After last night’s gross three-game NBA slate, we are gifted with a beautiful 10-game NBA slate on Friday. Let’s get right to itâ€¦
Indiana Pacers @ Orlando Magic (o/u 206, ORL -1)
Indiana is 3rd in defensive rating, 26th in pace.
Orlando is 16th in defensive rating, 25th in pace.
There’s not too much to get excited about when it comes to targeting Indiana players tonight. Orlando isn’t a great defensive team, but since both teams play at a slow pace this isn’t the environment that’s conducive to big fantasy production. The issue with targeting Pacers players now is they’ve all seen a price increase with Victor Oladipo sidelined, and they’re no longer priced at a discount.
INJURIES: Victor Oladipo OUT
Since Dipo got hurt, Darren Collison has seen his minutes and production stabilize. Collison has always been a fairly consistent producer when the minutes were there, and they’re there now, averaging a little over 30 in his last five games. He’s not cheap on either site, but I’m still fine with targeting Collison.
Strictly on DK, priced at $6400,Â Myles Turner is an ok target. I don’t particularly like attacking Orlando at center, as Vucevic’s high low post usage tends to draw his opponent away from the rim. Still, Turner has been awesome since Dipo went down. He’s a bit too pricey for me on FD.
I’m off of the rest of the Pacers, especially on a 10-game slate.Â Domantas Sabonis is always intriguing but he’s just too pricey for me to target with his expected minutes, especially in a down matchup.
I don’t want anything to do with Magic players. I’d rather spend elsewhere on a 10-game slate.
If you’re desperate for Orlando exposure, Nikola Vucevic is always a capable producer. The Pacers, however, are the fifth toughest team against centers in terms of DvP. Jonathan Isaac is priced fairly cheap and is always capable of a big performance because of his defensive upside.
Denver Nuggets @ Charlotte Hornets (o/u 218, DEN -1)
Denver is 5th in defensive rating, 27th in pace.
Charlotte is 17th in defensive rating, 12th in pace.
Denver heads to Charlotte as road favorites in a game that’s not terribly exciting. It’s a slight pace-up spot for Denver, as Charlotte is playing at home and in the top third in the NBA in terms of pace. Opposing wings and centers have had moderate success vs the Hornets this year.
INJURIES: Will Barton OUT, Isaiah Thomas OUT, Gary Harris OUT
If Nikola Jokic was still priced in the high $8k range, I would have been all over him tonight as Charlotte doesn’t have anyone in the low block that can guard him. Jokic, priced at $9500 on FD and $9300 on DK, has a price tag just high enough to think twice about using him. Still, I like this spot for Jokic, he’s an elite GPP target.
With Gary Harris OUT Jamal Murray is an appealing upper middle priced option at PG. Murray has shocked the DFS world by being somewhat consistent with his production this year, especially with Harris OUT.
With Harris and Barton OUT Juancho Hernangomez is in line to see 30+ minutes tonight. Hernangomez is a proven and capable producer, and he offers fairly appealing value at $5k on FD and $4400 on DK.
This is a brutal matchup for Charlotte, as Denver continues to be one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.Â Still, it helps that this game is being played in Charlotte.
INJURIES: Marvin Williams OUT
You can attack Denver at PG, and Charlotte has a pretty good PG by the name of Kemba Walker. Kemba tends to show up vs top competition, this is a decent spot for him. The issue with targeting him tonight is the plethora of options at PG.
Last game, with Marvin Williams out, I was a bit surprised when Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was announced as the starter. And I’m fine targeting MKG as a value SF if he starts again. The big takeaway for me was that no Marvin seemed to stabilize Nic Batum’s minutes. Both FD and DK priced Batum up a touch, but he’s still under $6k so he’s a decent target. Kaminsky and Bridges are riskier GPP targets.
His upside is limited, but if you’re in a pinch and don’t know what to do with around $6k at SG you should consider Jeremy Lamb. Lamb continues to produce around 5x value night after night.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Detroit Pistons (o/u 220.5, PHI -2)
Philadelphia is 10th in defensive rating, 7th in pace.
