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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Friday

Michael Chua

Michael Chua

Michael Chua is a basketball statistics expert from the Philippines. He has worked as a student manager for the University of Wisconsin Men's basketball team. He is also the basketball program consultant for his high school alma mater, Shanghai American School, in China.

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TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Memphis Grizzlies at Toronto Raptors: The Grizzlies are dead-last in the league in offensive pace, averaging just 92.25 possessions per game. In a matchup against the Raptors, who are the sixth-best defensive team, allowing just 101.1 points per 100 possessions, to opponents, daily players will find it extremely hard to dig up fantasy potential from either team. On a Friday night with 10 games on the slate, look elsewhere for fantasy production.

Offenses to Use
Indiana Pacers at Philadelphia 76ers: I must be crazy for writing up the Sixers, arguably the league's worst team, as an offense to use against the suffocating defense of the Pacers. Yet, both teams are bound to have strong fantasy plays on Friday. The Pacers have been struggling of late, winning just one game out of their last five contests. Perhaps playing against a tanking Sixers team will allow players like Paul George, David West, Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson, and George Hill to return to daily fantasy relevance. The Sixers on the other hand have been losing games for the past it-hurts-me-too-much-to-count weeks, but still have managed to produce fantasy-worthy numbers from budget players. Daily players could spend some loose change for a junkyard of Tony Wroten ($4,800), James Anderson ($4,600), and Henry Sims ($4,100), while still seeing solid options in Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young. As RotoWire's Charlie Zegers says, fantasy basketball is not real basketball. The Sixers can lose all they want in real life, but if I can ride on their players for fantasy production at a reduced price, I can forgive them for trading Evan Turner to a team that has turned him into fantasy garbage.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards
Second game of a back-to-back: Los Angeles Lakers

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Point Guard
Jordan Farmar, LAL (at SAC), PG ($4,200): Farmar has been playing well over his last eight games, averaging 16.0 points, 4.6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 3.3 three-pointers per contest. Despite being locked to a bench role, he's been producing strong numbers, particularly from the three-point line, and remains as an option ready to explode on any given game. His price tag is affordable by most standards, and if you're looking for a filler option with solid upside, consider Farmar against the Spurs, who give up 21.4 points (fourth-worst) per game to opposing eligible point guards.

Other suggestions: Tony Parker (vs. LAL), PG ($7,200), Tony Wroten (vs. IND), PG ($4,800), Mario Chalmers (vs. DEN), PG ($4,700)

Shooting Guard
Eric Bledsoe, PHX (at BOS), PG/SG ($7,000): Bledsoe finally returned to court after missing over two months of action with a knee injury. He put up 15 points, three rebounds, nine assists, and two steals in 32 minutes of action. Despite a lousy 5-for-16 performance from the field, it appears Bledsoe should soon be back to form, as he managed to log 32 minutes in his return. His price tag is certainly worth taking a gamble on as he slowly returns to his 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 three-pointers made per game.

Other suggestions: Bradley Beal (at ORL) SG ($6,300), Lance Stephenson (at PHI) SG/SF ($6,200), James Anderson (vs. IND) SG/SF ($4,600)

Small Forward
Kawhi Leonard, SAS (vs. LAL), SG/SF ($6,400): Leonard has been playing efficiently in the month of March, averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.3 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.5 three-pointers made per game. The Lakers have been playing atrocious defense of late, giving up 20.1 points (eighth-worst), 7.6 rebounds (second-worst), 4.6 assists (worst), and 2.2 steals (worst) per game to opposing eligible small forwards. Consider Leonard a solid mid-priced option for Friday's slate.

Other suggestions: Paul George (at PHI), SG/SF ($8,500), Tobias Harris (vs. WAS), SF/PF ($6,600), Wilson Chandler (at MIA), SG/SF ($6,000)

Power Forward
Thomas Robinson, POR (at NOP), PF ($3,000): It's a total shot in the dark banking on Robinson for a possible value play. LaMarcus Aldridge (back) will miss at least two games, which means somebody on the Blazers is going to have to fill up his 36.5 minutes per game. Blazers' coach Terry Stotts may opt to go small-ball without their superstar power forward, putting Robinson in a timeshare with Dorell Wright. However, if Robinson gets the start, his per-30 minute averages this season are intriguing: 11.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game. Consider Robinson a low-cost, high-risk play on Friday.

Other suggestions: Thaddeus Young (vs. IND), SF/PF ($7,200), Josh McRoberts (vs. MIN), PF/C ($4,500), Ryan Kelly (at SAS), PF ($4,100)

Center
Henry Sims, PHI (vs. IND), C ($4,100): Sims is quietly producing solid value as the new starting center for the Sixers. He's averaging 11.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks over the last five games, and it appears his confidence is increasing of late. He's coming of a career-best performance on Wednesday, putting up 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks in 31 minutes of action. If he can log 30-plus minutes again on Friday, his production will certainly be worth more than his modest price tag.

Other suggestions: Nikola Vucevic (vs. WAS), PF/C ($7,900), Spencer Hawes (at GSW), PF/C ($7,100), Robin Lopez (at NOP), C ($5,200)

INJURY REPORT

Out
LaMarcus Aldridge (back) will miss at least two games and will be re-evaluated next week.
Mo Williams (hip) will miss two weeks and will be re-evaluated later on.
Nene Hilario (knee) is out for at least two more weeks.
Patrick Patterson (elbow) is out for approximately one more week.
Andrew Bynum (rest) will not play Friday.
Ryan Anderson (back) said that his herniated disc isn't healing, and he's out indefinitely.
Nick Young (knee) hopes to return soon and says he will not miss the remainder of the season.
Kobe Bryant (knee) is out for the season.
Steve Nash (back) is out for the season.
J.J. Redick (back) may be shut down for the rest of the season.
Klay Thompson (personal) will miss Friday's game attending to his grandfather's funeral.

Game-Time Decision
Stephen Curry (quadriceps) has been playing with a sore quad and is expected to play Friday.
Eric Gordon (illness) is a game-time decision Friday.
Tyreke Evans (illness) is a game-time decision Friday.
Jamal Crawford (calf) is a game-time decision Friday.
Avery Bradley (ankle) is expected to return to action Friday.
P.J. Tucker (suspension) served his one-game suspension and should play Friday.
Ian Mahinmi (rib) is questionable to play Friday.
Jordan Hill (knee) is doubtful to play Friday.
Marvin Williams (back) is questionable to play Friday.
C.J. Miles (ankle) is doubtful to play Friday.
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