NBA Friday is back with a big slate of games tonight. Always keep an eye on the news with the Rotogrinders App to make sure you are setting the best roster you can. Let's dig in deeper now and find some top plays at each position on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Jerryd Bayless (vs. Utah)
Here’s your first spot to save money tonight and get a very productive player. Minnesota’s game late last night didn’t give the sites a chance to adjust their player pricing and thus Jerryd Bayless still has a near minimum salary across the industry. Keep your eyes on the news, but Derrick Rose left last night’s game after 12 minutes and I would consider him highly doubtful for tonight. Meanwhile, Tyus Jones and Jeff Teague have been sidelined with injuries for several games now. If this all plays out again, then Bayless will be the last man standing at point guard for this Minnesota team. In back-to-back games now he’s played 28 and 30 minutes and has racked up a cumulative 30 points and 15 assists in those two contests. This gives us a chance to spend up at other positions in good matchups on the slate.
D'Angelo Russell (vs. New York)
D’Angelo Russell has been on fire over the last two weeks with this Brooklyn team. In the last six games he’s exceeded 47 DraftKings points in five of them. Tonight, not only does he get a phenomenal matchup with the New York Knicks, he also gets the benefit of the extra minutes he’s going to get without Spencer Dinwiddie playing. Dinwiddie is going to miss several weeks with an injury and he’s going to leave a void of 28.5 minutes and over 12 field-goal attempts per game in his absence. Dinwiddie typically split time between point guard and shooting guard and guys like Russell, Joe Harris and Shabazz Napier will be the ones who fill that void. The price tag was already on the rise because of the recent production, but it’s not taking into account a possible overload of minutes and field-goal attempts for Russell tonight.
Kawhi Leonard (vs. Houston)
Everything points to Kawhi Leonard suiting up tonight for Toronto to take on the Houston Rockets. Leonard has had nine days off to rest and should be ready to roll for this ESPN game. On this schedule, there are only two elite small forwards, Leonard and Antetokounmpo. I think Leonard has a chance to be just as productive for a cheaper salary. The matchup is neutral and when Leonard has started this year he’s racked up 35 minutes a game to go along with a team-leading 27.6 real-life points. He always kicks in an abundance of peripheral stats to round out the fantasy totals and tonight may spend some time in isolation with James Harden. We know the offensive numbers are always going to be there, but this could be a ceiling game for Leonard where he racks up extra steals and blocks on the defensive end.
Kenneth Faried (vs. Toronto)
Kenneth Faried’s seen his price tag on DraftKings and Fanduel rise slightly after the solid performance two nights ago. However, he’s still minimum salary on Yahoo and I think there’s still plenty of room to squeeze out value even on the two major sites. Faried played 23 minutes against Philadelphia after being signed earlier in the day on Monday of this week. He followed that up on Wednesday with 26 big minutes against the Knicks, where he racked up 11 points and eight rebounds to go along with the typical hustle stats that we’ve seen from him over the years with three steals and three blocks. It really feels as though they brought this guy in to try and fill in for Clint Capela while the star Center is healing from injury. If that’s the case then we’re going to see plenty of solid, spread out stat lines from The Manimal moving forward in a Houston uniform.
Nikola Vucevic (vs. Washington)
Nikola Vucevic has steadily increased his per minute fantasy output every single year of his career. It’s all culminating in a fantastic 1.45 FanDuel points per minute this season for Orlando. His average stat line this year of 20.5/12/3.8/2.2 stocks ranks at the top of the list of true centers in the NBA. As far as production is concerned, you won’t find very many more productive players at his position, so there’s not a lot of downside with this pick. The upside lies with the matchup. When we weed out the centers that don’t actually get much run, Vucevic has the top defense versus archetype matchup on the night at the Center position. With plenty of value on the slate, I think spending up at center is a fantastic option in roster building tonight.