Welcome to the first edition of Def Pen’s NBA daily fantasy breakdown.
First off an important thing to note about NBA daily fantasy and sports, in general, is that these are real people, not just stats, and numbers on paper. Injuries happen, foul trouble happens, the “best plays” of the night don’t always play out in your favor. There is a lot of luck involved in daily fantasy sports, I’m just here (so I won’t get fined) to give you the best advice I can for you to fall on the right side of the coin the majority of the time.
Alright, let’s get down to Friday’s NBA slate, my personal preference is using FanDuel, so I will be using their salary system and lineup format while creating the most optimal lineup that I see fit. Caleb and I are going to breakdown what we believe are the top 3 plays of the night based on their price, matchup, and countless other factors.
- Goran Dragic $8,100: The most important thing about him today is that he is playing against the Brooklyn Nets. Goran has also put up more than 40 FanDuel points in 5 out of his last eight games. If Dion Waiters (questionable) is held out of his second straight contest, make sure you have Goran Dragic in your lineup.
- Darren Collison $5,200: With Ty Lawson doubtful for this matchup Collison becomes a very enticing DFS play looking at 35+ minutes. The Hawks are also ranked 6th in FanDuel points allowed vs. PGs on the season and with Rudy Gay out for the season all of the usage of this team heads to Demarcus Cousins and Darren Collison.
- John Wall $10,500: John Wall is the highest priced point guard of the night, but he is going against the Indiana Pacers who are allowing 105.7 points per game to their opponents. He is averaging 42.25 minutes per game in his last four games because he doesn’t have much behind him on the bench. The Pacers give up about 22 points, six steals, nine assists, and two steals to points guards they play against, and Wall is more than capable of doing that on his own.
Other Notable PG Plays: Tyler Johnson $5,600, Malcolm Brogdon $5,100, Jeff Teague $7,700
- Giannis Antetokounmpo $11,200: There’s not much to hate about the Greek Freak other than his freakishly large price tag. However, going against a horrendous Lakers defense that allows 110.5 PPG Giannis becomes the best play of the night. While the news coming about Jabari Parker’s torn ACL is horrendous, it does open a much larger usage for Giannis as he is left as the only playmaker on the court for the majority of the time the Bucks are on offense, also look for Malcolm Brogdon to get more involved.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. $5,600: Thabo Sefolosha is still out of the lineup, which gives THJ — who is averaging 30 minutes per game over his last five — another night to get starter minutes. In those five games, THJ is putting up an average of 13 shots per game (5.8 threes), so he should be in line to continue to shoot the ball.
- Will Barton $5,800: The New York Knicks are bad on defense. They are 25th in opponent points per game, giving up 109 points per game, and they are one of the worst teams when it comes to guarding the shooting guard position. With Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari out, Barton should see his share of touches against the Knicks.
Other Notable SG Plays: Bradley Beal $7,500, Ben McLemore $3,600, Tony Allen $4,500
- Wilson Chandler $6,700: If going against his former team isn’t reason enough to start him, Wilson Chandler’s production has been through the roof with Danilo Gallinari out of the lineup, putting up 35 and 37 fantasy points in back to back games. With Kenneth Faried ruled out for this game as well, Wilson Chandler is a must start.
- Matt Barnes $5,100: Since Garrett Temple partially tore his hamstring, Matt Barnes has played 30+ mins in the last four games while averaging 31.3 FanDuel points per game. While in the last ten games the Hawks have played they are allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing small forwards. Even Derek Fisher would start Matt Barnes in a fantasy lineup at this price tonight.
- Andrew Wiggins $7,600: With the loss of about 19 points per game in Zach LaVine, someone has to shoulder more of the offensive load. The former number one overall pick is already third in total minutes played for the season, and he should look to start developing his playmaking a bit more. He dished out six assists in the Timberwolves last game, so hopefully, we can start to see him stuff the stat sheet a bit more going forward.
Other Notable SF Plays: Brandon Ingram $4,100, Paul George $8,700, Carmelo Anthony $8,100
- Anthony Davis $10,900: Going against another rising star in Karl-Anthony Towns Anthony Davis is going to want to show up for this game. You can never really go wrong with starting AD, but if you need reassuring, he has put up 50+ FanDuel points in 4 out of his last 6 and has a very favorable matchup tonight vs. the Timberwolves.
- JaMychal Green $4,600: Starting JaMychal Green is contingent on whether or not Zach Randolph plays. If he doesn’t, Green should be in line for around 30 minutes, just like he did on Wednesday night. He’s not going to score a bunch of points, but he grabs a solid amount of rebounds and can even rack up some assists.
- Nikola Jokic $9,900: Tonight is the night for the Denver Nuggets. PF is the weakest position of the night, so might as well continue with the Denver trend against a Knicks team that is in utter turmoil. Might as well try and find a way to get Charles Oakley in your lineup while you’re at it.
Other Notable PF Plays: Good luck with this one. Trevor Booker $5,300 is about it for us.
- Karl-Anthony Towns $10,700: KAT is probably my favorite play of the night, he is averaging 50.3 FanDuel points per game over his last ten. While people love to believe that Anthony Davis is a great defender due to his high volume of shot blocking, the Pelicans are allowing the 5th most fantasy points to centers on the season. With Zach LaVine out for the season, the offense is going to keep running through Wiggins and Towns. Tonight, Karl-Anthony will go to town(s).
- Marcin Gortat $7,000: One of, if not the best screener in the NBA has been incredibly consistent fantasy-wise, scoring over 30 for seven straight games. He’s been a monster on the boards, averaging a little over 12 rebounds per game. The Pacers are tied for third in most rebounds given up to centers in the entire league, so Gortat should have his way, despite going up against Myles Turner.
- John Henson $3,900: Over the last three games John Henson has played 25+ minutes and has a great matchup vs. the Lakers. While Henson doesn’t provide a lot of offense, he does grab a fair amount of rebounds and can be counted on for a few blocks per game, with Hawes and Hibbert ruled out for Friday and his price tag still sub $4,000 Henson is a good value play.
Other Notable C Plays: DeMarcus Cousins $11,200, Hassan Whiteside $9,100, there’s a lot of good center plays tonight not much where you could go wrong.
As always with NBA daily fantasy check the injury reports as the day goes on, especially as it gets closer to game time at 7:30. Some notable injuries tonight are Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, Dion Waiters, Markieff Morris, Thaddeus Young, and Zach Randolph. Winning some money tonight in FanDuel should be easy after reading this article by a couple of fantasy “experts.”
Contributed to the courtesy of @CalebCottrell
All statistics courtesy of NBA.com/stats and Rotowire.