The Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans are set to face off on Friday at 9 p.m. ET. Injuries and trade deadline results will affect both teams i this matchup, and we’ve identified some of the best plays to consider for showdown contests centered around the matchup on DraftKings. Here’s who you should keep an eye on.
Nikola Jokic ($17,100) is the most lethal fantasy option in the slate. The Nuggets big man has been the NBA’s most productive fantasy player this season and has the highest ceiling. He’s a nightly triple-double threat, but anything short of a ceiling game could make it hard for him to be the optimal captain. There are tons of other capable flex options, and Jokic’s high price could make it difficult to squeeze them in.
Jamal Murray ($13,200) stands out as an under-the-radar target in this matchup, as Lonzo Ball — the Pelicans’ best backcourt defender — has been ruled out with a hip injury. Murray can light it up like few other guards can when he gets hot, and he won’t be locked down by Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($9,000/$6,000) or Eric Bledsoe ($6,900/$4,600). Murray is prone to cold spells, but a hot night from him would make a lineup with Zion Williamson ($14,100/$13,500) and Brandon Ingram ($13,500/$9,000) in the flex appealing.
Choosing between Josh Hart ($6,400) and Kira Lewis Jr. ($3,600) could make or break your lineup. Both are likely to have prominent roles off the bench. Hart is the more consistent option of the two, but scarcity could make Lewis the better option. The rookie will be one of just two point guards available for New Orleans and could benefit from garbage time against a Nuggets team that’s significantly better on paper.
PJ Dozier ($3,800) is another role-player worth keeping an eye on. Denver’s backcourt depth is shallow after moving RJ Hampton, and Monte Morris ($5,600) is out with a quad injury. He’s cheaper than Facundo Campazzo ($4,400) and can produce DKFP at a similar level.
There’s no one player that stands out as a definite fade in this game, but some tough choices will have to be made. Michael Porter Jr. ($8,000) has been much more consistent as of late, but doesn't flash the same upside as Ingram or Williamson often. If you trust Murray to show up in a desirable matchup, you can probably go without Porter.
Ball is New Orleans’ leading assist man and third-leading scorer, so the Pelicans should be at a major disadvantage. The Nuggets have won seven of their last 10 games, and I expect them to run away with a win against one of the worst teams in the Western Conference.
Final score: Nuggets 105-108