NBA First Look: Friday, March 13th

We’ve got nine games to examine on Friday.

Philadelphia (14-50) Sacramento (22-41) SAC -3.5 206.5 7:00 PM
Charlotte (28-35) Chicago (40-26) TBD TBD 7:00 PM
Boston (27-36) Orlando (21-45) BOS -5 195.5 7:30 PM
Toronto (38-26) Miami (29-35) TOR -5.5 205.0 7:30 PM
Oklahoma City (35-29) Minnesota (14-49) TBD TBD 8:00 PM
Dallas (41-25) L.A. Clippers (42-23) DAL -1.5 202.5 8:30 PM
Denver (24-41) Golden State (51-12) GSW -7.5 216.0 9:00 PM
Phoenix (34-32) Atlanta (50-14) ATL -5 205.5 10:00 PM
Portland (42-20) Detroit (23-41) POR -8.5 197.0 10:00 PM



Opponent Preview – Philadelphia:
Pace of Play: 98.2 (Rank: 6)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.8 (Rank: 20)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 12
Rebounding Differential Rank: 29


DeMarcus Cousins (FD: $10500, DK: $9500 / DvP: 29 / Usage Rate: 33.6) – Cousins is probable for Friday night’s game against the Sixers. This is a game that he should be able to dominate. We all saw what Pau Gasol was able to do the Sixers on Wednesday night and I’m expecting a similar outing from Cousins.

Rudy Gay (FD: $8200, DK: $7600 / DvP: 14 / Usage Rate: 26.5) – Gay has played well over his last seven games, averaging 37 fantasy points per contest. His price has come up a bit across the industry, but he’s still at an affordable price point. He draws a favorable matchup against the Sixers, who are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA.


Opponent Preview – Sacramento:
Pace of Play: 97.7 (Rank: 8)
Points Allowed Per Game: 105.1 (Rank: 28)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 27
Rebounding Differential Rank: 2


Nerlens Noel (FD: $7500, DK: $6800 / DvP: 20 / Usage Rate: 16.4) – Noel’s price continues to rise, as he continues to post quality outing after quality outing. He has averaged 37 fantasy points per game over his last seven and is one of the few players in the NBA that has the ability to post double-digit fantasy points with blocks and steals alone.

Ish Smith (FD: $5200, DK: $5000 / DvP: 27 / Usage Rate: 21.8) – This pick hinges on Smith sticking in the starting lineup. He played well as the starter on Wednesday night, scoring 23 points and dishing out 6 assists against the Bulls.


Opponent Preview – Charlotte:
Pace of Play: 95.5 (Rank: 22)
Points Allowed Per Game: 97 (Rank: 6)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 10
Rebounding Differential Rank: 12


Pau Gasol (FD: $9200, DK: $8900 / DvP: 17 / Usage Rate: 23.8) – Gasol is coming off of a monster outing against the Sixers. While Joakim Noah may return to the lineup, Taj Gibson is expected to miss Friday night’s game. Gasol should be able to dominate down low against a Hornets’ front-court that will be without Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller.

Nikola Mirotic (FD: $6400, DK: $6800 / DvP: 17 / Usage Rate: 21) – Mirotic continues to shred opposing defenses. He has scored at least 33 fantasy points in four of his last six games. He should see 30+ minutes of action against the Hornets.

Aaron Brooks (FD: $6000, DK: $5400 / DvP: 10 / Usage Rate: 25.6) – Brooks took over in the fourth quarter and overtime on Wednesday night. He finished the game with 31 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. His price has come way up though and this isn’t the best matchup to pay a premium for Brooks.


Opponent Preview – Chicago:
Pace of Play: 95.6 (Rank: 21)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.8 (Rank: 12)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 12
Rebounding Differential Rank: 5


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (FD: $6200, DK: $5900 / DvP: 18 / Usage Rate: 18.8) – Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller are both expected to miss this game. MKG will likely see an uptick in minutes and production in their absence. He is coming off of a 42 fantasy point outing and he draws a favorable matchup against Mike Dunleavy.

Marvin Williams (FD: $4200, DK: $4000 / DvP: 17 / Usage Rate: 13.1) – Williams should draw another start and he’ll likely see extended action with Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller out. He is very cheap on both FanDuel and DraftKings and is one of the better value plays on the board.


Opponent Preview – Boston:
Pace of Play: 98.3 (Rank: 5)
Points Allowed Per Game: 102 (Rank: 25)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 15
Rebounding Differential Rank: 18


Victor Oladipo (FD: $7800, DK: $8100 / DvP: 3 / Usage Rate: 25) – Oladipo has scored at least 22 fantasy points in each of his last nine games. He draws a tough matchup against Avery Bradley, but I like his chances to have a big game against the Celtics. This should be a fast-paced, high-scoring affair.

Tobias Harris (FD: $6600, DK: $6700 / DvP: 25 / Usage Rate: 22.9) – Harris has scored at least 31 fantasy points in each of his last four games. His price is reasonable and he draws a favorable matchup against the Celtics, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards.


