• Good afternoon, it is Friday March 8 and we have a nice nine-game slate on our hands for tonight. It is always good to get back into the groove after a short two-game slate like Thursday. Tonight’s slate should be a fun one. We have value, stud options and plenty to choose from. When looking at the top options I’d rank James Harden and Russell Westbrook above Nikola Jokic and Paul George, but they are all always in play. Let’s jump right into this.

    Point Guard

    Ben Simmons vs. Rockets $9,100 – I am going to continue rolling out these Sixers while Embiid is out. Simmons is still not priced right and could triple-double in any spot. I like another Sixer a little more on this slate, but it would be foolish to not mention Simmons. Nonetheless, he is not my favorite point guard option on the slate, but viable.

    Kemba Walker vs. Wizards $8,100  – We do not need to think about this one too much. Walker is severely underpriced in one of the best fantasy matchups on paper. I was all over Luka Doncic the other night because of this matchup and I will not be shying away from Walker on tonight’s slate. He is by far my favorite point guard on the slate.

    Frank Jackson vs. Raptors $3,200 – Jrue Holiday has already been ruled out and we know his minutes and usage need to go somewhere. Jackson should see a boost and while I am not expecting too much from him, he is still a value play. He likes to shoot and even if this game gets out of hand it should not impact Jackson’s minutes. This game is simple for me – if you think it is going to stay close than Elfrid Payton is a great play at $5,000. Jackson is in play either way, but does not offer up the same ceiling as Payton.

    Shooting Guard

    Jeremy Lamb vs. Wizards $5,600 – I like Lamb for many of the reasons I like Walker. This matchup is too juicy and there will be points scored. Lamb has seen his DK points per minute rise since moving to the bench, but his minutes really haven’t changed. I would like him to be slightly cheaper, but in this matchup warrants the price and getting some exposure to this game may be crucial.

    Avery Bradley vs. Jazz $4,700 – Ughh, I hate recommending Avery Bradley on any slate. His early-season form keeps popping in my head, but Bradley has slowly turned it around his being shipped over to Memphis. He’s averaging 27 DK points over his last five games, but what is more impressive is his shot attempts. In that span Bradley has taken 77 shot attempts.

    Gary Harris vs. Warriors $4,000 – Harris finally saw his normal allotment of minutes, but his price isn’t reflecting that just yet. This will be a great game and the Nuggets are going to need their best defenders for as many minutes as possible to stay in this one. I wouldn’t be expecting another 35 DK points, but a cool 28-30 seems optimal at Harris’ price.

    Small Forward

    Justise Winslow vs. Cavs $6,200 – Winslow continues to be one of the safer options on the slate, but still holds some upside as well. The Cavs are dreadful and it isn’t just against opposing point guards. Goran Dragic is currently being considered questionable, but I would not be surprised to see him sit out another game. These teams have met up three times already this season and Winslow is averaging 40 DK points per game in those meetings. If this game stays intact for four quarters I think it’s safe to predict Winslow for 35 DK points. I am not going overboard on this game, but Winslow feels like the safest play in it.

    Will Barton vs. Warriors – $5,900 – Fast paced games are made for Barton. He has been getting the minutes and he is starting to look like the old Will Barton we used to know. Barton has faced the Warriors already this season and dropped 29 DK points. Now, that doesn’t sound too great, but he did it in only 23 minutes. Over the last four games Barton is averaging 33 minutes, so I will be expecting 30 DK points at the very least if this game stays intact.

    Royce O’Neale vs. Grizzlies $3,300 – Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto have already been ruled out and in the past we’ve seen Royce take advantage of the opportunity when Donovan Mitchell slides over the point guard. It’s an ugly matchup, but he is another guy that would still see some fourth quarter run regardless of the score of the game. Kyle Korver has been playing great and should se an uptick with the guards out as well, but if it gets out of control he would be one of the first ones sitting.

    Power Forward

    Kevin Love vs. Heat $7,800 – Love is the workhorse for this team and as long as he is on the court that is not changing. This isn’t the same matchup we were targeting him in on Wednesday, but the minutes and rebounds are safe and we have to expect a nice scoring game from Love soon. I am expecting much less ownership tonight than he had versus the Nets and the upside is the same, we just might not feel as safe about it versus the Heat.

    Tobias Harris vs. Rockets $7,400 – I am jumping right back onto the Harris bandwagon. After a horrible game the last time out I am hoping for a solid bounce back here for Harris. The matchup is a solid one and I am not expecting P.J. Tucker to hold him back. The Rockets like to shoot from deep and that could lead to longer rebounds for Harris.

    Danilo Gallinari vs. Thunder $6,200 – This is a game that should garner some ownership and for good reason. I do not love the personal matchup if Gallo draws Paul George, but this team is trying to win games and Gallo is the primary offensive weapon. I think he is just a tad underpriced. Gallo is averaging 33 DK points per game over the last five games and in three meetings this season against the Thunder he is averaging 38 DK points. We might not need to go here on this slate, but he is a viable option and should be low owned.

