DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Friday's NBA slate features plenty of action, with 10 games on the docket after 7:00 PM Eastern time. This slate lends itself nicely to a stars and scrubs approach, with some expensive players benefiting from favorable matchups and a number of enticing affordable value plays available to make the money work. 

Slate Overview

Games to Target

Wizards (-3) vs. Hawks O/U: 246

Both teams have been stacked against all season, as the Wizards allow a league-worst 120.2 points per game while the Hawks are right behind at 119.2. Expect to see a track meet with minimal defense, leading to plenty of strong plays from across the price spectrum for both teams.

Magic (-2) at Timberwolves O/U: 234

It's easy to overlook this game because of Orlando's traditionally slow pace, but the Magic had no problem acquiescing to Minnesota's fast-paced style when these squads last met Feb. 28. Orlando won that game 136-125 and is averaging 119.8 points per game over the past five, while Minnesota ranks top 10 in points for per game at 113.3 and gives up the fourth-most at 117.3.

Games to Fade

Thunder (-7) at Knicks O/U: 219

While the Thunder represent solid road favorites, neither team will be interested in pushing the pace considering Oklahoma City ranks 22nd in road offense with 107.9 points per game and New York's 28th in home offense at 105.8.

Celtics (-2.5) vs. Jazz O/U: 219.5

Boston's battling injuries, which should reduce the Celtics' offensive efficiency in what was already likely to be a low-scoring clash of elite defenses. The Celtics allow the third-fewest points per game with 106.9 while the Jazz rank ninth defensively at 108.2.

Positional Breakdown

The point guard position reigns supreme as usual, with at least 11 healthy options priced at $7,500 or more. There are six such shooting guards, five small forwards, eight power forwards and eight centers, so scarcity isn't much of an issue at any position. With injuries creating opportunities for some more affordable depth guys to step up, crafting a solid lineup shouldn't be difficult regardless of which positions you prioritize.

Injury Situations to Monitor

Luka Doncic is questionable against the Grizzlies due to an illness. With Mavericks' teammate Tim Hardaway (shoulder) also questionable, there could be some extra opportunities available for Dallas's other players.

Anthony Davis is probable with a sore knee. The Lakers big man sat out Sunday with this injury but looked no worse for the wear in his return Tuesday.

Zach LaVine last played Feb. 29 and is expected to miss about another week with his quad injury. Coby White has stepped up for the Bulls in his absence.

Deandre Ayton (ankle) is doubtful for the Suns after failing to take any contact in Thursday's practice.

Jaylen Brown (hamstring) and Gordon Hayward (knee) both got banged up Tuesday and will each miss a second consecutive game for the Celtics against Utah.

Malcolm Brogdon picked up a hip injury Wednesday, leaving him doubtful against Chicago.

Elite Players

Bradley Beal ($10,400) and Trae Young ($9,900) will go head-to-head in the battle between the league's two worst defensive teams. Both guards offer monstrous upsides here as the clearcut alpha dogs of the Wizards and Hawks, respectively.

Nikola Vucevic ($8,900) dropped 50.0 fantasy points when Orlando and Minnesota last met a week ago, and he's scored at least that many in seven of his last 10 games. Averaging 19.4 PPG and 10.9 RPG for a Magic team that usually keeps the pace to a crawl, Vucevic should easily surpass those numbers in what figures to be a much faster-paced affair given the 136-125 score in the clubs' last meeting.

It has only been two games, but Kristaps Porzingis ($9,300) has gotten off to a roaring start in March with 36.0 PPG,12.5 RPG, 3.5 APG and 5.0 blocks per game. The unicorn should stay hot against a Grizzlies' team still allowing 113.7 points per game this season despite recently tightening up its defense, and Porzingis's usage would climb through the roof if Doncic sits.

Their matchups are certainly tougher on paper compared to the players above, but Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,200) and LeBron James ($10,900) are both intriguing GPP options as they try to one-up each other in a head-to-head clash.

Expected Chalk

Davis Bertans ($5,600) has been a distant second option behind Beal, but the second option nonetheless for the Wizards. The sharpshooting big man is heating up from deep just in time to face a Hawks' side allowing more points per game than every team except Bertans' own Wizards. He's hit 18 of 34 attempts from deep over the past three games en route to 22.7 PPG and should keep firing away in what's projected to be this slate's highest-scoring affair.

You can thank Terrence Ross ($5,700) for Orlando's recent uptick in offense, as he's averaging a robust 28.0 PPG over the past four games and has scored at least 19 points in eight of the last 10 games. He's chipped in at least five rebounds in five of the past seven games and should continue his scoring surge against the vulnerable Minnesota defense.

Goran Dragic ($5,900) is in a nice groove, with 19.7 PPG and 7.7 APG over the past three games. Miami's veteran point guard should continue to deliver points and assists at a high clip against a porous Pelicans' defense yielding 117.4 points per game — third-most in the league.

De'Andre Hunter ($4,900) has carved out a nice floor for himself thanks to his strength on the glass, and now the offense is starting to come along for the rookie fourth-overall pick. He's scored at least 30.5 fantasy points in five of his last seven games thanks to 7.6 RPG in that span, and the forward out of Virginia has added at least 17 points in four of the past six. Hunter's still liable to throw in a clunker every now and again, but he's much more likely to play up to his ceiling than down to his floor with the Hawks taking on the league-worst Wizards' defense.

Key Values

With Brogdon doubtful and Victor Oladipo (knee) in danger of sitting out a third consecutive game, Aaron Holiday ($4,000) should see all the minutes he can handle in Indiana's backcourt against the Bulls. Holiday stepped up when both Brogdon and Oladipo were out earlier this season, and he's a low-risk, high-reward play at his affordable valuation.

Seth Curry ($5,700) would be in line for a boost in offensive opportunities should either Doncic or Hardaway sit. The shooting guard has been in a groove even with both of those guys playing, having racked up 28.3 PPG in the past three games.

Nobody will be confusing him for Karl-Anthony Towns any time soon, but Naz Reid ($5,800) is filling in admirably at center for the Timberwolves. He's averaging 14.5 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals over 26 minutes per contest in the last two games, and Reid's usage should only climb given that recent success.

Caris LeVert ($7,000) is establishing himself as Brooklyn's go-to scorer with Kyrie Irving done for the season. He has produced performances of 51 and 34 points in the past five games and delivers a nice baseline of other stats with 4.0 RPG and 5.0 APG over that five-game span. LeVert's valuation is at its lowest point during this recent stretch after climbing as high as $8,300, so this home matchup against a Spurs' team allowing 114.3 points per game is a good time to grab the explosive wing.

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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