FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We're set for our first big post-trade-deadline slate Friday with 11 games. While several big trades went down Thursday, those players aren't expected to be available due to logistics and health and safety protocols. Meanwhile, some big-name injuries will loom to set up what should be an interesting lineup-building process across all salary points.

Slate Overview

Here's a closer look at the three games on the slate with the highest projected totals on FanDuel Sportsbook as of early Friday morning: 

Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks (Projected total: 233.0 points)

The Celtics are allowing 113.5 points per road game and have allowed 121 points to Milwaukee in each of their two meetings this season. Meanwhile, Giannis and company have surrendered an average of exactly 121 points to Boston in the first two games and the Bucks also come in scoring an NBA-high 120.3 points per home game. With all of each team's key pieces healthy and the squads already having proven they can score against one another, this total feels warranted. 

Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans (Projected total: 231.5 points) 

Each side can both give up and rack up points, making it no surprise the contest carries the second-highest projected total of the slate as of early Friday. The Nuggets are scoring the fourth-most points per game at 115.6 and give up 111.0 while the Pelicans are also generating 115.6 per and surrendering 115.1. The first meeting between these teams resulted in only 221 combined points, but there's enough scorers to produce plenty of offense - especially with both lineups ranked in the bottom half of the league in shooting percentage allowed (Pelicans-47.2 percent/ Nuggets-47.0 percent). 

Indiana Pacers at Dallas Mavericks (Projected total: 227.0 points) 

The Pacers have produced and allowed a robust 113.3 points per road game and the Mavericks check in ranked in the bottom half of the league surrendering 111.7 per home matchup. Dallas is actually a better offensive team on the road (114.1 PPG) than at home (110.7 PPG), but Indiana gave up 124 to the Mavs the first time they met this season. Each team's big-name offensive players will be at full health and neither squad is on a back-to-back, so this could be another source of solid offensive output.

Injury Situations to Monitor  

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate. 

LeBron James, LAL (ankle)/ Status: OUT 

James' absence will continue to afford the likes of Dennis Schroder, Markieff Morris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kyle Kuzma plenty of extra usage. 

James Harden, BKN (neck)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

If Harden were to sit out a second straight game, the Nets could roll with a starting five of Tyler Johnson, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Jeff Green, Joe Harris and Bruce Brown again as they did against the Jazz on Wednesday. 

Kyrie Irving, BKN (personal)/ Status: OUT 

Irving's potential absence, coupled with a potential one for James Harden and the ongoing one for Kevin Durant, should help benefit all five players mentioned in Harden's entry.

Kevin Durant, BKN (hamstring)/ Status: OUT 

Durant's ongoing absence Friday should lead to Jeff Green and Blake Griffin logging the majority of minutes at power forward.  

Stephen Curry, GS (back)/ Status: OUT 

Curry's fourth straight absence should afford Jordan Poole another start and the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre a bump in usage.

Jimmy Butler, MIA (illness)/ Status: GTD 

If Butler is forced to miss a second straight game, the likes of Kendrick Nunn, Bam Adebayo should see major usage bumps again while Trevor Ariza will likely remain in the starting five. 

Collin Sexton, CLE (hamstring)/ Status: GTD 

If Sexton misses a second consecutive contest, Darius Garland should see more ball-handling opportunities while Isaac Okoro could remain in the starting five. 

Lonzo Ball, NOP (hip)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

If Ball sits out a third straight game, Nickeil Alexander-Walker would be primed for another start. 

Jusuf Nurkic, POR (wrist)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Nurkic is slated to return and play his first game since Jan. 14. However, Enes Kanter - who's been excellent in Nurkic's stead - is likely to remain in the starting five for the time being.
 

Trade-deadline acquisitions not expected to play (Monitor Rotowire for the latest news throughout the day)

Victor Oladipo, MIA 

Norman Powell, POR 

Evan Fournier, BOS 

JJ Redick, DAL 

Aaron Gordon, DEN 

Wendell Carter, ORL 

Gary Trent, TOR 

Kelly Olynyk, HOU 

Nemanja Bjelica, MIA 

Otto Porter, ORL 

Moritz Wagner, BOS 

JaVale McGee, DEN 
 

Other notable injuries: 

Anthony Davis, LAL (calf)/ Status: OUT 

Draymond Green, GS (illness)/ Status: GTD 

D'Angelo Russell, MIN (quadriceps)/ Status: OUT 

Malik Beasley, MIN (suspension)/ Status: OUT 

De'Andre Hunter, ATL (knee)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Mikal Bridges. PHO (heel)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Dennis Smith, DET (back)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Kevin Love, CLE (calf)/ Status: GTD 

