It’s been a while since we’ve had a basketball article. I spent the last week on vacation, so most of my NBA lineups were thrown together on the phone without much research. I’m excited to dig back in and do a little research for Friday’s slate.
The title says it all, but the goal here is to give you the core plays who I will be building around. I will only be playing on DraftKings today, so the plays below will reflect that.
C: Dwight Howard – Charlotte Hornets
Howard is priced well below the other elite centers on this slate, but he may be in the best spot. With Al Horford out, Aron Baynes manned the center position and while he played well, he was definitely a defensive downgrade. Dwayne Dedmon posted his biggest line of the year against Baynes, so I fully expect Howard to have a monster game. His scoring has been up and his rebounding down a little over his last few games, but I think his rebounds rebound in this one. Howard has 50 point upside in this matchup and at $6,800, I think he has to be in your lineups.
C: Aron Baynes – Boston Celtics
Speaking of Baynes, I’ll be rostering two centers tonight. Baynes put up 21-8-3 in his fill in start and he’ll be manning the paint again tonight for Boston. He looked comfortable in that role on Wednesday night. His price came up a little, but it’s still cheap enough for him to return solid value.
PG/SG: Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz
If you rostered Mitchell his last time out, you were probably disappointed. I know I was. But, I’m going right back to the well. Mitchell has shot the ball 20+ times in three of the last four games. That kind of volume is impossible to find at just $5,200. He won’t shoot 3-for-21 every night out. Hop back on the train tonight while everyone else looks elsewhere after being burned. Before the atrocious shooting outing, Mitchell had scored 29, 38.25, and 41 DraftKings points. That’s good for 5.8, 7.36, and 7.88 times value on his current salary.
PG: Damian Lillard – Portland Trailblazers
Lillard against DeAngelo Russell defense? Sign me up! Lillard is very fairly priced for the upside he possesses, especially in this matchup. This game is the fasted paced game of the night and has the highest total. On a slate where there are limited options at the top, I think you can roster Lillard as your stud and build a fairly balanced lineup around him. Before his down game against Memphis, Lillard had scored 46 or more DK points in five straight games, with two 64 point outings in there. He provides a solid floor tonight with incredible upside.
SG/SF: Khris Middleton – Milwaukee Bucks
Middleton is my off the board play for tonight. He has had a weird season so far. In five home games, he’s averaged 33.2 minutes and 25.8 DraftKings points. In five road games, he’s averaged 40.2 minutes and 48.3 DK points. That’s quite the disparity. Now then, I realize it’s still a small sample size and both of those numbers will regress to the mean, but they shouldn’t be complete discounted.
The Bucks last three games have been on the road, and Middleton averaged 40 minutes over those three. In fact, he hasn’t played less than 38 minutes in any of the five road games so far this season. He doesn’t have the greatest matchup against the Spurs, but without Kawhi Leonard, they haven’t been very strong against opposing wings. They’re about middle of the pack against opposing SF’s and ninth worst against SG’s, in terms of fantasy production.
The Spurs allow around 0.85 fantasy points per minute to opposing wings and I think that’s where we’ll see Middleton’s floor here. Then of course, he has the 50-60 points upside that we’ve seen in three of his last five games.
That’s it for today. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @mrclutchdfs so you can stay up to date on any changes to my plays based on late information.
Visit Fantasy Rundown for additional DFS picks from some of the top sites on the web.