DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet
DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Friday's NBA slate features seven games after 7:00 PM Eastern time. None of these teams played Thursday, so they all come in fresh. Despite this slate's middling overall size, there's no shortage of favorable matchups to choose from with six of the league's seven worst defensive teams in action (Washington, Atlanta, Memphis, San Antonio, Minnesota and Cleveland).

Slate Overview

Games to Target

Raptors (-10.5) vs. Wizards O/U: 230.5

The Raptors' middling offense should look like an elite unit at home against a league-worst Wizards' defense that's allowing 119.8 points per game. Washington also ranks fifth offensively with 114.6 points per game, so this game should offer plenty of fantasy appeal on both sides.

Spurs (-8.5) vs. Hawks O/U: 230.5

Like Toronto, San Antonio's a heavy favorite at home against a generous defense. Only Washington and New Orleans allow more points per game than Atlanta's 116.9, while San Antonio ranks eighth offensively with 113.6 points per game. The Spurs are far from a defensive powerhouse themselves, allowing the fifth-most points per game at 114.8.

Games to Fade

76ers (-7) vs. Bulls O/U: 215.5

Scoring will be much tougher to come by in this game than most of the others, as both teams rank in the bottom-10 in points per game while also ranking among the 10 stingiest defensively.

Thunder (-1.5) vs. Heat O/U: 216

It's no surprise this game is expected to be on the lower-scoring side considering these teams represent the No. 11 and 12 defenses with 107.8 (Miami) and 107.9 (Oklahoma City) points allowed per game. There's little need to dip heavily into this one with so many enticing alternatives on the table.

Positional Breakdown

Point guard comes in as the best source of top-end talent in this slate, with six healthy players priced at $8,000-plus while every other position only has 2-3 such players - though center would climb to four if Karl-Anthony Towns plays. The value at point guard largely dries up below the top tier, but most lineups are likely to feature at least one pricey point guard while no position is particularly difficult to fill despite the dearth of elite talent.

Injury Situations to Monitor

Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,500) is reportedly over the knee injury that's kept him sidelined since Dec. 13, but he's battling an illness that leaves him questionable in Indiana.

Fred VanVleet (hamstring) is nearing a return after missing the past four games, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Toronto take the cautious approach and hold him out for this front end of a back-to-back.

Kristaps Porzingis was a late scratch Wednesday in what was anticipated to be his return from a knee injury that's kept him out since Dec. 29. If he can get through warmups unscathed, Porzingis will likely rejoin his Mavericks' teammates against Portland.

Lauri Markkanen and Tomas Satoransky are both probable for Chicago as they deal with their respective ankle injuries.

Elite Players

Luka Doncic ($12,400) was stuck in a four-game cold spell by his lofty standards, averaging 45.1 fantasy points in those contests before bouncing back with 70.8 Wednesday in Sacramento. That was his third time topping 70 fantasy points in the nine games Porzingis has missed, but Doncic could see his responsibilities drop slightly in this favorable matchup against Portland should the Latvian make his return.

Trae Young ($10,200) wasn't bothered by the hamstring injury that forced him to miss Sunday's game, scoring 63.0 fantasy points in his return Tuesday. That outing marked his third time scoring at least 62.5 fantasy points in the last five appearances, and Atlanta's point guard has a nice opportunity to top that mark once more against the leaky Spurs' defense.

Kyle Lowry ($8,800) should continue to carry an increased load if VanVleet sits again. The veteran point guard will maintain a high ceiling against the league-worst Wizards' defense, making Lowry a nice GPP option.

Domantas Sabonis ($8,600) has recently been tremendous for the Pacers, scoring 50-plus fantasy points in three of his past four games and at least 47.3 in six of the last seven. Regardless of Towns' status, he should thrive inside against a Minnesota team allowing 114.5 points per game.

Expected Chalk

DeMar DeRozan ($8,100) has shown both a high floor and a high ceiling of late, recording no fewer than 37.8 fantasy points in each of the past nine games while scoring as many as 62.8. He's poured in at least 24 points in each of those contests, averaging a robust 28.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 5.7 APG over that stretch. DeRozan should be the focal point of San Antonio's offense against the defensively challenged Hawks. 

Jonas Valanciunas ($6,900) should be able to bully the Cavaliers inside, capitalizing on a lack of interior defense from a side allowing 114.0 points per game. The Lithuanian center brings some momentum into this one for the Grizzlies, having racked up 23.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 1.3 blocks per game over the past three.

Norman Powell ($5,500) has been on a nice scoring run for the Raptors with some key players working their way back from injuries. He's dropped 20-plus points in five of his past six games, averaging 32.5 fantasy points per game over this productive stretch. If VanVleet remains sidelined, Powell can be a nice affordable piece of a Raptors' stack or a solid standalone option with plenty of scoring upside against a Washington team surrendering 119.8 points per game.

Kevin Huerter's ($6,700) ownership might be dragged down a tad by the fact he's only eligible at the shooting guard position, but he's an enticing upside play nonetheless. The 19th overall selection from 2018 is coming off a monster performance that saw him produce 23 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists against the Suns. He'll be looking to build momentum from that outing against a 26th-ranked Spurs' defense that's been even easier to exploit than Phoenix's 22nd-ranked unit.

Key Values

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,400) put the world on notice with a 20-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist triple-double Monday in Minnesota, backing that effort up with 21 points, six boards and six dimes Wednesday against Toronto. The matchup against the Heat is far from ideal, but the Thunder guard certainly holds some GPP appeal given the well-rounded skill set SGA has showcased of late. 

Al Horford ($7,500) continues to perform well as the 76ers' starting center sans Joel Embiid (finger). Horford has averaged 38.1 fantasy points in his last four games heading into this matchup with the Bulls, contributing a well-rounded 14.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.

Terence Davis ($4,000) continues to excel on a per-minute basis for Toronto, averaging 11.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG and 3.0 APG in 22 minutes per game over the past three. He should deliver nice bang for the buck against the generous Wizards' defense and could see some extra run if the favored Raptors are able to build a sizable lead.

Carmelo Anthony ($6,200) has settled into a consistent role for Portland, scoring between 36.0 and 38.0 fantasy points in each of his past three games while delivering 18.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG and 3.0 APG over that span. He has a nice opportunity to top that recent production against a Dallas team struggling to defend the small forward position.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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