This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Friday's featured NBA slate will have plenty of action after the entire league was off on Thanksgiving Thursday, with 12 games on the docket after 7:00 PM Eastern time. A few of the games stand out in this busy slate thanks to faster pace and/or injuries, clearing the path for guys to step up. With no shortage of expensive stars set to dominate, finding affordable options to surround those stars with is the key to finding success.
Games to Target
Lakers (-11.5) vs. Wizards O/U: 234.5
Los Angeles has a nice mix of star power and enticing support options against a fast-paced Wizards team that leads the league in both points for with 119.4 and points against per game at 120.8.
Heat (-12) vs. Warriors O/U: TBD
The heavily favored Heat should thrive against a Warriors' team that's giving up 116.1 points per game, while Golden State's lack of star power has created a void that cheaper options have been forced to fill, creating some nice value plays.
Games to Fade
Raptors (-3.5) at Magic O/U: 206.5
Orlando's games are rarely fantasy-friendly, as the Magic score the second-fewest points at 102.1 and allow the second-fewest with 103.0. The Raptors' defense ranks among the 10 stingiest, so Toronto will be comfortable playing at Orlando's sluggish pace.
76ers (-7.5) at Knicks O/U: 206.5
Philadelphia owns a top-five defense and scores fewer points than league average, while New York averages the fewest points in the league at 101.8 but is stingier than average defensively. Add those numbers up and you're likely to get a slow-paced affair. That said, there is one cheap filler option from the 76ers who could be worth rostering, so read on to see who that is.
There's plenty of depth at every position, with point guard especially high in above-average options - 15 healthy point guards are priced at $7,000 or more. While the depth falls off much quicker at small forward, that position has the most top-end talent, with three options priced over $11,000. As has usually been the case for massive slates, expect most lineups to feature a point guard or center in the UTIL spot.
Injury Situations to Monitor
D'Angelo Russell (thumb) is traveling with the team, but he remains sidelined for the Warriors.
Jimmy Butler missed Wednesday's game due to an illness, leaving the Heat star questionable for this favorable matchup against the Warriors.
Josh Richardson strained his hamstring Wednesday and missed the second half of that game, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the 76ers' wing sit out in New York.
Both LeBron James ($11,200) and Anthony Davis ($10,000) should headline their fair share of lineups with the Lakers hosting Washington's league-worst defense. James boasts the higher floor with the ball in his hands so much, but Davis has scored at least 61.3 fantasy points in three of his past five games and comes $1,200 cheaper.
Kawhi Leonard ($9,300) has a revenge game in San Antonio, and these aren't the defensively stout Spurs of old as San Antonio's 115.2 points allowed per game are seventh-highest in the league. Paul George ($8,800) will also benefit from the favorable matchup but will likely cede more looks to Leonard given the matchup's significance for Kawhi.
The Hornets are rumored to be interested in trading for Andre Drummond ($9,200) to address their weakness at center. Still a member of the Pistons, the league's leading rebounder at 17.0 RPG is primed to exploit that very weakness.
While James will be preferred in 50/50s, both Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000) and Luka Doncic ($11,800) are capable of carrying GPP lineups to victory in Cleveland and Phoenix, respectively. Doncic would see especially heavy usage if Porzingis sits.
Bam Adebayo ($8,000) is averaging a well-rounded 14.5 PPG, 10.4 RPG and 4.5 APG in a breakout season for the Heat. He's eclipsed those averages in all three categories three times in the past four games, and Adebayo's primed to stuff the stat sheet against a Warriors' team missing an interior response. He'll be especially appealing against Golden State's bottom-five defense if Butler sits.
Rajon Rondo ($4,900) should be a popular piece in Lakers' stacks alongside one or both of the team's expensive stars. Finally healthy, he's found a groove over the past six games, averaging 9.7 PPG, 5.5 APG and 1.5 steals in 23 minutes per game. The veteran point guard will have plenty of opportunities to rack up points and assists against the porous Wizards' defense.
Alec Burks ($5,600) has displayed massive scoring upside in Russell's absence, topping 40.0 fantasy points in three of the past five games while averaging 24.0 PPG in those three games. Someone has to carry the scoring for the undermanned Warriors, and Burks is that guy more often than not. If he goes off, owners in GPP formats will be happy to reap the benefits at a low price.
Kelly Oubre ($6,600) is coming off consecutive clunkers, but that mini-slump was preceded by a five-game stretch in which he averaged 41.3 fantasy points. This home matchup against a Dallas team allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to small forwards represents a nice buy-low opportunity on Oubre following his pair of subpar performances.
Furkan Korkmaz ($3,300) started the second half of Wednesday's game after Richardson got injured, and he ranks second on the 76ers with 1.7 made 3-pointers per game behind Richardson's 2.0. The Knicks give up a league third-highest 13.2 made 3-pointers per game and allow a second-highest 41.9 percent rate from deep, so the affordable wing should shine from distance - especially if Richardson misses this one.
Eric Paschall ($5,800) owns a higher floor than Burks, making the Golden State forward a safer choice for 50/50s. He's scored between 28.0 and 42.3 fantasy points in each of the six games since Russell's latest injury, averaging 19.8 PPG and 7.2 RPG over that stretch.
Chris Paul ($7,200) is starting to take greater command of the Thunder's offense, averaging 36.7 fantasy points over the past six games. A visit from a Pelicans team that's surrendering 120.1 points per game — second-most in the league — presents a great opportunity for Paul to continue racking up points and assists at a high rate.