Friday provides another jumbo slate for fantasy basketball on DraftKings with 10 games tipping off throughout the evening, highlighted by the Dallas Mavericks visiting the Portland Trail Blazers in a Western Conference matchup of teams fighting for playoff positioning in the final game of the night. The Trail Blazers are one of five teams playing for the second night in a row along with the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic. The Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies will play back-to-back games Friday and Saturday night in a two-game set.
As is always the case at this point in the season and especially in this accelerated schedule, make sure to watch closely for 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 assemble your squad for Friday, check out these four affordable plays, who can offer solid production at reduced salary, allowing extra salary cap space for other roster spots as well.
SG/SF Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers, $4,900
The Mavericks will be without Dorian Finney-Smith (personal) for a second consecutive game, which should open up an expanded role for Hardaway against Portland. He moved into the starting five for the first time since January on Wednesday night and played 37 minutes against the Clippers. Hardaway produced 24.5 DKFP on 15 points, six rebounds and three three-pointers. He has made multiple shots from long range in three of his past four contests, resulting in over 24 DKFP in each of those contests.
With the extra minutes coming his way from the absence of Finney-Smith, Hardaway becomes a relatively safe play. His usage rate dropped to 18.0% in Wednesday’s start, below his usage rate of 22.9% for the season. If his usage rate trends back up just a little bit and he shoots closer to his season average, he should be able to outproduce his salary and be an even better play than he was on Wednesday.
SG Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies, $4,500
Another backcourt option stepping into a larger role lately has been Jordan Poole, who could be even busier in this game in Memphis since Stephen Curry ($9,700) is considered doubtful. Poole will likely be one of the places the Warriors look to replace Curry’s offense, since the 21-year-old from Michigan has been stepping up nicely since joining the team after a successful stint in the G League.
Poole has averaged 27.7 DKFP on 19.0 points, 2.2 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 0.6 steals in 22.5 minutes over his five games since re-joining the team. He has taken at least 10 shots in each of those five games with an impressive 27.0% usage rate. He had a season-high 30.4% usage rate on Wednesday while helping to fill in after Curry departed, and he finished with 34.25 DKFP on 23 points, two steals and two assists in that game. He should be busy against the Grizzlies and makes a very solid sub-$5K play in the backcourt. It’s also worth noting that his teammate Kevon Looney ($3,200) should get expanded run as a bargain in the frontcourt with James Wiseman (health and safety protocols) and Eric Paschall (health and safety protocols) sidelined.
PG/SG Facundo Campazzo, Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls, $3,900
The Nuggets will continue to be shorthanded in the backcourt as well as they host the Bulls on Friday night. Monte Morris (quad) and Gary Harris (thigh) are still out, which should leave plenty of work for Campazzo coming off the bench. The 29-year-old Argentinian rookie has dished out at least six assists in each of his past three games and produced a very solid 31.0 DKFP in his most recent contest on Wednesday in a blowout win against the Hornets. He added six points and four steals to his 10 assists.
As a pass-first PG, Campazzo’s scoring can be inconsistent, but he usually offers strong returns for a play under $4K when given extra playing time. He has been consistent with 16 DKFP or more in 11 of his past 12 games while averaging 21.5 DKFP per game during that stretch.
C Nicolas Claxton, Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic, $3,600
There are several backup bigs to consider as value plays on this slate including Looney, Hassan Whiteside ($4,300) and Isaiah Stewart ($4,000), but my favorite of the bunch is Claxton, who continues to get good work off the bench while Blake Griffin continues to delay his Nets debut. Claxton has averaged 18.0 minutes per game in his six contests in March, producing at least 18 DKFP in five of those games including on Wednesday when he played a season-high 23 minutes.
With the help of those extra minutes, Claxton was able to produce 26.5 DKFP on 11 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks. In his nine games this season since returning from a knee injury, Claxton’s per-36 numbers have been very good with his blocks and points taking a huge jump from last year while his work on the glass has remained consistent. In that admittedly small sample size, Claxton has paced for 19.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per 36 minutes. In the short-term with Griffin again ruled out this Friday, Claxton will continue to share time in the middle with DeAndre Jordan ($5,100), so he makes sense as a cheap DFS play even though his long-term role is a little cloudy behind the veterans.
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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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