The NBA is back after the All-Star break and will be extremely busy as they try to make up all the rescheduled games from the first part of the season. There are seven more games on tap for Friday night with the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets playing for the second day in a row coming off the break. As we approach the trade deadline and teams and players continue to manage their workload, be sure to keep an especially close eye on important availability updates from @dklive on Twitter and be sure to download the DK Live app to stay up to date with who’s in, who’s out and who should be in your lineup.
As you build your DraftKings lineup for what should be a fun Friday slate, make take a look at these four cheap plays, who can offer solid production at reduced salary and free up salary to allow you to stack up superstars in other roster spots.
SF/PF Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs vs. Orlando Magic, $4,800
When they returned from the break, the Spurs moved Johnson back into the starting lineup after he came off the bench for two games following a two-week absence due to the NBA health and safety protocols. Johnson played 22 minutes against the Mavericks on Wednesday and had 12 points, four boards and 17.5 DKFP. He should be able to increase that production on Friday as he continues to get back to 100%. Before being sidelined, Johnson averaged 15.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 21.9% usage rate in 29.3 minutes per contest.
Johnson is also likely in for more of a workload on Friday, since DeMar DeRozan will be away from the team to attend a funeral and LaMarcus Aldridge has also agreed to part ways with the Spurs. Johnson should help shoulder the offensive workload as much as his conditioning allows and brings a very high ceiling to this favorable matchup with the Magic.
PG/SF Justise Winslow, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets, $4,500
Since returning from his year-long absence due to a serious hip injury, Winslow has had the green light coming off the bench for Memphis. He has played seven games and has already taken 77 shots. Even though he is only shooting 36.4% from the field, that kind of volume gives him a very high ceiling. He showed off that ceiling with 20 points and 29.75 DKFP against the Rockets before the All-Star break and produced 23 and 24 DKFP in his two most recent contests.
On Wednesday, Winslow had nine points, six rebounds, four assists and 24.0 DKFP. It’s good to see his non-scoring stats returning, and he will be a great option as he starts to make more shots. He has a usage rate of over 19% in each of his past four games and seems locked into 20-to-22 minutes off the bench in his current role for Memphis. While his playing time could get squeezed eventually when the Grizz get healthy, they’re definitely giving him enough run to make him a strong fantasy consideration at this point.
SG/SF Furkan Korkmaz, Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards, $4,200
Korkmaz is a long-range specialist who always brings a high ceiling when he steps into an expanded role. With Ben Simmons still in quarantine, he should get some extra work in this great matchup against Washington. Korkmaz has scored at least eight points in each of his past six games, averaging 13.2 points and making 2.7 three-pointers per contest. His minutes and shots were limited when everyone was healthy before the break, but he should get more work in Washington with Simmons sidelined.
On Thursday, Korkmaz had 16 points, four assists, a rebound and three blocks to total 28.75 DKFP in 24 minutes against the Bulls. He should be in a similar role in this contest and brings a great ceiling for just over $4K.
SG/SF Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz, $3,200
Another player who looks like he’ll be stepping into a huge role for the near future is Porter, who just joined the Rockets after the Cavaliers moved on from their former first-round pick at least partly due to off-court issues. Porter made his Rockets’ debut Thursday night against the Kings and played 30 minutes off the bench in Houston’s 20-point loss. Porter looked good, though, producing a whopping 42.25 DKFP on 13 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. He had a 25.2% usage rate, which probably won’t be sustainable, but he should stay very involved for the shorthanded Rockets.
Houston won’t have P.J. Tucker, who is expected to be traded, while Christian Wood ($8,400; ankle), Eric Gordon ($5,700; groin), John Wall ($8,100; knee), Danuel House Jr. ($5,200; knee) and Rodions Kurucs ($3,000; oblique) are all dealing with injuries. Victor Oladipo ($8,300) has often sat out the second game of back-to-backs as well, leaving Porter, Jae’Sean Tate ($5,800) and Justin Patton ($4,900) likely to have to carry major minutes in this tough matchup in Utah. Porter won’t have to do much to hit value at such a low salary, and if he gets nearly the run he saw Thursday, he’s a must-play free space on Friday.
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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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