The NBA kicks off the weekend with a 10-game slate on Friday. Take some of your favorite picks from below and put them into Lineup Lab's Optimizer, which will help you round out your lineup by finding optimal players for your remaining slots.
Russell Westbrook, vs. Suns (FD: $11,900, DK: $11,800)
Projected Points: FD: 58.47, DK: 61.82
Westbrook was stuck in a mini-slump before the All-Star break, but he broke out of that, as Lineuplab.com writer Mike Barner predicted, when he drew the lowly Mavericks. Sure, it may have gone to overtime, but no fantasy owner was disappointed in Westbrook’s 30 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Westbrook gets an even better matchup on Friday against the Suns. In his last five games against them, he has been a part of the perfect lineup on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination.
Trey Burke, vs. Clippers (FD: $5,400, DK: $5,100)
Projected Points: FD: 25.02, DK: 25.33
Do you need a cheap slot after all that money spent on Westbrook? Look no further than Burke. The Knicks have gone smaller since losing Kristaps Porzingis, which has directly benefitted the Michigan product. In fact, he Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina are all getting plenty of minutes. In his last three games, Burke has seen an average of 27 minutes and has scored 39 DraftKings and Fanduel points per game.
Devin Booker, vs. Thunder (FD: $8,800, DK: $8,400)
Projected Points: FD: 41.15, DK: 43.32
Booker has scored 30-plus points in three consecutive games, continuing his development into one of the league’s most dangerous scorers. Since his return from a hip injury that cost him four games, he has averaged 48 DraftKings and 45 FanDuel points, playing 3.6 more minutes per game. Booker seems to be reinvigorated despite the fact that the Suns are playing for the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.
Bradley Beal, vs. Raptors (FD: $7,900, DK: $8,300)
Projected Points: FD: 40.06, DK: 41.16
Ever since the unfortunate knee injury to John Wall, the figurative torch has been passed to Beal. In his last game against the Raptors, he went off for 52 DraftKings and 53.2 FanDuel points. The Wizards, playing some of their best basketball of the season, rely on Beal to be their most reliable, and most explosive, scorer every night. He continues to take advantage of that role, and so should you.
Kevin Durant, vs. Hawks (FD: $10,200, DK: $10,200)
Projected Points: FD: 53.33, DK: 53.34
So you say that there is a chance of a blowout in the Philips Arena? Sure, that’s true, but Durant would likely have a big hand in getting the game to that point. In all of Golden State’s past three meetings with the Hawks, Durant has played at least 36 minutes, so I don't see this being a major concern. He should be in line for a big night against one of the worst teams in the league.
David Nwaba, vs. Mavericks (FD: $4,800, DK: $5,400)
Projected Points: FD: 26.12, DK: 25.33
Nwaba has seen an increased role since the All-Star break, as the Bulls have shifted minutes to their younger players. He has played more than 32 minutes per game over the last three, an increase of more than 10 minutes since before the league’s annual All-Star festivities. With Justin Holiday out once again, Nwaba should hit that 32-minute mark on Friday.
Ben Simmons, vs. Hornets (FD: $8,900, DK: $8,600)
Projected Points: FD: 40.46, DK: 39.96
Rookies don’t typically have performances so familiar and outstanding that we can call them vintage, but most rookies aren’t Ben Simmons. He had one of those vintage games against the Cavaliers on Friday, putting up 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in a 108-07 76ers win. Even on the second night of a back-to-back, there’s no reason to fade the likely Rookie of the Year.
Tobias Harris, vs. Knicks (FD: $7,500, DK: $7,500)
Projected Points: FD: 34.38, DK: 34.99
Harris has averaged 40 DraftKings points and 38 FanDuel points in his last two games against the Knicks. In his last five starts, he has put up 21 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 40 fantasy points per game. He has shown quite recently what he can do with a poor defensive team, as last Friday he blasted the Phoenix Suns for 61 and 58 fantasy points, respectively. Good performance recently, good performance historically against Friday’s foe. That makes Harris on easy lineup selection.
Karl-Anthony Towns, vs. Jazz (FD: $10,100, DK: $9,100)
Projected Points: FD: 44.16, DK: 45.54
Like Ben Simmons, Towns is on the second end of a back-to-back on Friday. Like Simmons again, he is a unique talent who can handle playing 80 or so minutes of basketball over two straight nights. If you haven’t already spent your money on one of the big-name players we already discussed, Towns is your man.
Dwight Howard, vs. 76ers (FD: $7,500, DK: $7,300)
Projected Points: FD: 40.02, DK: 41.29
You never know which Howard will show up, but the price always gives him a chance to turn a significant profit. He currently ranks fourth in double-doubles this season with 38, and is one of the main reasons why the Hornets are in the playoff hunt. He’s still nursing sore ribs, but should be at or near 100% on Friday.