While DraftKings is steering us to a five-game slate tonight, Iíll be running down options in all 10 games. So, if youíre scrolling down looking for some of these players and donít find them, youíll know why.
There are plenty of intriguing games tonight, with some matchups you should definitely target. Golden State travels to New Orleans, and I just donít see how the Pelicans can handle the Warriorsí backcourt at this point. LeBron and Co. will face The Greek Freak and the Bucks in what should be a shootout, and last but not least, a Portland squad that pummeled the Suns will face another surging team, the Pacers.
Moving forward, Iíll be identifying three players by position along with some other suggestions. There will be one high salary pick, a mid-level prospect, and a low salary/high value candidate. Remember, check your lineup before tip-off to move last-minute rested players!
Stephen Curry, GS at NO ($8,800): After pouring in 30 against the Rockets on opening night, Steph and the Warriors hit the Big Easy to most likely notch their first win. Jrue Holiday and Curry have tangled many times, even way back when Holiday was in Philly, and each time Steph has effectively owned him. While I like a few places to spend up at guard, this matchup is a lock, and Iím spreading Steph everywhere.
Other worthy spend-up picks: Damian Lillard, POR at IND ($9,300), John Wall, DET at WAS ($9,800)
DíAngelo Russell, BKN vs. ORL ($7,300): With Jeremy Lin out for the year, Russellís minutes will jump from the 30 he spent on the floor against the Pacers. He now owns the Netsí backcourt, and they donít look all that bad. While Orlando looked sharp against the Heat, look for Russell to rise to this challenge.
Other mid-level prospects: Klay Thompson, GS at NO ($6,500), Victor Oladipo, IND vs. POR ($6, 900)
Nick Young, GS at NO ($4,000): Youngís first game against the Rockets could be an outlier, but he logged 26 minutes on Tuesday and Steve Kerr had to be pleased with the result. If youíre spending up elsewhere Young should be a great choice to meet value.
Other low salary/high value considerations: Joe Ingles, UTA at MIN ($4,600), Avery Bradley, DET at WAS ($5,400)
LeBron James, CLE at MIL ($10,500): I have to admit, the spend-up choice here is a tough one as Giannis and Durant are hard to fade, but if anyone can will a team to win, itís James. I think heíll be called upon to do just that against a Bucks team that looks better than they do on paper. The King might be the best high salary candidate on the slate tonight.
Other worthy spend-up picks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. CLE ($10,800), Kevin Durant, GS at NO ($9,600)
Ben Simmons, PHI vs. BOS ($7,500): Although heís listed right after Durant, thereís a $2,100 drop-off to an area filled with value. I like Simmons, who posted a double-double against a tough Wizards team earlier this week and although the new-look Celtics arenít bad, the gap left by Gordon Hayward can be exploited with Jae Crowder and Avery Bradleyís defensive skills gone elsewhere.
Other mid-level prospects: Tobias Harris, DET at WAS ($5,900), Thaddeus Young, IND vs. POR ($5,800)
Taurean Prince, ATL at CHA ($5,000): I have no doubt that being high on Prince this year will result in a few snake-bit lineups, but he turned in a double-double in his first game and the Hornets have trouble rebounding the ball. When you roster the big guns, heís a perfect value candidate on this slate.
Other low salary/high value considerations: Trevor Booker, BKN vs. ORL ($4,700), Evan Fournier, ORL at BKN, ($5,400)
DeMarcus Cousins, NO vs. GS ($10,400): Although I am not a fan of this matchup, you have to start Anthony Davis or Cousins if you have cap space. With Davis battling a recent illness Iíll look for Cousins to follow up on his 28 point, 10 rebound showing earlier in the week. With Draymond Green hobbled the inside lane should be fairly clear for both big men to get through.
Other high-salary picks: Anthony Davis, NO vs. GS ($10,600), Rudy Gobert, UTA at MIN ($8,200)
Nikola Vucevic, ORL at BKN ($7,600): Vucevic looked great against the Heat, and the Nets have no real presence inside. This is a great value matchup for the big man at a moderate price.
Other mid-level prospects: Al Horford, BOS at PHI ($6,800), Dwight Howard, ATL at CHA $6,700)
Iím not a particular fan of any big men much lower than this on Friday. If you really need to spend down you could do worse than Jon Leuer ($3,900) against the Wizards, but thatís about it. Have a great weekend!