The NBA bubble has offered up plenty of exciting basketball so far and the action continues on Friday. There are five games on the main slate, starting with the Grizzlies vs. the Thunder at 4:00 p.m. ET.
De’Aaron Fox, SAC @ BRK, $7,600 – Fox isn’t the most expensive option at the position today, but he possesses arguably the highest ceiling. He’s coming off a monster performance in his last game, scoring 57.25 DKFP versus the New Orleans Pelicans. That marked the third time in four games that he’s eclipsed 49.0 DKFP in the bubble.
He’s in another great spot today against the Brooklyn Nets. They rank ninth in pace this season, and they’ve played even faster in the bubble. They’ve also struggled defensively in Orlando, allowing opposing offenses to average 119.5 points per 100 possessions. The Kings are currently implied for 118.5 points, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options — Ja Morant ($8,500), Chris Paul ($8,100)
Ish Smith, WAS @ NOP, $5,000 – The Wizards are another team with a great matchup today. They’re taking on the Pelicans, who have played at the second-fastest pace in the league this season.
That makes Smith an appealing target at just $5K. He’s averaged 1.06 DKFP per minute inside the bubble, and he’s coming off more than 30 minutes in his last contest.
Other Options — Shabazz Napier ($5,000), Markelle Fultz ($4,600)
Caris LeVert, BKN vs. SAC, $7,100 – LeVert has been hit-or-miss so far in the bubble, but it hasn’t exactly been his fault. He’s been productive when on the court, averaging 1.11 DKFP per minute, but his playing time has been inconsistent. He’s played more than 28 minutes in just one of his first three games, and he exploded for 47.75 DKFP in that contest.
He has a huge ceiling today versus the Kings if he plays towards the top of his minute range. The Kings have struggled defensively in Orlando, allowing opposing offenses to average 125.0 points per game.
Other Options – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($6,800)
Troy Brown Jr, WAS @ NOP, $5,500 – Brown is another player who deserves your attention for the Wizards. He’s been arguably their best player in Orlando, and he’s averaged 1.00 DKFP per minute over his past four games. He’s played at least 36 minutes in two of those contests, and he’s displayed a ceiling of over 50.0 DKFP. He can do a lot of damage in this matchup against the Pelicans
Other Options – Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,100), Joe Harris ($5,300)
Tobias Harris, PHI vs. ORL, $8,300 – Harris has been priced up considerably following the injury to Ben Simmons, who will miss at least the next few games after partially dislocating his kneecap. That said, there still a lot to like about Harris at this price tag.
He’s increased his usage rate by +1.6% in 11 games without Simmons this season, and he’s led the team with an average of 35.4 minutes in those contests. Overall, Harris has averaged 39.1 DKFP with Simmons out of the lineup.
Other Options – Jayson Tatum ($7,900), Gordon Hayward ($7,000)
Terrence Ross, ORL @ PHI, $5,000 — The 76ers aren’t the only team dealing with an injury today. The Magic will be without Aaron Gordon, which opens the door for Ross to assume a larger workload. Ross is very productive when on the court – he’s averaged 0.95 DKFP per minute this season – so any boost in playing time makes him a strong target.
He’s also increased his usage rate by +1.9% with Gordon off the court this season, which is the third-highest mark on the team.
Other Options — Danilo Gallinari ($5,600), Wes Iwundu ($3,000)
Pascal Siakam, TOR vs. BOS, $8,200 – PF is probably the weakest position at the top today, but Siakam has some appeal at $8.2K. He’s playing a ton of minutes in the bubble – he’s logged at least 36 in two of his first three games – and he’s averaged 1.20 DKFP per minute this season. The Celtics aren’t a particularly inspiring matchup, but Siakam did score 46.0 DKFP in his only other game versus Boston in 2020.
Other Options – Al Horford ($6,600), Rui Hachimura ($5,900)
Brandon Clarke, MEM vs. OKC, $4,900 – Clarke didn’t see a huge jump in playing time in his first game without Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee), but I’m not giving up hope quite yet. For starters, Clarke has been awesome when on the floor this season, averaging 1.09 DKFP per minute. Even if he plays just 27.5 minutes – which is exactly what he played in his last contest – that should still give him a chance to pay off his $4.9K salary.
Other Options – James Ennis ($3,700), Nemanja Bjelica ($5,000)
Joel Embiid, PHI vs. ORL, $10,500 – Today’s slate is lacking true superstars outside of Embiid, which should make him one of the most popular plays. That said, he should absolutely feast with Simmons out of the lineup.
The 76ers’ offense in general has been better with Embiid on the court and Simmons off the court, averaging 112.2 points per 100 possessions. Unsurprisingly, Embiid has also carved out a larger usage rate without Simmons: He’s posted a mark of 38.1% in six games with his star teammate out of the lineup.
Other Options — Nikola Vucevic ($7,800), Jonas Valanciunas ($7,300)
Editor’s note: Richaun Holmes (hip) is questionable to play Friday vs. Nets
Richaun Holmes, SAC @ BKN, $4,900 – Holmes could be an interesting buy-low target. He hasn’t been very effective in the bubble, and he’s only been playing around 25 minutes per game. Still, Holmes is the type of player who is capable of averaging well over 1.00 fantasy points per minute.
He’s been priced down to $4.9K for today’s slate, and he’s in an elite spot against the Nets. They’ve struggled versus big men all season, so this matchup could be just what the doctor ordered.
Other Options – Jarrett Allen ($6,300), Derrick Favors ($5,200)
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