If you predicted lopsided wins on Thursday for the Rockets and Blazers, congratulations. Hope you cashed in big time. I tried to take advantage of lineup changes, inserting the four Spurs who inherited extra minutes, and — thanks to Dwight Howard — still managed to turn a small profit.
Not signed up at DraftKings yet? Click for a free entry (worth $2) to win as much as $5,000 in tonight’s $40K Layup, where 4600 of up to 23000 teams earn cash. DK will also match your initial deposit (up to $600) with bonus money that gets added to your account as you play. Our second featured contest tonight is the $40K Pick and Roll where it costs $12 to enter, but the field is limited to 3800 and the top 760 will be paid. First place is worth $7,000 in that one.
There are so many possible combinations on Friday with 11 NBA games that it’s not easy to find a path into the maze. Three of the most likely high-scoring games are in late leagues that close at 9:00 ET. I prefer to stack my 7:00 lineups with some of those players. You can also try to solve the daily puzzle according to position.
At PG, pay top dollar for John Wall $9800, or look for mid-priced value like Darren Collison $6400 and Isaiah Thomas $5600. At the lowest end of the salary scale, we find Shane Larkin $3000.
It’s possible to save some salary at SG. If Jimmy Butler $5200 continues to be underpriced, I’ll keep using him. Courtney Lee $3800 is almost a must-start and regular readers know I loved Kevin Martin $5700 on Wednesday (26 points, 7 boards, 4 threes) — for some reason, his price hasn’t skyrocketed yet.
The King at SF is LeBron James $10500 but thus far, the Cavaliers are misfiring. Gordon Hayward $7600 and Rudy Gay $7700 are both safer plays who won’t break your budget.
At PF, Pau Gasol $7500 is solid. Markieff Morris $6800 is a personal favorite, after helping me qualify for the $200K Crossover, where I won $60 for a deuce. Another tempting play at a rock-bottom price is Brandon Davies $3000 who shot 9-for-11 in his first game as a starter for the Sixers.
DeMarcus Cousins $9900 still must prove himself (to me, at least) in adverse situations. On the road against a quick team, he’s premium-priced. Nikola Vucevic $8100 is more consistent, if less spectacular. Marcin Gortat $6800 and Tyson Chandler $5800 are decent alternatives in the midrange, with Jason Smith $3000 attractively priced.
The graphic shows just one of literally thousands of competitive lineups. It’s not easy to select the best one, but it sure is fun trying, and it can pay off. Try the “stars and scrubs” method if you like; this one is designed to get steady production from all eight players without overspending on anyone.
As always, be aware of breaking news that affects the values of one or more players. Enter early, before the best contests fill, then you can make unlimited roster changes until the 7:00 ET deadline. Good luck!
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season.
Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.