Welcome to the Friday edition of NBA Top Plays! We have eight games to get into this evening and both the Suns and Nets are on the slate, so we’ll be picking on them heavily as usual. DraftKings' main slate locks at 7 PM ET with FanDuel’s starting a half hour later (and excluding the ATL/DET game), so be mindful of that as you are building lineups around lock. Make sure to stay up with the RotoGrinders DFS Alerts app through lock, as we’ll alert you to injury news as it breaks.
Point Guard – Elfrid Payton ($8,100 on FanDuel, $6,900 on DraftKings) – Here’s to hoping that the “unknown” scares people away in tournaments. Payton has just two full games under his belt this season – including a 29 minute, 11pt-11ast-6reb game against the Knicks on Tuesday – and the fact that he’s still working his way back from an injury should limit his GPP ownership considerably compared to a guy like Damian Lillard. The Suns rank 2nd in pace and 29th in points allowed per game, so there is a lot of goodness to go around on the Orlando side. The $6,900 tag on DraftKings puts him in play in any format, while I’ll likely restrict my exposure on FanDuel ($8,100) to GPPs. Phoenix ranks dead last against PGs to date and a fast-paced game with little defense bodes very well for Payton.
Shooting Guard – Lou Williams ($5,500 on FanDuel, $5,200 on DraftKings) – The Clippers will be without Patrick Beverley and could also be missing Austin Rivers, who is currently considered questionable as of this writing. Regardless whether or not Rivers plays, Williams has a nice shot to see 26-30 minutes of court time which is a non-negligible bump from his seasonal average, especially considering how strong of a per minute producer he is. Williams carries a 26% usage rate on the year and that could dip a little if he spends more time running with the first unit, but Blake Griffin is really the only capable scorer alongside him so the upside is massive at this price tag. The matchup with OKC isn’t a good one as they are very tough on opposing wings, but the combination of playing time and usage keep Williams as an elite target in my eyes. Williams is a stronger play without Rivers, and Rivers himself would become a viable mid-range play if he’s active.
Small Forward – Evan Turner ($4,500 on FanDuel, $4,200 on DraftKings) – Here’s your value play of the day to help you squeeze in guys like Lillard and Westbrook. Turner has seen upwards of 30 minutes in three of his last four games and has seen 33+ in two of those four, giving him a very solid floor at a mid-$4K salary. He put up one dud in that span – in a tough draw with OKC – but has otherwise been at least a serviceable cash game target if nothing else. His per-minute numbers should rise some in a pristine draw with the Nets, who rank first in pace and dead last in points allowed per game.
Power Forward – Aaron Gordon ($7,800 on FanDuel, $7,600 on DraftKings) – It’s not a question of which Magic player do we want to roster, but rather how many. Gordon, like all of his teammates, are in a dream draw with the fast-paced Suns and Gordon’s athleticism should play especially well in an up and down game. Gordon sees minutes in the mid-to-high 30s in competitive games and he’s been a strong presence on the glass outside of the Magic’s last game against the Knicks, so I’ll have tons of exposure to Gordon in all game formats. He’s a fine stacking partner with a guy like Elfrid Payton in tournaments.
Center – Alex Len ($4,400 on FanDuel, $4,900 on DraftKings) – Len’s dud on Wednesday surely frustrated a huge chunk of the DFS community, which should lead to a decreased ownership tonight in a better matchup. He struggled mightily with Hassan Whiteside, racking up four fouls (and four turnovers) in just 19 minutes, an abnormally poor performance for a guy that tends to produce at over a FPPM mark. Foul trouble is a bit of a concern again with Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon in the Orlando front-court, but that is a very tough thing to predict and I’ll be going back to the well on Len in the hopes that most of the field is too jaded to do so.