Fridayís 11-game slate gives us plenty to work with, especially in finding appealing matchups. For example, the Magic, who have given up the most fantasy points to point guards and seventh-most to small forwards over the past ten games, are in play. Marc Gasol, whoís been underwhelming lately, will have a chance to go up against the Hawks, who have allowed the most fantasy points to centers over the past 10 games.
Without further ado, letís dive in.
Damian Lillard, POR at ORL ($9,500)
Youíll have to pay up if you want Lillard in your lineup Friday, but heís been worth the price as of late. Heís tallied at least 45 fantasy points in four of the past five games and boasts a season average of 42.9 fantasy points. That trend seems like it will continue, as the Trail Blazers will be going up against the Magic, who give up the most fantasy points (57.0) to point guards over the past 10 games. That number is by a pretty large margin too, as the fifth-ranked team, the Knicks, give up 49.8 fantasy points to point guards and the 15th-ranked team, the Clippers, give up 43.8 points to the position. Itís hard to ignore how poorly Orlando defends point guards, which should make Lillard a good option in both cash and tournament contests. Earlier in the year, Lillard dropped 47.7 fantasy points against the Magic.
Gary Harris, DEN vs. NO ($6,400)
Harris has been earning his fantasy points largely by way of three-point shooting and racking up steals. Of his 15.9 points per game, 6.9 of them come by way of the three-ball. Heís also swiping 1.9 steals per game. The Pelicans check into Fridayís game giving up the most fantasy points overall (64.3) to shooting guards over the past 10 games, as well as the most threes and the sixth-most steals. Most recently, heís coming off a 52.6-fantasy-point performance against the Celtics. Over the past eight games, heís racked up at least 34 fantasy points six times and is averaging 29.1 on the year. His price and recent performances make him a nice mid-tier option for both cash and tournament contests. Harris has totaled 70.7 fantasy points in his two matchups against the Pelicans earlier this season.
Chris Paul, HOU vs. SA ($9,400)
Paul has been on a tear over the past four games, averaging 23.8 points, 9.3 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game Thatís translated to 52.5 fantasy points per game -- 10.4 fantasy points higher than his season average. The Spurs are an appealing matchup for Paul as well, as they give up the fourth-most fantasy points to point guards over the past 10 games. Considering his relatively high floor, Paul should make for a good play in both cash and tournaments.
Jonathon Simmons, ORL at POR ($6,700)
With Evan Fournier (ankle) already ruled out and Arron Afflalo nursing a back injury, Simmons should continue seeing an expanded role in the Magicís game plan. Over the past nine games, Simmons has posted 17.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, which has translated to an average of 27.5 fantasy points. However, that mark is largely dampened by a seven fantasy point effort. When that game is taken out of the equation, Simmons is recording 30.1 fantasy points over the same stretch. Heís been especially hot over the past two games, totaling 85.1 fantasy points. The matchup plays into Simmonsí favor as well, as Portland is allowing the most fantasy points to small forwards over the past 10 games. Earlier in the year, Simmons put up 22.1 fantasy points on the Blazers in 26 minutes.
Al-Farouq Aminu, POR at ORL ($5,500)
Aminu missed 13 games in the middle of the year due to an ankle injury, but has played well over the past four games, averaging 23.1 fantasy points per game -- on par with his overall mark of 23.7. The primary reason to deploy Aminu is the matchup, as the Magic give up the seventh-most most fantasy points to fours over the past 10 contests. Itís probably best to stick with Aminu in tournaments rather than cash, as heís shown to have a floor of around 18 fantasy points, which isnít ideal considering his price tag. Heís racked up two 30-plus fantasy-point efforts in his 12 games played, which probably represents his ceiling.
Marc Gasol, MEM vs. ATL ($8,300)
Gasol has had his share of struggles lately, failing to reach 40 fantasy points in six straight contests. Heíll have a chance to turn that around against the Hawks on Friday, however, as Atlanta is allowing the most fantasy points (50.4) to centers over the past 10 games. Considering his shaky efforts recently, Gasol probably makes for a better tournament than cash play, though does have a relatively high floor. Heís averaging 38.3 fantasy points per game, with a high of 71.1, which he achieved against the Pacers.