Friday December 18th, 2015

The NBA kicks off the weekend with a 12-game slate, though just two players from the 24 teams in action have five-figure price tags. We’ve seen that more than once recently, and that sort of breakdown creates some of the most interesting daily fantasy nights. There are a lot of opportunities for lineup differentiation when there are this many teams to choose from, and few star players who command significant ownership rates. That helps to make game theory a little less important than it is on, say, a day like Thursday when there were just three games on the schedule.

All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.

• MORE NBA: What obstacles could stand in Warriors’​ way?

PG: Elfrid Payton ($6,700) vs. POR: Payton has at least 29.1 fantasy points in eight of his last nine games in which he has played 30 minutes, and he averages 31.6 minutes per game. You can figure it out from there. The over/under on this game is an even 200, which is the sixth-highest on the board on Friday’s busy slate.

SG: Zach LaVine ($5,900) vs. SAC: LaVine’s recent play has earned him more minutes, and that’s helping to make him a big bargain at just $5,900. LaVine has averaged 25.8 fantasy points over his last 10 games and 28.7 over his last four. Meanwhile, the Kings and Timberwolves are expected to play to an over/under of 213.5, making this a great game to target for daily fantasy purposes.

SF: Kawhi Leonard ($8,900) vs. LAC: Leonard gives you the superstar ceiling without the five-figure price tag, making him a great pivot off of Paul George, the highest-priced small forward on Friday. He has at least 40 fantasy points in three of his last four and five of his last nine games. The Spurs are favored by eight points, giving them an implied team total of 101.5.

PF: Anthony Davis ($10,500) @ PHO: Any time Davis is in the game with the highest total on the board, you’re going to want to, at the very least, consider him for your daily lineup. The over/under for Pelicans-Suns is 214, which is, indeed, the top total for Friday. Davis has eight double-doubles in his last nine games, and is a safe bet to make in nine out of 10 on Friday.

C: Karl-Anthony Towns ($7,200) vs. SAC: Towns remains one of the best daily values every single time the Timberwolves take the court. He has 32.7 or more fantasy points in four of his last five games, and should take advantage of a pace that is expected to produce the second-highest total on the board. The Kings have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to centers this season.

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