Last night’s NBA slate featured just three games, but we’re back in full swing on Friday. There have been two postponements, but that still leaves a whopping 11 games on the schedule. The DraftKings slate starts at 7:00 p.m. ET, so let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte Hornets vs. Chicago Bulls ($6,200) – There are more expensive players available at the position, but Graham stands out as arguably the best pure value. He’s scored at least 28.5 DKFP in seven straight games, and he’s scored at least 37.0 DKFP in three of them. He’s back to playing big minutes for the Hornets, and he’s averaged a solid 0.92 DKFP per minute this season. The Bulls also represent an excellent matchup, ranking just 26th in defensive efficiency, and the Hornets’ implied team total of 115.25 ranks third on the slate.
Other Options – Trae Young ($9,600), Malcolm Brogdon ($8,200)
Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs ($4,700) – Brunson missed four games due to health and safety protocols, but he’s stepped right back into a big role in the Mavericks’ rotation. He’s logged at least 27.4 minutes in back-to-back games – including 33.9 minutes in his last outing – and he’s finished with at least 20.5 DKFP in each. Brunson has averaged 0.97 DKFP per minute this season, so he’s capable of doing a lot of damage with that much playing time.
Other Options – George Hill ($4,200), Jordan McLaughlin ($3,400)
Victor Oladipo, Houston Rockets @ Detroit Pistons ($8,000) – Oladipo has carried a monster workload for the Rockets in his first two games with the team. He’s averaged a usage rate of 39.4% and an assist rate of 43.0%, both of which are drastically higher than his marks with the Pacers.
He’s going to have a chance to carry an even larger workload tonight vs. the Pistons. Christian Wood has already been ruled out, and he ranks second on the team in usage over that time frame. The Pistons have also been poor defensively to start the season, ranking just 25th in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Jaylen Brown ($8,500), Collin Sexton ($7,300)
Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets @ Detroit Pistons ($5,700) – Sticking with the Rockets, Gordon should serve as the secondary playmaker behind Oladipo. He’s played at least 33.9 minutes in their past two games, and he’s averaged 29.5 DKFP in those contests. He’s also increased his usage rate by 9.8 percentage points with Wood, John Wall, and James Harden off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.15 DKFP per minute.
Other Options – Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,500), Javonte Green ($3,000)
Jerami Grant, Detroit Pistons vs. Houston Rockets ($8,100) – Paying up for Grant is not the most appealing prospect, but it has been a great decision recently. He’s dominated for the Pistons, scoring at least 42.5 DKFP in seven of his past eight games, and he’s averaged 1.16 DKFP per minute over the past month. He said that he opted to sign with the Pistons instead of re-signing with the Nuggets because he wanted to be a bigger part of the offense, and it appears as though his wish has come true. The Rockets have played at the sixth-fastest pace this season, so he carries more upside than usual in this matchup.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($7,900), RJ Barrett ($6,800)
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets ($4,400) – Johnson’s playing time has been a bit erratic this season, but he’s coming off 28.5 minutes in his last outing. If he’s going to play that much again today, he’s clearly underpriced at just $4,400. He’s historically played between 26 and 34 minutes in 18 career games, and he’s averaged 24.68 DKFP in those contests.
Other Options – Marcus Morris ($4,400), Josh Okogie ($3,900)
Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs ($8,100) – Porzingis missed the early part of the season while recovering from knee surgery, but he’s been at basically full strength since joining the rotation. He’s played in five straight games – including both legs of a back-to-back – and he’s played at least 31.9 minutes in each of his past three. Porzingis has averaged 1.27 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s coming off 53.25 DKFP in his last outing. That makes him too cheap at his current price tag.
Other Options – Domantas Sabonis ($9,900), Lauri Markkanen ($6,600)
LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks ($5,500) – Aldridge has taken on a much smaller role with the Spurs this season, but $5,500 still feels way too cheap for a player of his caliber. He’s still playing around 30 minutes on most nights, and he’s averaged 0.91 DKFP over the past month. His price has dropped following three dreadful performances over his past four games, which makes this an excellent opportunity to buy low on him.
Other Options – James Johnson ($4,500), P.J. Tucker ($4,100)
Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers ($8,900) – All Vucevic does is return value for fantasy players, yet his salary never seems to budge. He’s scored at least 46.5 DKFP in six of his past seven games, yet his salary has actually decreased by $100 over that time frame. That doesn’t make much sense. His matchup vs. the Pacers isn’t ideal – they rank 13th in defensive efficiency – but Vucevic is simply too good to pass up at this price tag.
Other Options – Clint Capela ($8,300), Richaun Holmes ($6,300)
DeMarcus Cousins, Houston Rockets @ Detroit Pistons ($4,400) – Speaking of too good to pass up, Cousins stands out as the easiest play on the entire slate. He remains a dominant fantasy force on a per-minute basis, averaging 1.45 DKFP per minute this season, but a lack of playing time has kept his performances in check. That shouldn’t be a problem today with Wood out of the lineup. Head coach Stephen Silas has already stated that Cousins will start, and he has ridiculous upside if he’s going to play starter minutes. You can play Cousins with Vucevic (or another stud center) if you’d like, but Cousins simply has to be in your lineups tonight.
Other Options – Cody Zeller ($3,500)
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