The NBA is offering up a huge slate of basketball on Friday, with nine different games to choose from. 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.
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D’Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder ($6,900) – Russell is currently listed as questionable for this contest, just as he has been for each of the past seven games. That said, the questionable designation hasn’t stopped him from suiting up in each of his past four contests, so expect him to be in the lineup vs. the Thunder.
As long as he’s active, he’s in an excellent spot. Karl-Anthony Towns remains out of the lineup, so Russell should continue to serve as the Timberwolves’ offensive focal point. He’s attempted at least 18 shots in each of his past three games, so he’s underpriced at $6.9K. The Thunder have also been decimated by injuries recently, particularly in the backcourt, so this matchup should be even friendlier than usual.
Other Options – Kyrie Irving ($9,100), Malcolm Brogdon ($8,000)
Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($5,000) – On the other side of that matchup, Maledon should carry a huge workload for the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort and George Hill have all been ruled out, which leaves Maledon as the team’s lone PG option. He played virtually the entire second half in their last contest, and he responded with 28.75 DKFP. He’s also seen a usage bump of 3.1% with all three players off the court this season, so he has a safe floor and a high ceiling.
Other Options – Darius Garland ($5,800), Reggie Jackson ($4,900)
Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets ($7,900) – The buy-low window on VanVleet is officially closed. He won’t fly under the radar anymore after dropping 54 points and 77.75 DKFP on the Magic in his last start, and his price has jumped up a bit, as well. Still, he has the potential for another big performance vs. the Nets. They have been a disaster defensively since acquiring James Harden from the Rockets, and VanVleet should continue to benefit from the absence of OG Anunoby. He’s increased his usage rate by 3.6% with Anunoby off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.29 DKFP per minute. Add it all up, and he still seems underpriced.
Other Options – Bradley Beal ($9,500), Zach LaVine ($8,400)
Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($3,400) – Okoro has been pretty uninspiring when on the court this season, averaging a paltry 0.50 DKFP per minute. That’s one of the worst marks on the slate, but he’s still tough to ignore at just $3.4K. He’s playing huge minutes for the Cavaliers — he’s logged at least 32.2 in five of his past six games — and he has the potential to play even more than usual on today’s slate. Larry Nance Jr. remains out of the lineup, while Collin Sexton ($7,000; neck) is listed as questionable.
Other Options – Evan Fournier ($6,200), Coby White ($6,000)
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors ($9,600) – There were some questions about how hard the Nets would push Durant this season. He was coming off a serious injury that caused him to miss all of last year, and most teams have been playing their star players less to begin with. However, Durant has surprisingly carried a pretty massive workload. He’s played at least 36.9 minutes in each of his past six games, and Durant is still one of the best producers in the league on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 1.43 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he stands out as one of the better stud options on the slate.
Other Options – Kawhi Leonard ($8,800), Jimmy Butler ($8,300)
Hamidou Diallo, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($5,200) – The Thunder are going to provide tons of value on tonight’s slate, and Diallo stands out as one of their best options. He’s coming off 32.8 minutes and 31.75 DKFP in his last game, and he has the potential to be even better vs. the Timberwolves. He’s increased his usage rate by 3.8% with SGA, Dort and Hill off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.14 DKFP per minute.
Other Options – Mikal Bridges ($5,300), Taurean Prince ($4,500)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers ($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.
The only real concern with Giannis tonight is his playing time. The Bucks have won each of their past two games by at least 20 points, which has kept Giannis’ minutes in check. That didn’t stop him from scoring 62.0 DKFP in his last game vs. the Pacers, but there are some blowout concerns vs. the Cavs. The Bucks are currently favored by 10.5 points, which makes them the largest favorites on the slate.
Other Options – Domantas Sabonis ($8,600), Pascal Siakam ($7,600)
Darius Bazley, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($5,700) – Another member of the Thunder? Don’t mind if I do! Bazley is one of the top options for the Thunder, and he’s coming off 41.5 DKFP in his last outing. In addition to the Thunder being shorthanded, the Timberwolves also represent an elite matchup. They’ve been dreadful defensively with Karl-Anthony Towns off the court this season, so the Thunder that do suit up should be able to find success.
Other Options – Blake Griffin ($5,200), Justin Jackson ($3,200)
Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls ($8,500) – I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Vucevic. He doesn’t get the respect he deserves as one of the best big men in the game, and he’s in a great spot tonight vs. the Bulls. The Bulls are tied for 26th in defensive efficiency, and Vucevic should command a larger workload than usual given the Magic’s current injury situation. Aaron Gordon, Michael Carter-Williams and Markelle Fultz all remain out of the lineup, and Vucevic has increased his usage rate by 3.5% with all three players off the court this season.
Other Options – Rudy Gobert ($7,400), Deandre Ayton ($7,100)
Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder ($5,400) – Reid returned to the starting lineup in the Timberwolves’ last game, and he responded with 30.75 DKFP over 32.1 minutes. He’s averaged 1.15 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he has the potential to provide excellent value if he sees a comparable workload tonight vs. the Thunder.
Other Options – Myles Turner ($6,300), Al Horford ($6,100)
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