After Thursday’s silly one-game slate, we’ve got a robust 11-gamer Friday. That brings much delight, getting me to sit upright and enter a mental state of tremendous height. As I sit here and write, may your DFS journey tonight not be one of plight, but one that takes flight and elevates you with the ferocity of carbonation exploding after shaking a bottle of Sprite.
CHA, GS, HOU, MIL, ORL, TOR and UTA all are playing the first leg of a back-to-back.
DraftKings Sportsbook has five games with a total of at least 230: LAL/MIL (231), DEN/ATL (233), NO/SA (232), IND/UTA (238) and CHI/GS (237). There are two double-digit favorites: CLE -10.5 vs. ORL and PHO -11.5 vs. HOU. Three games are within three points: DEN -2.5 vs. ATL, BKN -1.5 vs. TOR and WAS -3 vs. CHA. The Hornets, Hawks, and Spurs are home dogs.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets ($10,100) – Booker is priced above $10K for only the second time this season and is coming off 60.5 and 69 DKFP performances. Are we chasing? Is this akin to NASDAQ 16,000 earlier this year? While a 60-burger shouldn’t be expected and regression will likely take place, there are some fundamental reasons why the price tag is warranted, unlike the NASDAQ in January.
On the season, Booker has exceeded points expectations 70% of the time. The matchup is a good one, as the Rockets play at the 10th-fastest pace and are 28th in defensive rating. Booker has had a usage rate of 37.1%, 38.3% and 40.3% over the last three contests. In the most recent game, the Suns won by 19 points — so blowout schmlowout.
Since Chris Paul went down 11 games ago, Booker has averaged 30.7 points, 22.7 shots, 6.3 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.5 blocks per game while shooting 49% from the field, 39% from downtown and 89% from the line. He went over 50 DKFP six times with a high of 78. Paul is out again on Friday.
If the projected ownership gets too high, then I have no issues going somewhere else. If it is muted, though, then choo choo.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks vs. Denver Nuggets ($9,700) – Young can be volatile for fantasy because of the perimeter-oriented nature of his game, and he doesn’t have the highest ceiling amongst the bevy of options at guard Friday. In addition, he’s questionable vs. Denver, so make sure he’s playing. He’s scored fewer than 40 DKFP twice this season while exceeding 50 DKFP only three times. Ringing endorsement, huh?
Well, this game has a healthy total of 233, and the spread is only 2.5 points. Denver boosts 3-point percentage by 16.91 percentage points above the league average. Young averages 7.4 attempts from beyond the arc but is only converting 30% on the season. The main reason I like Young Friday, though, is because John Collins is out. In 163.5 minutes with Collins off the court, Young has garnered a whopping 47.9% usage rate.
Other Options - Ja Morant ($10,800), Stephen Curry ($10,700), Terry Rozier ($7,600)
Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks ($4,200) – As a Lakers fan, I have an affinity for Reaves, so read this in that context. Ever since Alex Caruso was let go, there’s been a void in my heart. That was until Reaves came onto the scene. They both have excellent basketball IQs and are excellent connector pieces for LeBron James ($10,500) and Anthony Davis ($10,600).
His nickname is Hillbilly Kobe for a reason, as he can get buckets. In the final game of last season, he dropped a 31-point triple-double. So far this season, it took some time for the coaching staff to figure out his role but, over the last 11 games, Reaves has started seven and averaged 14.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He’s scored at least 20 DKFP in eight of those contests with two over 30.
His usage rate isn’t high, but he’s playing over 30 minutes and has the ability to contribute a little something in every category.
Other Options - Ish Smith ($3,400), Donte DiVincenzo ($3,400), Dyson Daniels ($4,500)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs ($9,000) – And on the seventh day, God was bored and decided to mash a flea, a bull and a mack truck together. And that is how Zion Williamson came into existence.
