It’s Revenge Night in the NBA on Friday! ESPN’s NBA coverage begins with a Clippers-Pistons showdown between two teams that pulled off the shocking Blake Griffin blockbuster a week ago, then concludes with Jimmy Butler’s emotional return to Chicago in the nightcap. Butler and Griffin headline today’s plays, but they’re not the only players with revenge on the mind. We’ll bolster our lineup with bargain options playing extra Friday minutes as the dust settles on their teams’ big trade deadline moves.
SG/SF Jimmy Butler MIN $9.6K vs Chicago
How long do you think Jimmy Butler’s had this one circled? Butler is coming home to Chicago after a messy divorce last summer, and it’s sure to be an emotional return with Butler wanting to remind the home fans of exactly what they gave away on NBA draft night. Butler is averaging 47 fantasy ppg over his last ten and 55 in each of the past two games, averaging a ridiculous 33/7/7 with two steals in that pair of games. He leads our Revenge Night efforts.
PF/C Blake Griffin DET $9.1K vs Los Angeles Clippers
Griffin gets his shot at the Clippers on ESPN, and you can bet he’ll be ready. Only seven months ago, the Clippers fake retired Blake’s jersey and called him a “Clipper for life,” then turned around and stabbed him in the back and sent him packing to Detroit. Andre Drummond has been a beast for Detroit lately, but it’s Griffin’s turn against the Clips. Griffin is averaging 45 fppg during the Pistons five-game winning streak with an impressive 6 assists per game as Detroit unleashes Point Blake.
PG/SF Ben Simmons PHI $8.5K vs New Orleans
Simmons is mini-LeBron in fantasy, and he tends to show up most when he has a great matchup. Friday fits against a Pelicans team that can’t guard point guards to save their lives, and a questionable Joel Embiid may leave Simmons doing extra work. He’s had at least 36 fantasy points in seven of his last eight games and looks like a triple-double threat Friday.
SF/PF Tobias Harris LAC $6.7K vs Detroit
Don’t forget about the other key guy in the Blake Griffin trade! Tobias Harris was a great soldier for Detroit and a borderline All-Star, and he’ll want to remind them what they traded away, too. Harris is shouldering more of the scoring load in Los Angeles and gets a plus matchup against a Pistons team that shouldn’t have James Ennis ready to go yet.
SG/SF Joe Ingles UTA $5.1K vs Charlotte
Ingles is about to see a much bigger role in Utah after the departure of Joe Johnson and Rodney Hood. He’ll need to create more on offense, so that should see an uptick in his four assists per game, and Utah will need him to take a few more shots too. That’s even truer Friday night since Jae Crowder probably won’t be ready to play yet.
SG/SF Kyle Korver CLE $3.8K vs Atlanta
There’s a bit of faint revenge game still for Kyle Korver out there against the Hawks, but only because LeBron is so petty. Korver always seems to bring his best against the Hawks, and LeBron makes sure he gets plenty of looks. He’s averaged 17ppg with 13 threes in three matchups against them this year, and he should see extra playing time as Cleveland’s new troops aren’t quite ready to hit the hardwood.
SF Royce O’Neale UTA $3.7K vs Charlotte
The pride of the Denver Pioneers gets a chance to shine Friday, soaking up minutes with Joe Johnson and Rodney Hood traded away and Jae Crowder probably not ready to play. He’s played 20 minutes ten times this rookie season and averages nine points, seven boards, three assists, and a steal in those games with 1.5 threes. He should get up some shots for a team that needs scoring and could be a bargain 25 or 30 fantasy points.
PG Jose Calderon CLE $3.2K vs Atlanta
The Cavs blew up their roster and don’t expect to have George Hill, Rodney Hood, or Jordan Clarkson ready to play Friday night. That leaves Jose Calderon as the only real point guard and minutes are minutes. Calderon should get a handful of assists and threes and be a bargain for his near minimum price.