Detroit is 9th in defensive rating, 15th in pace.
I’m lumping both teams’ breakdowns into one for this matchup. This is a fun game featuring two beef-related narratives. We have the Andre Drummond vs Joel Embiid beef, and my personal favorite, the Kendall Jenner narrative involving Blake Griffin and Ben Simmons. Oh, the NBA. In terms of numbers, this is a solid spot for both teams, as they both play at a fast pace. One point of concern that is worth mentioning: The Pistons have been isolating Blake in the low-post A LOT lately, which can absolutely kill the flow of the game. This game will feature that, but I think it will be done in a much quicker way.
UPDATE: 11:00am ET Joel Embiid OUT
INJURIES: Â Joel Embiid OUT, Ish Smith OUT, Reggie Bullock QUESTIONABLE
I hate saying it because I love to watch him but Joel Embiid is on my you know what list. Embiid is looking to bounce back from a dismal performance vs the Raptors, and I’d expect his ownership to be fairly low, with most people paying up for some late-night hammers. But this is a smash spot with a narrative for Embiid, and he put up 60+ fantasy points in their previous meeting.
Unlike Embiid, I’m not particularly interested in Ben Simmons and his Kendall Jenner narrative. I’m not 100% against it, I just prefer targeting other players in his price range.
UPDATE: No Embiid will lead to a slight usage bump for Ben Simmons. Simmons is not a must but becomes a much more intriguing target.
Jimmy Butler remains too cheap on DK, priced at $7400. On FD, at $8100, Butler is also in play. I get that we’ve seen Jimmy less aggressive at times on offense since arriving in Philadelphia, but at those prices Butler is worth the risk because of his upside in GPPs.
UDATE: Similarly to Simmons, Butler will be more of a focal point on offense with Embiid OUT. Butler see’s the largest Sixer usage bump with Embiid off the court.
With Joel Embiid OUT, Mike Muscala becomes a usable punt at center.
In his last meeting vs the Sixers,Â Blake Griffin went for 60+ fantasy points. Blake is overpriced for what his production has been his last 10 games, but this is a good matchup with a good narrative. The Sixers have been exposed by PFs all year, and it seems like we get a bit of a motivated Blake vs Simmons.
UPDATE: Blake doesn’t have Embiid’s low post presence to deter him from posting up frequently tonight. Blake is an elite target.
As much as I and the rest of the world loves Embiid, you can attack him in DFS. Andre Drummond is a low-owned, high-upside GPP target worth considering tonight. Drummond’s risk is Embiid LOVES to force opposing centers he doesn’t like into foul trouble. That is a HUGE risk with Drummond and exactly what happened to him in their previous meeting. Still Drummond is priced down with a decent matchup.
UPDATE: Drummond becomes a much less risky play with no Embiid as his foul trouble risk goes out the window. Drummond should be able to dominate Mike Muscala and/or Amir Johnson on the glass.
With Ish Smith OUT,Â Reggie Jackson is a very interesting sub $6k PG. Jackson should be locked into around 30 minutes unless Casey goes with Calderon for an extended period of time. The other risk would be Casey giving Galloway PG minutes. Still, Jackson is a decent play as long as the minutes are there.
Stanley Johnson and Wilson Chandler are usable cheap SFs tonight.
Toronto Raptors @ Brooklyn Nets (o/u 222.5, TOR -9)
Toronto is 7th in defensive rating, 13th in pace.
Brooklyn is 22nd in defensive rating, 24th in pace.
The Raptors head to Brooklyn as road favorites, coming off of a huge win vs Philly. Vegas thinks there is some blowout potential here, but speaking as a Nets fan here, I know they don’t get blown out at home. Instead, they go up by 15 or 20 and blow it all in the fourth quarter.
