Even with 10 games on the NBA schedule this Friday, there are absolutely no value plays. APRIL FOOLS! There are value plays everywhere you look at this time of year, as teams rest players, deal with injuries and give some younger players extended looks to help them plan for the future. On top of that, the Pistons, Lakers, Clippers and Bucks are playing for the second day in a row.
With pre-game player news making such a huge difference to how the slate players out, be sure to follow @dklive on Twitter, and get the DK Live app, so you get all the latest news and analysis leading up to roster lock on DraftKings. With so many places to bargain shop, let’s get right into the 20 teams taking the floor Friday. If there are any updates regarding these picks, I’ll post updates on Twitter @ZT_Sports, where you can also find my four to play under $4K each day of the NBA season.
SG/SF Lindy Waters III, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Detroit Pistons, $4,200
The Thunder are usually a great source of value, especially at this point of the season and in this tasty matchup vs. the Pistons. While Theo Maledon ($6,800) has taken over a huge part of the workload left behind by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) and Josh Giddey (hip), his price has risen so much that he isn’t much of a value play. Waters is an undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma State, but so many players being lost to injury has opened a significant role for him.
Waters is a 3-point specialist who has hit multiple 3-pointers in five of his past six games, averaging 3.7 3-pointers and 12.2 points per game. He has at least 12 points in each of his past three games and had a career-high 25 points on Wednesday on his way to 36 DKFP. He has at least 19 DKFP in three straight games and in four of his past six. He usually chips in a few non-scoring stats, but his specialty is pouring in shots from long range, which gives him a high ceiling after posting a usage rate over 20% in each of his three most recent contests.
PF/C Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns, $4,000
The Grizzlies appear ready to punt this game since Ja Morant (knee) will likely be joined on the sideline by Tyus Jones ($6,200; hand), Desmond Bane ($7,600; ankle), Jaren Jackson Jr. ($7,400; thigh) and Steven Adams ($5,700; calf), who are all doubtful. There should be some value from players moving into bigger roles, although it’s a little tricky to figure out exactly who it will be. De’Anthony Melton ($5,200) and Dillon Brooks ($5,900) will probably get a lot of work in the backcourt, and in the frontcourt, Clarke should be busy at this very affordable price, as well.
He missed two games with hip soreness but returned to produce 21 and 18.5 DKFP in an average of 21.5 minutes in his two games since returning. Dating back before that hip issue, he scored double-digit points in seven of nine games while averaging 10.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 24.3 DKFP in 20.2 minutes per game. If he gets closer to 30 minutes in this game with increased usage, a double-double is not out of the question and solid multi-category production makes him a very safe pick.
C Bruno Fernando, Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings, $3,500
With apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda (and everyone who will have the song stuck in their head now), we have to talk about Bruno. Fernando was traded to the Rockets from the Celtics as part of the trade that send Daniel Theis ($4,300) back to Boston. He has only averaged 8.4 minutes per game in the nine games he has played for the Rockets while not appearing at all in 13 games. However, the situation has changed with Christian Wood (hamstring) shut down for the season and Alperen Sengun ($6,900; leg) questionable.
Without Wood and Sengun on Wednesday, Fernando produced 34.5 DKFP in 22 minutes on 17 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and a block. The only other time he played over 20 minutes for Houston was back on March 11, when he dropped a similar 34.75 DKFP in 23 minutes vs. the Mavericks finishing on 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. Even if Sengun plays, Fernando should have earned enough time to deliver value in this rematch with an iffy Kings’ frontline.
SF Reggie Perry, Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs, $3,400
I promise, Perry is not another April Fools joke. The Trail Blazers are beyond extremely short-handed and basically grabbing players off the street. They just added Perry from the G League on a 10-day hardship contract before Wednesday’s game, and he instantly looked like one of the better options on the team. He played 17 minutes off the bench and put up 15 points, six rebounds and 22 DKFP.
Before Portland called, Perry was putting up very good numbers for Raptors 905. In 22 games, he averaged 20.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals on 31 minutes per contest. The 22-year-old from Mississippi State should continue to get enough work to bring nice upside in this matchup vs. the Spurs. His price hasn’t been adjusted up like the rest of the Blazers, so he could end up a great value.
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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 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.
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