Friday’s NBA slate isn’t as large as expected following two postponements, but there should still be enough basketball to satisfy even the thirstiest NBA DFS fans. There’s an eight-game DraftKings slate starting at 7:30 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.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks @ Milwaukee Bucks ($11,000) – Doncic is starting to get a bit pricier, but he still seems too cheap given his recent production. He’s finished with no less than 57.75 DKFP in five straight games and at least 71.5 DKFP in three of them. He leads the league in both usage rate and assist rate – which is a lethal combination for fantasy purposes – and he’s also on pace to post a new career-high in rebound rate. Doncic should also continue to carry a larger workload than usual with Josh Richardson, Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Maxi Kleber all sidelined due to health and safety protocols.
Doncic is also in a massive pace up spot vs. the Bucks. They’ve played at the sixth-fastest pace this season, while Dallas ranks just tied for 24th. That means Doncic has excellent upside if this game stays competitive.
Other Options – Trae Young ($8,700), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,700)
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans Pelicans @ Los Angeles Lakers ($4,400) – The Pelicans were extremely shorthanded in their last contest, and Alexander-Walker was able to pick up the slack. He scored a career-high 37 points, resulting in 52.5 DKFP. Not bad for a guy who cost just $3,100.
He has been priced up for Friday’s matchup vs. the Lakers, but he’s still too cheap if the Pelicans are going to be shorthanded again. They will get Zion Williamson ($7,900) back for this contest, but Lonzo Ball has been ruled out and Eric Bledsoe ($5,700) is questionable. Alexander-Walker has averaged 1.11 DKFP per minute this season, so he’s capable of taking advantage of extra playing time.
Other Options – Damyean Dotson ($5,200), George Hill ($4,700)
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic ($8,900) – Brown is currently listed as questionable vs. the Magic due to health and safety protocols, but he has the potential to carry a massive workload if he’s active. Jayson Tatum will remain sidelined after reportedly testing positive for COVID-19, while Kemba Walker is still not ready to make his season debut. Brown has increased his usage rate to 32.8% with Tatum off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.23 DKFP per minute.
Other Options – Paul George ($9,400), D’Angelo Russell ($8,300)
Javonte Green, Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic ($3,200) – Sticking with the Celtics, Green is someone who could be asked to play a few additional minutes vs. the Magic if he’s able to suit up. He’s also listed as questionable, but the Celtics have plenty of minutes up for grabs in the backcourt with Tatum, Romeo Langford, and Carsen Edwards all out of the lineup. That means Green could play around 20 minutes in this contest, and Green has averaged 0.79 DKFP per minute this season. That should be enough for him to return value at a near-minimum salary.
Other Options – Jordan Clarkson ($6,100), Cam Reddish ($4,800)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($9,700) – James has been as effective as ever in his 18th NBA season. He’s averaged 1.49 DKFP per minute, and a lack of minutes is the only thing that has kept his fantasy scoring in check. He’s played 30.4 minutes or less in three straight games – all of which were blowouts – and it’s even tough for LeBron to return value in such limited playing time.
That’s caused his price to drop to $9,700 for tonight’s matchup vs. the Pelicans, which is an appealing price tag for him. He should return to his normal workload if today’s game stays competitive, and LeBron has the potential to smash his reduced salary if that happens. Prior to the string of blowouts, he had scored at least 53.25 DKFP in four straight games.
Other Options – Kawhi Leonard ($9,600), Brandon Ingram ($8,600)
Josh Okogie, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies ($3,600) – Okogie has returned to the Timberwolves lineup recently after missing six straight games with an injury, and he’s coming off 27 minutes in his last game. He was able to score 18.75 DKFP in that contest, which was good enough to return value at a minimal salary.
That said, he has the potential to play much more than that today. Juancho Hernangomez, Ricky Rubio, and Jake Layman have all been ruled out, which opens up a ton of playing time on the wing. Okogie isn’t a monster on a per-minute basis – he’s averaged 0.66 DKFP per minute this season – but players with comparable salaries have historically averaged 24.74 DKFP when they play between 30 and 35 minutes.
Other Options – Cedi Osman ($6,200), Marcus Morris ($3,700)
Julius Randle, New York Knicks @ Cleveland Cavaliers ($9,100) – Obi Toppin ($4,000) and Taj Gibson ($3,600) were both available in the Knicks’ last game, but that didn’t stop Randle from absolutely dominating the minutes at the PF position. Toppin and Gibson combined for just one minute of playing time, and while Toppin will likely take a larger role in the rotation as the season progresses, it’s clear that head coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t want to rush him back following an extended injury absence.
That means Randle should once again carry a massive workload vs. the Cavaliers. He currently ranks third in the league in minutes per game, and he’s averaged 1.25 DKFP per minute this season. He’s excelled as a scorer, passer, and rebounder, which gives him excellent upside.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800), Zion Williamson ($7,900)
James Johnson, Dallas Mavericks @ Milwaukee Bucks ($4,600) – Johnson has been priced up a bit after scoring at least 26.75 DKFP in back-to-back games, but he should continue to benefit from the Mavs’ shorthanded rotation. He has the ability to rack up points in every category across the board, which makes his game very fantasy-friendly. He’s averaged 0.94 DKFP per minute this season, which is an excellent mark considering his price tag.
Other Options – Darius Bazley ($5,700), Jarred Vanderbilt ($3,900)
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies ($9,900) – Towns has played in two of the Timberwolves’ past three games, and he has not been limited in any capacity when he’s been active. He’s finished with at least 34.4 minutes in both contests, and he’s responded with at least 52.5 DKFP in each game. Towns is one of the best big-men in fantasy – he’s averaged 1.45 DKFP per minute this season – and the Grizzlies should have no answer for him.
Other Options – Nikola Vucevic ($9,000), Rudy Gobert ($7,800)
Tristan Thompson, Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic ($4,800) – Thompson and the rest of the Celtics’ big men will be back in action tonight after clearing the league’s health and safety protocols. Those guys could all see a few additional minutes with Tatum out of the lineup if the team chooses to play big, and Thompson has averaged 0.93 DKFP per minute this season.
Other Options – Mitchell Robinson ($6,300), Willie Cauley-Stein ($4,500)
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