Here we’ll be going over some core plays at the main positions in DraftKings NBA DFS to help you build your lineup for Friday’s main seven-game slate. There’s a lot to unpack on this slate. We’ve got the first game at Staples Center for the Los Angeles Lakers since the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. So a lot of emotions from the Lakers side that could fuel big fantasy basketball performances. We’ve also got a handful of injury spots, including Luka Doncic (ankle), Anthony Davis (glute) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (shoulder). Let’s get into some picks, shall we?
LeBron James, LAL vs. POR, $10,300 — There is no doubt in my mind that LeBron is going to come out tonight and put on a show for Kobe and Gianna. Words can’t describe how awful his and his daughter’s passing was throughout the basketball community and world. It’s unfortunate we have to take that into consideration in fantasy, but that’s the game. LeBron should chip in his usual bordering-triple-double stats, but I think he’s going to be much more aggressive on offense for Mamba.
Other Options: Damian Lillard, POR @ LAL, $9,900; Ja Morant, MEM @ NOP, $6,900
Zach LaVine, CHI @ BKN, $8,500 — The All-Star snub narrative is a real thing, ladies and gentlemen. Take not of it whenever making DFS lineups. Well, don’t actually do that, but it is something that is relevant and noteworthy. LaVine probably deserved to be a reserve with All-Star Weekend in Chicago. He isn’t and as a result will go off tonight vs. the Nets to prove a point (at least I hope). Narrative aside, LaVine should fill it up considering Brooklyn struggles to defend the perimeter and has been awful on defense since Kyrie Irving returned.
Other Options: Shae Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC @ PHX, $6,700; Tim Hardaway Jr (Q)., DAL @ HOU, $6,000
Brandon Ingram, NOP vs. MEM, $7,400 — Another slate, another underpriced Ingram. Earlier in the week, Ingram was $7,600 against the Cavaliers and scored 38.75 fantasy points. Tonight, I think he builds on that and goes for more fantasy points at a cheaper price. People are buying into this narrative that Zion Williamson’s return will negatively impact Ingram and it just isn’t the case. Sure, it may mean less touches, but Zion draws so much attention on defense, it frees Ingram up for better matchups. Both teams play up in pace and we should see a ton of offense, plenty for Ingram to return value here.
Other Options: Norman Powell, TOR @ DET, $5,300
Zion Williamson, NOP vs. MEM, $7,000 — Yeah, I’m going to contradict myself a bit here, what of it? Just kidding. I’m fine rolling out a Pelicans stack or even a Pels-Grizz game stack tonight. I think if you are employing that strategy, Ingram and Zion are must-plays. We’ve seen Zion play upwards of 28-29 minutes recently and he’s coming off plenty of rest. No Jaren Jackson Jr. (suspension) means less big bodies to cover Williamson. Zion’s per 36 minute numbers: 26.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and — wait for it — shooting well over 60% from the field and DOWNTOWN. Wait, that’s only going 4-6 so far, but still! If Williamson is more aggressive taking outside shots it may benefit him even more tonight.
Other Options: Pascal Siakam, TOR @ DET, $8,200; Michael Porter Jr., DEN @ MIL, $5,400
Serge Ibaka, TOR @ DET, $6,900 — The Raptors will likely be without Marc Gasol (hamstring) again tonight, so that means another start for Ibaka, who normally thrives in this position. He scored 26 points last night vs. the Cavs and had 24-10 in the game Gasol was injured earlier in the week. When Ibaka gets over 30 minutes, he’s usually productive and this is the type of night we should see that. The Pistons allow a ton of points in the paint this season and aren’t a great defensive rebounding team despite having Andre Drummond.
Other Options: Anthony Davis, LAL vs. POR, $9,600; Jonas Valanciunas, MEM vs. NOP, $6,300