Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Friday’s main NBA slate, along with some strategy unique to this slate.
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Worth Paying Up For: James Harden, Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors ($10,600)
Harden was struggling a bit to find the right balance of scoring and distributing at times, but he seems to have it down over his last three games. He’s gone for 31-15-8 in one game, and posted a triple-double in the other two, so rebounding the ball well is also key to his success right now. Toronto does rank second in DKFP allowed to guards, but with the pace the Nets play at and the lack of defense, I trust this offense to find its production over any other in the league.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($5,000)
Maledon failed us on his point prop on Wednesday, but fell flat on his face with 2-for-12 shooting from the field. He exceeded value from a DFS perspective, scoring 28.75 DKFP in 35 minutes, thanks to six key steals. His salary goes up now, but if he bounces back with an average shooting night, we should see another big fantasy outing. The matchup against Minnesota leaves plenty of upside, as is the case for multiple Thunder plays on this slate with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and George Hill sidelined.
Worth Paying Up For: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls at Orlando Magic ($8,400)
SG is a weak position once again, and one where I’m not thinking twice about paying down for OKC value. However, just to give the quick case for LaVine, Orlando has a couple of attractive plays, as do the Bulls, so you could consider bringing it back by paying up for a contrarian piece in a game stack. LaVine’s been about four-DKFP better per game on the road this season.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Hamidou Diallo, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($5,200)
With SGA out of the equation, we finally saw Diallo get the minutes we expected him to play. Diallo saw a season-high 33 minutes, finishing with a 16-9-1 line, along with three steals for 31.75 DKFP. We should see him in a similar role in an even better matchup against the Wolves. I have no problem playing Diallo and Maledon in the same lineup.
Worth Paying Up For: Jerami Grant, Detroit Pistons at Phoenix Suns ($7,000)
Grant was sitting at $8,400 a little over a week ago, and while he did post a couple of poor outings in his game log, he’s fresh off a 44.5-DKFP game against a solid Utah defense, yet his salary hasn’t budged. We’re getting a good discount on Grant here, who’d previously been one of the most consistent plays on a slate-to-slate basis. He torched Phoenix for 31 points and 10 boards earlier in the season, finishing with 52 DKFP.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Kenrich Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($3,500)
Maledon and Diallo were expected to be elite values on Wednesday, Williams was not. Kenrich came in a minimum salary and went 10X on Wednesday with 30.5 DKFP, so he won’t be catching anyone by surprise this time around. Still at a reasonable $3,500, there’s 7-8X upside here even if he regresses a bit.
Worth Paying Up For: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets ($7,600)
Brooklyn’s on pace to have one of the worst defenses in NBA history, giving us some insane game totals since the Harden trade. Siakam feels like the perfect fit for this style. His salary actually drops $100 coming off a poor game, but prior to that, Siakam was averaging 48 DKFP over his last two outings. If this contest turns into a track meet, Siakam’s fantasy value soars.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Darius Bazley, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($5,700)
Alright, this is the last Thunder play, but I truly believe you can roster three of these guys in a lineup, pending how news shakes out the rest of the day. With SGA out, Bazley does get a few more minutes, but more importantly, he goes into the alpha role offensively. Bazley went for 41.5 DKFP in the first game without SGA, and the $500 salary bump isn’t enough.
Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls ($8,500)
Vucevic dominated in the first full game Aaron Gordon missed, finishing with 21 points, 18 boards and four assists in 37 minutes against the Raptors. Now Vuce squares off against a much softer Chicago frontline that’s missing its starting center. Without a ton of must-play studs on this slate, Vuce feels like a cheap place to save on a star with a high ceiling.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Frank Kaminsky, Phoenix Suns vs. Detroit Pistons ($3,400)
I’ve been avoiding Frank the Tank, but it’s finally time to cave. He’s scored 20-plus DKFP in three of his last four, including an insane 44.5-DKFP outburst. I’m not expecting another one of those, but getting over 20 DKFP at this price is attractive. The Pistons also allow the second-most DKFP to the center position this season.
Overall Lineup Strategy
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Things can change quickly, as we saw with Thursday’s slate. But unless some surprise injuries pop up, it seems like I’ll be using a lot of OKC value. I like a lot of mid-priced stars as well, like the Siakam and Vuce type of plays, which makes sense with only two plays over $10,000 on a Friday slate.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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 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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