The league has one game set for at 12PM Eastern time, so for the purposes of this article, we are only going to focus on the nine-game slate, which begins at 7:30PM ET.
As usual, Iíll begin with an opening about our elite high-salary options from DeMarcus Cousins at $11,400 to Steph Curry at $9,600. With no real answer for either Cousins or Anthony Davis, the Suns will have their hands full trying to stop either player. Thereís almost always a 10 DKFP differential between Cousins/Davis and the next available center, so unless you see tremendous upside with another center on the slate, itís difficult to fade either of them, but I would give a nod to Cousins ($11,400) here.
If the game gets out of hand, the team is more likely to rest Davis due to his propensity for injury. Kevin Durant and Steph Curry face the Bulls in an excellent opportunity for output, but Iím already issuing a blowout protection warning on this game, so while theyíll do just fine, their usage is at risk. I donít feel the same way about LeBron James or Russell Westbrook, however. Both have good matchups and Iím naming LeBron James ($11,200) as my best high-salary target, as he torched the Hornets for 57 DKFP when they last met earlier in the season, and not much has changed lineup-wise to indicate any deviation for this contest.
A general fade alert for Friday: Many away teams wonít get to their destinations until the morning following the holiday, so you should almost always favor the home team in this situation if possible, especially when an away player is facing a team with a good home streak going (Memphis facing Denver is a good example).While someone like Mario Chalmers ($5,300) would be a good value normally, Iím inclined to fade him due to the distance they have to travel, the altitude, and the Nuggetsí four-game win streak at home. Look for these situations on this slate to exploit or fade.
As usual, Iíll select high, medium and low-priced targets for each position with a few honorable mentions worth considering.
Victor Oladipo, IND vs. TOR ($8,000): Oladipoís on a tear, posting career-highs in almost every category over the past few weeks. His days of being a roleplayer with the Thunder are over, and heís emerged as a big-time scoring threat in his new home. The tandem of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan havenít done much to slow opposing backcourts this season, so look for Oladipo to match value.
Jimmy Butler, MIN vs. MIA ($6,800): Another player thriving in new surroundings is Butler, whoís also had an excellent couple of weeks, averaging 19 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists over the last six games. His ability to fill a stat line across the board boosts his DKFP output, and Butler should see a good amount of boards and steals against the Heat, who have trouble in both categories.
Dwyane Wade, CLE vs. CHA ($5,200): With Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert still sidelined, I see a great opportunity to use Wade here against the Hornets. He only put up seven points and five assists when they last met, but he also only logged 19 minutes in that game. I think weíll easily see 25 minutes or more this time around, and I expect the veteran will take advantage and meet value at home.
Other guards to consider: Kyrie Irving, BOS vs. ORL ($8,300), Dennis Schroder, ATL vs. NY ($6,600), Will Barton, DEN vs. MEM ($6,000)
Carmelo Anthony, OKC vs. DET ($6,900): While Detroit is a strong offensive rebounding team, they donít do as well on the other end of the floor, which should play in Anthonyís favor. Heíll likely line up against Tobias Harris, who has himself acknowledged that heís a subpar defensive player. If that isnít enough of an endorsement for Anthony here, I donít know what is. For a higher price, Paul George ($8,500) could also see an uptick in this scenario.
T.J. Warren, PHO vs. NO ($6,600): Warren is coming off two excellent games and will face the Pelicans, who arenít particularly strong against small forwards, and I expect Warren to blow past EíTwaun Moore consistently. While this game has some blowout potential, Iím not worried about Warren losing minutes if it happens.
Jeremy Lamb, CHA at CLE ($5,100): With dual eligibility at forward I like Lambís chances here, considering Nicolas Batum re-aggravated the same elbow injury that sidelined him to begin the season. Even if Batum plays I expect the team to use a modicum of caution with him, which will give Lamb an opportunity to show some of what he served up in Batumís absence.
Other forwards to consider: Tim Hardaway Jr. NY at ATL (facing his former team) at $6,800, Greg Monroe, PHO vs. NO ($4,700)
As previously stated, both Cousins and Davis are in a position to excel tonight, but there are still plenty of options to be had at the five spot.
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN vs. MIA ($8,700): The Heat had a long way to travel post-holiday for this one, and Towns blitzed Miami with 47.5 DKFP in their last outing. I expect more of the same from Towns, even though I think his defensive skills are still in need of development if the Wolves plan on making it out of the regular season.
Al Horford, BOS vs. ORL ($6,900): Horford looks like a tremendous bargain at home, as his defensive prowess will likely give Nikola Vucevic fits underneath the basket. You can also never count Horford out for a couple of long-range bombs either. Itíll be a Black Friday bonanza for Horford off the boards as well.
Other centers to consider: Andre Drummond, DET at OKC ($8,800), Kevin Love, CLE vs. CHA ($7,700)