With several intriguing matchups on the NBA’s second Friday night of the season, daily fantasy players may have some difficult choices to make in one-day leagues. Can the perfect 5-0 Raptors still rely on DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry to keep up their hot start with a third-straight road victory over Orlando? And in turn, can owners keep cashing in on upstart Toronto?
The best point guard matchup of the night features fantasy mainstay and Wizards star John Wall dueling with Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, while the Hawks Al Horford and Paul Millsap take on Pelicans star big man Anthony Davis on the road.
But as DFS players know, you can wear a hole your head from all the scratching over who to start and sit every day. So in an effort to help, we’ve broken down each position and picked the five top players to target in both FanDuel and DraftKings formats.
Here are five options at each position, with their DraftKings and FanDuel salaries included via FantasyPros.com.
1.Stephen Curry, Warriors (FanDuel $10,900; DraftKings $10,300)
2.John Wall, Wizards (FanDuel $9,500; DraftKings $9,100)
3.Kyle Lowry, Raptors (FanDuel $8,000; DraftKings $7,900)
4.Jeff Teague, Hawks (FanDuel $7,400; DraftKings $6,500)
5.Jordan Clarkson, Lakers (FanDuel $6,600; DraftKings $5,500)
Curry’s record-setting start will keep him as the most expensive pick for quite some time, so for owners looking to maximize their budgets consider Lowry or Teague and to a lesser extent Clarkson. Lowry’s benefitted from new guard Cory Joseph, who gets the tougher defensive assignments, and allows Lowry more energy on the offensive end. Teague, meanwhile, draws a Pelicans backcourt allowing a league-worst 51.4 points in FanDuel and 61.3 points in DraftKings.
1.James Harden, Rockets (FanDuel $9,800; DraftKings $10,000)
2.DeMar DeRozan, Raptors (FanDuel $8,000; DraftKings $7,400)
3.Klay Thompson, Warriors (FanDuel $6,800; DraftKings $6,900)
4.Dwyane Wade, Heat (FanDuel $7,100; DraftKings $6,800)
5.Kobe Bryant, Lakers (FanDuel $7,500; DraftKings $6,500)
DeRozan’s been on fire as he’s attacking the rim more than ever, but Thompson and Wade have better overall value based off their cheaper salaries. Curry will of course go off, but Thompson’s matchup is actually stronger against Denver, who’s allowing the second-most points to two-guards at 54.6 in DraftKings and 47.1 in FanDuel. Bryant’s shooting has been awful, and the matchup isn’t great against Brooklyn, but he always puts on a show when he visits New York.
1.LeBron James, Cavaliers (FanDuel $10,100; DraftKings $9,900)
2.Paul George, Pacers (FanDuel $8,500; DraftKings $8,100)
3.Carmelo Anthony, Knicks (FanDuel $9,500; DraftKings $8,400)
4.DeMarre Carroll, Raptors (FanDuel $6,000; DraftKings $5,800)
5.Danilo Gallinari, Nuggets (FanDuel $6,700; DraftKings $6,400)
Bonus: Evan Fournier, Magic (FanDuel $5,500; $DraftKings $5,200)
If you’re playing it safe LeBron’s the pick, especially at a position that’s so shallow outside of the top three in the league, but Carroll’s yet to have a big night from beyond the arc and could torch a Magic defense allowing 106.5 points per game, No. 25 in the league. If owners are hesitant to play George versus a Heat frontline allowing the second-fewest points to SFs, then consider Fournier.
1.Anthony Davis, Pelicans (FanDuel $10,600; DraftKings $10,700)
2.Kevin Love, Cavaliers (FanDuel $7,600; DraftKings $7,600)
3.Nerlens Noel, Sixers (FanDuel $7,500; DraftKings $7,000)
4.Chris Bosh, Heat (FanDuel $7,900; DraftKings $6,900)
5.Draymond Green, Warriors (FanDuel $7,600; DraftKings $7,200)
Like LeBron and Curry, Davis is the obvious pick, but power forward might be the deepest position in any fantasy format. Love, Noel, Bosh, and Green won’t break anyone’s bank and they’ll hit every category strong. Noel’s the cheapest option, but he could go off versus a middling Cleveland defense allowing 42.3 points in FanDuel.
1.Al Horford, Hawks (FanDuel $7,700; DraftKings $7,400)
2.Andre Drummond, Pistons (FanDuel $9,300; DraftKings $8,900)
3.Dwight Howard, Rockets (FanDuel $8,300; DraftKings $7,100)
4.Hassan Whiteside, Heat (FanDuel $8,000; DraftKings $7,500)
5.Brook Lopez, Nets (FanDuel $7,900; DraftKings $6,800)
As good as Davis is, opposing centers are tearing up the Pelicans for 57.5 points in DraftKings and 55.2 points in FanDuel, both the second-worst in fantasy. Drummond’s 19.5 rebounds per game might take a hit against a Suns frontline ranked No. 10 in opponents’ rebounding, so Howard’s a stronger pick against a Kings squad that will miss DeMarcus Cousins due to injury. Lopez also gets to pick apart the Lakers, who are allowing 24 points, 17.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.7 blocks to opposing centers.