Friday’s NBA main slate at DraftKings is 11 games deep. The action kicks off at 7:00 P.M. ET with nine of the 11 games locking by 9:00 P.M. ET. With only two West Coast games, most of the injury news and lineup changes will be known by first lock. Knowing these personnel adjustments is key to finding value and extreme value on large slates.
It’s very likely that several players with price tags under $4,000 — AKA punts — will become strong bargain plays with 22 teams in competition on Friday night. In order to get the most up-to-date news about lineups and pivots, follow @dklive on Twitter and download the DK Live app.
C Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls at Golden State Warriors, $3,000
Nikola Vucevic is out for Health and Safety Protocols, so Tony Bradley will see an enormous increase in minutes and usage. Up to this point, he’s been used sparingly (10 mpg), but he has a 0.94 FPPM. A conservative projection would give Bradley 20-25 minutes on Friday night and that should translate into 20 to 25 fantasy points.
An aggressive projection puts him at 10x, but is that asking too much? Not necessarily. Bradley is almost a fantasy point per minute guy despite his season high in scoring being four points. He’s getting rebounds and a block or two a game, and that’s where his production has been. He’ll certainly be asked to do more for the Bulls while they are without Vucevic for the next two weeks.
SG/SF Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics, $4,000
This will be Milwaukee’s third game in four days and their seventh game without both Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton. Grayson Allen has taken over as the starting shooting guard and will likely get more minutes than Connaughton, but Allen’s minutes come with usage hogs on the court. Connaughton led the second unit in the Bucks’ last game and played so well that he was allowed to play nearly the entire fourth quarter, where he scored 15 points — 44.3 DKFP in total.
The minutes have been there all season, but the usage has not. This should not be a surprise because Connaughton started six of the first nine games. With Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez on the court, of course Connaughton did not get many shots or rebounds. The fact that Connaughton started earlier in the season is a testament to his talent, and on the the second unit, he should be able to easily return value at this price point.
SG Garrett Temple, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Brooklyn Nets, $3,300
If Brandon Ingram remains out for the seventh consecutive game, then Temple will once again easily slide into DFS lineups. Temple played well in the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns on Nov. 2, and he has started all four of the Pelicans’ games since. He’s played 34, 26, 34.5 and 29.5 minutes and scored 30.3, 13.3, 30.5 and 17.8 DKFP. He’s nearly reached 10x value twice despite averaging a usage rate of 13.5% over that span. However, that’s not a surprise given that he has been and continues to be grossly underpriced.
The Nets are a tough defensive matchup (fourth in defensive efficiency), but at this price point, the bar is set extremely low. It’s not often that DFS players can get 30 minutes from a 3K player, but that is the case with Temple every night. Even on his off nights, he does not kill your lineup.
C Drew Eubanks, San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks, $4,700
Where is the value found on NBA DFS slates? Look to who is out due to Health and Safety Protocols. Tony Bradley is going to step into heavy minutes or at least a significant increase in minutes in Chicago for a couple of weeks because of COVID issues. The same situation has already unfolded in San Antonio. Jakob Poeltl has been out due to Health and Safety Protocols since Nov. 3, and Drew Eubanks has started every game in his absence.
In those four games, Eubanks is averaging 22 minutes with a 21.6% usage rate (27 DKFP). It also appears that Eubanks is becoming more comfortable with his role after being thrust into the starting rotation last week. His minutes have increased in every game and in his last two games, he scored 37.3 and 28.5 DKFP.
The likelihood that he reaches value is increased by the matchup and the Spurs’ style of play. Gone are the days of the slow, methodical Spurs — this team plays at the fourth-fastest pace. On paper, this matchup is average to below average, but without Maxi Kleber, big men, Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell have been forced to pick up extra minutes and it has been detrimental to the defensive play down low. Nikola Vucevic and Jonas Valanciunas had big games against the Mavs. Even Robert Williams III — a no show for most of the season — had 16 points and eight rebounds against this front court.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) 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.
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