Over his last two games, he’s put up 51 and 64.5 DKFP. He’s always going to score points, but it’s been the contributions in assists and defensive stats that have been eye-opening. He’s dished out five and eight dimes while racking up five steals and five blocks. I’m of the belief that much of defense is effort, and it looks like Williamson is on that tip right now.
The matchup and game environment should be good ones. The Spurs play at the seventh-fastest pace and are dead-last in defensive rating. They also boost the FPPM to power forwards by 17.76 percentage points above the league average. But wait, there’s more! They allow the third-most shots within six feet of the basket. Williamson is second in the league behind Giannis Antetokounmpo with 12.6 shots within five feet of the hoop.
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat ($10,900) – These teams just played on Wednesday, with Tatum going for a whopping 76.25 DKFP. A repeat shouldn’t be expected but somewhere in the 50-DKFP range seems viable. On the season, Tatum has a low of 46.11 DKFP and has gone over 50 DKFP nine times, with four over 60. The floor/ceiling combo seems pretty, pretty good.
Tatum has scored at least 30 points in four straight and garnered a usage rate over 40% in two of those contests. On the season, he is averaging a 32.7% usage rate and 21.1 shots per game.
Other Options - Pascal Siakam ($9,300), DeMar DeRozan ($8,300), Terry Rozier ($7,600), Kyle Kuzma ($8,000)
Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs ($5,700) – Murphy has started the last two games and played 37 minutes in each. He put up 33.5 and 39.75 DKFP from 26 and 20 points while shooting 8 of 17 and 7 of 13 from the field, respectively. From downtown, he was 6 of 12 and 2 of 7, respectively. He also contributed five and six rebounds while stuffing the stat sheet with defensive goodies. With Herb Jones and Brandon Ingram out again, Murphy should get another start.
The Spurs play at the seventh-fastest pace and are dead-last in defensive rating. They also allow the highest 3-point percentage at 39.9%. I can hear Murphy licking his lips right now.
Other Options - Danuel House Jr. ($3,100) if Tobias Harris is out, Vlatko Cancar ($3,000), Dean Wade ($3,800)
Kristaps Porzingis, Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets ($8,700) – There are so many good center options on Friday’s slate, but I’m going to pay down a bit since I think Porzingis and my other option could come close to matching the production of the higher-priced options. While those other options have higher ceilings, if they have good instead of great games, then the salary savings could be advantageous.
Porzingis has exceeded points expectations 60% of the time this season. Over his last two games, he’s put up 58.25 and 63 DKFP. He’s gone over 50 DKFP four times. Now, he has scored fewer than 40 DKFP seven times, so the floor is low. That said, the Hornets are a good matchup, as they have boosted the FPPM to centers by 7.16 percentage points above league average.
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers vs, Orlando Magic ($7,000) – Mobley has scored fewer than 40 DKFP 11 times this season. Yuck. He’s young, though, and is still finding his way, but he’s on the verge of superstardom and will have DFS explosions from time to time, as evidenced by his 58-DKFP performance vs. the Hornets back in November.
I think a 40- or even 50-burger could be on tap Friday. The Magic have boosted the FPPM to centers by 7.95 percentage points above league average, and Mobley has put up over 40 DKFP in two of his last three games.
Other Options - Joel Embiid ($11,300), Nikola Jokic ($11,400), Anthony Davis ($10,600), Pascal Siakam ($9,300), Deandre Ayton ($7,900)
Zach Collins, San Antonio Spurs vs, New Orleans Pelicans ($4,900) – With Jakob Poeltl out, Collins will be making his second start of the season. On Wednesday, he played 27 minutes and put up 9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal, good for 22 DKFP. That doesn’t sound exciting, but Collins has exceeded points expectations 90% of the time this season, averages 1.14 DKFP per minute and has put up over 20 DKFP nine times this season with two over 30 despite averaging only 18.8 minutes per contest.
Other Options - Thomas Bryant ($3,500), Onyeka Okongwu ($4,200)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) 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.