The NBA has another busy Friday night scheduled with nine games on the slate as the season continues to roll along at its accelerated pace. Of the 18 teams in action, only the Utah Jazz are on the second game of a back-to-back, but over half of these teams are scheduled to play again on Saturday as part of another jam-packed 11-game schedule on the Eve of the Super Bowl.
There are already some players poised to be great value plays on this Friday slate and more could emerge throughout the day. Make sure to stay dialed into @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. As you select your stars to pay up for, you’ll also need some bargains to help your lineup stay under the salary cap. Check out my favorite bargains for your DraftKings lineup listed below
Opt-in before the start of the 4th quarter and if a 3-point shot is made in the final minute of Friday’s BOS vs. LAC game, you get an entry to a $100K contest on Wednesday, 2/10! See the DraftKings Big Trey Payday page for more details!
PG/SG Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $5,000
I don’t normally stretch up to $5K for a bargain play, but with Maledon, I’m making an exception. His potential is so great and the other plays on this list today are so cheap. Maledon has been pressed into a larger role for the Thunder over the past week and has stepped up in a variety of ways while showing the potential for even more if he puts it all together in a single contest. This matchup against the Timberwolves could be the game where he does that and goes for a huge number, and even if he doesn’t he should offer a solid return since the usage is almost sure to be there for him. With George Hill (thumb) out, Maledon has started five straight games and will get even more work with Shai Gilgous-Alexander (knee) and Luguentz Dort (knee) also listed as out for this contest.
Maledon has averaged 29.8 minutes per game over his five starts, producing 11.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 24.9 DKFP per contest. He shot the lights out in his 36.75 DKFP performance last week against Brooklyn but still managed to produce 28.75 DKFP despite shooting just 2-for-12 in his 36 minutes on Wednesday. The way he saved his fantasy value in that contest was by picking up a career-high six steals. The rookie from France is only 19 and the Thunder are starting to view him as a key part of their future. As for tonight, he should be able to produce a good total once again, whether he does it with defense, scoring, distributing or puts it all together to reach his massively high ceiling.
SF/PF Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards at Miami Heat, $3,900
Another international rookie getting significant minutes and making an impact is the Wizards’ Deni Avdija. He has started each of his three games since returning from his time in the health and safety protocols and played escalating minutes with 16 in his return, 23 against the Trail Blazers Tuesday and an impressive 33 in his most recent game against the Heat. In that game, Avdija scored 20.5 DKFP on 13 points, four boards and a steal. He was even more productive Tuesday with 13 points, seven rebounds and 27.25 DKFP against the Trail Blazers.
Avdija should be able to fill in nicely at under $4K as long as he keeps getting so much run with Washington’s starters. He has flashed a high ceiling by reaching over 25 DKFP in five of his 14 games but is also relatively low-risk since he’s getting so many minutes.
C Frank Kaminsky, Phoenix Suns vs. Detroit Pistons, $3,400
Kaminsky hasn’t been getting nearly the minutes as the rookies listed above him, but he has shown the ability to put together good fantasy production when given some extended run. His per-36 numbers are great, but he has only logged 20 minutes twice over his past nine games while averaging only 15.6 minutes per game in that span. While Dario Saric (health and safety protocols) remains out and Jae Crowder ($4,600; foot) listed as doubtful, there could be some extra minutes for Kaminsky in this very favorable matchup with the Pistons.
In his most recent game with over 20 minutes, he played 24 minutes against the Warriors and dropped 12 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and 44.25 DKFP. He and the Suns then went on a three-game road trip and he managed 20-plus DKFP in two of their three games away from Phoenix Suns Arena. His playing time isn’t certain, but if he does get enough work he should end up being a steal at this salary.
PF/C Chuma Okeke, Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls, $3,300
After tearing his ACL in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, Okeke slid to the Magic at No. 16 overall in the 2019 draft, and his injury issues have unfortunately continued this season. He missed the entire month of January with a bone bruise in his knee, but he looked sharp in his return Tuesday with 10 points, three assists, a steal and 17 DKFP in 18 minutes. He was expected to be limited to between 12 and 14 minutes, so even though 18 minutes isn’t a lot, it does seem to indicate he was feeling good in his return.
The Magic will give Okeke all the run he can handle since they’re looking for any kind of production at PF while Aaron Gordon (ankle) is sidelined. Okeke will have to beat out Gary Clark ($4,100), Khem Birch ($4,200) and James Ennis III ($3,500) for playing time, so he could work his way all the way into the starting lineup before long. He’s still a speculative grab at this point, but he does have nice upside if he stays healthy and grows into the opportunity before him. On this slate, he gets a cushy matchup against the Bulls, who have allowed the third-most DKFP to opposing PFs so far this season.
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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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