Friday could be interesting for daily fantasy basketball contests, as Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) seems unlikely to suit up on an otherwise interesting nine-game slate.
That probably leaves Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis as your top studs, while you’ll want to keep tabs on injury news involving Myles Turner, Dennis Schroder, Eric Bledsoe and others.
It’s early, yet this slate is starting to clear up for me. There are some value picks I like and some stars I’m already locking onto. It’s important to always remain flexible, though, so be sure to keep your options open until lineups lock. That goes for my FanDuel picks, too. If you don’t love everything I have here, just pick the spots you do like and fill the holes elsewhere.
With that, it’s onto a fun Friday slate:
PG: Ricky Rubio – Utah Jazz ($5.9k)
I have to use Rubio tonight, as he’s simply been too good and is still under $6k. Rubio can flat line with the best of them, but it’s hard to ignore his recent stretch (30+ fantasy points in three straight games) and the fact that he gets a terrible Suns defense tonight.
Rubio seems to come and go depending on the health of Rudy Gobert, but he’s back in the lineup, so I have no concerns here. Phoenix is that bad defensively and Rubio is a pretty nice price. Point guard is loaded, but I’m fine with at least one value pick at the position.
PG: Terry Rozier – Boston Celtics ($6.5k)
I have interest in a few point guards up top. I don’t think I’ll be paying for Russell Westbrook, but Stephen Curry is a full $2k cheaper and very appealing. Kemba Walker and Damian Lillard are also both under $9k, while Kyle Lowry ($7.3k) might be the best value on the board.
Kyrie Irving is out, so Terry Rozier feels like a must-play. Rozier went nuts with a triple-double in his last start and would have a dream matchup against a poor Atlanta defense. I didn’t go into this slate thinking I’d pay down at both PG slots, but with Irving being out, it’s certainly a path worth considering.
SG: Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors ($7k)
There is always blowout risk with the Dubs, but I want some exposure to this game that doesn’t cost $10k. I always have an eye on Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, but Thompson feels like an interesting play in the face of a nice matchup.
Thompson has historically played well versus the Kings and this year he put up 36 fantasy points against them already. I think he’s a fine play on this slate and has the ability to get 40+ fantasy points with ease.
SG: Khris Middleton – Milwaukee Bucks ($7.5k)
I don’t think I can fade Middleton tonight. Jabari Parker is back for a small 15-minute role, but the Bucks are hurting right now with both Eric Bledsoe and The Greek Freak banged up. If one or both sit out, Middleton becomes an elite play at home against the Knicks.
Middleton’s role as the lead man has been pretty awesome this year (35% usage), so if Giannis sits, he’s a lock for me.
I like my SG pairing, but there is a lot to love at this position tonight. Devin Booker’s price dropped, D’Angelo Russell could dish out some sweet revenge and Jordan Clarkson could offer solid value against the Nets. While I am interested in these options, they may have to be used in separate lineups.
SF: Josh Richardson – Miami Heat ($6.2k)
I like J-Rich because I know he’s locked into a good role and he’s not a bad price. He’s been scoring the ball pretty well lately, topping 11+ actual points in 11 of his last 12 contests. That’s pretty stable offensive production, while Richardson had also been great with his peripherals.
If Richardson can score 10+ points and keeps showing up elsewhere in the box score, he’s going to return solid value. I’m also looking at Paul George and T.J. Warren in the intermediate range, but Richardson is cheaper and I think he can match them tonight.
SF: Brandon Ingram – Los Angeles Lakers ($6.4k)
The same is the case with Ingram, who remains L.A.’s top scoring threat. He has a favorable matchup with the Nets, who run fast and don’t defend very well. His individual matchup with DeMarre Carroll isn’t amazing, but I’m not letting that scare me off.
Volume and value are key with Ingram, who is going to see a ton of minutes and a slew of shots. He should return value pretty easily at his current price.
PF: Kristaps Porzingis – New York Knicks ($8.3k)
Value is the word with Zinger tonight, too. New York’s top scorer can be a monster presence when he’s on top of his game, while he typically has a really safe floor. Now that I’m not paying over $9k for him, I feel much more comfortable rostering him and hoping I get a taste of his ceiling.
Zinger certainly offers upside tonight, as he faces a Bucks defense that struggles inside and really doesn’t have a defender that can stop him. Take away The Greek Freak (who might not play), and the Unicorn is a lock for me.
I see the interest in paying all the way up for The Brow tonight, but I’m not sure that move is necessary.
PF: Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers ($5.1k)
I’m looking at two cheap guys to pair with Zinger. Kuz is one and Marquese Chriss is the other. Both of these guys are enticing young talents, as Chriss is looking at a big role and Kuz can be very explosive off the bench.
I prefer Kuzma tonight, as he torched Brooklyn earlier this year and has been a little too quiet lately. I think he’s ready to sound off again, while I’m downgrading Chriss ($5k) slightly due to a tougher matchup with the Jazz. I like both guys, but I’m rolling with Kuz tonight.
C: Julius Randle – Los Angeles Lakers ($6.6k)
I might as well ride and die with the Lake Show, as they have a really nice matchup with the Nets in Brooklyn. The Lakers have been playing pretty good ball (for the most part) lately and the fact that this game is at the Barclays Center makes me think it’ll be ultra competitive.
Every Laker not named Ingram has seen their minutes yanked around and I’m mildly worried Luke Walton allows Brook Lopez to get revenge here, but Randle has been en fuego. He’s the smart play and he’s also a fine price. I like him to easily hit value and anchor what I feel is a dangerous lineup.