Oh my! It’s gonna be a wild Friday night in the NBAwith all of the league’s superstars on the schedule. Westbrook, Harden, LeBron, Kawhi, Curry, Cousins, Wall --all lacing it up in what is sure to be a memorable daily fantasy basketballnight! Whenever there are 11games,there is going to be a ton of variation in strategies and lineups, which makes GPP tournaments all that much more fun.
I can’t stress enough about how to approach the end of the season. Some of whatI write about nowcould honestly be useless come lock time. On an 11-game slate, the news that comes out is certainly going to determine the direction you should be taking. It’s still worth it to discuss and examine the best spots here, especially for when value does break, but you cannot be unavailable at lock if you expect to win anything. I’ve been trying my best to answer questionsand give updates on the article around lock, so please continue to check@MLoveDFSon Twitter to make sure you’re getting the most relevant information.
Moreover, that’s why the tools we have at RotoQL are beyond valuable. Before I used them to create my lineups, there were many times where I’d “lock in” players too earlywhen I should have been starting from scratch based on new information. We’re human --it’s too easy to trick ourselves into thinking we know best. The RotoQL lineup builder factors in late-breaking newsand gives you the opportunity to still pick your core favorites, buts it helps with finding the optimal values to maximize your potential fantasy score.
At this point of the season, there is nothing more efficient than the RotoQL NBA Lineup Optimizer. I use it every day. Don’t lose all your profits at the end of the season. Set yourself up to win with RotoQL.
NBA point totals for Friday
Lookingat the highest projected point totals for that night's games is a good way to narrow your possibilities when putting together a lineup. You'll get a better idea of the games that will likely provide some of the biggest DFS performers.
Houston at Golden State: O/U 231.5
Denver at Charlotte: O/U 220.5
Philadelphia at Cleveland: O/U 219
Orlando at Boston: O/U 217.5
San Antonio at Oklahoma City: O/U 209
Sacramento at New Orleans: O/U 207.5
Indiana at Toronto: O/U 207
New York at Miami: O/U 206.5
Wizards at Jazz: O/U 206.5
Detroit at Milwaukee: O/U 199
Dallas at Memphis: O/U 192
Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup core plays
Point Guard: Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics (DK: $8,100, FD: $8,500)
I really like the price tag for Isaiah in this matchup with the Magic, especially when I see a 217 total. While the 10-point home favorite does scare me a little, I think if the damage is that bad, it will be IT2 who did most of the dirty work. Thomas has definitely cooled off after an incredible stretch earlier this year, but with another Cavs loss Thursdaynight, you have to factor in Boston’s desire to push its lead as the top seed in the East. This is a real race, and because I think the Magic can keep it close enough where Thomas sees his full allotment of minutes, I'm sticking with the diminutive, dynamic playmaker.
Other Options: Russell Westbrook, Kemba Walker
Shooting Guard: Nik Stauskas, Philadelphia 76ers(DK: $4,600, FD: $3,800)
The Sixers are a great place to look for value again tonight because oftheir injury issues. They are only bringing nine guys to Cleveland, but even with Cleveland playing as poorly as it is, can Philly keep the game close and competitive?It won’t matter either way for Stauskas, who will have to play an increased amount of minutes regardless of the score. Even if things do get out of hand and the Cavs come out strong, some run against Cleveland’s bench will only provide more opportunitiesfor fantasy points. Stauskas has met value 80 percentof the time when playing 33 or more minutes. What more can I say? I think he’s a lock to see that much court time, and minutes equalmoney.
Other Options: Klay Thompson, Lou Williams
Small Forward: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers (DK: $10,000, FD: $10,900)
This could be controversial, and I can’t wait to hear what you all think about LeBron tonight. I haven’t been playing him in fantasy too often, but I think tonight the Cavs have to win, and I can’t see anyone else but LeBron leading the charge. Robert Covington has already been ruled out for Philadelphia, and while no one on the Sixers has been able to slow down James this year, it’s still noteworthy when they are missing their best defender. LeBron scored 59, and 62 DraftKings points, respectively, in his two previous matchups with Philadelphia this year. This is the perfect bounce-back spot for Cleveland, so I’m in on LeBron correcting some of these wrongs, at least for tonight.
Other Options: Kawhi Leonard, Justin Anderson
Power Forward: Richaun Holmes, Philadelphia 76ers(DK: $6,400, FD: $5,800)
There aretwo early spots for value tonight due to injuries forcing short rotations for the 76ers and the Memphis Grizzlies. What’s really interestingis FanDuel didn’t really raise the price onHolmesor Zach Randolph, so there really are two undervalued power forwards to play on their site. I sided with Holmes, mostly because of the over/under, but also because of his youth. It can sound silly, but Memphis is a playoff team, and it hasmore reasons to save Randolph then to spend him, and after a few games with an increased workload, it could always get the older guy back. Holmes will hopefully see the Cleveland backups in the fourth, where he should be able to rack up extra garbage time fantasy points for us. Like I said in the intro, a lot could change, but right now Holmes is a guarantee for minutes and a fair price.
Other Options: Zach Randolph, James Johnson
Center: DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans (DK: $9,600, FD: $9,600)
I’m not going to lie, Boogie is one of my favorite players in the league, and I am very excited for his first matchup against the Kings since being traded. I’ve said it before, if there’s anyone who buys into narrative in the NBA, its DeMarcus Cousins. I expect him to absolutely EAT in tonight’s matchup, and I expect his teammates to feed him as early and often as possible. Honestly, the young guys on the Kings may still be scared of Boogie, as he was such a big personality in that locker room, and it will be interesting to see how they defend their former teammate. With so much uncertainty every day in late-season NBA, it’s hard to look past a guy who will be clearly out to make a revenge statement.
Other Options: Nikola Jokic, Myles Turner
Friday's Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup example (FanDuel)
*NOTE: The above lineup was created at 12 PM ET and isan example of how to plug a core into the RotoQL Optimizerand build around it. Do NOT ever play a lineup without checking injury/lineup news before lock.