One NBA game tonight commands by far the most attention. It’s in the Bay Area on the eve of the Super Bowl, it’s on national TV and it features the two most explosive offensive basketball teams in the world. On a 12-1 roll, the Thunder have averaged 118 points in their last four. The Warriors are 22-0 at home and have won eight in a row, averaging 123.
Russell Westbrook $11200 vs. Stephen Curry $10800 is simply a wonderful matchup. Both are coming off huge games and have had this one circled on the calendar for a while. Kevin Durant $10500 vs. Draymond Green $9100 will also be amazing to watch. A third lethal weapon for Golden State, Klay Thompson $7800 could be the difference-maker. Others to consider in such a high-scoring battle are Serge Ibaka $5700, Enes Kanter $4900, Andre Iguodala $4400 and Shaun Livingston $3500.
The Blazers play in Houston at 5:00 Eastern, but that one isn’t included in the most lucrative contests at DraftKings, which close at 7:00. We’re focused on the other nine games.
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John Wall $9700 triple-doubled and Marcin Gortat $6800 was dominant against the 76ers last night. Back in the starting lineup, Bradley Beal $6100 added 22. The Hornets lost at home despite Marvin Williams $5300, Kemba Walker $8300 and Nicolas Batum $6300 each scoring 20+ points. The bench shot 4-for 20 and the big men were no match for Hassan Whiteside.
With Kevin Love $7900 (thigh) questionable, the Cavaliers are short-handed. LeBron James $9800, Kyrie Irving $6900 and J.R. Smith $5300 lost a tough one to the Celtics last night on a buzzer-beating three-pointer. Anthony Davis $10200 can get his numbers, Jrue Holiday $7200 is reliable and Bryce Dejean-Jones $4500 will start until Tyreke Evans (knee) returns.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on Friday was the Nets scoring 128 points to beat the Kings. Brook Lopez $7700 and Joe Johnson $5100 had terrific lines, but Thaddeus Young $6300 is my top choice tonight against the team he spent seven years with. Ish Smith $7100 and Isaiah Canaan $4000 were sharp for Philly in last night’s loss.
You could completely dismiss the Jazz-Suns tilt; Utah has won five straight while allowing just 84 points per game. However, Phoenix is relying very heavily on just a few players, and there are some possible DFS bargains. Archie Goodwin $5900, P.J. Tucker $5500 and Alex Len $4400 were standouts in Thursday’s loss to Houston. Raul Neto $3400 makes our Short List again; he’s more than earned that low salary in four straight, and backup Trey Burke $4100 (illness) might not play.
Because it’s not easy to choose among the high-salaried superstars, today’s sample lineup is all about balance and affordability. Nobody costs more than $7800, nobody less than $5100. I did try to build a “stars-and-scrubs” version around various combinations of Curry, Westbrook, Davis and Durant, but there aren’t enough ultra-cheap guys with sufficient upside to pair with them. The best values appear to be in the midrange. As always, breaking news can affect multiple players; making last-minute adjustments can really pay off.
|PG||Stephen Curry $10800||Kyrie Irving $6900||Raul Neto $3400|
|SG||Klay Thompson $7800||Bradley Beal $6100||J.R. Smith $5300|
|SF||Kevin Durant $10500||Nicolas Batum $6300||Joe Johnson $5100|
|PF||Anthony Davis $10200||Thaddeus Young $6300||Marvin Williams $5300|
|C||Brook Lopez $7700||Marcin Gortat $6800||Alex Len $4400|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.