This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
DAL vs. MIL (-6), O/U: 227
NY (-2.5) vs. CLE, O/U: OTB
ORL vs. BOS
CHI vs. OKC
MEM vs. MIN (-2.5), O/U: 224.5
ATL vs. UTA (-6), O/U: 224.5
LAC (-6) vs. SAC, O/U: 229.5
NO vs. LAL
Friday's DraftKings NBA slate tips off at 7 p.m. EST and includes eight games. The Mavericks and Celtics will be shorthanded with multiple players in quarantine. Lonzo Ball is out again for the Pelicans and Eric Bledsoe is questionable, meaning Nickeil Alexander-Walker is back in play. The Clippers have listed Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams as questionable, so we'll have to wait. The Bulls are expected to get a host of players back after quarantine. Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo will face off in the marquee matchup of the night.
NO-LAL and LAC-SAC are two contests I'll be targeting. They're the final two on the slate and both have potential late news that could prove beneficial. Lonzo Ball is out, Eric Bledsoe is questionable and Nickeil Alexander-Walker is likely to be a popular play. Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams are questionable for the Clippers, while Anthony Davis and LeBron James carry their usual questionable tags for the Lakers. It's likely one or more of these players are ruled out, so I plan on keeping my lineups as flexible as possible to jump on whichever game becomes more appealing. It doesn't hurt that the LAC-SAC matchup comes in with the highest total on the slate. BOS-ORL represents another solid target as the Celtics will be without multiple players. Keep an eye on the news there.
Injuries to Monitor
Karl-Anthony Towns (wrist): PROBABLE
Towns is expected to play tonight. He enjoyed a nice effort on Wednesday by scoring 52.5 DK points in 34 minutes.
Anthony Davis (back): QUESTIONABLE
Davis has been listed as questionable almost every night this season and has missed two games so far. If he sits tonight, Kyle Kuzma ($5,200) would likely get the start.
LeBron James (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
James is listed as questionable again, but has yet to miss a game this season.
Jayson Tatum (COVID-19): OUT
Tatum is in quarantine after testing positive on two occasions last weekend. Payton Pritchard ($4,700) should see increased run.
Jaylen Brown (COVID-19 protocols): QUESTIONABLE
Robert Williams (COVID-19): OUT
Kristaps Porzingis (ankle): PROBABLE
Porzingis made his season debut on Wednesday and played 24 minutes. He's expected to play again tonight.
Ja Morant (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
Morant appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from an ankle injury. He hasn't played since Dec. 28th, while Tyus Jones ($6,500) has been starting in his place.
Lonzo Ball (knee): OUT
Ball will miss his second straight game. Nickeil Alexander-Walker will likely start again after his big game on Wednesday.
Eric Bledsoe (eye): QUESTIONABLE
Darius Bazley (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
Patrick Beverley (personal): QUESTIONABLE
Lou Williams (hip): QUESTIONABLE
The Clippers could be shorthanded at guard tonight with Patrick Beverley also listed as questionable. Luke Kennard ($3,600), Reggie Jackson ($3,000) and Terance Mann ($3,000) would likely see more minutes.
The statuses of Kleber and Powell are still unknown for tonight. The Mavericks will already be without three players who see regular minutes. Expect Willie Cauley-Stein and Boban Marjanovic ($3,400) to see increased run again.
Luka Doncic ($11,000) and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800) come in as the most expensive players on the slate. Doncic has put up at least 70 DK points in three of the past four games and has really started to find his groove. The Mavericks are still shorthanded, so I'd expect Doncic to be the more popular of the two. The concern with Giannis continues to be his minutes. Tonight's game should be more competitive and I will always have interest in tournaments for a less-popular Giannis.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,900) and Anthony Davis ($9,800) are spend-up options at center. Davis continues to underwhelm, while Towns has looked solid in two outings since returning from injury. Davis will be appealing whenever LeBron finally decides to take a rest, but I prefer Towns unless that happens tonight. Andre Drummond ($9,300), Julius Randle ($9,100) and Nikola Vucevic ($9,000) round out the elite centers. All three of them are in play, but I prefer Vucevic in a lineup that likely contains a Celtic.
LeBron James ($9,700) and Kawhi Leonard ($9,600) represent the elite forward options. I'd have interest in James if Anthony Davis were to sit. But when both guys play, I've been fading and will continue to do so. Leonard has produced over 50 DK points in back-to-back games and tonight's matchup with the Kings offers the highest total, making him an appealing tournament play.
Zach LaVine ($9,500) and Paul George ($9,400) are the spend up options at guard. LaVine has been outstanding as the Bulls have been shorthanded for the past two weeks, but his salary has significantly increased based on many players coming back. George could see a slight increase in usage if Patrick Beverley or Lou Williams were to sit. Both have high upside tonight and make for decent tournament options.
Jaylen Brown ($8,900)
Brown is listed as questionable due to COVID-19 protocols. But should he clear them, I expect him to be popular in the absence of Jayson Tatum. Brown's usage rating is a sky-high 32.8 percent without Tatum on the floor this season. He should run the show tonight for the short-handed Celtics.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($4,400)
Alexander-Walker exploded for 52.5 DK points over 33 minutes on Wednesday. Lonzo Ball has already been ruled out again and Eric Bledsoe is questionable. Even if Bledsoe were to play, I'd expect Alexander-Walker to be popular on a slate currently lacking value.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,700)
Gilgeous-Alexander disappointed on Wednesday as the Thunder got blown out. They face a favorable matchup at home to Chicago tonight and his salary is still too low for his expected usage and production.
It's tough to predict the situation in Boston at the moment, but they will be without at least a few players and possibly more due to the league's health and safety protocols. Pritchard should see increased run with the absence of Jayson Tatum while Thompson will start at center and see significant minutes with the lack of bench depth.
Al Horford ($5,600)
Horford sat out for rest on Wednesday. He's rather affordable in relation to the other centers on the slate tonight and the Thunder have a favorable matchup against the Bulls.
Lauri Markkanen ($5,900)
The Bulls are expected to get a host of players back tonight after quarantine. While minutes could be a concern after a long layoff, Markkanen offers the most upside of the bunch.
Willie Cauley-Stein ($4,500)
Cauley-Stein played a season-high 30 minutes on Wednesday. The Mavericks will be shorthanded again tonight and he should provide good value on a slate that currently lacks cheaper options.