Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. It was weird not having any basketball games yesterday, but we are blessed — or cursed, depending upon your perspective — with a 13-game whopper of a slate Friday. Usually, I like to get cute in the intro, but we don’t have time for that. Let’s get right into it.
HOU, LAL, OKC, PHO, SA and UTA all are playing the first leg of a back-to-back.
DraftKings Sportsbook has six games with a total of at least 230: SAC/BOS (237.5), BKN/IND (234), CHI/OKC (233.5), LAL/SA (232.5), ATL/HOU (232.5) and UTA/GS (240). There is one double-digit favorite: PHO by 12.5 vs. DET. The Pacers, Thunder, Spurs, Rockets and Clippers are home dogs.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz ($10,600) – Curry has been in god mode since... his rookie season? Some may argue that, and I wouldn’t say a peep. From a DKFP perspective, there have been two seasons in Curry’s illustrious career in which he’s averaged more than 50 DKFP per game — 2015 and 2020. So far this season, he’s at 54.6 DKFP per game — a career-high. He’s gone over 60 DKFP five times this season, surpassing 70 three times!
This game environment should be one of the best on the slate, as the Warriors are second in offensive pace while the Jazz are 12th. The teams are 21st and 24th in defensive rating, as well.
De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings at Boston Celtics ($9,700) – The range of outcomes is wide for Fox. Crazy, right? I wouldn’t be surprised if he scored 30 DKFP or 60. As a result, the rostership will likely be minuscule — especially on a huge slate.
Fox is garnering a 30% usage rate on the season. The Kings and Celtics are respectively first and second in both points scored and offensive rating. Boston is 17th in defensive rating while Sacramento is 25th. This game has a robust 239 total — the second-highest on the slate. Surprisingly, Boston has boosted the FPPM to points guards by a league-leading 15.82 percentage points.
Other Options - Ja Morant ($10,700), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,200), Jaylen Brown ($8,500), Anfernee Simons ($7,600), Devin Vassell ($7,400)
Jose Alvarado, New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies ($3,800) – Alvarado has become an integral part of the Pelicans’ rotation due to his pesky defense. He’s also not a zero on the offensive side of the ball and has played significant minutes so far this season. He averages 0.96 DKFP per minute and has exceeded points expectations 60% of the time. He has made three starts and produced 24.75, 22.25 and 26.25 DKFP in those contests. He’s gone over 20 DKFP in five of the last six games.
Other Options - Cory Joseph ($3,300), Quentin Grimes ($3,500), Collin Sexton ($4,600), Austin Reaves ($4,700), Shake Milton ($6,000)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Sacramento Kings ($10,800) – It’s a pace-up spot for Boston, as the Kings play at the fifth-fastest pace. Sacramento is also 25th in defensive rating and boost the FPPM of power forwards by 5.35 percentage points. Tatum has only one game with fewer than 40 DKFP on the season and has gone over 60 three times.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($6,800) – Jackson had surgery on his right foot over the offseason. There were so many unknowns as to when he’d return to action and how he’d look. Well, over the last two games, he’s put up 41.75 and 52 DKFP in only 28 and 25 minutes, respectively! He’s scored over 20 points in each contest while being a defensive maven, producing four steals and eight blocks. Yeah, the blind in the land of the unknown can now see.
Other Options - Jaylen Brown ($8,500), DeMar DeRozan ($8,100), Lauri Markkanen ($7,900), Ben Simmons ($7,200), Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,900), Mikal Bridges ($6,900), Andrew Wiggins ($6,400)
Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs ($4,700) – They call him “Hillbilly Kobe” for a reason! It took some time for Reaves to settle into a role, but he has exceeded points expectations 90% of the time this season and has scored at least 20 DKFP in six straight with a high of 33. The recent production has been with LeBron James ($10,400) off the court, and James is questionable for today. Regardless, Reaves should continue to play over 30 minutes per contest whether James plays or not because he is such a good connecting piece.
Other Options - Vlatko Cancar ($3,000 - if Michael Porter Jr. is out), Oshae Brissett ($3,400), Quentin Grimes ($3,500), AJ Griffin ($4,000), Patrick Williams ($4,200)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers ($11,400) – Jokic hasn’t been the Jokic we have come to expect. He’s scored fewer than 50 DKFP five times this season and has exceeded points expectations only 30% of the time. He failed to reach 50 DKFP 11 times last season. Jokic missed some games due to health and safety protocols, but it looks like he’s starting to come around. He’s gone for 60.25 and 65 DKFP in the last two games and just missed a triple-double in both games. When he’s right, Jokic has the highest floor/ceiling combo on the slate.
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs ($10,900) – Davis has been on quite the tear recently, putting up 84.75, 64, 70.5 and 63.5 DKFP over his last four games. He had five steals and five blocks to go along with 37 points and 21 rebounds in his most recent contest. When healthy, Davis is one of the best fantasy players out there, and he’s currently healthy. One thing to mention, though, is that his usage rate increases five percentage points with James off the court, so a slight ding could occur if James returns Friday.
Other Options - Myles Turner ($7,400), Jakob Poeltl ($7,300), Ben Simmons ($7,200), Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,800), Clint Capela ($6,700)
Usman Garuba, Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks ($3,700) – Alperen Sengun is unlikely to play Friday, so Garuba should play meaningful minutes. On the season, he’s exceeded points expectations 80% of the time and gone over 20 DKFP three times, with a high of 34.75 — despite not exceeded 25 minutes in a game.
Other Options - Jabari Smith Jr. ($5,400), Al Horford ($5,600)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.