NBA First Look: Friday, March 6th

Things pick up again on Friday with another big slate.

HOME AWAY VEGAS LINE VEGAS TOTAL TIME
Indiana (26-34) Chicago (38-23) IND -5.5 187.0 7:00 pm EST
Orlando (19-43) Sacramento (21-38) SAC -1 202.0 7:00 pm EST
Philadelphia (13-48) Utah (24-36) UTA -7 185.0 7:00 pm EST
Charlotte (26-33) Toronto (38-23) TBD TBD 7:00 pm EST
Atlanta (-) Cleveland (39-24) CLE -1 200.0 7:30 pm EST
Brooklyn (25-34) Phoenix (32-30) BKN -3 208.5 7:30 pm EST
New Orleans (33-28) Boston (24-35) NO -7 199.0 8:00 pm EST
Houston (41-20) Detroit (23-37) HOU -7.5 204.0 8:00 pm EST
Washington (34-27) Miami (27-33) WAS -4 194.0 8:00 pm EST
Memphis (43-17) L.A. Lakers (16-44) MEM -12 195.0 8:00 pm EST
San Antonio (37-23) Denver (22-39) SA -12.5 204.5 8:30 pm EST
Golden State (47-12) Dallas (40-22) GSW -9.5 211.0 10:30 pm EST


Chicago

Opponent Preview – Indiana:
Pace of Play: 95.6 (Rank: 20)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.5 (Rank: 4)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 10
Rebounding Differential Rank: 7

Targets:

Nikola Mirotic (FD: $4500, DK: $5700 / DvP: 1 / Usage Rate: 20.5) – Mirotic has scored at least 33 fantasy points in each of his last three games. He has also played at least 30 minutes in each of those three games. Continue targeting him with all of the Bulls’ injuries, especially on FanDuel at a price of only $4,500.

Aaron Brooks (FD: $4500, DK: $5400 / DvP: 11 / Usage Rate: 25.8) – Brooks is the Bulls’ point guard for the foreseeable future. He has had mixed results in his first few starts, but he offers great upside at his price point.


Indiana

george-hill-300x200

Opponent Preview – Chicago:
Pace of Play: 95.5 (Rank: 22)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.4 (Rank: 11)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 12
Rebounding Differential Rank: 5

Targets:

George Hill (FD: $6400, DK: $6300 / DvP: 15 / Usage Rate: 25.7) – Hill has scored at least 32 fantasy points in each of his last four games. He is finally seeing a full complement of minutes and this may be the last opportunity to target him at this price point. He draws a favorable matchup against Aaron Brooks and the Bulls.


Sacramento

Opponent Preview – Orlando:
Pace of Play: 95.8 (Rank: 17)
Points Allowed Per Game: 101.1 (Rank: 22)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 24
Rebounding Differential Rank: 25

Targets:

DeMarcus Cousins (FD: $10600, DK: $9500 / DvP: 20 / Usage Rate: 33.9) – Cousins draws one of the best matchups on the board. The Magic are ranked 20th against centers and 25th in rebounding differential this season. This should be one of Cousins’ classic 50+ fantasy point outings. He’s easily the top play at center.

Ray McCallum (FD: $4500, DK: $3800 / DvP: 25 / Usage Rate: 18) – McCallum is an intriguing contrarian play. He is coming off of a 33 fantasy point outing against the Spurs and the Magic have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.


Orlando

Opponent Preview – Sacramento:
Pace of Play: 97.8 (Rank: 7)
Points Allowed Per Game: 104.3 (Rank: 27)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 27
Rebounding Differential Rank: 3

Targets:

Victor Oladipo (FD: $7200, DK: $7000 / DvP: 30 / Usage Rate: 24.8) – Oladipo was one of the many players to have a huge outing on Wednesday night. He finished the game with 38 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. His price is still reasonable across the industry and the Kings have allowed more fantasy points to opposing shooting guards than any other team this season.


Utah

Opponent Preview – Philadelphia:
Pace of Play: 98.2 (Rank: 6)
Points Allowed Per Game: 101.2 (Rank: 23)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 13
Rebounding Differential Rank: 29

Targets:

Rudy Gobert (FD: $7500, DK: $7200 / DvP: 29 / Usage Rate: 13.7) – Gobert has been on a tear over his last four games, averaging 38 fantasy points per contest. His price is at an all-time high, but he continues to reach value. He is also facing the Sixers, who are ranked 29th against centers and 29th in rebounding differential.