Opponent Preview – Orlando:
Pace of Play: 95.8 (Rank: 19)
Points Allowed Per Game: 101.4 (Rank: 24)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 26
Rebounding Differential Rank: 26


Avery Bradley (FD: $5700, DK: $5100 / DvP: 8 / Usage Rate: 20.8) – Bradley played well in his first game back from injury, scoring 28 fantasy points. It sounds like Isaiah Thomas will miss Friday’s game, which should result in an uptick in minutes for Bradley.


Opponent Preview – Toronto:
Pace of Play: 95.9 (Rank: 17)
Points Allowed Per Game: 101.3 (Rank: 23)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 22
Rebounding Differential Rank: 21


Dwyane Wade (FD: $8000, DK: $7200 / DvP: 12 / Usage Rate: 33.9) – Wade has been on fire over his last six games, averaging 40 fantasy points per contest. His price on DraftKings has yet to react to his recent level of production, making him an excellent target at shooting guard.


Opponent Preview – Miami:
Pace of Play: 92.8 (Rank: 29)
Points Allowed Per Game: 97 (Rank: 6)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 19
Rebounding Differential Rank: 23


Kyle Lowry (FD: $7600, DK: $7100 / DvP: 11 / Usage Rate: 25.4) – Lowry has played well since returning from his injury, averaging 37 fantasy points per game over his last three. He draws a decent matchup against Goran Dragic and the Heat, who have really made an effort to push the pace recently.


Opponent Preview – Oklahoma City:
Pace of Play: 97.9 (Rank: 7)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.9 (Rank: 16)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 11
Rebounding Differential Rank: 3


Andrew Wiggins (FD: $6400, DK: $6500 / DvP: 17 / Usage Rate: 21.8) – Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic may both be on a minutes cap for this game, which leaves Wiggins as the lone fantasy option on the Wolves. He should play close to 40 minutes in what is expected to be a high-scoring game against the Thunder.

Oklahoma City

Opponent Preview – Minnesota:
Pace of Play: 97.4 (Rank: 9)
Points Allowed Per Game: 105.4 (Rank: 30)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 30
Rebounding Differential Rank: 20


Russell Westbrook (FD: $13000, DK: $12500 / DvP: 28 / Usage Rate: 37.4) – Westbrook almost put up another triple-double against the Clippers on Wednesday night, unfortunately it was thanks to ten turnovers. He should bounce back in a big way against the Wolves, who do not have an elite rim protector. Westbrook is the top overall play at any position.

L.A. Clippers

Opponent Preview – Dallas:
Pace of Play: 96.7 (Rank: 11)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.8 (Rank: 20)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 14
Rebounding Differential Rank: 30


Chris Paul (FD: $10600, DK: $10300 / DvP: 21 / Usage Rate: 23.2) – Paul outplayed Russell Westbrook on Wednesday night and the Clippers cruised to a victory. He should keep it going against the Mavericks, who have really struggled to contain opposing point guards recently.

DeAndre Jordan (FD: $9500, DK: $8900 / DvP: 10 / Usage Rate: 12.9) – Jordan is an excellent tournament play against the Mavericks. He has 20/20 type of upside against a team that is ranked dead last in rebounding differential this season.


Opponent Preview – L.A. Clippers:
Pace of Play: 96.8 (Rank: 10)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.2 (Rank: 19)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 15
Rebounding Differential Rank: 17


Monta Ellis (FD: $7000, DK: $7000 / DvP: 14 / Usage Rate: 27.9) – Ellis has scored at least 31 fantasy points in three of his last five games. He’s not an elite play on Friday night, but is the preferred option if you want some exposure to the Mavericks.

Golden State

Opponent Preview – Denver:
Pace of Play: 98.5 (Rank: 4)
Points Allowed Per Game: 103.7 (Rank: 26)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 23
Rebounding Differential Rank: 16


Draymond Green (FD: $8000, DK: $7200 / DvP: 30 / Usage Rate: 16.4) – The Warriors are expected to rest some players on Friday night so make sure to check the news throughout the day and adjust your lineups accordingly. Green should be in the lineup though, and he draws a terrific matchup against the Nuggets, who are ranked dead last against power forwards this season.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are also viable options, assuming they get the green light to play.


Opponent Preview – Golden State:
Pace of Play: 100.9 (Rank: 1)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.3 (Rank: 14)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 1
Rebounding Differential Rank: 15


Kenneth Faried (FD: $6500, DK: $6700 / DvP: 13 / Usage Rate: 19.2) – Faried is still under-priced for a player with his recent level of production. Over his last six games, he has averaged 34 fantasy points per contest. He will see a small boost if Andrew Bogut gets the night off to rest.

Danilo Gallinari (FD: $5700, DK: $5700 / DvP: 12 / Usage Rate: 21.1) – Gallinari has scored at least 27 fantasy points in seven of his last ten games. He continues to reach value expectations at his price point and he has a good chance to reach value once again. This game has one of the highest totals on the board.


