Does anyone else wish that the NBA would adjust their schedule? Imagine how nice it would be if there were 7-9 games every night? I’m not knocking the 14-game slate tonight, but enough of these two-game slates on Thursdays.
I’ll keep my rant short, as it’s hard to be frustrated on a Friday that is full of NBA action. There are a ton of fantasy options on the board tonight, so making wise decisions is critical in cash games. Here are my favorite FanDuel plays at each position.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $350,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday's NBA games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $30,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (Salary: $11200, FPPG: 46.2, MPG: 33, Usage Rate: 36.2)
At this point, you are taking a huge risk if you are considering fading Westbrook in cash games. Westbrook is coming off of back-to-back triple-doubles. With Kevin Durant out of the lineup, he is the most productive fantasy option of any player in the entire NBA. Westbrook’s price has come up on FanDuel, but there is enough value that it’s fairly easy to fit him into your NBA lineups. There’s no reason to think he won’t have another huge outing against the Blazers tonight.
Mo Williams, Charlotte Hornets (Salary: $5500, FPPG: 24.6, MPG: 28, Usage Rate: 22.9)
Williams has fit in nicely with his new team. In his first three starts with the Hornets, he has averaged 33.4 fantasy points per contest. He has taken over the majority of minutes at point guard and should see close to 35 minutes of action tonight against the Celtics. While Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart are both capable defenders, the Celtics have still allowed the 14th-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat (Salary: $7200, FPPG: 32.8, MPG: 32, Usage Rate: 34.1)
Wade may not appear to be a great cash game play on paper, but his minutes and his production are both trending upward. Wade is coming off of a productive outing against the Magic, scoring 31 fantasy points in 37 minutes. His price is depressed on FanDuel, giving us an opportunity to buy low on the All-Star. Wade should have a high usage in the offense, as the Heat head to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans.
Rodney Stuckey, Indiana Pacers (Salary: $5000, FPPG: 21.2, MPG: 26, Usage Rate: 22.8)
Stuckey is an intriguing play in all league formats. He has embraced his role off the bench and it has really showed in his recent production. Over his last five games, he is averaging over 28 fantasy points per contest. He draws a favorable matchup against the Cavaliers, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season. Stuckey has nice upside in this matchup and is sitting at a very playable $5,000.
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz (Salary: $7900, FPPG: 32.6, MPG: 35, Usage Rate: 25.7)
The Jazz draw one of the best matchups on the schedule tonight, as they head to Denver to take on a Nuggets team that has allowed the fifth-most points per game this season. The Nuggets have all but given up defensively and do not possess an elite rim protector. Hayward should be able to attack the basket at will tonight. He is coming off of a poor performance against the Lakers, but he should bounce back nicely tonight.
Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets (Salary: $5700, FPPG: 25.2, MPG: 36, Usage Rate: 16.9)
Ariza has played well recently, averaging 27.9 fantasy points over his last 10 games. During that stretch, he has scored at least 22 fantasy points nine times. He draws a favorable matchup against the Nets, and he may be asked to play a bigger role in the offense if James Harden is limited or unable to play tonight. Ariza is a safe cash game play with a high floor and a relatively high ceiling as well.
Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets (Salary: $6300, FPPG: 23.5, MPG: 25, Usage Rate: 18.6)
Jones has been terrific since being inserted into the starting lineup. After scoring 38 fantasy points against the Wolves, he backed it up with a 34-fantasy point outing against the Clippers. His price has come up on FanDuel, but it’s still too cheap given his recent production. He should be targeted in all leagues tonight and like Ariza, he may have a bigger role in the offense tonight if James Harden is limited or unable to play.
J.J. Hickson, Denver Nuggets (Salary: $3700, FPPG: 17, MPG: 19, Usage Rate: 20.3)
The Nuggets frontcourt is extremely thin right now. Jusuf Nurkic and Darrell Arthur were both injured the other night and both are expected to miss tonight’s game against the Jazz. Hickson should log heavy minutes tonight and he is arguably the best value play on the board. He has played well as a starter this season and could easily push for 30+ minutes tonight. At $3,700, he’s an easy pick in cash games.
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz (Salary: $6400, FPPG: 22.5, MPG: 22, Usage Rate: 13.5)
GOBERT OR GO HOME! That’s what I always say. Gobert was my favorite play at center on Wednesday night and he did not disappoint. He finished the game with 16 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks. He should be able to replicate that performance in an equally attractive matchup against the Nuggets, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season. Try as they might, J.J. Hickson and Kenneth Faried will have a tough time keeping Gobert off the glass on both ends of the floor.