Derrick Favors (FD: $7500, DK: $7600 / DvP: 29 / Usage Rate: 23) – Favors has also played well recently, scoring at least 33 fantasy points in eight of his last ten games. Like Gobert, he should be able to dominate the glass against the Sixers.


Philadelphia

Opponent Preview – Utah:
Pace of Play: 92.8 (Rank: 29)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.4 (Rank: 2)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 19
Rebounding Differential Rank: 1

Targets:

Nerlens Noel (FD: $7000, DK: $6700 / DvP: 11 / Usage Rate: 16.3) – Noel has scored at least 28 fantasy points in nine of his last ten games. During that stretch, he topped the 37 fantasy point mark four times. The matchup against the Jazz isn’t great, but he is a solid option in tournaments.


Toronto

Opponent Preview – Charlotte:
Pace of Play: 95.4 (Rank: 23)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.8 (Rank: 7)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 7
Rebounding Differential Rank: 12

Targets:

DeMar DeRozan (FD: $7100, DK: $7200 / DvP: 12 / Usage Rate: 28.2) – Kyle Lowry may sit out another game, and if that’s the case, DeRozan will continue to have an increased usage in the offense. He’s fairly priced and he draws a decent matchup against the Hornets.

Lou Williams (FD: $5500, DK: $5600 / DvP: 12 / Usage Rate: 26.6) – Williams’ fantasy appeal hinges on the health of Kyle Lowry. He has scored at least 30 fantasy points in each of his last three games.


Charlotte

Opponent Preview – Toronto:
Pace of Play: 95.8 (Rank: 17)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.9 (Rank: 21)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 22
Rebounding Differential Rank: 18

Targets:

Mo Williams (FD: $7400, DK: $7300 / DvP: 20 / Usage Rate: 23.3) – Williams price continues to rise, but he continues to post quality outing after quality outing. Williams has now scored at least 37 fantasy points in five of his last seven games.


Cleveland

Opponent Preview – Atlanta:
Pace of Play: 96.2 (Rank: 15)
Points Allowed Per Game: (Rank: )
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 5
Rebounding Differential Rank: 27

Targets:

LeBron James (FD: $11200, DK: $10500 / DvP: 12 / Usage Rate: 33.5) – This is the type of game that I love to target James in. It means a lot to both teams and the game is expected to stay close throughout. James has incredible upside and is the premier play at small forward.


Atlanta

Opponent Preview – Cleveland:
Pace of Play: 94.9 (Rank: 24)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.7 (Rank: 12)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 20
Rebounding Differential Rank: 8

Targets:

Paul Millsap (FD: $7500, DK: $8200 / DvP: 12 / Usage Rate: 23.5) – The Hawks are always a tough team to target, but we can expect their starters to see extended playing time against the Cavaliers, assuming the game stays close. Millsap’s price is affordable on FanDuel and he draws a favorable matchup against Kevin Love.


Phoenix

Opponent Preview – Brooklyn:
Pace of Play: 94.5 (Rank: 25)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.7 (Rank: 16)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 23
Rebounding Differential Rank: 24

Targets:

Markieff Morris (FD: $6700, DK: $6400 / DvP: 25 / Usage Rate: 23.4) – Morris is not a safe cash game play, but he does have a very high ceiling for a player at his price point. He also draws a favorable matchup against a Nets’ team that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards.


Brooklyn

Opponent Preview – Phoenix:
Pace of Play: 99.5 (Rank: 2)
Points Allowed Per Game: 105.1 (Rank: 28)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 20
Rebounding Differential Rank: 25

Targets:

Deron Williams (FD: $6200, DK: $6400 / DvP: 21 / Usage Rate: 22.7) – Even with Jarrett Jack back in the lineup, Williams has continued to play well as the starting point guard. He has scored at least 31 fantasy points in five of his last seven games. He draws a fantastic matchup against the Suns, who have been awful defensively over the last few weeks.


Boston

Opponent Preview – New Orleans:
Pace of Play: 94 (Rank: 27)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.1 (Rank: 13)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 26
Rebounding Differential Rank: 6

Targets:

Evan Turner (FD: $5800, DK: $5200 / DvP: 14 / Usage Rate: 19.1) – Avery Bradley has already been ruled out of this game, which gives a small boost to Turner. He’s still a risky option in cash games, but he has great upside and he has the ability to fill up all areas of the stat sheet.

