Friday’s NBA slate is a big one. There are 10 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.
Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets vs. Orlando Magic ($8,000) – The Hornets were demolished yesterday by the Bulls, but today’s game vs. the Magic should be more competitive. They’re actually favored by 7.5 points despite being without Devonte’ Graham, Gordon Hayward, Cody Martin and Miles Bridges. Rozier has the potential for a huge game with all of those players out of the lineup. He’s increased his usage rate by 3.3% with all four players off the court this season, and he posted a usage rate of 30.7% in his last contest. The Magic are also an excellent matchup, ranking 24th in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Dejounte Murray ($7,800), Kemba Walker ($7,600)
Elfrid Payton, New York Knicks at Phoenix Suns ($3,300) – Payton has seen a significant decrease in playing time since the team acquired Derrick Rose ($6,000), but he remains very productive on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 0.98 DKFP per minute over the past month, which is an excellent mark considering his salary. He should see a few additional minutes on Friday with Immanuel Quickley ($3,500; ankle) and Alec Burks ($3,600; knee) both expected to sit, which makes him an interesting punt play.
Other Options – Alex Caruso ($4,000), Bradley Wanamaker ($3,300)
Delon Wright, Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs ($6,800) – We’re still waiting on the Kings’ official injury report, but De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton will definitely be out of the lineup. That means Wright should continue to handle most of the point guard minutes, and he’s thrived in that role recently. He’s scored at least 55.0 DKFP in back-to-back games, and his play has surprisingly kept the Kings in the hunt for a spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament. His price tag has come up a bit, but he should still be able to return value if Harrison Barnes ($7,800; groin) is out of the lineup. Make sure to monitor this situation for updates.
Other Options – C.J. McCollum ($8,100), Jordan Clarkson ($7,300)
DaQuan Jeffries, Houston Rockets at Milwaukee Bucks ($3,300) – I have no idea how the Rockets are going to field a lineup tonight. John Wall has been shut down for the season, and Kevin Porter Jr. has already been ruled out with an ankle injury. D.J. Wilson and Avery Bradley have also been ruled out, while Christian Wood ($9,000; ankle), Jae’Sean Tate ($6,200; knee), Kelly Olynyk ($8,000; ankle), D.J. Augustin ($3,000; ankle) and Danuel House ($4,100; ankle) are all either questionable or doubtful. Basically, their entire roster is on the injury report.
Jeffries is one player who should definitely be in the lineup, and he could be asked to play huge minutes. He’s coming off nearly 41 minutes in his last game, and he’s scored at least 19.5 DKFP in three-straight games. You’ll take that kind of production at $3.3K.
Other Options – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($3,800), Austin Rivers ($3,700)
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers ($10,900) – Today’s slate has plenty of value, which means we’re going to need to find some studs, as well. Doncic stands out as one of the best options. He’s averaged 1.57 DKFP per minute this season, and he could exceed that mark vs. the Cavaliers. They rank 27th in defensive efficiency, and the Mavericks will be without Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber for the second-straight game.
Other Options – Joe Ingles ($6,700), Kyle Kuzma ($5,600)
Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs at Sacramento Kings ($3,900) – Gay is coming off a dismal performance in his last contest, finishing with just 1.25 DKFP over 6.8 minutes. That said, he did score at least 35.25 DKFP in each of his two previous games. That makes him a nice bounce-back option in a great matchup vs. the Kings. They’ve been the worst team in the league this season in terms of defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Garrett Temple ($3,600), Devin Vassell ($3,100)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls ($10,500) – It seems odd to pay up for Tatum at $10.5K when Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000) is only $500 more expensive, but I can’t envision a scenario where the Bucks don’t blow the Rockets out of the water. They’re currently favored by 16.5 points, and that number could increase if some of the questionable players like Wood and Tate are ultimately ruled out. That makes Giannis a bit too risky for me.
Tatum has also been playing some of his best basketball of the season recently. He’s increased his production to 1.46 DKFP per minute over the past month, which is the second-highest mark at the position on today’s slate. He should continue to benefit from the absence of Jaylen Brown, who has been ruled out for the second-straight game with a sprained ankle. He led the team with a 31.1% usage rate in their last contest, and he’s increased his usage rate by 4.3% with Brown off the court this season.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000), Marvin Bagley ($5,900)
Ignas Brazdeikis, Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets ($3,000) – Brazdeikis just recently joined the Magic, who are his third team of the season. However, Orlando has wasted little time getting him acclimated. He’s logged at least 30.4 minutes in back-to-back games, which is a ton of playing time for someone who’s priced at the absolute minimum. He’s not the most productive player on a per-minute basis — he’s averaged 0.58 DKFP per minute this season — but that’s over a very small sample size. He’s returned value in each of his first two games with the Magic, and I like his chances to make it three in a row.
Other Options – Anthony Lamb ($3,400), Jarred Vanderbilt ($3,300)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz ($10,800) – Jokic is in a difficult spot Friday vs. the Jazz, but he’s basically matchup-proof at this point. In fact, the matchup vs. the Jazz could actually benefit him. The only thing that has stopped Jokic recently has been a lack of playing time in blowouts, and this matchup is expected to be competitive. Jokic has averaged 1.70 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he should see a full complement of minutes on Friday.
Other Options – Jarrett Allen ($7,200), Richaun Holmes ($6,600)
Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets ($6,100) – Bamba is a bit more expensive than the typical “value” option, but he is one of the strongest plays on the slate. He’s been dominant on a per-minute basis recently, averaging 1.35 DKFP per minute over the past month, which has allowed him to provide excellent fantasy value despite splitting time with Wendell Carter Jr. (eye). Carter was forced to miss Orlando’s last game, which allowed Bamba to take over as the starting center. He didn’t disappoint, racking up 53.75 DKFP over 30.8 minutes. Carter will be out of the lineup again on Friday.
Other Options – Willy Hernangomez ($5,000), Willie Cauley-Stein ($3,300)
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