Russell Westbrook $10800, Kevin Durant $10100 and James Harden $10000 are deservedly the three most expensive players on a nine-game NBA Friday. The Rockets got blown out in San Antonio on Wednesday, while the Thunder won in Minnesota despite allowing 123 points in regulation.
Tonight’s clash is by far the best game for daily fantasy. It’s nationally televised and both teams play at a fast pace — the over/under is 222. Dwight Howard $7500 will play more than 23 minutes, Trevor Ariza $5500 was hot until meeting the Spurs, and Josh Smith $4200 has found a new lease on life since the trade back to Houston. Enes Kanter $5000 is the focal point of the OKC second unit and D.J. Augustin $3000 will get his job back from Cameron Payne (concussion) for at least tonight.
We often try to “beat” high-salaried superstars with a balanced lineup, but tonight will try using all three and surrounding them with extreme bargains. Conveniently, there are several decent options tonight in the $3-4000 range. If Houston can force overtime, that’s a perfect result.
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Charlotte at Portland is under the radar, with both clubs in playoff contention, though the Hornets are riddled with injuries. Kemba Walker $8700 and Damian Lillard $9300 are the obvious standouts, but there’s value with Mason Plumlee $5300 and Noah Vonleh $3200 among other Blazers. Jeremy Lin (ankle) is out and Jeremy Lamb $4500 (toe) is questionable, so Troy Daniels $3300 or Brian Roberts $3000 could surprise.
The Cavaliers are favored in Detroit, where it’s become popular to intentionally foul Andre Drummond $8600. That’s opened up minutes for Aron Baynes $3300 off the bench, and the big Kiwi is taking advantage. Kevin Love $7300 had his first big line since the coaching change in Wednesday’s rout of the Suns (21 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST, 2 BLK, 2 STL in 28 minutes) as LeBron James $9700 took only eight shots, making seven.
Last night, the Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony $8200 (knee), Kristaps Porzingis $7300 (illness) and Jose Calderon $4100 (groin) so Arron Afflalo $5200 was the #1 option. While Melo is expected to return, Lance Galloway $4000 and Jerian Grant $3100 might share PG duties again. The visiting Suns are terrible but inexpensive. Devin Booker $5500 and Archie Goodwin $5600 are the starting backcourt until Brandon Knight (groin) returns. Off the bench, with T.J. Warren $4100 (ankle) questionable, Markieff Morris $4900 and Sonny Weems $3000 might get plenty of shots.
Miami has been limping along without Hassan Whiteside $7500 (oblique), who may sit out another game with Amare Stoudemire $4000 getting the start and extra run for Justice Winslow $4500. After an eight-game absence, Goran Dragic $5600 (calf) is expected to return and might pick up where he left off. After two rest days, Dwyane Wade $6700 and Chris Bosh $7700 are solid plays against the Bucks, who lost by 20 in Memphis last night.
Orlando at Boston has DFS potential; Nikola Vucevic $7600, Tobias Harris $6300, Victor Oladipo $6900 and Aaron Gordon $4900 are all playable for the Magic. The Celtics mix and match with a deep rotation. If Isaiah Thomas $7800 (ankle) isn’t 100%, Avery Bradley $6000 might repeat his 27-point effort from Wednesday’s victory. Jae Crowder $6300 and Evan Turner $4700 also gain value when the littlest All-Star is limited.
|PG||Russell Westbrook $10800||Goran Dragic $5600||Jerian Grant $3100|
|SG||James Harden $10000||Avery Bradley $6000||Sonny Weems $3000|
|SF||Kevin Durant $10100||Gordon Hayward $7500||Justice Winslow $4500|
|PF||Chris Bosh $7700||Josh Smith $4200||Noah Vonleh $3200|
|C||Andre Drummond $8600||Enes Kanter $5000||Aron Baynes $3300|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.