INJURIES: Norman Powell OUT
I have zero issue targeting Kawhi Leonard tonight, as the Nets provide him a safe haven of production. That being said, with his price up a touch it’s not easy fitting Kawhi in your lineups.
As we should all know by now, targeting centers vs the Nets tends to be a good DFS strategy. He’s listed as a PF, but Serge Ibaka is the Raptors starting center. This is an awesome spot for Serge, priced at $6600 on FD and $6200 on DK.
The Raptors have another center coming off the bench that’s worth thinking about in Jonas Valanciunas. Jonas plays a frustratingly small amount of minutes so he’s strictly a GPP target, but man, this is such a smash spot for him. At $5100 on FD and $4600 on DK, he offers elite upside.
I’ve been a bit off on Kyle Lowry of late, but if there’s a time to target him it’s vs the Nets priced under $8k on both sites.
For the Nets, this is a slight pace-up game vs a good defensive team. The Nets are always tricky to target in DFS because coach Kenny Atkinson hates us all and likes to play 13 guys a night. With Brooklyn seemingly healthy again, expect a long rotation.
INJURIES: Caris Levert OUT
On a big slate I’m not particularly interested in any Nets player. I get it … how could I think the Nets stay in this game, yet not like any of their players for fantasy purposes? It’s simple: Rotation and their prices.
If you’re looking for Nets exposure,Â D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen are always capable of that GPP upside you look for. Joe Harris is a decent value SF.
Sacramento Kings @ Cleveland Cavaliers Â (o/u 221.5, SAC -3)
Sacramento is 21st in defensive rating, 2nd in pace.
Cleveland is 30th in defensive rating, 28th in pace.
This may be one of the few times this year the Kings will be road favorites, as they head to Cleveland to play a bad Cavs team. I’m not particularly worried about Cleveland’s pace, as I don’t consider the Cavs “pace conscious”. Meaning, since they are a bad team they don’t particularly play at a specific pace for their own gain, they just play to the opponents’ pace. The Cavs’ 30th ranked defense is appealing.
INJURIES: Marvin Bagley III QUESTIONABLE
De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic are the two names that jump out at me when looking at this matchup. Fox is looking more and more like a future star. I love his game, and he should be able to exploit a bad Cavs defense. Bogdan has impressed since returning from his injury, boasting strong PPM numbers. His price and minutes could limit his upside a touch, but still, this is a strong spot for him.
Similar to the Nets, the Kings provide DFS goodness but it’s not easy to target them, as they have a fairly deep rotation. I’m off on the rest of the Kings players.
INJURIES: Kevin Love OUT, David Nwaba OUT, Sam Dekker DTD, Ante Zizic QUESTIONABLE
Jordan Clarkson and Alec Burks are the two Cavs that stand out to me in this matchup. Clarkson is always an intriguing target in these pace-up spots, as it just means more opportunities for him to take some bad shots! DFS players don’t particularly care that they are bad shots, as long as he just hits a few of them. Burks is similar to Clarkson, the faster the pace the more opportunities he gets to score. Burks should play around 20 minutes, which is appealing at his cheap price.
Typically I love to target opposing PGs vs the Kings, andÂ Collin Sexton is worth considering. The issue with Sexton is he’s starting WITH George Hill at the moment. Hill isn’t a production hog by any means, but he takes away just enough of Sexton’s touches to affect his output. Still, Sexton priced at under $5k on both sites is incredibly appealing vs the Kings.
I like the spot for Tristan Thompson, but I hate his price: $7800 on FD and $7300 on DK is just a bit too much. I say that knowing that his price isn’t THAT bad considering his numbers. I just hate Tristan, and I am a cranky, biased writer. If I were making political picks, one would call me a partisan hack.
Memphis Grizzlies @ New Orleans Pelicans (o/u 217, NO -5)
Memphis is 4th in defensive rating, 30th in pace.
New Orleans is 24th in defensive rating, 3rd in pace.