    Center

    Nikola Vucevic vs. Mavericks $9,200 – This is a dream spot for center. The Mavs are terrible at rebounding and Vucevic is one of the league’s best rebounding centers. He is at more than a fair price and should see a slightly depressed ownership with Jokic only being $900 more in a matchup versus the Warriors.

    Clint Capela vs. Sixers $6,700 – Capela was injured when these two teams met up earlier in the season, but they did play two times last season and wait for it; Capela crushed. In the two meetings last season Capela averaged 14.0 points and 17.5 rebounds per game. That was with Joel Embiid on the court.

    Steven Adams vs. Clippers $6,200 – If you read Vucevic’s breakdown than you have a good idea why I listed Adams as well. The Clippers are right next to the Mavs when it comes to a great matchup for opposing centers. In three meetings this year Adams is averaging 37 DK points per game and we know he always has a safe floor as well. Adams is viable in both tournaments and cash games.

    Honorable Mentions

    Aaron Gordon, Robin Lopez, Kenrich Williams

    Remember to monitor the news and adjust accordingly. More value will certainly appear throughout the course of the day and adjusting our rankings is a must. Thank you guys for checking out the article and if you have any questions or comments you could always find me on Twitter @MikeApotria.

Fantasy News

  • Mike Scott
    PF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Mike Scott will draw the start on Thursday in place of the resting Al Horford.

    Given the light slate, Scott will be an interesting DFS bargain. He's not attractive in season-long formats at the moment.

    Source: Boston.com on Twitter

  • Andre Drummond
    C, Detroit Pistons

    Andre Drummond (left eye inflammation) is a game-time decision against the Mavs on Thursday.

    Drummond had an allergic reaction to an avocado that caused swelling in his left eye. Continue to monitor this situation as we get closer to tip-off. If he is forced to miss the game, Christian Wood and Markieff Morris will likely see more opportunity.

    Source: Keith Langlois on Twitter

  • Al Horford
    PF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Al Horford (left knee/left hamstring) will not play in Thursday's game vs. the Celtics.

    Horford will have to watch the Sixers play his former team from the bench on Thursday. Mike Scott is the likely candidate to see an increased role with Horford out and makes for an intriguing low-cost DFS play.

    Source: Gary Washburn on Twitter

  • Markelle Fultz
    PG, Orlando Magic

    Markelle Fultz has been downgraded to doubtful for Friday's game against the Rockets due to a virus.

    Fultz could miss his second straight game on Friday as he deals with some sort of illness. DJ Augustin and Michael Carter-Williams will continue to see additional opportunity for as long as Fultz remains out. Augustin is the more attractive streaming option although MCW performed better on Wednesday night despite missing all four of his attempts from the charity stripe.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Landry Shamet
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Landry Shamet has been ruled out ahead of Friday's game vs. the Wolves as he recovers from a high left ankle sprain.

    Shamet and Patrick Beverley (concussion) have already been ruled out of Friday's game. This will likely lead to more opportunity for rookie Terance Mann who has performed well in limited minutes thus far this season. He is looking like an intriguing low-cost option in DFS matchups for Friday.

    Source: Mirjam Swanson on Twitter

  • Al Horford
    PF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Al Horford (left knee/left hamstring) is a true game-time decision heading into Thursday's matchup vs. the Celtics.

    A decision regarding Horford's availability will come after he goes through warmups. The good news is that this will be the first game of the night, allowing those who play DFS an opportunity to pivot if Horford is ultimately ruled out. If Al doesn't play against his former team, expect Mike Scott to see more minutes.

    Source: Jay King on Twitter

  • Gordon Hayward
    SF, Boston Celtics

    Gordon Hayward (facial contusion) will play on Thursday against the Sixers.

    This will be Hayward's third game back since suffering an injury in early November that forced him to miss a total of 13 games. Hayward is currently producing per-game value around the top-50 in both 8 and 9-cat leagues.

    Source: Adam Himmelsbach on Twitter

  • Mike Conley
    PG, Utah Jazz

    Mike Conley will not play against the Warriors on Friday due to tightness in his left hamstring.

    Emmanuel Mudiay has seen an increased role since Conley got injured and should continue to see opportunity for as long as Conley remains out. Joe Ingles also sees a boost in assists when Conley is not on the floor.

    Source: Jazz PR on Twitter

  • JaMychal Green
    PF, Los Angeles Clippers

    JaMychal Green (tailbone) is questionable to face the Wolves on Friday.

    Green is in jeopardy of missing his fifth game of the season on Friday. If he is forced to miss another game, Patrick Patterson will continue to see an increased role.

    Source: Andrew Greif on Twitter

  • Rodney McGruder
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Rodney McGruder is probable to play in Friday's game against the Wolves as he nurses a hamstring injury.

    McGruder hasn't played in the Clippers' last seven ball games but is nearing a return. He could be in line for extra opportunity in his first game back as Patrick Beverley (concussion) has already been ruled out. However, he has not been given the opportunity to produce fantasy value so far this season. He is off the fantasy radar for now but could be used as a low-cost option in DFS lineups on Friday.

    Source: Andrew Greif on Twitter