Jae Crowder (FD: $4900, DK: $4900 / DvP: 7 / Usage Rate: 16.9) – Crowder’s hot streak doesn’t appear to be cooling off anytime soon. He has scored at least 23 fantasy points in six of his last seven games, topping 30 fantasy points four times during that stretch. He may also see a few extra minutes with Avery Bradley out.


New Orleans

Opponent Preview – Boston:
Pace of Play: 98.6 (Rank: 4)
Points Allowed Per Game: 102.5 (Rank: 25)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 15
Rebounding Differential Rank: 18

Targets:

Anthony Davis (FD: $11200, DK: $10800 / DvP: 26 / Usage Rate: 27.2) – Davis showed no rust in his first game back from injury. He finished the game with 39 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 8 blocks, and 3 steals. He’s back to being one of the top overall plays at any position.


Detroit

Opponent Preview – Houston:
Pace of Play: 98.9 (Rank: 3)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.8 (Rank: 17)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 6
Rebounding Differential Rank: 13

Targets:

Andre Drummond (FD: $8600, DK: $7800 / DvP: 23 / Usage Rate: 21.2) – Drummond has put up some great performances over the last couple of weeks and no one seems to be talking about him. He has scored at least 38 fantasy points five times in his last nine games. He should be able to dominate the paint against a Dwight Howard-less Rockets’ frontcourt.

Reggie Jackson (FD: $6400, DK: $6600 / DvP: 4 / Usage Rate: 23.3) – Jackson hasn’t shot the ball well recently, but he is coming off of a solid 36 fantasy point outing against the Pelicans. His price is cheap and he would see a sizable boost if Patrick Beverley is unable to suit up.


Houston

Opponent Preview – Detroit:
Pace of Play: 95.6 (Rank: 20)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.6 (Rank: 15)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 17
Rebounding Differential Rank: 9

Targets:

James Harden (FD: $11000, DK: $10400 / DvP: 15 / Usage Rate: 30.9) – Harden picked up right where he left off, scoring 45 fantasy points against the Grizzlies in his first game back from suspension. There isn’t anyone on the Pistons that will be able to slow him down.


Miami

Opponent Preview – Washington:
Pace of Play: 96 (Rank: 16)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98 (Rank: 10)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 9
Rebounding Differential Rank: 4

Targets:

Dwyane Wade (FD: $7600, DK: $7300 / DvP: 4 / Usage Rate: 33.9) – Wade has scored at least 35 fantasy points in each of his last three games. He has one of the highest usage rates of any player in the NBA and the Heat are playing at a much quicker pace recently. The issue here is his matchup against Bradley Beal and the Wizards.

Hassan Whiteside (FD: $8700, DK: $8800 / DvP: 4 / Usage Rate: 20.6) – I’m not sure that I want to overpay for Whiteside in a tough matchup against Marcin Gortat. That said, he is coming off of a huge 54 fantasy point outing against the Lakers. He should have another productive outing, I’m just not sure he’ll be able to pay off his salary.


Washington

Opponent Preview – Miami:
Pace of Play: 92.7 (Rank: 30)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.7 (Rank: 6)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 18
Rebounding Differential Rank: 20

Targets:

John Wall (FD: $9100, DK: $8800 / DvP: 13 / Usage Rate: 25.3) – Wall’s price is down on both FanDuel and DraftKings and Friday night is a great opportunity to buy low on the All-Star. He draws a favorable matchup against the Heat, who have made an effort to play at a much quicker pace since acquiring Goran Dragic.

Marcin Gortat (FD: $5500, DK: $6200 / DvP: 3 / Usage Rate: 17.8) – How on Earth is Gortat still $5,500 on FanDuel? He has been on a tear over his last six games, averaging 35 fantasy points per contest. Even though he doesn’t have the same upside as Hassan Whiteside, he has a much better chance of reaching value.


L.A. Lakers

Opponent Preview – Memphis:
Pace of Play: 94.2 (Rank: 26)
Points Allowed Per Game: 95.7 (Rank: 1)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 8
Rebounding Differential Rank: 14

Targets:

Jeremy Lin (FD: $5400, DK: $4800 / DvP: 5 / Usage Rate: 20.9)LINSANITY continues to roll, averaging 42 fantasy points per game over his last three. His price is still affordable on both FanDuel and DraftKings, but the Lin-bubble could very well burst in a tough matchup against the Grizzlies.


Memphis

Opponent Preview – L.A. Lakers:
Pace of Play: 96.9 (Rank: 10)
Points Allowed Per Game: 105.9 (Rank: 30)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 28
Rebounding Differential Rank: 20

Targets: None – The Grizzlies are huge favorites at home against the Lakers. This game has a great chance to turn into a blowout, which makes it tough to target the Grizzlies in cash games.