The Grizzlies find themselves in an elite spot vs a Pelicans team that provides them with a pace-up game environment and bad defense to attack.
INJURIES: Chandler Parsons OUT, Dillon Brooks OUT
The best position to target the Pelicans is at PG, and tonight Mike Conley gets those honors. Conley isn’t cheap on either site, priced at $9200 on FD and $8400 on DK, but he’s been about as consistent as it gets this year. This is a ceiling spot for Conley. He’s an elite target.
After FD grossly overpriced Marc Gasol, he’s back in targetable territory after back-to-back poor performances. On a 10-game slate featuring some appealing stars, Gasol isn’t easy to target but the appeal is there.
I usually look for role players in pace-up spots to find nice value, but the Grizzlies role players sort of eat into each other’s minutes. On DK,Â Jaren Jackson Jr carries an appealing price tag of $6100, though $7400 on FD is a bit too pricey for me. JaMychal Green has seen his minutes up in his last two games, has shown a huge production spike, and is an appealing value on both sites.
The Grizzlies are my least-favorite team to attack in DFS, as they play at a purposefully-slow pace, with really good defense. So this is definitely a brutal spot for the Pelicans.
INJURIES: Elfrid Payton OUT
Because it’s the Grizzlies, I’m not paying up for Anthony Davis at $12900 on FD. That’s insane to me. On DK priced at $11000, Davis is a much better gamble. Of course, Davis is also matchup-proof and capable of an 80 burger on a nightly basis.
I’m off of the rest of the Pelicans. It looks like Nikola Mirotic WILL play, which hurts Julius Randle a tremendous amount. The Grizzlies matchup has me off of Jrue Holiday at his elevated price, too.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Chicago Bulls (o/u 216.5, OKC -8.5)
Oklahoma City is 1st in defensive rating, 8th in pace.
Chicago is 20th in defensive rating, 17th in pace.
Another team entering the night as a road favorite, and this one makes the most sense. I have some serious blowout concerns in this one, as the Thunder have the fourth highest net rating (OFFRTG – DEFRTG) in the NBA. The Bulls? Just 28th in net rating. This is a good matchup for the Thunder, so if the Bulls are able to hang around, OKC studs have some strong upside.
INJURIES: Andre Roberson OUT
Neither are easy to fit into lineups and blowout is of some concern, but this is a strong spot for both Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Westbrook is a bit tougher to fit in at his price tag. George has been pretty awesome this year, and is still priced somewhat appealingly. George has an incredibly high floor, and 50+ upside is there if Chicago stays in it.
Attacking the Bulls at center is a strong strategy. After a somewhat disappointing outing vs the Nets,Â Steven Adams is back in play. He’s a little pricey, but his high floor makes him a safe option.
With the Thunder getting a bit healthier on the wings,Â Dennis Schroder and Jerami Grant are no longer as appealing as they were the last few weeks. I’m ok with targeting either at their prices, but I’m not actively trying to fit them in.
Not much needs to be said about this matchup for the Bulls, as they play the toughest defense in the NBA. Another challenge with targeting Chicago is its deep rotation, as some of its injured players seem to be ready to return.
INJURIES: Bobby Portis QUESTIONABLE, Kris Dunn QUESTIONABLE, Denzel Valentine OUT
Considering the matchup and that Portis and Dunn might be available to return, I’m off on all Bulls players tonight. I’d rather spend elsewhere.
IF you’re desperate for Bulls exposure, and IF Portis doesn’t play,Â Lauri Markkanen is worth considering. IF Dunn doesn’t play Zach LaVine is also worth considering. That’s a lot of ifs.
Los Angeles Lakers @ San Antonio Spurs o/u 226, SA -1)
Los Angeles is 8th in defensive rating, 5th in pace.
San Antonio is 29th in defensive rating, 23rd in pace.
This is now the fourth time these two teams have met, so we sort of know what to expect here. The Lakers will play at a fast pace and attack the Spurs weak defense. It’s a strong spot for LA.
