Friday is always my favorite day of the week. Not only is it the start of the weekend, but there is always a huge slate of games on tap. We have 13 games on the NBA schedule tonight and plenty of action in the wonderful world of daily fantasy basketball.
Today’s column features my favorite FanDuel targets for cash games. These picks are not cash game exclusive, but are of the safer variety. Each player has a great matchup, an inexpensive price tag, or both.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (Salary: $10500, FPPG: 42.5, MPG: 33, Usage Rate: 27.8)
Curry and the Warriors head to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder in what is expected to be one of the highest scoring games of the night. The total is set at 215 points, which is the third highest total on the NBA odds board. Curry draws a favorable matchup against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, who have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to point guards this season. I have Curry ranked slightly ahead of Westbrook tonight, given the fact that he is the number one option offensively.
Trey Burke, Utah Jazz (Salary: $6000, FPPG: 23.7, MPG: 33, Usage Rate: 21.7)
Burke is one of my favorite plays at any position tonight. Since Alec Burks went down with injury, he has seen an uptick in both minutes and usage. Over his last seven games, he is averaging 31 fantasy points in 35 minutes of action per game. Throw in the fact that he is facing the Lakers, and we have ourselves a perfect recipe for fantasy production. The Lakers have allowed more fantasy points to point guards than any other team in the NBA this season.
Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans (Salary: $7700, FPPG: 32.1, MPG: 34, Usage Rate: 26.2)
Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday are both questionable for tonight’s game against the Sixers. Evans would see a major fantasy boost if one, or both, are forced to sit out. Evans has scored at least 30 fantasy points in three straight games, topping the 40-point mark twice. He has an extremely high usage rate (26.2) while on the floor and would make for a terrific fantasy option tonight if Holiday and/or Davis are ruled out.
Eric Gordon, New Orleans Pelicans (Salary: $4800, FPPG: 18.3, MPG: 32, Usage Rate: 17)
Gordon is in the same boat as Tyreke Evans. He would also see a major fantasy boost if Jrue Holiday and/or Anthony Davis are forced to miss tonight’s game. Gordon has scored at least 23 fantasy points in three of his last four games and should be able to keep up the streak tonight. The Sixers are ranked dead last in fantasy points allowed to shooting guards this season.
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (Salary: $7800, FPPG: 31.2, MPG: 32, Usage Rate: 17.1)
Green is one of the most underrated players in the NBA, both in terms of real and fantasy basketball. He is a rare power forward that can fill up all areas of the stat sheet. On the season, he is averaging 12 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. His minutes have been down recently, but that has more to do with the blowouts than anyone cutting into his minutes. He should see around 35 minutes tonight against the Thunder.
K.J. McDaniels, Philadelphia 76ers (Salary: $4700, FPPG: 18.7, MPG: 26, Usage Rate: 18)
McDaniels has played well since being inserted back into the starting lineup. He has scored at least 23 fantasy points in four of his last six games and needs to put up a similar performance to reach value tonight. McDaniels sees a small fantasy boost with Tony Wroten out, and he should be a lock for 30+ minutes in a fast-paced game against the Pelicans, who are ranked 19th in fantasy points allowed to small forwards this season.
Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns (Salary: $6900, FPPG: 27.5, MPG: 31, Usage Rate: 22.8)
Morris is coming off his best game in over a month, as he finished with 35 points and 7 rebounds against the Cavaliers. Hopefully that performance will kick-start him to a strong finish in the first half of the season. Tonight he draws a very favorable matchup against the Timberwolves. Not only have they allowed fourth most fantasy points to opposing power forwards, but they are also ranked 24th in rebounding differential.
Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls (Salary: $5300, FPPG: 23.5, MPG: 28, Usage Rate: 18.7)
Joakim Noah has already been ruled out of tonight’s game against the Celtics, which means Gibson will likely slide into the starting lineup. Gibson has started nine games this season, averaging 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks per game. He draws a favorable matchup tonight against the Celtics, who have allowed the third most fantasy points to power forwards this season. At his price point, he is one of the top plays at any position tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings (Salary: $11500, FPPG: 46, MPG: 33, Usage Rate: 34.1)
Cousins has had three straight 60+ fantasy point outings. With Rudy Gay doubtful for tonight’s game against the Heat, he may be able to make it four in a row. His minutes are trending in the right direction and so is his production. The combination of Hassan Whiteside and Chris Andersen will not be able match up to “Boogie” Cousins tonight.
Chris Kaman, Portland Trail Blazers (Salary: $4900, FPPG: 20, MPG: 20, Usage Rate: 25.5)
This may be the last night that we can target Kaman at this price point. Not only is he in the starting lineup, but he’s finally seeing a starter’s complement of minutes. He has played at least 27 minutes in three of his last five games, and he has scored at least 24 fantasy point in four of those five outings. While the matchup against the Spurs isn’t ideal, he only needs to score around 25 fantasy points to reach value. If you don’t want to pay up for Cousins, Kaman is a great value option at center.