The NBA is ready to put a bow on another busy work week with a seven-game slate on Friday. There’s another full night of contests on DraftKings, so get your roster together to start the weekend off with a win. Only the Washington Wizards are playing for the second night in a row, so fatigue shouldn’t be too much of a factor. However, at this point in the season, there are always injuries and absences that will open up potential value production for players stepping up. Be sure to follow @dklive on Twitter and the DK Live app so you get all the latest news and analysis leading up to tip off.
There are some nice matchups on this slate, led by an NBA TV doubleheader that features the Warriors visiting the Hawks in the early wave, followed by the 76ers finishing their two-game stay in Los Angeles by taking on the Clippers in the late-night hammer. If you’re shopping for a bargain, consider the four players listed below who come into the day as my top value plays. They bring significant upside at affordable salaries while leaving you salary flexibility to spend on superstars. As we approach lock at 7 p.m. ET, I’ll give any updates to these values on Twitter @ZT_Sports, where you can also find my four to play under $4K each day of the NBA season.
PG Kris Dunn, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets, $4,500
The Trail Blazers and Rockets meet in a clash of cellar dwellers, but even though both teams have been bad lately, there have been some value opportunities. After playing just four games last season and not joining Portland until mid-March, Dunn has quickly jumped into a significant role for Portland, who will remain without Anfernee Simons (knee), Damian Lillard (abdominal), Josh Hart (knee), Eric Bledsoe (Achilles) and Justise Winslow (calf) for this contest.
The Trail Blazers re-signed Dunn to a second 10-day contract on Thursday and will continue to platoon him with another mid-season addition, Brandon Williams ($6,700). Dunn moved into the starting lineup for the first time on Wednesday and looked solid with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and 22.75 DKFP in 25 minutes. Against the Rockets, though, Dunn should have more potential to put up numbers and will likely continue to produce across the box score. In his past five games, Dunn has averaged 8.4 points, 5.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds for 24.15 DKFP with an impressive 33.3% assist rate. Even though he hasn’t had huge production, his playing time and usage make him a safe play with upside in this spot Friday. Another value option for the Blazers is CJ Elleby ($4,200), who is also producing across the box score and should remain in a significant role.
PG Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Wizards, $4,100
While he has been overshadowed by the No. 1 overall pick, Cade Cunningham ($8,700), this season, Hayes has been producing solid numbers lately when healthy and is a solid value option at just over $4K. Hayes missed four games this month due to a bruised thigh and a head contusion, but in the games which he has been available, he has looked solid.
Not counting the game in which he sustained the head contusion and was limited, Hayes has played over 30 minutes in four straight games and has produced 29, 27, 29.25 and 31.5 DKFP. He has averaged 11.8 points, 6.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds and one steal per contest. Like Dunn, he is in a favorable matchup as his Pistons host the Wizards, and he should have a big enough workload to have multi-category production and a solid total.
SF/PF Taurean Prince, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks, $3,900
The Timberwolves remain without Jaden McDaniels (ankle) for this matchup vs. the Mavs, but the rest of their team is relatively healthy, with only Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,800; forearm) listed as questionable coming into Friday. While they have battled injury issues over the past month, Prince has established himself as a key part of a second unit that brings plenty of upside and energy off the bench. He has picked up more work since McDaniels went down and is a solid option to consider in what should be an uptempo game vs. the Mavs.
Prince has scored double-digit points in six straight games, averaging 13 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and one steal per contest. He usually hits a few shots from long range and had four straight games with over 23 DKFP before cooling off a little bit vs. the Suns on Wednesday. He should bounce back and play over 20 minutes again off the bench, making him a viable play under $4K.
PG/SG Gary Payton II, Golden State Warriors at Atlanta Hawks, $3,800
The Warriors have struggled without Steph Curry (foot), but Payton looked good on Wednesday in just his second game back from an eight-game absence due to a knee injury. He also played Tuesday but only logged six minutes and went to the locker room for a short time before returning. After that less than inspiring return, he brought his typical energy and defensive boost off the bench in the second half of the back-to-back, logging 27 minutes and producing 20.75 DKFP on Wednesday in a win vs. the Heat.
Prior to the injury, The Mitten was actually in the starting five for Golden State and had over 20 DKFP in four of five games in that role while averaging 11 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.2 assists on 23.9 minutes per game. It will be interesting to see if he returns to the starting lineup or is one of the first few players off the bench now that Curry is sidelined. Payton doesn’t bring much shooting, but the defense and energy still make him a key part of Golden State’s rotation and make him a low-risk, although limited-upside fantasy play.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.