INJURIES: Brandon Ingram OUT, Rajon Rondo QUESTIONABLE?
Using the TQE Player vs Team Tool, LeBron James has averaged 60+ fantasy points in three games vs the Spurs so far. With Brandon Ingram OUT and assuming Rondo doesn’t play, LeBron will have even greater ball handling responsibilities. He’s an elite target tonight.
With Ingram OUT both Josh Hart and Lance Stephenson are interesting punts worth considering. On FD I don’t mind playing both and dropping the lowest score of the two. Stephenson is incredibly appealing if Rondo is also unable to go, as he would likely be the backup PG and should see around 20 minutes.
Kyle Kuzma also sees a bump in minutes with Ingram out. I’m fine with using Kuzma, but he’s far from a lock because of his high price.
Lonzo Ball is perhaps the biggest benefactor with Ingram OUT and IF Rondo remains OUT. Lonzo produced really well earlier in the year with both out, he’s locked into strong minutes. $5700 on DK for Ball is an elite price.
Meanwhile, this is an elite pace-up spot for the Spurs, who seem to find their legs whenever they play the Lakers. Although the Lakers are an improved defensive team, their pace outweighs their defense.
INJURIES: Pau Gasol OUT
Using the TQE Player vs Team Tool, DeMar DeRozan is averaging 57+ fantasy points in three games vs the Lakers. So yeah, DeRozan is an elite target tonight.
Using the TQE Back to Back Tool, whenever LaMarcus Aldridge is NOT on a back-to-back he is safe to target. Although pace doesn’t typically effect Aldridge that much, this is a good spot for him, as he should see added rebounding opportunities.
Rudy Gay has had his strongest outings vs the Lakers as well. Priced under $6k on both sites, Gay is firmly in play again.
The Spurs three-headed, lackluster monster at PG is always a bit of a challenge. Against the Lakers there’s value somewhere between Derrick White, Patty Mills, and Bryn Forbes. It’s just never easy picking the right one. Lonnie Walker is also making his debut tonight, which is important. I’m curious to see how and what position Pop deploys him at.
Miami Heat @ Phoenix Suns (n/a)
Miami is 12th in defensive rating, 10th in pace.
Phoenix is 28th in defensive rating, 20th in pace.
The Heat head to Phoenix to play a Suns team that is struggling to score double digit first quarter points. Whiteside won’t play in this game for “personal” reasons, but I’m pretty positive coach Spo suspended him.
INJURIES: Hassan Whiteside OUT, Wayne Ellington OUT, Dion Waiters OUT, Goran Dragic PROBABLE
With Whiteside OUT that opens the door for Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk. FD has Bam priced at $5500 (at PF) and Kelly at $5100. On DK, Bam is priced at $4200, Kelly $4000. Regardless of those prices, they are elite targets vs a terrible Suns team. Both Bam and Kelly were over 30+ fantasy points during the one game Whiteside missed this year, and I expect similar production with an elite matchup. I’d also expect both to be fairly high owned.
With Dragic looking good to go tonight, I’m off of the rest of the Heat players.
And oh boy, the Suns. The Suns the Suns the Suns. What to do with them â€¦ strictly from a matchup standpoint, this is an OK spot for them. Still, the Suns are on a second night of a back-to-back, and have played an embarrassing level of basketball during their last two games.
INJURIES: Devin Booker OUT, TJ Warren QUESTIONABLE
On a 10-game slate, I don’t have any interest in targeting Suns players. I’m ready to bury them into oblivion. If by some miracle TJ Warren plays, and is said to not be on a minutes limit, I would be somewhat interested in him.
Elie Okobo … De’Anthony Melton … Josh Jackson … Trevor Ariza … Mikal Bridges … I get it, they provide some value. But it’s not value I’m desperate to fit in my lineup. Bridges remains my favorite value of the group, if and only if Warren is ruled out. Melton and Okobo are a bit more interesting on DK. Â
Golden State Warriors @ Milwaukee Bucks (o/u 239.5, MIL -1.5)
Golden State is 19th in defensive rating, 18th in pace.
