This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Defense to Avoid
Utah Jazz at Brooklyn Nets
Though the Jazz have allowed at least 110 points in back-to-back games, they still rank in the top-five in points allowed and defensive efficiency when Rudy Gobert starts. Utah already ranks in the top-five in numerous defensive statistics, but they have been stifling teams at home recently, as they've only allowed 100 points at home once this month. What's key here is that they face a Brooklyn team that ranks 29th in the NBA in scoring and has been even worse without Jarrett Jack (torn ACL).
Offense to Use
San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers
The Spurs come in on the second-half of a back-to-back, which always creates an interesting dilemma. What it really does is open up value opportunities for us DFS players. San Antonio is not only one of the most efficient offenses in the league, the Lakers rank in the bottom-five in multiple defensive categories. None of the obvious guys like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and LaMarcus Aldridge are great plays, but players like Patty Mills, Ray McCallum, David West and Boban Marjanovic make for interesting cheap options. There will surely be Spurs players below $5,000 who give us a fantastic return on investment and if we can spot them, it could be a huge benefit.
Teams on Back-to-Back Sets:
First Game: Bucks, Bulls, Celtics, Hornets, Jazz, Lakers, Knicks, Pacers
Second Game: Clippers, Spurs
Daily Player Recommendations
Elfrid Payton, ORL vs. CHA ($6,200): Payton missed a few games because of a foot injury, but he's been back starting and playing very well. In the two games since returning to the starting role, Payton has scored 74 fantasy points and returning great value on his dropped price. That correlates with an injury to Victor Oladipo and it's obvious that the team now relies on Payton to handle the ball more and score much more than he did at the beginning of the season. This is also a great matchup against a Charlotte team that has allowed the most fantasy points to point guards over their last five games.
Tyler Johnson, MIA at TOR ($5,600): The injuries in Miami are just killing this team right now, but it's opened up the door for Johnson to return solid fantasy value. The Heat have been playing without Goran Dragic and Beno Udrih, which has left nearly all of the point guard minutes to Johnson. Not to mention that Dwyane Wade is also injured, which gives Johnson even more usage. The consistency is enticing here as well, as Johnson has scored at least 23 fantasy points six times in his last seven games. This isn't a great matchup against Toronto, but the usage is too high to pass up.
Gordon Hayward, UTA at BKN ($7,500): Hayward has scored at least 31 fantasy points in seven straight games and has been regularly cracking 40 fantasy points all season. The most impressive aspect of his run is that he had 63 fantasy points just two games ago against the Charlotte Hornets. What makes Hayward so intriguing Friday is that he matches up against either Wayne Ellington or Joe Johnson, two offensive players who struggle on the defensive end of the floor.
Clint Capela, HOU vs. MIL ($5,600): This is easily the value play of the day simply because of the circumstances. The Rockets will be without Dwight Howard and that opens up plenty of opportunities for Capela. Not only will he see a major increase in minutes, he should also see a huge increase in touches and rebounds. The Bucks rank as the fourth-lowest defense against power forwards this season and they play at a high pace. That gives Capela many opportunities at steals and blocks as well, which is an undervalued aspect of his game.
Nikola Vucevic, ORL vs. CHA ($7,500): Both Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller are injured and that leaves Charlotte with Spencer Hawes, Frank Kaminsky and Tyler Hansbrough to take the center minutes. None of those guys are good defenders and they will all struggle mightily with a beast like Vucevic. His form makes this a great play as well, as Vucevic is averaging 40 fantasy points per game over his last five. There's almost no downside with a section like Vucevic and he's arguably the safest center in what's become a tough position to pick.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – BRK (ankle)
Jarrett Jack – BRK (knee)
Al Jefferson – CHA (calf/suspension)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - CHA (shoulder)
Nicolas Batum – CHA (toe)
Mike Dunleavy – CHI (back)
Joakim Noah – CHI (shoulder)
Donatas Motiejunas – HOU (back)
Dwight Howard – HOU (ankle)
Dirk Nowitzki – DAL (knee)
Andrew Bogut – GS (back/knee)
Jason Terry – HOU (knee)
Patrick Beverley – HOU (ankle)
George Hill - IND (personal)
Larry Nance – LAL (knee)
Josh McRoberts – MIA (knee)
Hassan Whiteside – MIA (oblique)
Dwyane Wade – MIA (shoulder)
Beno Udrih – MIA (neck)
Luol Deng – MIA (eye)
Gerald Green – MIA (knee)
O.J. Mayo – MIL (hamstring)
Carmelo Anthony – NYK (ankle)
C.J. Watson – ORL (calf)
Victor Oladipo – ORL (knee)
Tim Duncan – SAN (rest)
Tony Parker – SAN (hip)
Derrick Favors – UTA (back)