Denver

Opponent Preview – San Antonio:
Pace of Play: 95.8 (Rank: 17)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.9 (Rank: 8)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 3
Rebounding Differential Rank: 10

Targets:

Kenneth Faried (FD: $6100, DK: $5800 / DvP: 22 / Usage Rate: 19.4) – Faried is coming off of two huge fantasy outings in a row, but he now has to face the defending-champion Spurs in San Antonio. We all saw what happened to DeMarcus Cousins the other night in the same situation. Faried does deserve consideration as a GPP play, though.


San Antonio

Opponent Preview – Denver:
Pace of Play: 98.3 (Rank: 5)
Points Allowed Per Game: 103.7 (Rank: 26)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 25
Rebounding Differential Rank: 15

Targets:

Kawhi Leonard (FD: $7300, DK: $7400 / DvP: 26 / Usage Rate: 22.5) – Leonard draws a terrific matchup against the Nuggets, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy point to opposing small forwards. This game does have the potential to turn into a blowout, but the Nuggets have really played well since firing Brian Shaw.


Dallas

Opponent Preview – Golden State:
Pace of Play: 100.9 (Rank: 1)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.9 (Rank: 18)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 1
Rebounding Differential Rank: 15

Targets: None – The Mavericks are playing in the second half of a back-to-back against a Warriors’ team that owns the best record in the NBA. The Mavericks can safely be avoided in all league formats.


Golden State

Opponent Preview – Dallas:
Pace of Play: 96.6 (Rank: 12)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.5 (Rank: 20)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 14
Rebounding Differential Rank: 29

Targets:

Stephen Curry (FD: $10100, DK: $9500 / DvP: 24 / Usage Rate: 28.4) – Curry draws a fantastic matchup against Rajon Rondo and the Mavericks, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season. Curry is also priced-to-move on DraftKings at only $9,500.

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 RotoGrinders.com’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.

Comments

  • mrplow01

    How big a boost do you give Motiejunas if Terrence Jones is out? He’s a very nice price on DK

  • Bandros92

    How about Josh Smith? Facing his old team and a boost in minutes. I’d rather have him than Moty

  • Binny1968

    Good stuff! Please rank harden,james, davis. Cant have all 3 but can manage 2. Thx!

  • duke5021

    Rondo at 5500 seems like a lock to hit value.

  • dfrandan

    Great stuff Noto

  • Enigma616

    Definately Davis first, Harden 2nd, James third. Curry is a distant 4th but like you said, only two out of the three for tonight.

  • del033

    Love this article…thanks.

  • fantasyisfun

    Even with the night off I find it hard to fade Westbrook tonight!

  • KingLion22

    • 2015 FABC Finalist

    • 2018 DraftKings NFL KOTB Finalist

    NOTO! Awesome analysis. I’m thinking today is gonna be the type of day to pay up for studs (Harden,Davis) and then fill the rest of your lineup with value. Watchya think?

  • joeywats19

    Don’t forget Cousins against the awful defense of Vucevic. Top play as well

  • GoHoosGo

    @joeywats19 said...

    Don’t forget Cousins against the awful defense of Vucevic. Top play as well

    so was Alex Len the other night, only to absolutely tank my lineup with 3 fantasy points. But yes, Cuz should have a big night!

  • Mmirza23

    i think factoring in price cousins is the top play but factoring in position and price probably harden

  • Skullduggery

    @joeywats19 said...

    Don’t forget Cousins against the awful defense of Vucevic. Top play as well

    Today’s feels like a cousins ejection day

  • ghaegle

    No love for Brandon Knight here? Seems to me like he has found his groove and D-Will isn’t the greatest defender and his price is very affordable. Just saying!

  • knicklord33

    has knight been running at the 1? I figure markel brown and allan a will be checking him tonight.

  • Sethmt12

    I disagree with Noto about fading all of the Memphis players. Gasol has to be one of, if not the, top plays tonight factoring in his price, recent production and how the Lakers have been dominated by bigs the past few games. Also, the lakers have kept their last few games close, ensuring solid minutes for everyone.

  • Magnolia00

    @fantasyisfun said...

    Even with the night off I find it hard to fade Westbrook tonight!

    Agreed! LOL

  • eclem7

    I would say davis, james, then harden james has a tough matchup and will be needed to produce a lot for his team

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