The end is near. There are just three days left in the NBA regular season, and Friday’s slate should be a good one. There are nine games to choose from starting at 7:00 p.m. ET, so let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards vs. Cleveland Cavaliers ($12,800) – Westbrook’s salary is all the way up to $12.8K, but it is 100% deserved. He’s exceeded his salary-based scoring expectations by an average of 16.35 DKFP over his past 10 games, and he’s scored at least 70.25 DKFP in six of his past seven.
He should put up another huge game vs. the Cavaliers on Friday. Bradley Beal (hamstring) remains out of the lineup, and the Cavs represent a tremendous matchup. The Cavs rank just 26th in defensive efficiency, and the Wizards’ implied team total of 118.25 points ranks second on the slate.
Other Options – Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($6,400), Malachi Flynn ($6,000)
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($4,100) – The Warriors have a jam-packed injury report heading into tonight’s matchup vs. the Pelicans. Steph Curry ($10,200; tailbone), Andrew Wiggins ($6,900; knee), Draymond Green ($7,600; finger) and Mychal Mulder ($3,200; knee) are all questionable, and there’s a good chance that all those players sit since this game is meaningless.
If that happens, Poole is going to be asked to carry a large workload vs. the Pelicans. He’s filled in admirably in seven games without Curry this season, averaging 31.57 DKFP per game.
Other Options – Kira Lewis ($3,500), Ish Smith ($3,900)
Terence Davis, Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies ($6,200) – Davis is another player who has absolutely smashed recently. He’s scored at least 35.75 DKFP in four-straight games, and he should continue to see a large workload for the shorthanded Kings. We’re still waiting on their official injury report, but it would not be shocking if they’re without Harrison Barnes ($7,800; groin), Marvin Bagley ($6,100; groin) and Richaun Holmes ($6,700; knee) vs. the Grizzlies.
Other Options – Eric Bledsoe ($6,500)
Svi Mykhailiuk, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz ($3,700) – Mykhailiuk has seen around 24 minutes per game recently, and he’s made the most of his playing time. He’s scored at least 27.75 DKFP in each of his past three contests, and he’s increased his fantasy production to 0.84 DKFP per minute over the past month. The Thunder have already ruled out Lu Dort (knee) vs. the Jazz, so Mykhailiuk’s playing time should be secure.
Other Options – Mychal Mulder ($3,200)
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Toronto Raptors ($10,800) – Despite Friday’s slate being nine games, there aren’t a ton of true studs to consider paying up for. Westbrook is the clear top option in that department, but I wouldn’t blame you if you went with Doncic. The Mavericks still have something to play for at this point in the season, holding just a one-game lead over the Lakers for the No. 7 spot in the West. They do not want to fall into the play-in tournament, so expect Doncic to be at full capacity vs. the Raptors.
Kent Bazemore, Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($5,200) – Bazemore has been a strong fantasy option while filling in for Kelly Oubre (wrist) recently, and he’s one of the lone Warriors’ starters not currently on the injury report. That means he should be in the lineup vs. the Pelicans, and he would obviously see a boost in value if Curry, Wiggins and Green are ruled out. The Pelicans are also an excellent matchup, ranking just 23rd in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Anthony Lamb ($3,700), Wenyen Gabriel ($3,200)
Kenyon Martin Jr., Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers ($7,000) – The Rockets are in full tank mode, and they have unsurprisingly ruled out Christian Wood (ankle), Kevin Porter Jr. (ankle) and Danuel House (ankle) for Friday’s matchup vs. the Clippers. Martin was just one of eight available players in their last game, and he finished with 43.5 DKFP over 37.2 minutes. That performance wasn’t an isolated incident for Martin, either. He’s exceeded salary-based expectations by an average of 14.49 points over his past 10 games. He’s increased his production to 0.92 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he should approach 40 minutes once again on Friday.
Other Options – James Johnson ($5,300)
Chimezie Metu, Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies ($4,300) – I’m going to continue to take the value with Metu at power forward. He’s coming off 34.3 minutes in his last game, and he’s averaged a stout 1.02 DKFP per minute over the past month. That’s a ton of production for someone in this price range, so he’s too cheap if the Kings’ frontcourt is shorthanded again vs. the Grizzlies.
Other Options – Juan Toscano-Anderson ($5,000), Davis Bertans ($4,200)
Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards ($6,700) – The Cavaliers are one of the few cellar-dwellers who continue to play their starters late in the season. What a concept! Allen hasn’t exactly crushed from a fantasy perspective of late, but he has played at least 32.1 minutes in back-to-back games. He’s averaged 1.07 DKFP per minute this season, so that bodes well for his fantasy prospects on Friday. The Wizards also represent an excellent matchup since they play at the fastest pace in the league by a wide margin.
Other Options – Nikola Jokic ($11,000)
JaVale McGee, Denver Nuggets at Detroit Pistons ($3,000) – McGee is coming off more than 24 minutes yesterday vs. the Timberwolves, and he has tremendous upside when he sees that much playing time. He’s averaged a stout 1.19 DKFP per minute this season, so it’s not surprising that he racked up 33.75 DKFP in Thursday’s contest. The Nuggets’ beat writers have speculated that head coach Mike Malone will play Jokic fewer minutes down the stretch, and McGee would be one of the primary beneficiaries if that does happen.
Other Options – Jaxson Hayes ($5,000), Kevon Looney ($3,800)
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