It’s a busy Friday, per usual, with 10 games dotting the NBA slate. Despite that, there isn’t one five-figure player in action, with John Wall and LeBron James the most expensive offerings at $9,800. Three of the defenses we absolutely love to attack for fantasy purposes—belonging to the 76ers, Suns and Lakers—take the floor tonight, as do Utah, Cleveland, Miami and Toronto, four defenses we usually try to avoid. That should help guide our decisions to kick off the weekend.
All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.
PG: Kyle Lowry ($9,100) vs. POR: Last week against the Cavaliers, Lowry poured in 43 points, dished out nine assists and racked up 68.5 fantasy points. He got a night off for rest in Toronto’s next game, and then came out against the Jazz on Wednesday and scored 32 more points to go along with five assists, four rebounds and three steals. Lowry has been on fire of late, scoring at least 45 fantasy points in five of his last nine games, a stretch during which he has averaged 44.8 fantasy points per game. He and Damian Lillard should give us a nice show in Toronto on Friday.
SG: Zach LaVine ($5,300) @ MIL: Sam Mitchell is finally giving LaVine the minutes he deserves, and the second-year player out of UCLA is delivering for the Timberwolves, as well as his fantasy owners. LaVine has played at least 32 minutes in all but one game since All-Star Weekend, and the one in which he didn’t was the first game after the break. He has averaged 26.3 fantasy points per game during that time, nearly 25% better than his full season average. The Bucks, meanwhile, have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards this season.
SF: LeBron James ($9,800) vs. WAS: This is Cleveland’s first game since James created a bit of a stir by using a few consecutive off-days to go down to Miami and work out with Dwyane Wade. James has a way of reminding people how good he is when he’s seemingly on the wrong side of a story, and the Wizards happen to be a willing foil, surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points per game to small forwards this year. The Cavaliers should be rested—they haven’t played since Monday—and James has scored at least 43.9 fantasy points in five of his last nine games, failing to reach 40 points just once in that span.
PF: Myles Turner ($5,300) @ CHA: Turner’s overall production has slowed of late, but he’s still logging plenty of minutes for the Pacers and he has a great matchup on Friday. The Hornets have surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points per game to power forwards, and don’t have anyone who can match Turner’s athleticism in the paint. If he gives you 25 fantasy points on Friday, he delivers value on his $5,300 price tag. That shouldn’t be an issue against this defense.
C: Hassan Whiteside ($8,600) @ PHI: Whiteside came back down to earth after going for 26 points and 14 rebounds against the bulls, but he still put up 32.7 fantasy points in a win over Phoenix on Thursday, thanks in large part to five blocks. Whiteside’s all-around game makes him so dangerous because he doesn’t have to rely on any one facet of it to get his fantasy numbers. All facets, however, should be clicking against a Philadelphia defense that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to centers.