I took some chances to load up at small forward on Friday night. They didn’t really pan out.
Frank Ntilikina was a total bust, while Emeka Okafor didn’t do enough despite seeing 21 minutes with Anthony Davis sidelined. Ben McLemore kept it going offensively, but in the end only handed in 17 fantasy points.
While things didn’t go quite as planned, I did have quite a few hits.
Cheick Diallo was a gem with over 30 fantasy points, while Lonzo Ball (47), Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and LeBron James were all fantastic. Klay Thompson didn’t go nuts, but he did produce a very nice 25-3-2-1 line.
It wasn’t the worst team ever, but my deep dives left my roster wanting for me.
Luckily I get to start over on Saturday, where a small four-game slate awaits:
PG: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder ($12k)
I don’t love the idea of paying up for Russ against a stingy Spurs defense, but there isn’t another player on Saturday’s slate that can match him.
Westbrook has only averaged 44 fantasy points per game through two meetings with the Spurs this year, but he’s at home and still offers more upside than anyone else.
If there were rock solid options behind him, I’d consider fading Westbrook, but on this small four-game slate, this is where I start my NBA DFS build process.
PG: Yogi Ferrell – Dallas Mavericks ($4.1k)
I never like rostering Ferrell, but he’s cheap and suddenly very relevant with Dennis Smith Jr. coming into tonight as questionable. I’m only on Yogi if DSJ is out, but if that’s the case, he should be looking at a locked in role of 35-40 minutes.
Ferrell actually popped off for 35.8 fantasy points in his last game and will be at home against a bad Memphis team. He’s not at all reliable, but this is a GPP roster and the guy should be on the court taking shots. I’ll take that and run with it if it gets me the team I covet.
SG: Lou Williams – Los Angeles Clippers ($8k)
I want some strength to close out this small slate and an up tempo clash between the Magic and Clippers is likely to provide some upside. I certainly think I can get that from Sweet Lou, who is an elite pivot from Bradley Beal on this slate. Beal is the better player, but he’s on the road with a way worse matchup against a slow, defensive-minded Miami team.
Williams has an amazing matchup at home and also enters tonight in a nice groove with 36+ fantasy points in six of his last eight games. I think he pushes for 50 in a fast-paced setting, especially considering he nearly did just that the last time he took on the Magic (48 fantasy points).
SG: Kobi Simmons – Memphis Grizzlies ($4.2k)
I want Russ and I have a clear vision of the supporting cast I prefer out of this four-game slate, but I’ll need to take a dive or three to get it. Yogi makes good sense if DSJ is out and I think Kobi is another fine value pick if the Grizz continue to push out a young roster.
Memphis is down Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans already, plus so many other guys are sure to be out for this team. The minutes are being divided up in Memphis, but Simmons feels like a lock for 25-30 minutes as things stand. Against a bad Mavericks team, that could mean gold at this price.
SF: Mario Hezonja – Orlando Magic ($4.8k)
Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier are both almost certainly out again tonight, so fire up your favorite Magic spares with confidence. It was actually Jonathon Simmons (25 actual points) who went nuts last night, but Super Mario still chipped in 21 fantasy points in 33 minutes.
As long as the role is similar tonight, it’s hard not to fall in love with Hezonja. Not only is he a versatile talent, but he’s in one of the better games on this tiny slate. He also destroyed the Clippers (41 fantasy points) the last time he faced them. Yeah, sign me up.
SF: Corey Brewer – Oklahoma City Thunder ($4.1k)
I will not be paying up at small forward tonight and I certainly hope others do.
Paul George looks like a guy worth rostering on DraftKings, but he’s too pricey for his matchup on FanDuel. Otto Porter has a similar issue, so I’ll be dropping down as far as it makes sense at SF tonight.
Mario is an obvious play, but I’ll gladly assume a little more risk with Brewer. OKC is liking what they’re seeing (and getting) out of the veteran swingman, however, as Brewer has logged 23+ minutes in each of his last two contests and even ascended to the starting five last game.
Brewer doesn’t need to start for me to take the dive at this cheap price, but it’d help.
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge – San Antonio Spurs ($8.7k)
Ridge isn’t cheap, but there are not a ton of pricey options on this slate – let alone elite guys you really feel the need to pay up for. Aldridge brought it (30 points and 17 rebounds) in his last game against the Warriors and tonight gets an OKC team that he dropped 26 and 9 on earlier this year.
The Thunder can be tough defensively and this game is in Oklahoma City, but Aldridge has been pretty great sans Kawhi Leonard all year. It’s possible Pau Gasol (quad) sits this one out, but no matter what happens the Spurs need a big game from Ridge to hang in this one. I think he delivers and he feels quite necessary with no other power forwards seeming overly interesting on this slate.
PF: JaMychal Green – Memphis Grizzlies ($5.8k)
With Marc Gasol out tonight, I’ll be all over Green, who sees a massive price discrepancy ($7.2k at DraftKings) over at FanDuel. I love the savings just in general, but with no Gasol he’s in for a huge role. The guy has been on fire lately (7 double-doubles in his last 10 games!) and faces a weak Dallas defense.
I refuse to pay for Green on DK, but on FD he feels like a must. The only other PF options worth your time are Tobias Harris (arguably far too expensive at $8.1k) and Jonathan Isaac. The rookie big man will continue to log 20-25 minutes with Aaron Gordon out and is super cheap ($3.8k), but I just don’t trust him yet.
C: DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles Clippers ($8.3k)
Marc Gasol is out tonight (rest), so I think the center position is down to Nikola Vucevic ($9.1k) and DJ. Jordan wrecked the Magic earlier this year (56 fantasy points) and as everyone knows, has been playing really well for a while now.
Vucevic technically has the better matchup when you look at the numbers, but DJ is the superior defender and isn’t reliant on scoring. Vucevic could be more contrarian, as he stunk last night and also is more expensive. I like the savings and safety with DJ, though, and after wrecking Orlando previously, I see a path to him doing so again in a contest (218 Total) that could easily end up being the game of the night.