We’ve got a massive 13-game NBA slate on Friday, but you’d be wise to enjoy every second of it. With the In-Season Tournament wrapping up on Saturday night, there simply isn’t going to be a lot of professional basketball this weekend.
You’re welcome for the warning. You’re also welcome for these value plays.
C Duop Reath, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks, $4,000
I know we don’t really talk about players this far over $5K in this space, but I needed to at least mention the spot Anfernee Simons ($6,800) might find himself in on Friday. The guard returned from a lengthy injury absence on Wednesday, yet showed no signs of rust, logging 37.2 minutes and hoisting up 27 field goal attempts in Portland’s loss to Golden State. Simons also posted an eye-popping 33.1% usage rate, partly due to the fact that Malcolm Brogdon ($8,500; knee) left in the first-half. Brogdon’s questionable versus Dallas. If he sits out, Simons is way too cheap. Brogdon is joined on the Trail Blazers’ injury report by Deandre Ayton ($7,000; knee), who is doubtful after missing Wednesday’s contest. Reath started that night, registering 10 points, six rebounds and 25.0 DKFP in just 22.0 minutes. If Reath can stay out of foul trouble, he might even see that role expand, an enticing proposition for someone averaging 0.94 DKFP per minute in 2023-24.
PG Jordan Goodwin, Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings, $5,200
The Suns are going to be incredibly shorthanded on Friday, with Kevin Durant (ankle) and Grayson Allen (groin) now joining Bradley Beal (back) on the sideline. Obviously, that’s going to mean all the shots and usage that Devin Booker ($10,100) and Eric Gordon ($6,300) can handle, but it’s also going to equate to a much larger role for Goodwin. Durant previously missed two games back in late November, and Goodwin excelled in his absence, averaging 14.0 points and six rebounds as Phoenix’s sixth man. In the second of those two contests — a victory over the Knicks on November 26 — Goodwin managed a season-best 35.25 DKFP. That should give you a pretty good idea of what the 25-year-old’s ceiling is in this spot, especially in a matchup with a Kings team that ranks eighth in pace across their last five games (102.3).
PG/SG Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors at Charlotte Hornets, $4,100
I won’t lie. It’s been a rough season for Trent, whose 40.2% field goal rate is the lowest it’s been since his rookie campaign. However, things have been looking better lately, with Trent scoring at least 13 points in five of his last six games. At his core, Trent is a scorer, and he has the ability to break open a slate if he gets hot. Now, guessing when that performance will be is a bit of challenge, yet Friday’s matchup with the Hornets is tantalizing for two very good reasons. First and foremost, this is the cheapest Trent’s salary has been all season, so this is a classic buy-low spot. Second, Charlotte is really bad at playing defense. To wit, across the team’s past five contests, the Hornets are surrendering 124.1 opponent points per 100 possessions — the second-worst mark in the NBA. I wouldn’t be shocked if Trent scores 20-plus points for the first time in 2023-24 on Friday evening.
The Crown Is Yours: Sign up for DraftKings and experience the ultimate host for games and betting experiences!
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.