opportunity cost is currently sky high at the center position, so you’ll want to pay up in cash. However, Robin Lopez is an interesting GPP value tonight with his career high 19% usage rate on the hapless Bulls. Lopez put up 27.7 FD points last night against the Nuggets and gets a really good matchup against Sacramento tonight. The Kings rank 27th in defensive efficiency against centers and are by far the worst rebounding team. The only thing that could hurt Lopez is getting his minutes cut if the Kings so small (which they have the ability to do), but take some shots in tournaments here.
Other options – Steven Adams, Willie Cauley-Stein, Pau Gasol, Bam Adebayo, Marcin GortatFantasy Basketball