Happy Friday everybody. Tonight, we get a full ten-game NBA slate, and below are some names I will be targeting at each position on DraftKings.
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Worth Paying Up For: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trailblazers, $10,700
Dallas just picked up back-to-back wins against the Clippers and Doncic led the way with 71.25 DKFP per game in the miniseries. Now, he will head to Portland to face a Blazers club that ranks 2nd to last in defensive efficiency and is playing their second game in two nights. This will be the second time in 2020-21 that these two teams have met, and in the first matchup, Doncic dominated Portland for 66.2 DKFP.
With Kyrie Irving returning to the Nets, slightly hurting James Harden’s value, along with Damian Lillard lacking rest in this matchup with Dallas, Doncic is the clear top overall option at point guard for Friday’s slate.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Nico Mannion, Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies, $3,200
Stephen Curry (doubtful) bruised his tailbone in Wednesday’s win vs. the Rockets and isn’t expected to be available tonight. The last time the future Hall of Famer was inactive, Mannion was the player that started in his place and I expect him to earn the job again Friday, considering that fellow Warriors point guard Brad Wanamaker ($3,000) has been a DNP-CD since the All-Star break. Mannion has handled a 17.5 minutes per game role off the bench during this time, giving a clear indication that the rookie is ahead of Wanamaker on the depth chart right now.
That lone start sans Curry came back on March 4th, and Mannion was effective with 24 DKFP across 31 minutes against the Suns. Friday’s matchup vs. the Grizzlies rates poorly (8th in defensive efficiency), but if Mannion is named a starter, the 20-year-old will be a viable punt play.
Worth Paying Up For: Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns, $7,100
Edwards is on a serious tear right now. Last night, facing the same Suns defense he will match up with again tonight, the rookie erupted for a career-high 60.25 DKFP. The first overall pick from this past NBA draft has now supplied over 35 DKFP in seven of his last eight starts. With Malik Beasley suspended and inactive for the Wolves’ last seven, Edwards has logged 35 minutes per game and his usage rate has been at an immense 32.8%.
Obviously, we can’t expect another 60 DKFP outburst, but Edwards’ $7,100 price tag is clearly too low and we need to take advantage of the discount tonight.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trailblazers, $4,900
Hardaway Jr. entered the starting lineup on Wednesday with Dorian Finney-Smith missing the game due to a personal matter, and tallied 24.5 DKFP with 37 minutes in the win over the Clippers. This is the most playing time the wing has gained in 21 games and Hardaway Jr. should maintain this large role with Finney-Smith already confirmed out for the second straight time.
When analyzing his game log this season, Hardaway Jr. has been a reliable fantasy option when he has seen 30 minutes or higher, averaging 30.7 DKFP per game. At only $4,900, Hardaway Jr. is underpriced for the starting role and he should produce over five times value against this weak Blazers defense.
Worth Paying Up For: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics vs. Sacramento Kings, $8,000
Coming off an embarrassing loss to the Cavs, which marked their third loss in their past four, Friday night should be viewed as a must-win for the Celtics. Currently sitting as the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, Boston can’t afford another loss right now and luckily, on tap for Friday is a gorgeous matchup vs. the Kings. Their defense is the worst unit in basketball, ranking dead last in efficiency and rating, and opposing shooting guards are currently exposing them by scoring DKFP at the second highest rate in the league.
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, this contest’s total sits at 235 points and Brown has been a stud in totals of at least 230 points this season, with 45.5 DKFP per game.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Will Barton, Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls, $5,600
Barton is a stand out value for this ten-game slate. With Monte Morris (quad) and Gary Harris (thigh) missing the past three, Barton has really stepped up, providing 36.8 DKFP in 36 minutes per game. Both Morris and Harris have already been ruled out ahead of Friday night, and we have to attack Barton at this sub $6,000 price tag against the Bulls.
In their past five, Chicago is surrendering the 5th most DKFP to opposing shooting guards, and Barton has been more productive on his home floor this season, supplying 3.6 more DKFP per game.
Worth Paying Up For: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies, $6,700
The Warriors’ injury report for tonight doesn’t end with Curry. Kelly Oubre (foot) is also doubtful, and James Wiseman and Eric Paschall have both been ruled out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. With just the latter two inactive Wednesday, Green posted a huge triple-double worth 51 DKFP vs. the Rockets.
Now, with all of these key pieces missing tonight, Green isn’t going to come out and take 20 shots. That’s just not the player he is. But, what we can confidently expect from the three-time NBA champion is that he will rise to the occasion as the Warriors’ main playmaker and his minutes should be elevated, barring a blowout (MEM -8 on DraftKings Sportsbook). There is obviously risk here given Steve Kerr’s tendencies to treat games without his stars like a practice session, but if the Warriors can keep this one close, Green is going to stuff the stat sheet and be a game-changer in GPPs.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Larry Nance Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs, $5,200
Nance (finger) is clearly back to full strength, scoring 34.25 DKFP vs. the Heat and then 44 DKFP against the Celtics. The common factor for these two performances was that Kevin Love (calf) was out, putting Nance in the Cavs’ starting five at power forward. Love will miss his 36th game of the season tonight and let’s not forget Andre Drummond is also away from the Cavs as the team seeks a trade suitor for the center.
This will be the fourth time Nance has played without these two bigs this season, and in the first three, he was an outstanding value with 30.3 DKFP in 34.7 minutes per game. The Spurs have improved defensively after a weak start (10th in efficiency), but Nance is still rating as a strong value at only $5,200 tonight.
Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls, $10,600
In a home matchup against the Bulls, Jokic is an outstanding high-end target tonight. The MVP candidate is averaging an elite 60.9 DKFP per game on his home floor this season and the Bulls are extremely susceptible to centers, allowing the 3rd most DKFP per game to the position. Centers destroy them on a nightly basis and unsurprisingly, Jokic went off for 77 DKFP in his first matchup of the year against the Bulls, just back on March 1st.
Jokic’s ceiling is tremendous in this spot and anything less than 60 DKFP would be a disappointment.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Daniel Theis, Boston Celtics vs. Sacramento Kings, $4,400
Tristan Thompson (health and safety protocols) will miss his third consecutive game tonight, unlocking some extra minutes for Theis. The 28-year-old has slid over to center whenever Thompson has been out this season and in these past two, he has received 26 minutes of work in each start. Wednesday night vs. the Cavs was an epic failure, with Theis only posting 11.5 DKFP, but in the previous tilt, the big man shined with 39.75 DKFP against a strong Jazz defense.
Even with that dud vs. the Cavs included, Theis is amassing 24.4 DKFP per game in the four Thompson has sat out this season, and we have to expect positive results tonight against the defensively challenged Kings. They are yielding the 6th most DKFP per game to opposing centers and Theis recorded 25 DKFP against them back in early February.
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