DraftKings NBA: Friday-Saturday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Friday-Saturday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Friday's NBA slate begins at 9:00 p.m. EDT with Game 1 between the Nuggets and Lakers, and it also includes Saturday's Game 3 of the Celtics-Heat series. The favored Lakers also have a significant advantage in rest, as they have wrapped up each of their first two series in five games while Denver has come back from 3-1 series deficits in each of the first two rounds. Meanwhile, Miami has raced out to a 2-0 series lead thanks to a Game 2 comeback win following an opening overtime thriller.

Slate Overview

Game to Target

Lakers (-7) vs. Nuggets O/U: 210.5

This game carries the slightly higher line and also has rosters more conducive to maximizing fantasy value. Most lineups will target this game for their star players, and there are also some excellent affordable value options among both supporting casts.

Game to Fade

Celtics (-3) vs. Heat O/U: 206.5

Game 1 went to overtime tied at 106, while Game 2 was won 106-101 by Miami. Both teams make the opposing offense earn it on every possession and feature more balanced scoring approaches than those from the other game.

Positional Breakdown

PG: There's no shortage of enticing options all across the salary spectrum at point guard, as many lineups will likely feature a point guard in the UTIL spot. A slate-high five options come in at $7,000 or more at the position.

SG: Shooting guard has four options valued at $7,000 or more, and the position is deep with decent budget options but the selection isn't quite as enticing as point guard.

SF: There are four small forwards at $7,600 or more followed by a large drop-off down to Michael Porter ($5,100), so expect most lineups to spend big at this position.

PF: After Anthony Davis ($10,400) and Jayson Tatum ($9,700), every other healthy power forward is in the sub-$6,000 range, though there are some respectable middling options to choose from when rounding out your lineup.

C: You're either locking in a star at center or picking a cheap filler, as there's a major gap between the third-highest center (Bam Adebayo - $8,300) and the fourth (Daniel Theis - $5,300).

Injury Situations to Monitor

LeBron James is probable with a sore groin, but the injury is nothing new and can be considered a non-factor.

Gordon Hayward (ankle) reportedly has a decent chance of returning at some point in this series, but there haven't been any signs pointing to that return coming in Game 3 as of yet.

Rajon Rondo is battling back spasms, leaving him questionable for the Lakers in Game 1.

Kemba Walker exited Game 2 after taking an elbow to the head from Celtics' teammate Marcus Smart, but he was able to return shortly thereafter and should be good to go for Game 3.

Will Barton (knee) remains outside the bubble and can be ruled out for the foreseeable future.

Elite Players

LeBron James ($11,200) averaged 25.8 PPG, 10.4 RPG and 7.4 APG in the five games against Houston, but he was unable to break double-digit assists in any individual game. Since Denver's size will likely make life a bit more difficult on the glass, James will need to up his contributions as a facilitator while maintaining his scoring touch to play up to his lofty valuation.

Anthony Davis ($10,400) recorded a double-double in every game against Houston, although he scored only 13 points in the closeout game after averaging 28.5 PPG over the first four. Davis's less-diversified contributions give him a lower floor than James in the series opener.

Nikola Jokic ($10,600) scored at least 52.0 fantasy points in each of the last six games against the Clippers, but he started that series off with a 22.75 fantasy point dud. That poor performance likely came as a result of tiredness after he emptied the tank to help his team come back from 3-1 down to the Jazz, and Jokic is facing a similar scenario to start this series against a challenging Lakers' defense. His floor is the lowest among this slate's stars.

Jayson Tatum ($9,700) came crashing back to earth with just 34.8 fantasy points in Game 2 following three consecutive games north of 60 fantasy points. Before you get too excited about that stretch of strong performances, it's worth remembering two of those three games went to overtime. Still, Tatum represent the East's top remaining fantasy option.

Jamal Murray ($8,600) is an unstoppable scorer when he's rolling, but there are also plenty of nights when he doesn't have it and that makes him a hit-or-miss option. He's poured in 40-plus points four times in 14 games this postseason, but has also been held under 20 six times. Don't be surprised to see Murray's minutes cut back a bit to start this series after he averaged over 42 minutes per game in the last four against the Clippers.

Expected Chalk

Goran Dragic ($7,500) is enjoying a phenomenal postseason for Miami, and the score-first point guard is showing no signs of slowing down in the conference finals. He has acted as the Heat's leading scorer in each of the first two games against Boston by averaging 27.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 4.5 APG.

Tyler Herro ($6,000) has scored in double digits in every game this postseason, and Miami's rookie shooting guard has shown more dimensions to his game in this series. In addition to his reliable scoring, Herro has chipped in with 10.0 RPG and 7.0 APG against the Celtics, wreaking havoc both as an on-ball creator and off-ball shooting threat.

Playoff Rajon Rondo ($4,400) is back, as the veteran Lakers' point guard has scored at least 37.25 fantasy points in three of the past four games and averaged 11.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 7.8 APG and 2.0 steals per game in these last four contests. At just $4,400, you should be able to find a spot for him in your lineup as long as his back spasms don't hold him out.

Key Values

With Jokic and Murray likely exhausted from carrying Denver to a second consecutive comeback from a 3-1 deficit, the team could use an offensive outburst from someone else to lighten the load on the two stars. Michael Porter ($5,100) represents the likeliest candidate to provide such a performance, as the forward averaged 13.3 PPG and 7.0 RPG in the four games preceding his two-point, seven-rebound Game 7 dud. While Porter's poor defense keeps him off the floor at times, his offensive abilities should overshadow those defensive struggles in the early stages of this series.

Brad Wanamaker ($3,500) has been a surprising contributor for the Celtics against Miami, averaging 9.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 4.0 APG and 3.0 steals per game in this series. The affordable backup point guard is worth rolling out if you're in search of a cheap filler.

Dwight Howard ($3,500) was phased out of the rotation against the small ball Houston lineup, but the center should return to a more prominent role against the much bigger Nuggets. This could be a good time to buy low on Howard before his increased role leads to a higher valuation, as he averaged 8.4 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 19 minutes per game against Portland in the first round. Similar logic applies to fellow Lakers' center JaVale McGee ($3,100).

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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