Opponent Preview – Phoenix:
Pace of Play: 99.3 (Rank: 2)
Points Allowed Per Game: 104.6 (Rank: 27)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 18
Rebounding Differential Rank: 25


Paul Millsap (FD: $7200, DK: $7500 / DvP: 9 / Usage Rate: 23.5) – Millsap and the Hawks were awful on Wednesday night against the Nuggets, but should bounce back on Friday night against the Suns. The Suns have allowed the fourth-most points per game this season. Millsap’s price is depressed and he is a strong play in both cash games and tournaments.

DeMarre Carroll (FD: $5500, DK: $5300 / DvP: 24 / Usage Rate: 15.8) – Carroll wasn’t terrible on Wednesday, but his minutes were limited in the blowout. He should get back to his usual complement of minutes against the Suns, who are ranked 24th against small forwards this season.


Opponent Preview – Atlanta:
Pace of Play: 96.3 (Rank: 15)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.7 (Rank: 4)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 7
Rebounding Differential Rank: 27


Eric Bledsoe (FD: $8200, DK: $8100 / DvP: 16 / Usage Rate: 23.5) – Brandon Knight is doubtful for Friday night’s game, which means it will be the Bledsoe show once again. He has a bad habit of playing poorly in great matchups, but luckily for us, the Hawks have been decent against point guards. The best part is that he is still listed as a shooting guard on most sites.

Marcus Morris (FD: $4400, DK: $4600 / DvP: 16 / Usage Rate: 19.4) – This picks hinges on whether or not Marcus remains in the starting lineup. He drew the start on Wednesday and played a great game with 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.


Opponent Preview – Portland:
Pace of Play: 96.6 (Rank: 13)
Points Allowed Per Game: 97.4 (Rank: 9)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 3
Rebounding Differential Rank: 9


Andre Drummond (FD: $8900, DK: $8000 / DvP: 1 / Usage Rate: 21.2) – Drummond is strictly a GPP play, but you have to love the upside that he offers. He has topped 40 fantasy points six times in his last ten games and he’s coming off of a huge 22 point, 27 rebound performance against the Warriors.


Opponent Preview – Detroit:
Pace of Play: 95.8 (Rank: 19)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.8 (Rank: 15)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 19
Rebounding Differential Rank: 9


LaMarcus Aldridge (FD: $9400, DK: $9000 / DvP: 28 / Usage Rate: 29.7) – Aldridge had a big game against the Rockets the other night. I’m expecting more of the same on Friday night, as the Pistons are ranked 28th against power forwards this season.

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.


  • JumpaHoo

    Any thoughts on Marcus Smart against Orlando?

  • grover123

    Good read thanks as always

  • Knavish_Hero

    Yeah yeah

  • Bigbowen18

    good shit notorius..your insight posted me a 363 and 350 point night even without kyrie

  • Kingkong81

    Rubio on a minute cap??

  • Notorious

    Lead RG Analyst

    • 291

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel WFBBC Finalist

    Kingkong, his ankle has been bothering him. Wolves are saying they will keep him between 28-30 minutes.

  • hiphopisdead


    I am new to fantasy and this site and LOVE the information on here. Wish I could do it for a living but consistent 300 scores come first LOL It is no one fault but am I the only one who Kevin Love killed yesterday?

  • Mhindy


  • mmcdonough1969

    Nope HIP, Love killed me too. Shout out to Notorious, you were right I was wrong – said to myself Irving isn’t worth the money – turns out that stroke of genius cost me serious bucks. Always next time.

  • Kingkong81

    Thanks! I was excited to to fit him in VS Westbrook….

  • poobee

    Notorious is one of the best love this site reading on hear help me win my 1st tournament

  • kingalpha

    Nope, Love killed me too. Should of picked Kyrie, SMH!

  • Odux21

    I had a great lu until that Memphis value report came out lol!

  • erikpoch

    Irving cost me too, I was debating between him and Favors and yep I went with Favors.

    On to the next day….

  • hiphopisdead

    I have been playing fantasy basketball since January and have only hit 300 once. I know the league but always change up my lineup at last minute and I get so mad at why I do this LOL. I assume its just practice? I have the package at home. Only been here one day and look at the players differently. Thanks again everyone!

  • TheRealJust

    Wish I would have never heard about Memphis yeaterday, would’ve been better to be under a rock all day lol

  • hiphopisdead

    Yea you are so right about the Memphis lineup….scrapped the team I had which would have done awesome. Lets get it done today!

  • TheGreatPSalant

    Vucevic with a great matchup today. Are you still concerned about his ankle?

  • CrackerjaK

    @TheRealJust said...

    Wish I would have never heard about Memphis yeaterday, would’ve been better to be under a rock all day lol


  • Kingkong81

    yup… fell into that trap! DAMN you NENE

  • tyrant1014

    I’m seriously considering fading westbrook in cash. While he may be the overall top play, he is in a position where everything needs to go right to make sense. Please someone talk me off this ledge.

  • Kingkong81

    ANyone thinking Bismack for $3.1K??

  • grover123

  • BreakingBacon

    so much tonight… so many routes to go it’s not even funny.

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