This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
DEN (-8.5) vs. CLE, O/U: 220.5
GS (-4.5) vs. ORL, O/U: 225.5
ATL vs. BOS (-4.5), O/U: 226.5
CHI vs. PHI (-9.5), O/U: 229.5
DET vs. MEM (-5), O/U: 222
OKC vs. MIL (-11), O/U: 232.5
PHX (-2.5) vs. NO, O/U: 230.5
TOR (-3.5) vs. MIN, O/U: 231.5
UTA (-2.5) vs. LAC, O/U: 225.5
Friday's DraftKings NBA slate tips off at 7:00 p.m. EST and includes nine games. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are listed as questionable for the Clippers. Kyle Lowry has been ruled out for the second consecutive game while the Nuggets are still dealing with multiple absences. Jaylen Brown, Draymond Green and Steven Adams are also considered questionable.
The TOR-MIN matchup seems like a reasonable game to target. Kyle Lowry is out and Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam have affordable salaries. Minnesota has one of the league's worst defenses and Karl-Anthony Towns is back in play as a viable run-back option. The ATL-BOS matchup is also appealing, especially if Jaylen Brown were to be ruled out. Clint Capela and Kemba Walker offer very affordable salaries while Jayson Tatum and Trae Young are spend-up options that won't be overly popular on a nine-game slate. The UTA-LAC matchup is on an island tonight at 10:00 p.m. EST and I think it's one you could consider fading. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are listed as questionable. And even if they return, they'd likely be on some type of minutes limit. Should they be ruled out, I wouldn't have much interest in the remaining Clippers as minutes have been unpredictable and salaries aren't very favorable.
Injuries to Monitor
Kawhi Leonard (lower leg): QUESTIONABLE
Paul George (toe): QUESTIONABLE
Jaylen Brown (knee): QUESTIONABLE
Brown is listed as questionable for tonight after playing 37 and 35 minutes in back-to-back games earlier in the week. If he were to miss, Aaron Nesmith ($3,100) and Javonte Green ($3,000) would likely see increased run.
Kyle Lowry (thumb/ankle): OUT
Draymond Green (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
Green missed Wednesday's game due to ankle soreness, but he's expected to play tonight. Eric Paschall ($3,800) saw extra run in his absence.
Mike Conley (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Conley has missed the last six games with a sore hamstring and is listed as questionable for tonight. Joe Ingles ($5,700) has been starting at shooting guard.
Will Barton (personal): QUESTIONABLE
Barton has missed the last three games while dealing with a personal matter. Michael Porter ($6,100) has been starting at small forward.
Millsap is still being evaluated and could miss extended time while Harris has been ruled out tonight after returning from a long injury layoff Wednesday. JaMychal Green ($5,300) and Monte Morris ($4,900) should continue to start.
Steven Adams (ankle/back): QUESTIONABLE
Adams has had to leave each of the past two games early with back and ankle injuries. He's listed as questionable for tonight. If he can't go, Willy Hernangomez ($3,900) would likely see an expanded role.
Nikola Jokic ($11,000), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800) and Joel Embiid ($10,700) come in as the elite centers - as well as the three most expensive overall - on tonight's slate. Of course any of them are viable as they all have the potential to be the highest scorer on any given night, but spending all the way up might be too detrimental to the rest of your lineup with nine games to find better plays if there isn't enough value elsewhere. At first glance, it looks like a slate where a more balanced build could be optimal. Nikola Vucevic ($9,900) and Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,200) are cheaper options that offer similar floors and upside with plenty of mid-range picks. If you're playing only one lineup, my advice would be to play the value guy between whoever you're considering and use the savings to improve at another position. If you still just want a straight pick, I like the upside of Vucevic in this Magic offense that doesn't have a point guard.
Stephen Curry ($10,100) attempted 20 three pointers last time out. It's the third time in his last seven games he's attempted at least 19. This type of volume gives him a big ceiling every night out regardless of matchup. We've seen Curry post over 70 DK points twice in the past couple weeks and he would be my preferred spend-up option.
Trae Young ($9,500) and Ben Simmons ($9,200) are the only guards in the 9K range. After a string of subpar performances, Young put up 57.75 DK points against the Celtics on Wednesday and they will run it back tonight. Simmons sat out with the stomach flu on Wednesday but is coming off a career night Monday that saw him score a whopping 74.75 DK points. Both guys would offer decent leverage tonight as neither is likely to be very popular.
Kawhi Leonard ($9,700) represents the elite option at small forward. He's missed the past three games with a lower leg injury and I'm done speculating as to whether he will play after I was wrong the last two times. If he returns tonight, it's possible there would be a minutes limit. And with nine games to choose from, I would rather avoid the uncertainty and spend up somewhere else.
Willy Hernangomez ($3,900)
This is conditional on the status of Steven Adams, who's listed as questionable. There isn't any cheap value that jumps off the page tonight, but Hernangomez will likely get the start at center or - at the very least - see significant minutes if Adams is ruled out. He averages better than a fantasy point per minute and would be a popular value play.
Fred VanVleet ($7,800)
VanVleet should be a well-covered mid-range option with the news that Kyle Lowry has already been ruled out tonight. He's produced over 50 DK points four times in his last nine games and has seen a steady decrease in salary over the past two weeks.
Pascal Siakam ($7,600)
Siakam also gets a slight bump in the absence of Kyle Lowry. He's scored at least 40 DK points in five of his last six contests and his salary has come down by a few hundred.
Clint Capela ($7,200)
Capela has seen his salary fall to its lowest point in a month, but he's playing big minutes again and has topped 43 DK points in three consecutive games.
Kemba Walker ($6,500)
Walker sat out on Wednesday but should be ready to go for tonight's matchup against the Hawks. Jaylen Brown is listed as questionable and if he were to miss, Walker is a bargain at $6,500.
Darius Garland ($5,400)
Garland has seen his salary drop to its lowest point in 10 games for no apparent reason. The Cavs are shorthanded and he's playing big minutes again. Garland represents solid value on a slate that might not have much.
Cedi Osman ($4,800)
Osman stepped into the starting lineup last time out for the shorthanded Cavs. They will be without Andre Drummond, Larry Nance and Taurean Prince again tonight. Osman netted 38.5 DK points in 35 minutes and could even be somewhat chalky if clear value doesn't open up.