Welcome to Friday Night in the NBA! Below I’ve given you some of my favorite plays at varying price ranges. And as a side note, remember that the NBA is volatile as far as injuries and lineup changes, so always be sure to keep up with the latest news so you don’t get stuck with a dud. I prefer to use Twitter for my up to the second information. Here’s a very short list of fantasy basketball people I follow who update that kind of information.
Stephen Curry ($9,500) GS vs Min
You can make a case to roster Steph Curry nearly every time he plays, but Friday’s matchup against Minnesota stands out as a prime spot to click his name. The Timberwolves play at a fast-pace, and they tend to give up a lot of production to opposing point guards (22nd in that category). It’s worth pointing out that Curry had a subpar outing the last time Golden State met with Minnesota, but those low numbers were due to an ankle injury suffered in the third quarter. Curry should be locked and loaded for this likely high-scoring affair.
D.J. Augustin ($6,500) Chi vs LAC
This guy was filling up the statsheet as a backup point guard, so there is no way he’s slowing down seizing the primary floor general duties for the Bulls. Augustin has hit 27 points in his past two games (42 & 37 fantasy points), and he is the catalyst of this Chicago offense. His has risen probably more than anyones in the past few days, but he has been playing like top-tier fantasy PG as of late.
Brian Roberts ($4,700) NO @ Det
The numbers aren’t gaudy by any means, but Brian Roberts is a consistent fantasy option as the interim point guard for New Orleans. He’s usually good for somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 fantasy points, and he has himself a nice little matchup against a Detroit team that does not defend backcourt players particularly well.
DeMar DeRozan ($8,600) Tor @ Phi
DeRozan is a bona fide scorer, averaging 24 ppg and 40 fppg over his past ten games. He takes 20+ shots routinely, and he will square off against the worst defense in the NBA on Friday. His price has skyrocketed as of late, but he may be worth every penny on Friday.
Arron Afflalo ($6,200) Orl vs LAL
Afflalo is a similar style of player to DeRozan, just on the other side of the scoring trend at the moment. AA has struggled in his past two games, averaging just 11 fppg in those contests. His price has decreased as a result, which makes him tempting as a “bounce-back candidate” against a Lakers team that ranks 29th in efficiency allowed to opposing shooting guards.
Rodney Stuckey ($4,600) Det vs NO
Stuckey was the cheap SG suggestion on Wednesday, and he came through with a serviceable 24 fantasy points. Donning the “sixth man role” and seeing 30+ minutes of playing time, that’s about the type of production you can expect out of him on a nightly basis. This price tag is still too cheap for an offensive threat like Stuckey.
Kevin Durant ($12,100) OKC @ Bos
There’s not much really to be said. As reflected by his inflamed price tag, KD is in another class right now. The question usually becomes: are there enough reliable value plays to surround him with? As long as this game stays competitive, you won’t have to worry about Durant getting his share.
Jeff Green ($6,100) Bos vs OKC
On Wednesday, Green won fantasy owners plenty of green with a whopping 58 fantasy points. A large part of that can be attributed to added offensive responsibilities forced onto by him by a laundry list of injuries to the Celtics backcourt. The matchup against OKC isn’t as favorable, so don’t expect another high-scoring outburst from Green. However, he should play 40+ minutes and pile up enough shots to churn out a quality stat line for your team.
Ryan Kelly ($4,300) LAL @ Orl
Kelly is now starting and playing heavy minutes for the Lakers. He’s a solid jump shooter and decent enough rebounder to scrap his way to 25+ fantasy points on a nightly basis. LA will be taking on Orlando’s soft defense on Friday, which presents a more fantasy-friendly matchup for Kelly & co. than their previous two games.
Tim Duncan ($8,100) SA @ Atl
Per his career, Tim Duncan has been plodding away at fantasy value for the past several weeks, posting nice, steady stat lines on a constant basis. He’s a great player for your head-to-head and double-up matches, and he even has some nice upside against a small Atlanta team that surrendered 23 points and 21 boards to Timmy D last time around.
Andray Blatche ($5,700) Bkn vs Dal
Blatche doesn’t start, plays for a team ranked in the bottom third in scoring, and only sees 25 minutes a game. So why is he a viable fantasy option, you ask? 45, 38, and 31 would be my reply. Those are the number of fantasy points scored by Andray in his past three games. His skill set is fantasy friendly, enabling him to pile up stats with unreal efficiency. He is playing so well that Coach Kidd cannot afford to keep him on the bench, especially against a Dallas team that is susceptible inside.
Derrick Williams ($4,200) Sac vs Ind
The matchup against Indiana is pretty much the worst possible draw for him, but (the other) D-Will still offers some fantasy value on Friday. DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay both suffered injuries on Wednesday, prompting Williams to step up for 22 points and 11 rebounds. At the time of writing this article, there has been no further word on Gay or DMC’s status, so at least make sure Rudy is out before you roll with Williams (which I’m speculating he will be out for awhile).
Joakim Noah ($9,100) Chi vs LAC
Noah has exceeded 40+ fantasy points in four of his past five, and Friday’s game sets up beautifully for more of the same. Despite having one of the best shot blockers in the league (DeAndre Jordan), the Clippers actually rank 25th in efficiency given up to opposing big men. This can be attributed to Jordan playing out of position, or overcompensating at times to target a potential block, leaving his man open for a putback/layup. That’s where Noah comes in, and he is producing just as well as any big man in the league right now.
Anderson Varejao ($7,900) Cle vs Mil
Milwaukee ranks 30th (dead last) in defensive efficiency to Centers. They rank 27th in rebounding rate. Anderson Varejao is averaging 16 rebounds in his past five games. Don’t over think it…click him into your lineup.
Roy Hibbert ($5,800) Ind @ Sac
As I noted earlier DeMarcus Cousins will likely be out for Friday’s game (double-check his injury status), leaving a huge void not only on the offensive end, but defensively as well. I’m not sure the Kings have anyone to counter 7’ 2” Roy Hibbert, so expect him to have an advantage in the low post and on the boards.