The NBA finishes another busy week of action with a stacked nine-game slate on Friday. Three of the 18 teams in action are playing for the second day in a row—the Los Angeles Clippers, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Sacramento Kings—so watch carefully for news of who will be resting or unavailable for those teams. On the front of their back-to-back set, the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz are scheduled to play again on Saturday, so they may try and proactively manage minutes as well. You’ll want to keep a close eye on the injury and availability news for those teams and for the rest of the slate as well since value plays can open up if players are ruled out. Stay locked into @dklive on Twitter leading up to tipoff and download the DK Live app to stay up-to-the-minute with all the latest news and fantasy impact.
As you decide which superstars to stock your DraftKings lineup with, you’ll also need to select the best value plays. To help you find the best options on the cheap side of the salary spectrum, check out my favorite bargains for your DraftKings lineup listed below.
PG Saben Lee, Detroit Pistons vs. Sacramento Kings, $4,300
Lee just joined the Pistons’ rotation after the trade of Derrick Rose back to the Knicks and the injury to Delon Wright (groin), who remains sidelined for this game. The No. 38 pick in last year’s draft remains on a two-way contract but has played over 20 minutes in three straight games, posting 30, 34.75 and 28 DKFP in matchups with the Magic, Magic and Pelicans, respectively. His minutes were down a little in his most recent game since Dennis Smith Jr. ($4,600) played better and earned more time. Even with fewer minutes, though, Lee had 13 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals and that 28 DKFP.
Smith and Lee will continue to share PG duties while Wright is out, and this is a great matchup for them against the Kings, who just gave up 140 points last night to the Knicks. Both these teams play at a quick pace as indicated by the O/U of 225.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, and Lee should be able to continue to show his potential to produce. Coach Dwane Casey has been hyping the rookie since the Rose trade and should keep giving him plenty of opportunities to prove himself.
C Marc Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $4,100
With Anthony Davis (Achilles) sidelined, Gasol has been getting extra playing time and the 12-year veteran has been playing well. While he doesn’t have an extremely high ceiling, he has been able to reach at least 18 DKFP with an average of at least 0.8 DKFP per minute in each of his past five games. He had over 21 DKFP in four straight before a down game against the Jazz when the Lakers were blown out on Wednesday.
This matchup with the Blazers should be a much better one for the big man, and he had 18.75 DKFP in 19 minutes in their first meeting back in December. Without Davis again in this matchup, Gasol should be able to offer solid, reliable production at this price point, although his ceiling isn’t quite as high as the other options on this list.
SF/PF Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns at Chicago Bulls, $3,500
The Suns moved their second-year wing back to the bench 11 games ago, but Johnson is still playing 21.7 minutes off the bench. He could get a slightly larger workload in this game against the Bulls since Dario Saric ($3,900) is questionable with a right ankle sprain after battling a left ankle sprain much of the season. Johnson played over 30 minutes in his most recent game, which was also against the Bulls, and finished with 14 points, five boards and 23.75 DKFP.
Over his past 11 games since joining the second unit, Johnson has averaged 18.75 DKFP on 9.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.7 steals per game. He should be able to return value in this rematch as the Suns try to avenge their three-point loss from Wednesday.
SG/SF Justin Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Atlanta Hawks, $3,100
The Thunder will be shorthanded in the first game of their two-game set since they’re resting Al Horford and will be without Hamidou Diallo (groin) as well. Without those two players, Jackson will likely step back into a larger role off the bench after playing minimal minutes over his past six games. Jackson will probably be the top wing off the bench alongside Kenrich Williams ($3,500), but I like Jackson’s offensive upside a little better.
Before the Thunder got healthy and Jackson was pushed to a minimal role, he had a successful seven-game run from Feb. 3 through Feb. 14. During that stretch, he averaged 27.9 minutes per contest and produced 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 0.7 steals. He had over 18 DKFP in the final four games during that run, averaging 27.7 DKFP during that four-game sample size. He has produced at least 0.7 DKFP per minute in seven of his past eight games, which could result in a solid value night if he gets 20-plus minutes. Jackson’s role is undefined which makes him risky, but if he gets the opportunity and usage, he could end up being the best bargain of the night.
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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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