Milwaukee is 6th in defensive rating, 4th in pace.
Going from Heat-Suns to Warriors-Bucks is the equivalent of going from the library to the bar in college. This is a fun game to watch for all purposes. For the Warriors, yes, the Bucks are a stout defensive team, but the implied pace of this game outweighs that. Vegas thinks there will be around 240 combined points, and yeah, that’s a lot.
INJURIES: Draymond Green OUT, Damian Jones OUT, Boogie Cousins OUT
Steph Curry had a brutal game vs the Bucks in their initial meeting, including suffering a prolonged injury. I don’t think the Warriors have forgotten about that. I get the risks but this is a nice spot for Curry. Of the 240 points Vegas thinks will be scored, Curry should have a good chunk of those.
Kevin Durant is also firmly worth considering. This is the issue with targeting the Warriors: They have so many studs it’s always tricky to predict which of them you like. Tonight because of positional strength, I’d rather go Curry, but Durant is just as capable.
Kevon Looney and Jonas Jerebko remain decent value fillers at their respected positions. They aren’t playing a ton, but they are producing well. High-paced games are where value bigs usually fill up on peripheral stats and easy layups.
I’m not that interested in Klay Thompson, but as always Klay carries intriguing GPP upside.
Attacking the Warriors with Green off the floor is a strategy I’m fond of in DFS. Expect the Bucks to come out strong in front of a LOUD home court crowd tonight.
INJURIES: John Henson OUT, Ersan Ilyasova QUESTIONABLE
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the top player on the slate for me tonight, and it’s not particularly close. In 26 minutes vs the Warriors in their previous meeting, Giannis went over 50+ fantasy points. I expect this game to stay much closer, and that will lead to added Giannis production. The Warriors style of play is conducive to steals, blocks, rebounds, and transition layups/dunks, all things that Giannis excels at. The hardest question of the slate for me is: Do you save $1000 and go LeBron, or spend up on Giannis?
Frantically-paced games are where I like to target Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe starts this game with 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists because of the pace. The $7700 on FD and $7200 on DK is certainly not cheap, but this is the game to spend up on him.
The Khris Middleton drama is interesting and I’m not sure what to make of it. Middleton doesn’t come off as the type of player who will be impacted by it. I wouldn’t target all three of the Bucks studs, but two of the three is totally fine. I prefer Bledsoe over Middleton.
If you’re fading BOTH Bledsoe and Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon is a sneaky GPP target tonight, priced under $6k on both sites. I’m a fan of Brogdon’s game and this is the sort of game environment that benefits him.
With Curry back, this is not the spot I want to target Brook Lopez. He will get exposed on switches on the perimeter.
TEAM TO ATTACK
Nets, Kings, Cavs, Pelicans, Bulls, Spurs, Lakers, Suns, Warriors-Bucks matchup
Thunder @ Bulls, Heat @ Suns, Raptors @ Nets, Kings @ Cavs (minimal)
PG: Steph Curry, Mike Conley, Eric Bledsoe, De’Aaron Fox, Lonzo Ball, Darren Collison, Reggie Jackson
SG: DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler, Bogdon Bodgonovic, Jordan Clarkson, Josh Hart
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, Juancho Hernangomez, JaMychal Green(DK), Lance Stephenson
PF: Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, Bam Adabayo, Kelly Olynyk
C: Andre Drummond, Marc Gasol, Nikola Jokic (GPP), Steven Adams, Jonas Val (GPP)
To enjoy more great content and use of our tools sign up with promo code TQENBA for $10 off the 1st month of our ALL SPORTS month to month subscription that features all sports tools, content, and chat…
OR $25 off our NBA Season subscription that includes all NBA tools, content, and chat.Â
To all subscribers, don’t forget to join us in our chat as we break down lineups and injury news throughout the day up until lock.