The NBA has just three days left in the regular season, and there are nine games on Friday’s main fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings. With 18 teams in action, there are plenty of value plays that make a lot of sense. Some teams are looking to the future by giving younger players more minutes, others are looking to the postseason by resting stars, others are playing scrubs to help their lottery chances and the Thunder are doing Thunder things, playing people from the G League or straight off the streets. All of those scenarios open up chances for players to step into more opportunities and produce above their price point.
As the day goes on, be sure to double-check availability, especially for the Hornets, Lakers, Bucks, Trail Blazers and Raptors, who are finishing back-to-backs. With pre-game player news making such a huge difference to how the slate plays out, be sure to follow @dklive on Twitter and get the DK Live app, so you get all the latest news and analysis. 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.
PF Braxton Key, Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $4,500
Braxton Key sounds like a lovely vacation spot, but the 25-year-old rookie from Virginia has shown he can unlock some value for you in his current expanded role with the Pistons. He has only played nine games this season but has taken at least six shots in each of Detroit’s six most recent games, logging a 20% usage rate for 22.8 DKFP on 21.8 minutes per game.
Coming into this matchup, Key has scored double-digit points in three straight games and should be poised for another busy game off the bench with Marvin Bagley III (hip) and Jerami Grant (calf) out. He has been just a rebound or two away from a double-double in two of his three most recent games and has produced 23.5, 32.25 and 29.75 DKFP in those contests.
PG/SG Vit Krejci, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers, $4,400
The value picks post at this point in the season is basically your daily Thunder report. Oklahoma City has played a variety of rotations lately, leaving Theo Maledon ($7,100) and Aleksej Pokusevski ($6,700) on the bench despite strong showings earlier this season when given more minutes. In their places, Zavier Simpson ($3,900) and Georgios Kalaitzakis ($3,600) have been solid bargain plays and remain good options under $4K in this matchup against the potentially short-handed Lakers.
Regardless of all the turmoil around him, Krejci has started six straight games and played over 32 minutes in five of those contests. He has averaged only 9.8 points per game but has contributed good non-scoring numbers with 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.3 steals resulting in 24.9 DKFP per game. He has at least 24 DKFP in five of those games and should continue to contribute across the board as long as he keeps starting and getting so many minutes.
PF/C Reggie Perry, Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks, $3,900
The Trail Blazers’ season is mercifully almost over. They play in Dallas on Friday and Sunday at home vs. the Jazz. Injuries and trades have left a shell of a team, but Perry has made a positive impact on his 10-day contract signed on March 30. After spending time on other 10-day contracts with the Raptors and Pacers earlier in the year, he returned for his second tenure with the Blazers and has produced over 20 DKFP in four of five games.
His best game during that stretch came Thursday, when he produced 31.25 DKFP in 22 minutes vs. the Pelicans. He only had three rebounds but poured in 15 points while adding four steals and two blocks. The energy he brings even in lopsided games gives him a high ceiling, and maybe his effort will earn him even more time as the Blazers burn off the final two games in their lost season.
PF/C Jericho Sims, New York Knicks at Washington Wizards, $3,700
Sims stepped in for Mitchell Robinson (illness) in the Knicks’ most recent game and produced a double-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks on his way to an impressive 38.25 DKFP. He had been coming off the bench and only playing 15.7 minutes per game over his previous five games and was a fantasy afterthought. With Robinson already ruled out for this contest, though, he should be set up for his fourth start of the season.
Sims’ two earlier starts resulted in 14.75 and 19.25 DKFP, so he’s not a lock to go off again. But remember, Julius Randle (quad) started next to him in those two outings, while Obi Toppin ($6,200) is his new frontcourt running mate. With a significant workload next to Toppin and a favorable matchup, I think the second-round pick is a solid, relatively low-risk play. Although he’s the final entry on this list sorted by salary, he’s actually my favorite value play of the day with what we know at the start of the day.
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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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