Cam Reddish, ATL (Achilles)/ Status: OUT 

Goran Dragic, MIA (back)/ Status: OUT 

Terrence Ross, ORL (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Cole Anthony, ORL (ribs)/ Status: OUT 

Eric Gordon, HOU (groin)/ Status: OUT 

Tristan Thompson, BOS (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT 

Hamidou Diallo, DET (groin)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Andre Drummond, CLE (team decision)/ Status: OUT 

Elite Players

Despite there being 22 teams in action Friday, there's only five players with five-figure salaries on the slate. That starts with James Harden ($11,300) and continues with Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100); Luka Doncic ($10,800); Nikola Jokic ($10,500) and Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000). 

Harden's neck issue will naturally have to be monitored throughout the day. However, if he were to receive clearance, he'll be an outstanding play with Irving and Durant both unavailable, especially after his 25-point, 17-assist double-double against the Blazers in his first game without them Tuesday. Antetokounmpo is an interesting case, as he posted a modest-by-his-standards 34.1 FD points over 32 minutes on Wednesday versus the Celtics even though he managed to return from a one-game absence due to a knee sprain. Whether he was still feeling the effects of the injury to an extent remains to be seen, but he gets another crack at Boston on Friday. Jokic and Towns are also particularly appealing in what should be highly favorable game environments/matchups.

There are also several players with salaries in the high four-figures free of injury designations with the ability to deliver elite scores, including Damian Lillard ($9,200) and Trae Young ($8,700). 

Lillard will be on the second game of a back-to-back set, but he has a reduced salary compared to recent weeks and offers an excellent matchup against a Magic team giving up the sixth-most FD points per game to point guards on the season. Meanwhile, Young has over 40 FD points in three of the last four and faces a Warriors' team that brings a big bump in pace and just got walloped by the Kings' De'Aaron Fox for a career-high 44 points Thursday.

Expected Chalk

In addition to the names just detailed in the Elite Players section, other likely chalk plays include Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole due to Curry's absence, any remaining healthy Nets if Harden sits out - especially Bruce Brown, Joe Harris and Jeff Green, Nickeil Alexander-Walker if Ball is confirmed as out, and Dennis Schroder, Kyle Kuzma, Markieff Morris and Montrezl Harrell - along with other complementary Lakers to a lesser extent - without James and Davis.

Key Values  

Ricky Rubio, MIN vs. HOU ($6,000) 

Rubio is averaging 36.4 FD points per 36 minutes with both D'Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley off the floor this season, a number he's partly built up averaging 34.8 FD points during an eight-game span between Mar. 3 and 22. The guard is shooting a stellar 50.7 percent over that stretch and will face a Rockets' team ranked in the bottom-10 in offensive efficiency allowed to PGs (27.3 percent) and giving up the seventh-most FD points per game to ones (46.1) as well. With Rubio also coming off a dud versus the Mavericks on Wednesday (15.9 FD points) and this being such a large slate, he's likely to be a low-rostered option.

Tim Hardaway, DAL vs. IND ($5,400)

There's always a bit of risk tolerance involved when rostering Hardaway, who can undeniably be a streaky shooter. However, the veteran wing's reasonable salary certainly accounts for such, and he'll come into Friday having scored 21.7 to 37.5 FD points in four of the last five games. Hardaway also totaled 29.1 FD points across 34 minutes in his one prior matchup against the Pacers this season while the Pacers check in allowing an elevated 37.2 percent three-point shooting to second-unit players, as well as the fifth-most FD points per game to small forwards across the last 10 (50.9).

Kenyon Martin, HOU at MIN ($5,000)

There's a chance Kevin Porter misses another game with his quadriceps injury Friday, but even if he plays, Martin makes for an intriguing option off the bench against a Timberwolves squad that's allowing the sixth-highest offensive efficiency to second-unit players (44.6 percent). Even when factoring in an absolute dud of a performance against the Thunder on Sunday (-1.8 FD points), Martin is still averaging 24.0 FD points across his first nine games, a sample that includes a trio of tallies over 30. The rookie wing is also demonstrating elite efficiency with 48.4 percent shooting, while the Timberwolves come in giving up the third-most FD points per game to shooting guards (49.8).

Other value plays to consider: Mason Plumlee, DET vs. BKN ($6,800); Enes Kanter, POR at ORL ($6,000); Danuel House, HOU at MIN ($5,500); Jae'Sean Tate, HOU at MIN ($5.400); Tyler Herro, MIA at CHA ($5,200); Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA vs. MEM ($4,800)

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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