Friday, March 18th, has eight NBA games scheduled, including some of the biggest names in the game right now. Before you set about drafting your daily fantasy basketball team, here’s some information to consider on some of the top ranked players. We’ve also included some ideas on which players you can turn to if you want to score points for cheap, too.
To Play a Shooting Guard
DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors is one of the best shooting guards in the game right now, and he will be priced accordingly in any league you choose him in. The good news here is that SGs are not typically worth as much as other positions, so you can safely draft him and not do too much damage to the rest of your roster. He is averaging 23.8 points per game, along with 4.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
A nice backup for DeRozan, if you can’t or don’t want to afford him, is Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo. He’s going to be a lot cheaper in most leagues because he’s scoring far fewer points per game with his 15.1, but his supporting stats, namely rebounds and steals, are better than DeRozan’s. The downside to Oladipo is that the Magic are playing Cleveland, who is one of the better teams in the NBA right now, so his stats might be impacted negatively. Still, the Magic haven’t played many teams worse than them this year, so he could be a safe choice.
Point Guards are Crisp
The best PG in the game is undoubtedly Steph Curry, and the Golden State Warriors will be playing the Dallas Mavericks Friday. Curry and the Warriors are unstoppable right now, which has made his price almost unaffordable to anyone that wants a realistic chance of having a full team, so unless he is playing one of his best games of the season here, he’s not actually worth drafting. Instead, look to other top talent here, such as Kyle Lowry of Toronto, Rajon Rondo of the Sacramento Kings, or James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Harden will be your top choice here if your league lets you put him in at this position since he’s technically a GF. But with 28.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game, he’s only a half-step behind Curry, and will be a whole lot cheaper.
Forward the Momentum
Forward has some great choices for Friday. You have the top three ranked point scoring forwards scheduled to play this night: Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, and LeBron James. Knowing which one will have the highest return for you is going to be key. James is at an immediate disadvantage because he has the lowest points scored, rebounds, and blocks numbers, but his steals number is strong, he has fewer turnovers, and he has more assists than the other two. Plus, the Cavs are playing a weak team. Oklahoma City—Durant’s team—is playing an even weaker team in the Philadelphia 76ers, though. If you can get Durant for pretty cheap (doubtful), he’s your best choice here. Otherwise, James is the next best pick, followed by Cousins.
The Big Man
Nikola Vucevic of Orlando is the best choice here, but he’s been battling a groin injury and might not be ready to go by Friday. Keep an eye on him. Otherwise, look to Jared Sullinger of the Boston Celtics or Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Bucks to step in. Both will be cheaper than Vucevic, which will allow you to better spend your roster money in higher scoring positions, namely PG and forward. As a general rule, you want to spend as little as possible at center, as long as you know that you will be getting some points here and there because of this fact. Keep in mind that Jahlil Okafor is going to be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, so do not accidentally draft him, even though his name still appears on most fantasy sites.
Watch out for our Picks on the PGA this week.