Friday night delivers a huge 10-game NBA slate, and below are some names I will be targeting at each position on DraftKings.
Worth Paying Up For: Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors, $8,200
The Raptors’ season just keeps getting worse and worse. After actively trying to trade Lowry at the deadline, they decided to keep the veteran, and now only two games later, he goes down with a foot injury that is going to sideline him for seven to ten days. VanVleet slid over to point guard with Lowry out Wednesday, and was brilliant with 52 DKFP against the Thunder. In total, VanVleet is collecting a team-best 41.4 DKFP per game in the nine games Lowry has missed this season.
On tap for Friday night is a home matchup vs. the Warriors. This Golden State defense is 8th in efficiency, but they are playing their second game in two nights after a loss to the Heat on Thursday, and their fast speed is optimal for VanVleet. Currently, Golden State only trails Washington in pace, compared to the Raptors who rank 14th in the category. VanVleet is going to be extremely active with the expanded role, and it wouldn’t be shocking at all to see him post another score above 50 DKFP.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Dennis Schroder, Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings, $7,100
With the Lakers missing LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Schroder has been the purple and gold’s top option, generating 39.9 DKFP per game in his last five, thanks to a team-high 25.9% usage rate. After a solid 36.75 DKFP effort against the Bucks and their top-ten ranked defense Wednesday, Schroder gets an appetizing matchup against the Kings tonight.
Sacramento ranks dead last in defensive efficiency and rating, and Schroder’s best fantasy output of the season came against this horrible defense, with 46.25 DKFP back on March 3. James and Davis were both inactive that night, and Schroder brings similar upside in this rematch with the inner state rival.
Worth Paying Up For: CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $8,200
This duel between the Blazers and Bucks tonight presents a hefty 236.5-point O/U game total on DraftKings Sportsbook. Expect this contest to bleed fantasy goodness and McCollum is a high-upside option that shouldn’t be highly owned in GPPs. After working out some kinks in his first few starts back from the foot injury that cost him basically the whole first half of the season, McCollum has been outstanding, scoring 46.25 DKFP per game in his last four.
Throughout this run, the shooting guard has logged 37 minutes a night and shot 46% from the field. While they rank highly as a defense, the Bucks’ fast pace and high-powered offense make them a friendly spot for fantasy purposes. As the Blazers seek their fifth win in a row, McCollum should flourish tonight and provide a minimum of 40 DKFP.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks at New Orleans Pelicans, $5,700
Bogdanovic has started in each of the last four games for the Hawks. Due to blowouts, his playing time was held back in the first two starts, but in the most recent two, Bogdanovic has been a stud with the Hawks in competitive affairs, first with 45.5 DKFP vs. the Suns on Tuesday, and then 49.75 DKFP against the Spurs last night. The win over San Antonio went to overtime, but even if we exclude the extra period, Bogdanovic has received 38.6 minutes per game in these last two that were decided by single digit points.
The Hawks are only favored by two points over the Pelicans on DraftKings Sportsbook for Friday night, and De’Andre Hunter and John Collins will remain out for Atlanta. Bogdanovic should maintain a 35-40 minute role, and smash value against this New Orleans defense that is third to last in efficiency.
Worth Paying Up For: Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings, $7,200
Similar to Schroder, Kuzma has seen a large role with Davis and James watching from home. In his last five, Kuzma is generating 35.5 DKFP behind a 35.2 minutes per game and a 23.4% usage rate.
He destroyed the Kings for 49.8 DKFP in that matchup last month with both James and Davis missing, and Kuzma is viable for both cash games and GPPs at this reasonable price tag.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Atlanta Hawks, $5,800
Editor’s note: Pelicans SG/SF Josh Hart (thumb) has been ruled out tonight.
With Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram all out Thursday night, Hart moved into the starting five, and didn’t disappoint with 42.25 DKFP in the overtime loss to the Magic. In the previous game, Ingram and Williamson were both active, and Hart still recorded 41.25 DKFP off the bench. Furthermore, in the previous four, with Ball being the only starter sidelined, Hart exceeded 30 DKFP twice.
All in all, it’s fair to expect at least one of these three injured Pelicans to be out again tonight, keeping the extremely productive Hart on our radars. In his first ten since the All-Star break, Hart has supplied 1.02 DKFP per minute and the Hawks currently rank 23rd in defensive efficiency.
Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Portland Trail Blazers, $10,900
Antetokounmpo is in a serious funk, but soon, the two-time MVP is going to snap out of it and have a vintage performance, maybe as soon as tonight. With less than 50 DKFP in four straight, I wouldn’t go near Antetokounmpo in cash games, but for GPPs, he is someone we need to have exposure to with possibly most of the field avoiding him due to the cold streak.
Only the Kings rank worse in the defensive efficiency than the Blazers this season, and as noted above, this contest’s total is sitting at a high 236.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook. In the ten game totals of 235 points or more that Antetokounmpo has competed in this year, the Greek Freak has dominated with 59.5 DKFP per game.
Best Bang For Your Buck: OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors vs. Golden State Warriors, $6,800
Anunoby was stellar in the absence of Lowry on Wednesday, posting 48.75 DKFP vs. the Thunder, setting his new season high for 2020-21. In general, the fourth-year forward has been a bright spot for this struggling Raptors team, averaging 37.9 DKFP per game in his last seven. Not only does Anunoby benefit from Lowry being out of the equation, but his role grows even further with Norman Powell now in Portland.
In all the time he has played without Powell and Lowry this season, Anunoby has seen his usage rate increase by 3.9 percentage points. While the new season-high price tag may scare off some DFS players, I wouldn’t hesitate to trust Anunoby in all formats this evening.
Worth Paying Up For: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies, $10,100
Towns is officially back. In his first 12 starts since the All-Star break, the center has gone over 50 DKFP on eight occasions, including 58.9 DKFP per game in his last four. After being limited for a majority of the season, Towns is fully off his leash under new head coach Chris Finch, seeing 36.6 minutes per game across his past ten.
The Grizzlies are an underrated defense, ranking 7th in efficiency, but Towns already has a 52.5 DKFP showing against them this season. Nevertheless, this matchup’s total is one of the highest of the slate at 232 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, and Towns is simply underpriced for how well he has been playing.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors, $6,700
Editor’s note: Warriors PG Stephen Curry (tailbone) has been ruled out tonight vs. the Raptors.
Don’t sleep on Green tonight in this competitive setting against the Raptors. The defensive minded forward is a far better asset with Stephen Curry in the lineup, and in these last two games since the point guard returned from the tailbone injury, Green has amassed 41.6 DKFP per game. Both of these contests went down to the wire, and DraftKings Sportsbook is anticipating Friday night to be another nail biter, listing the Raptors as only three point home favorites.
When Green has suited up for a contest that has been decided by less than ten points this season, the three-time NBA champion is supplying 35.9 DKFP per game. It also helps that this Toronto defense is the second weakest unit in the association over their last ten, and Green is a worthwhile gamble in GPPs for this full slate.
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