Defense to Avoid:
Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Many people don’t think of the Pistons as a defensive team, but they have been playing some solid D under coach Stan Van Gundy. In fact, Detroit ranks ninth in points allowed and third in rebounding. They also have a defensive efficiency rating below 100, which is good for any team. They also rank in the bottom-10 in pace. On Friday, they get to face a Bucks offense that ranks 29th in points per game and dead-last in rebounding. That’s a recipe for disaster against this Detroit defense. The only player who might play well for Milwaukee is Greg Monroe, who will be playing a revenge game against his former team. The Bucks rotation is a mess and that makes picking players on the team especially tough.
Offenses to Use:
Washington Wizards vs. Phoenix Suns
There are three top-notch offenses that are easy selections: the Cavaliers, Hawks and Mavericks, who all play bottom-five defenses. However, the Wizards present some great value. None of their players cost more than $8,300 and they have a fantastic matchup. Washington gets to face the Suns, who currently rank first in pace and 27th in points allowed. The Wizards actually rank third in pace, so there should be plenty of possessions and tons of fantasy points to go around. The 212-point total that Vegas put out is the highest of the night.
Teams on Back-to-Back Set:
First Game: Bucks, Cavaliers, Knicks and Rockets
Second Game: None
Daily Player Recommendations:
John Wall, WSH vs. PHX ($8,300): The Wizards point guard had been struggling mightily, but he has been playing much better lately. That lowered his price just enough for DFS players to take advantage. In his two games this week, Wall is averaging 34.5 points, 10.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game for a ridiculous 130 fantasy points. On Friday, he gets to face the Suns, who are the fastest-paced offense in the NBA. Additionally, the Suns rank dead-last in fantasy points allowed to point guards.
Other Suggestions: Jarrett Jack, BKN at NYK ($6,300); Mo Williams, CLE at NOP ($5,500); Patrick Beverley, HOU at DAL ($4,400)
Wesley Matthews, DAL vs. HOU ($4,600): Over his last six games, Matthews is averaging 13.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and one steal per game. The best part about that run is that he is averaging over 34 minutes per game, which means he is nearly at a full complement of minutes. A player of Matthews' abilities is capable of averaging 25-plus fantasy points per game and his $4,600 price tag doesn’t show that. The matchup is a great one as well, as he'll be covered by James Harden, one of the worst defenders in the NBA. Guarding Harden should also give him some opportunity for steals and blocks with the high usage rate that Harden has.
Other Suggestions: Tyreke Evans, NOP vs. CLE ($6,800); Arron Afflalo, NYK vs. BKN ($4,600); Khris Middleton, MIL at DET ($5,700)
Thabo Sefolosha, ATL vs. LAL ($4,600): Sefolosha has been starting recently and is is averaging 9.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals and one block per game over his last six. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but that’s over 25 fantasy points per game. Getting 25 out of a $4,600-player is a solid return on investment and the matchup Friday is the icing on the cake. The Hawks face off against the Lakers, who rank 28th in the NBA in fantasy points allowed to small forwards.
Other Suggestions: Trevor Ariza, HOU at DAL ($5,300); Otto Porter, WAS vs. PHX ($5,300); Joe Johnson, BKN at NYK ($5,200)
Terrence Jones, HOU at DAL ($4,900): Jones has been relegated to bench duties recently, but that's made his price a fantastic value. What is so enticing about him on Friday is that Dwight Howard is expected to be rested. That means that Clint Capela would shift over to center and Jones will be beck in the starting lineup to play big minutes in Howard's absence. For Jones, that means a matchup against Dirk Nowitzki and that's always a fantasy-friendly situation. In fact, Dallas ranks 27th in fantasy points allowed to power forwards.
Other Suggestions: Julius Randle, LAL at ATL ($6,200); Ersan Ilyasova, DET vs. MIL ($4,300); Jabari Parker, MIL at DET ($4,500)
Clint Capela, HOU at DAL ($5,800): Capela has been a huge surprise for the Rockets this season and he should get as many minutes as he can handle without Howard available. Prior to a stinker in his last game against the Pelicans, Capela was averaging about 31 fantasy points per game over his previous five and doing that in limited time. In an up-tempo matchup like this one, he could easily approach a double-double.
Other Suggestions: Al Horford, ATL vs. LAL ($6,700); Zaza Pachulia, DAL vs. HOU ($6,300); Alex Len, PHX at WSH ($3,800)
Andrea Bargnani – BKN (hamstring)
Kyrie Irving – CLE ( knee)
Brandon Jennings – DET (knee)
Jodie Meeks – DET (back)
Dwight Howard – HOU (rest)
Donatas Motiejunas – HOU (back)
Kendrick Perkins – NOP (pectoral)
Quincy Pondexter – NOP (knee)
Tiago Splitter – ATL (hip)
Chandler Parsons – DAL (legs)
Kobe Bryant – LAL (age)
Jrue Holiday – NOP (legs)
Lou Amundson – NYK (back)
Tyson Chandler – PHX (hamstring)
Markieff Morris – PHX (knee)
Marcin Gortat – WSH (personal)
Drew Gooden – WSH (calf)
Nene Hilario – WSH (calf)