Friday night calls for a seven-game NBA slate, and below are some names I will be targeting at each position on DraftKings.
Worth Paying Up For: Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets, $8,100
After some up and down stretches, Morant has been a stud recently, scoring 51.4 DKFP per game in his last three. He will look to remain hot tonight, when the Nuggets come to town. Per DraftKings Sportsbook, this West matchup sports a small spread of three points and the O/U game total is up to 227.5 points.
Morant has been a far better fantasy asset at home this season, amassing 6.7 more DKFP per game than when he is on the road, and if we look at all the Grizzlies’ home contests that have carried a total of at least 225 points, the point guard has been a stud with 45.3 DKFP per game.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs vs. Orlando Magic, $4,900
DeMar DeRozan (personal) will be away from the Spurs tonight and his absence creates a huge void in this offense. This season, the former Raptor is leading San Antonio with 33.6 minutes per game, a 24.2% usage rate and a 32.2% assist percentage. Plus, LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs just agreed on a separation, and with these two veterans out of the picture, White should take on a very healthy usage rate.
In all the time he has played without DeRozan and Aldridge this season, White’s usage rate has seen a boost of 4.7 percentage points and his production has been at 1.2 DKFP per minute, which is a significant 0.3 upgrade from his average this season. As a final cherry on top, this is a prime matchup for him against the Magic. White started at shooting guard this past Wednesday night and no team in the NBA is giving up more DKFP per game to the position than Orlando. Ignore the ugly showing in his last start and roll the dice on White tonight.
Worth Paying Up For: Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers at New Orleans Pelicans, $8,100
Sexton was on an absolute tear before the All-Star break, contributing 44.3 DKFP per game in his final six before the vacation. He has received over 40 minutes of work in three straight and there’s no reason to suspect Sexton’s minutes are going to drop any time soon, especially tonight, with Darius Garland (questionable, groin) beat up.
It would be an obvious bump to his stock if his backcourt mate was out, but either way, Sexton is a high upside option tonight in this juicy spot vs. the Pelicans. They rank 2nd to last in defensive efficiency and the point guard’s new season-high salary should keep most away, as usual. In his last five starts, Sexton has only obtained a DraftKings main GPP ownership of 5.6%.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz, $3,200
After flourishing in the G-League, Porter Jr. was called up by the Rockets and he excelled in his debut with the club last night, recording 42.25 DKFP in 29 minutes of work vs. the Kings. John Wall (knee) missed this game and his status is uncertain for tonight, while Eric Gordon (groin) and Davis Nwaba (wrist) have been ruled out and Victor Oladipo should also be sidelined after playing in Thursday night’s loss. Since being acquired by Houston, the former Pacer has yet to compete in both legs of a back-to-back.
Even without word on Wall, Porter Jr. instantly becomes an elite value play tonight. Starter or not, the 20-year-old is going to be needed for over 30 minutes and this type of opportunity is hard to pass up on at a near minimum price. Yes, the Jazz are a defensive powerhouse (3rd in efficiency), but the sheer volume expected for Porter Jr. out trumps any matchup concern.
Worth Paying Up For: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls, $9,200
With Bam Adebayo (knee) out last night, Butler was absolutely incredible, leading Miami with 62.5 DKFP vs. the Magic. His center also missed the final tilt before the All-Star break and Butler didn’t disappoint, with 51.25 DKFP in the 103-93 victory against the Pelicans.
The 31-year-old provides a team-best 1.5 DKFP per minute sans Adebayo this season and the big man has already been confirmed out tonight. Chicago has been susceptible on the defensive end, rating as the 7th weakest unit over their last five and Butler is an awesome spend against his original team. Since departing from the club four years ago, Butler has generated 50.25 DKFP per game when he has visited his old home.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs vs. Orlando Magic, $4,800
With both Aldridge and DeRozan out of this rotation, Johnson should handle big minutes against the Magic.
This will be the first time the pair of veterans have missed a game together this year, but in the two he has suited up for with just DeRozan out, Johnson has supplied 26 DKFP behind 35.9 minutes per game. The Kentucky product collects right under one DKFP per minute this season and has to be considered with the large minute projection tonight.
Worth Paying Up For: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, $9,100
Williamson had a very quiet showing vs. the Wolves last night (31.75 DKFP), but the Pelicans as a whole produced a dud in this 30 point blowout loss. They should get back on track tonight against the Cavs and this is a strong chance to buy-low on Williamson. The physical monster was producing 49.9 DKFP per game in his previous six before Thursday night and this Cavs defense he will meet ranks 24th in defensive rating over their last ten.
The 20-year-old has been slightly more productive on his home floor this season (+2.0 DKFP) and I would be shocked if Williamson didn’t rebound with at least 45 DKFP.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs vs. Orlando Magic, $5,200
Gay is another interesting target from the shorthanded Spurs. In his first taste of action in nearly a month on Wednesday night, the veteran shined with 33.25 DKFP in 27 minutes off the bench against the Mavs. He is going to be needed for close to 30 minutes again tonight, and Gay is supplying 1.0 DKFP per minute this year.
Overall, in all the contests he has cracked 25 minutes during the 2020-21 season, the 34-year-old has scored 26.2 DKFP per game.
Worth Paying Up For: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards, $10,700
After close contact with his barber who tested positive for COVID-19, Embiid has been testing negative for the virus every day and if he continues to do so Friday, the center will return to the lineup tonight. He hasn’t played in nine days and with some fresh legs in his favor, Embiid should add another spectacular performance to his MVP campaign. The 26-year-old is currently the favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook to be crowned the MVP later this year (+200) and this is a beautiful matchup vs. the Wizards, who rank 27th in defensive efficiency.
Ben Simmons (health and safety protocols) will remain in quarantine and when the guard has been sidelined this season, Embiid has been incredible with 58.6 DKFP per game. Furthermore, this will be the third time the Sixers and Wizards have gone head-to-head in 2020-21, and Embiid destroyed them for 59.3 DKFP per game across the first two. Assuming he isn’t a surprise inactive, Embiid is my favorite high-spend of Friday night.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls, $5,700
Olynyk is an easy choice tonight with Adebayo missing his third straight. Last night, Olynyk posted 38.75 DKFP over 34.4 minutes in the win against the Magic with Adebayo missing. In total, the center has missed four tilts this year and Olynyk is supplying 36.3 DKFP per game on those occasions.
On tap for Friday night is a date with a terrible Bulls interior defense that has given up the 2nd most DKFP per game to centers this season. Hopefully the quick $600 price increase scares some people off, because Olynyk is a no brainer tonight for both cash games and GPPs.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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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