Another NBA Friday is back with a big slate of games tonight. Make sure to keep up with any late breaking news by downloading the RotoGrinders DFS Alerts app or bookmarking the news page on the website. Now, let's dig in deeper now and find some top plays at each position on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Kemba Walker (vs. Oklahoma City Thunder)
The story of 2018 Kemba Walker is not a new one. It’s the same rehashed story of a player that produces huge numbers in his contract year, looking to get paid. The difference in the fantasy production this year has been the jump in points per game for Walker. So far this season he's averaged 29.6 points per game, which is a major increase from 22.1 last year and 23.2 the season prior to that. The field goal percentage is only marginally better, but the difference is the aggressiveness. He’s taking 21.7 field goal attempts this year per game, which is a drastic increase from the 16-to-18 range he’s been in the duration of his career. That extra offensive aggressiveness is paying off handsomely to the tune of almost 46 FanDuel points per game on a nightly basis for us.
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Donovan Mitchell (vs. Los Angeles Lakers)
It felt like a bit of a slow start to the season after a great rookie year from Donovan Mitchell. Through the first seven games he only topped 40 points on FanDuel one time. Now it seems like the legs are back under him, as through his last eight games he’s exceeded that 40-point mark on four different occasions. The ship has righted itself and all of the numbers are lining up exactly the way they were last year. The minutes, points, assists, steals and blocks are all virtually identical per game than they were last year. He’s nearly a full rebound below last year’s average, so there’s more room to grow as we head into December. And let’s not gloss over the real reason why we want to use Mitchell tonight: the matchup. He plays the shooting guard position for Utah in over 95% of his minutes out there on the court, and the Lakers rank dead last in the NBA, giving up the most FanDuel points per game to shooting guards in the league. It’s the best matchup at this position tonight for a very explosive player.
Andrew Wiggins (vs. Brooklyn Nets)
Last season when Jimmy Butler missed games, Andrew Wiggins' fantasy production increased from .81 DraftKings points per minute all the way up to .87. This is in addition to obvious minute increases which are going to come when a player of that magnitude has to sit out. The effect has been the exact same this season, as Wiggins' production increases by .6 DraftKings points per game when Butler is not on the floor. Well, Butler is gone for good now and Wiggins has more breathing room to explore his offensive game. His usage rate for the season sits at 25%, but in the three games since the trade, that number has jumped up to roughly 30%. With a defensive-minded Robert Covington playing alongside Wiggins now, instead of the shot-hogging Butler, I think we can expect more field goal attempts and thus more fantasy production out of him moving forward.
Montrezl Harrell (vs. Memphis Grizzlies)
Harrell has always been a fine per-minute fantasy producer since the start of his career. This year is no different, as he averages 1.27 FanDuel points per minute when he’s on the court. The big difference is the increased minutes this year. For the season he’s averaging 24.7 minutes per game, which is a major increase from 17 minutes last year and 18 minutes the year before. In fact, over the last two weeks that number has bounced up to 29.5 minutes per game for Harrell. There is no indication that these minutes are going to slow down, and as long as he finds his way on the court he will put up major numbers for your fantasy team.
Nikola Vucevic (vs. Denver Nuggets)
Vucevic has been a man on fire this season. He is second on the team in minutes played this year and leads the team by averaging 1.4 FanDuel points per minute when he’s on the court. He’s put up three separate 50+ FanDuel outings in the last week. Vucevic falls in that mid-range of price tags, and I think he’s playable tonight if you don’t want to spend up on a stud at center.