Tonight’s slate is a little smaller than we usually see on a Friday, but we still have eight NBA games to work with. We should expect another high scoring night on FanDuel, as every single game has an over/under of at least 204 points. It’s also worth noting that 14 of the 16 teams in action are projected to score more points than their scoring average for the season.
Chris Paul vs. Sacramento Kings
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 24.5 | Last Five Games: 24.3
Min/Game -- Season: 33.0 | Last Five Games: 36.3
FP/Game -- Season: 40.3 | Last Five Games: 50.1
It’s going to take a strong will to avoid Paul in cash games tonight. He has been a fantasy superstar ever since Blake Griffin went down with his injury and now he gets a cupcake matchup against the Kings, who own the worst defense in the entire NBA. The best part about this game is that the spread is set at 2.5 points, so we can project Paul to see a full complement of minutes.
Mike Conley vs. Los Angeles Lakers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 21.2 | Last Five Games: 23.1
Min/Game -- Season: 31.6 | Last Five Games: 33.0
FP/Game -- Season: 29.5 | Last Five Games: 34.0
Conley should be one of the most popular plays at any position tonight. He had 43 fantasy points in only 29 minutes against the Lakers on Wednesday night and now he gets to face them again tonight. This time the spread on the NBA odds board is much closer, as it is being played in Los Angeles. As long as the game stays competitive, Conley could push for 35 minutes in this one.
Value Option: D’Angelo Russell: $5,200
Nicolas Batum vs. Indiana Pacers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 17.5 | Last Five Games: 14.1
Min/Game -- Season: 35.3 | Last Five Games: 37.6
FP/Game -- Season: 30.5 | Last Five Games: 31.3
Shooting guard is a very tough position to fill tonight. There really aren’t any plays that I feel 100% comfortable with. Batum is on my radar thanks to a cheap price tag and the fact that he is averaging close to 38 minutes in his last ten games. He could see upwards of 40 minutes tonight, as he will be tasked with defending Paul George.
Evan Fournier vs. New York Knicks
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 16.8 | Last Five Games: 17.2
Min/Game -- Season: 32.1 | Last Five Games: 39.9
FP/Game -- Season: 23.1 | Last Five Games: 31.5
Fournier is strictly a volume play for me tonight. Over his last five games, he is averaging 39.9 minutes and 31.5 fantasy points per contest. The Magic are playing in the tail end of a back-to-back, but we can still project him for 35+ minutes in a decent matchup against the Knicks.
Value Option: Wesley Matthews: $4,200
LeBron James vs. Toronto Raptors
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 27.5 | Last Five Games: 27.2
Min/Game -- Season: 35.8 | Last Five Games: 35.3
FP/Game -- Season: 44.3 | Last Five Games: 45.6
James is priced under $10,000 and the Cavaliers are only 1.5-point favorites. That’s a combination that I love seeing, as we can project James to see minutes in the upper-30s tonight. He is about as matchup-proof of a player as you will find in the NBA and we have seen him play well against the top tier teams this season.
Matt Barnes vs. Los Angeles Lakers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 14.1 | Last Five Games: 13.4
Min/Game -- Season: 26.7 | Last Five Games: 28.6
FP/Game -- Season: 20.5 | Last Five Games: 18.7
Barnes may be the chalk play at small forward tonight, but that doesn’t mean that he is a bad play. He is coming off of a big outing against the Lakers and now he gets to face them again in Los Angeles. Even if Tony Allen plays tonight, Barnes should still see 30+ minutes of action against one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA.
Value Option: Mike Dunleavy: $3,700
Paul Millsap vs. Chicago Bulls
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 20.2 | Last Five Games: 21.5
Min/Game -- Season: 32.6 | Last Five Games: 35.2
FP/Game -- Season: 37.0 | Last Five Games: 36.2
Power forward is usually a tough position to fill, but I find myself want to play 4-5 of them tonight. Millsap has been one of the steadiest fantasy options this season and we get to target him at a bit of a discount tonight. He also draws a favorable matchup against the Bulls, who seemingly have given up defensively.
Zach Randolph vs. Los Angeles Lakers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 19.7 | Last Five Games: 20.5
Min/Game -- Season: 29.2 | Last Five Games: 33.1
FP/Game -- Season: 26.3 | Last Five Games: 32.0
Randolph was a popular play the other night against the Lakers. He didn’t have a great game, but still finished with 30 fantasy points in 29 minutes of action. If tonight’s game stays close, Randolph could see minutes in the mid-30s and he once again gets to match up against a weak Lakers’ frontcourt.
Value Option: Myles Turner: $5,800
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Los Angeles Clippers
TO-Adjusted Usage -- Season: 29.0 | Last Five Games: 27.6
Min/Game -- Season: 34.5 | Last Five Games: 35.9
FP/Game -- Season: 46.8 | Last Five Games: 47.6
It may be hard to find enough value plays to get up to Cousins at center tonight, but he is clearly the top overall play at the position. In his last five meetings against the Clippers, he has averaged 1.47 fantasy points per minute. DeAndre Jordan is a good shot-blocker, but he is a below-average low post defender.
Value Option: Nikola Jokic: $5,800
Note: This is not meant to be a full lineup. The picks are my favorite targets at each position.