Happy Friday everyone! This is always the best day of the week. Not only do we get to start the weekend, but there is always a full slate of games on tap. It looks like a good night to take a stars and scrubs approach when building NBA lineups, as there are a number of viable value plays.
Damian Lillard vs. Charlotte Hornets
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 27.3 | Last Five Games: 26.7
Min/Game -- Season: 36.1 | Last Five Games: 32.7
FP/Game -- Season: 39.3 | Last Five Games: 31.8
Lillard was snubbed from the All-Star team and now gets to take his frustration out on the Hornets. Lillard’s price is down on FanDuel and he should succeed in a fast-paced game at home. Russell Westbrook is also a strong play if you are paying up at point guard, but I slightly prefer targeting Kevin Durant instead of Westbrook.
Archie Goodwin vs. New York Knicks
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 19.0 | Last Five Games: 20.4
Min/Game -- Season: 16.0 | Last Five Games: 31.9
FP/Game -- Season: 13.2 | Last Five Games: 27.3
Brandon Knight has already been ruled out of tonight’s game, which means Goodwin will draw another start at point guard. In five starts this season, Goodwin has averaged 18.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.6 blocks/steals per contest. He should see around 35 minutes tonight against the Knicks.
James Harden vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 27.2 | Last Five Games: 26.8
Min/Game -- Season: 37.3 | Last Five Games: 34.9
FP/Game -- Season: 45.2 | Last Five Games: 52.8
Harden has some nice trends converging tonight. He has been in great form recently, averaging 52.8 fantasy points over his last five games. He also has a nice track record against the Thunder, averaging 31.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.8 blocks/steals in their last four meetings. Harden should be the chalk play at shooting guard.
Devin Booker vs. New York Knicks
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 15.8 | Last Five Games: 19.1
Min/Game -- Season: 21.2 | Last Five Games: 37.8
FP/Game -- Season: 14.0 | Last Five Games: 27.0
Given his role in the offense with Brandon Knight out, Booker should be one of the highest owned shooting guards tonight. His matchup against the Knicks is mediocre at best, but Booker should see minutes in the high-30s. He has played well over his last five games, averaging 27 fantasy points per contest.
Kevin Durant vs. Houston Rockets
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 25.2 | Last Five Games: 29.1
Min/Game -- Season: 35.9 | Last Five Games: 37.9
FP/Game -- Season: 44.9 | Last Five Games: 49.1
As mentioned above, Russell Westbrook and Durant are both in play tonight against the Rockets. The Thunder have the highest team total on the board and it’s not even close. If I have to choose one, I’d give Durant a slight edge. There are a lot of viable point guard options tonight, but small forward is a tough position to fill.
P.J. Tucker vs. New York Knicks
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 10.0 | Last Five Games: 12.3
Min/Game -- Season: 28.6 | Last Five Games: 31.5
FP/Game -- Season: 18.2 | Last Five Games: 22.7
Tucker is the third Suns’ player listed in the picks and they are all cheap enough that you can use them together. Their matchup against the Knicks is mediocre at best, but the Suns are short-handed and Tucker is being asked to play big minutes. He has played at least 33 minutes in each of his last three games.
Tristan Thompson vs. Detroit Pistons
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 10.4 | Last Five Games: 12.2
Min/Game -- Season: 27.4 | Last Five Games: 27.2
FP/Game -- Season: 20.6 | Last Five Games: 20.5
Thompson should draw another start at center tonight for the Cavaliers. While foul trouble is a concern against Andre Drummond, it’s hard to ignore the value that he provides at power forward. Thompson should see 30+ minutes in a game that is expected to stay close throughout.
Aaron Gordon vs. Boston Celtics
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 14.1 | Last Five Games: 13.9
Min/Game -- Season: 20.2 | Last Five Games: 29.0
FP/Game -- Season: 17.3 | Last Five Games: 23.9
There is a little risk associated with Gordon, but given the lack of options at power forward, I like paying down at the position. Gordon has scored at least 21 fantasy points in each of his last three starts and he played 37 minutes the other night against Bucks. Tonight he squares off against a Celtics’ defense that has not been efficient against power forwards.
DeAndre Jordan vs. Los Angeles Lakers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 11.8 | Last Five Games: 13.6
Min/Game -- Season: 33.4 | Last Five Games: 34.0
FP/Game -- Season: 34.0 | Last Five Games: 33.0
The Clippers are the largest favorites on the board tonight, but that doesn’t mean that we have to avoid them in daily fantasy. Given their matchup against the Lakers, it’s possible that Jordan could reach and exceed value, even if he ends up sitting the entire fourth quarter. The Lakers are ranked 29th in rebounding differential.
Spencer Hawes vs. Portland Trail Blazers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 14.2 | Last Five Games: 13.8
Min/Game -- Season: 18.3 | Last Five Games: 30.0
FP/Game -- Season: 14.4 | Last Five Games: 24.2
Hawes may be the forgotten value play tonight. He was everyone’s favorite value less than a week ago and after one poor outing against the Jazz, no one seems to be talking about him. He should see minutes in the low to mid-30s tonight against a Blazers’ frontcourt that is ranked 21st against centers.
Note: This is not meant to be a full lineup. The picks are my favorite targets at each position.