Last night’s NBA slate featured just four games, but we’re back in full swing on Friday. There are 10 games on the schedule, which gives us plenty of options for DFS. 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.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards ($9,100) – Young has been absolutely rolling recently. He’s scored at least 50.75 DKFP in each of his past six games, yet his salary has actually dropped over that time frame. He was priced at $9.6K vs. the Timberwolves last Friday, but you can grab him at just $9.1K tonight vs. the Wizards. That doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.
The Wizards stand out as an elite matchup for Young. They’ve played at the fastest pace in the league this season, and they also rank 29th in defensive efficiency. It’s hard to beat that combination from a fantasy perspective. The Hawks are currently implied for 118.75 points, which is tied for the second-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Kyle Lowry ($7,100), Dejounte Murray ($6,100)
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks ($5,000) – Garland entered the starting lineup in the Cavs' last contest for the first time since returning from an injury four games ago. He ultimately finished with 31.3 minutes, and he responded with 26.0 DKFP. His playing time only figures to increase as he gets further removed from his injury, which makes him a prime buy-low target at just $5K. He’s averaged 0.89 DKFP per minute this season, so he has plenty of upside once he returns to his pre-injury workload.
Other Options – Mike Conley ($6,000), Tyrese Haliburton ($4,800)
Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors vs. Sacramento Kings ($7,500) – VanVleet has scored at least 41.75 DKFP in each of his past three games, yet his salary has actually dropped $800 over that time frame. The Raptors are nearing full strength — which will hurt VanVleet’s value in the long-term — but they could be without OG Anunoby ($6,500; calf) vs. the Kings. He’s currently listed as questionable after missing their last game, and VanVleet would become a very appealing target if he’s unable to suit up.
VanVleet also benefits from a solid matchup. The Kings rank just 20th in defensive efficiency this season, and the Raptors’ implied team total of 117.5 ranks fourth on the slate.
Other Options – Bradley Beal ($10,200), Collin Sexton ($6,700)
Seth Curry, Philadelphia 76ers at Minnesota Timberwolves ($4,400) – Curry has failed to return value in all four games since returning from a lengthy absence, which has caused his salary to drop to $4.4K. That said, he is coming off 30.5 minutes in his last game, which is his top mark over that time frame. That bodes well for his fantasy value moving forward. Curry has averaged 0.83 DKFP per minute this season, so he should be able to pay off his current salary with a comparable workload vs. the Timberwolves.
Other Options – Lonnie Walker ($4,100), Shake Milton ($4,000)
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers at Minnesota Timberwolves ($6,800) – Joel Embiid ($9,400; back) is currently listed as questionable, and Harris would see one of the biggest bumps in value if he’s unable to suit up. He’s increased his usage rate by 4.0% with Embiid off the court this season — which is the second-highest mark on the team — and he’s averaged 1.20 DKFP per minute in that situation. Harris also leads the team with an average of 36.2 DKFP in three games with Embiid out of the lineup, despite averaging a pedestrian 30.2 minutes in those contests.
You can also make a case that Harris is underpriced even if Embiid is active. The Timberwolves have been dreadful defensively this season, particularly in games without Karl-Anthony Towns.
Other Options – Gordon Hayward ($7,000), DeMar DeRozan ($6,800)
Jeremy Lamb, Indiana Pacers at Charlotte Hornets ($4,900) – Lamb’s playing time has been a rollercoaster since re-joining the Pacers’ rotation. He’s played 28.4 minutes or more in two of his past four games, and he’s played 20.6 minutes or less in the other two.
The good news is that Lamb doesn’t necessarily need to play a ton of minutes to pay off his current salary. He’s averaged 1.00 DKFP per minute this season, which is in-line with his career average. In other words, he has huge upside if he hits his minute ceiling tonight vs. the Hornets, and he shouldn’t kill you if he plays around 20 minutes, either. That’s a nice combo.
Other Options – Luguentz Dort ($4,400), Will Barton ($4,300)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans ($10,800) – Antetokounmpo remains the most dominant force in fantasy on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 1.65 DKFP per minute this season, and while that’s not as impressive as his mark from last season, it still gives him arguably the highest ceiling in the league whenever he takes the floor.
His playing time has been up recently — he’s logged at least 36.4 minutes in back-to-back games — and his fantasy numbers in those contests have been impressive. He’s finished with at least 57.5 DKFP in both, including 63.0 DKFP in his last outing. Tonight’s matchup vs. the Pelicans is expected to be competitive, with DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Bucks as just 6.5-point road favorites. That should mean another solid workload for Giannis.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($9,900), Domantas Sabonis ($9,200)
Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks ($3,900) – Okoro has seen a nice bump in playing time with Larry Nance Jr. ($6,900; wrist) out of the lineup recently. He’s played at least 34 minutes in back-to-back games, including a team-high 37.3 minutes Wednesday vs. the Pistons. Nance is questionable for tonight’s contest vs. the Knicks, and Okoro would become an appealing value play if he’s ultimately ruled out. Okoro hasn’t been great on a per-minute basis during his rookie season, but anyone priced below $4K with the potential to play 37 minutes is worth consideration.
Other Options – Marvin Bagley ($5,800), Rudy Gay ($4,400)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs ($10,100) – Jokic has disappointed in back-to-back games, which has caused his salary to drop to just $10.1K for Friday’s matchup vs. the Spurs. That makes him a prime buy-low target. Jokic has averaged a ridiculous 58.2 DKFP per game over the past month, and that kind of production would represent massive value at his current price tag. The Spurs aren’t an elite matchup for big men, but they’re not a team that you need to fear, either, as they rank just 25th in defensive efficiency this season.
Other Options – Joel Embiid ($9,400), Clint Capela ($8,900)
Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers ($4,000) – Zeller is coming off 29.7 minutes in his last contest, which was easily his top mark since returning from injury. He ultimately finished with 37.0 DKFP in that contest, which was also against the Pacers. He’s too cheap at $4K if he’s going to see that much playing time again today.
Other Options – Chris Boucher ($6,100), Brook Lopez ($5,300)
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