Friday brings another very busy night of action to the court with 20 teams scheduled to be in action in the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers are the only team on the slate playing the second game of a back-to-back, but six teams are getting ready for a quick turnaround before another game on Saturday. With all the constant shifting of workload due to injuries, illness or load maintenance, keep a close eye on @dklive on Twitter throughout the day and download the DK Live app to stay up-to-the-minute with all the latest news and fantasy impact leading up to tipoff.
This slate is loaded with star power at the top of the salary chart, but you’ll need to balance out your DraftKings lineup with some cheap plays as well. There are some strong plays to consider as bargains based on their matchup, recent form and expected opportunity. Check out my four favorites listed below.
SG/SF Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $4,800
The Timberwolves have had a rough season to this point, but there have been some positive signs from their No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. Edwards stepped up with 25 points on Wednesday, chipping in four rebounds, three steals and two assists to total 40.0 DKFP. He fell just one point short of his career-high in scoring but his non-scoring contributions made this his best fantasy performance. Edwards has struggled with his shooting efficiency overall this season, but he did hit 5-of-8 three-pointers in that big game on Wednesday.
Edwards should continue to get more run in this matchup with the 76ers since Jarrett Culver (ankle) has already been ruled out, Juancho Hernángomez (health and safety protocols) remains sidelined and D’Angelo Russell ($8,200; quad) is questionable. With Karl-Anthony Towns (health and safety protocols) also still missing, there is plenty of usage available for Edwards, who can turn into a volume shooter and overcome his inefficiency for solid fantasy production.
PF JaMychal Green, Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs, $4,600
On the other end of the efficiency spectrum, Green has been highly efficient for the Nuggets off the bench and has scored at least 15 points in three straight games coming into this favorable matchup against the Spurs, who have allowed the sixth-most DKFP per game to opposing PFs this season. During his recent run of success, Green’s true shooting percentage has been 71.4%, due in large part to going 13-for-27 from long range. He has added in good rebounding numbers as well to total over 25 DKFP in each of those three games. In his most recent game, he posted his first double-double of the year, finishing with 34.0 DKFP in Denver’s comfortable win over Miami.
Green does come with some bust potential if his shot goes cold, but he’s usually good for at least 20 DKFP even in that situation. He has reached that threshold in 10 of his past 13 contests and usually gets more minutes and production when the second unit gets more run. If you think the Nuggets will blow out the Spurs, Green makes a lot of sense as a value play at PF.
C Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers, $4,000
After fracturing his hand in the season opener, Zeller missed 13 games for the Hornets. He has been working his way back into the rotation since his return on Jan. 22 and got his first start since returning on Wednesday against the Pacers. He went off in that game for 14 rebounds to go with 10 points and four assists on his way to 37.0 DKFP. Zeller played a season-high 30 minutes and seems to be ready to reclaim the majority of his timeshare with Bismack Biyombo ($4,100).
Zeller gets a rematch against the Pacers on Friday night and comes at a great $4K salary. He doesn’t get a ton of usage so he doesn’t have a high ceiling, but he regularly contributes in other categories and offers around 10 points per game. He has over 20 DKFP in three straight, which would be a solid return if he only gets that many in this one, but with his starting role back, he has the potential for much more as he showed Wednesday.
PG/SG Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Brooklyn Nets, $3,400
With George Hill ruled out for his third straight game due to a right thumb sprain, Maledon will likely make his third straight start for the Thunder. The 19-year-old second-round pick from France was acquired in a draft-night trade after struggling in Europe and sliding from a projected top-10 pick to the top of the second round. He has looked good in his limited time so far this season and could continue to play his way into a larger role even when Hill comes back and is healthy.
On Wednesday against the Suns, Maledon played a career-high 30 minutes and finished with 24.0 DKFP on 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal. He held his own on the defensive end as well, but he’ll have his hands full with the Nets’ All-Star backcourt in this matchup. Whether the game turns into a blowout or stays close, the rookie should get plenty of playing time with Hill still sidelined, giving him a very good chance to return value at such a cheap salary. Other ultra-cheap plays to consider include Dylan Windler ($3,100), Aron Baynes ($3,400) and Jordan Bell ($3,300).
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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 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.
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