There are only three games tonight, but there's plenty of ways to win. Our NBA fantasy expert dishes his daily advice.
With 11 games on the slate tonight, there is no shortage of ways to build your lineup. However, nearly all those ways will have to start with Russell Westbrook. In four games without Kevin Durant, Westbrook has averaged 58.2 fantasy points per game. To give you some context, Stephen Curry is averaging 50.9 fantasy points per game for the season. Westbrook’s real-life numbers in the four-game stretch? 32.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 10 assists and 2.5 steals per game. He needs to be in your lineups on Friday.
All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.
PG: Emmanuel Mudiay ($5,800) vs. PHO: Mudiay joins Westbrook in the backcourt as a cheap running mate with a very high ceiling. What’s great about Mudiay is that even if he has an off-night shooting the ball, he produces in the other categories. The rookie is averaging 6.4 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game this season.
SG: Jimmy Butler ($8,000) @ GS: Butler had 32 points and six rebounds in Chicago’s last game with Derrick Rose nursing a sprained ankle. Rose is considered a game-time decision for Friday’s showdown with the Warriors, and if he’s out again Butler’s usage rate will be through the roof. This game has an over/under of 208, and Butler is up to 34.8 fantasy points per game.
SF: Al-Farouq Aminu ($5,800) vs. LAC: Aminu has turned into an all-around contributor for the Blazers this season, averaging 13.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 32.9 minutes per game this season. The Clippers are on the second night of a back-to-back, and played late into the night in a fast-paced game with the Warriors. In other words, the Blazers should have much fresher legs in this one.
PF: Serge Ibaka ($6,900) vs. NY: Ibaka struggled from the floor in Oklahoma City’s last game, but he has stepped up right alongside Westbrook during Durant’s absence. In the first three games Durant missed, Ibaka averaged 35.1 fantasy points per game, nearly six full points better than his season-long average.
C: Rudy Gobert ($7,400) @ DAL: Any big man going up against the Mavericks is a good play, especially one like Gobert. He’s putting up 30.3 fantasy points per game this season on the strength of his defense. Gobert is averaging 11 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game this season, and the ankle injury that bothered him last week is completely in the rear-view mirror.