If every NBA game was like that Cavs/Hawks game from last night, fantasy owners would be smiling continuously.
High-scoring, double overtimes contests surely don’t come around every night, but a guy can dream, right? Anyway, after just four contests last night, it’s great to see a ton of games on tap for Friday night’s action. Let’s get to the plays.
Gordon Hayward, SG (vs LAL)
FPPG allowed to SG: 38.95 (3rd-most)
Hayward was an assist shy of his first career triple-double, and a monster one at that. He had 16 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and four blocks. His shot hasn’t been on as of late, shooting .328% from the field over his last five games, but he contributes in so many categories, that it doesn’t matter. He’s averaging 44 DraftDay fantasy points over his last two games, and gets an ideal matchup on Friday night. Only two teams are coughing up more fantasy points per game to shooting guards, and those shooting guards are scoring 23.89 points per contest, the second-most in basketball. Hayward is the main source of offense for the Jazz, averaging 70.8 offensice touches per game, while also leading the league in distance traveled (80.3 miles), which shows he is on the court quite a bit. I like him in this contest quite a bit.
Andray Blatche, C, PF (@ BKN)
FPPG allowed to C: 48.28 (most)
Blatche has played well all season, and with Brook Lopez out for the remainder of the season, he’ll continue to see awesome opportunity for fantasy owners. Sure, Mirza Teletovic is still listed as the starter, but Blatche is going to log more minutes going forward, and is the better fantasy commodity. I like using Blatche tonight, who won’t put a hole in your wallet by any means. The Bucks are the worst team when it comes to defending centers, and although Blatche struggled with his shot on Christmas day, he should rebound against the Bucks, who are allowing centers to shoot an impressive 54.33 percent from the field, the fifth-best in the league. Speaking of rebounding, Milwaukee is coughing up the second-most offensive rebounds to the opposition (12.6) and the eighth-most defensive rebounds (33.2). In four starts at center this year, Blatche is averaging an impressive 16.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and one block per game.
Ryan Anderson, PF (vs DEN)
FPPG allowed to PF: 46.66 (2nd-most)
Anderson has benefited from the injury to Jason Smith, who’s status is still unknown. Assuming Anderson remains in the starting lineup this evening, he could be looking at a monster game against the Nuggets. Only the Lakers are surrendering more fantasy points per game to power forwards, and Anderson is playing well over his last five games, averaging 18 points, seven boards and 2.6 triples per contest. The Nuggets are coughing up the fourth-most offensive rebounds per game (12.4), and opposing power forwards are hauling in 13.72 rebounds per game, the second-most in basketball. Of course, Anderson is also fantasy relevant because of his ability to light it up from beyond the arc. That bodes well for this matchup, as Denver is coughing up 21 points per game from three, including the third-most three-point field goals per game to power forwards. Anthony Davis should continue to draw all the attention, and with Kenneth Faried out for this game, Anderson could have a very good stat line.
Trey Burke, PG (vs LAL)
FPPG allowed to PG: 43.71 (2nd-most)
I never thought I’d say this, but play all of your members of the Jazz tonight. The Lakers are just that bad defensively. Burke has been a bit up and down as of late, but as a whole since debuting this year, he’s been very strong, averaging 13.5 points, 4.9 assists, 3.4 rebounds in about 30 minutes of action. Point guards against the Lakers are averaging 19.29 shot attempts per game (second-most), and considering Burke is taking 13 shots per game, I like him as a volume play tonight. Both of these teams rank inside the bottom-12 in points allowed per game, so this game could be a high-scoring one. Also, as Dave Loughran points out in his daily column, Burke is noticeably better when at home this year. He is averaging about nine more fantasy points when in the comfy confines of home this season. He’s also averaging 16.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.0 steals at home, too, which is vastly better than his road splits. And did I mention the Lakers can’t play defense?
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.