DraftKings NBA: Friday Picks

DraftKings NBA: Friday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

ATL vs. PHI (-9.5), O/U: 221.5

SA vs. BOS (-4.5), O/U: 224.5

WAS (-6.5) vs. CLE, O/U: 226.5

ORL vs. MEM (-10.5), O/U: 224.5

POR vs. BKN (-1), O/U: 240.5

MIL (-4.5) vs. CHI, O/U: 220.5

UTA vs. PHX (-4.5), O/U: 222.5

SAC vs. LA (-9.5), O/U: 222.5

The POR-BKN matchup stands out tonight as the 240.5 total is 14 points higher than the next closest game on the slate, not to mention it's one-point spread. Kevin Durant smashed as chalk last night and I'd expect him to be popular again. Assuming Kyrie Irving isn't limited by the groin injury that kept him out Thursday, he's in a great spot against Damian Lillard, who isn't known for his defense. Jusuf Nurkic is an appealing target on the Portland side as he's shown big upside recently and the Nets have struggled stopping centers all season. 

The Bucks will be the source of popular midrange value tonight if Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) is ruled out. The Jazz are in a similar situation as they will be without Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley and possibly Royce O'Neale

Injuries to Monitor 

Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Antetokounmpo tweaked his ankle after only playing one minute last night and did not return. His status for tonight is uncertain and if he were to miss, Bobby Portis would likely get the start at power forward. 

Kyrie Irving (groin): QUESTIONABLE

Irving sat out yesterday due a sore groin and is considered questionable. Tyler Johnson got the start at point guard in his absence.

Trae Young (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Young has missed four consecutive games due to a sprained ankle and is listed as questionable. Brandon Goodwin has been starting at point guard in his place. 

Clint Capela (heel): QUESTIONABLE

Capela is dealing with pain in his heel and his status is uncertain. If he sits, Onyeka Okongwu would likely get the start at center. 

Collin Sexton (concussion): QUESTIONABLE

Sexton has missed three consecutive games recovering from a concussion but was upgraded to questionable and has a chance to return tonight. Cedi Osman has been starting in absence.

Bogdan Bogdanovic (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE

Bogdanovic missed Wednesday's game due to a sore hamstring and is listed as questionable. Lou Williams got the start at shooting guard in his place. 

Mike Conley (hamstring): OUT

Conley will miss a second consecutive game due to a sore hamstring. Joe Ingles got the start at point guard last time out while Georges Niang came into the starting lineup at power forward. 

Harrison Barnes (groin): OUT

Barnes will sit a second consecutive game due a groin injury. Chimezie Metu got the start at power forward on Wednesday but Marvin Bagley (hand) is expected to return and there's a chance he's back in the starting lineup. 

Kemba Walker (oblique): DOUBTFUL

Walker is likely to miss a second straight contest due to an oblique injury. Tremont Waters got the start at point guard on Wednesday but Marcus Smart is back after serving a one-game suspension and will likely assume Walker's role.

Kevin Huerter (shoulder): OUT

Huerter will miss a second consecutive game due to shoulder soreness. Solomon Hill started at small forward last time out.  

Chuma Okeke (ankle): OUT

Okeke sprained his ankle on Wednesday and will miss at least tonight. James Ennis will likely start at power forward. 

Elite Players

Guard:

If it seems repetitive, that's because it is. Russell Westbrook ($11,000) just notched another triple-double, his eighth in 10 games as he put up 69.5 DK points last time out. He's topped 60 DK points in seven of last 10 and yet he continues to be less popular than he should be on most slates. Westbrook is my preferred spend-up option tonight as he offers the safest floor and highest ceiling.

Center:

Anthony Davis ($9,100) is coming off 44.75 DK points in 31 minutes last time out and shot the ball 20 times. I'd expect to see a few more minutes tonight as he ramps up his conditioning and the Lakers face a favorable matchup against the Kings.

Joel Embiid ($10,200) has failed to reach 40 DK points in three consecutive games and has seen 27 minutes or less in each of them as the Sixers have won their last two by a combined 75 points. I'd only have interest in him tonight if Trae Young and Clint Capela both play. Nikola Vucevic ($10,100) represents a more appealing option in a matchup against the Bucks, who are likely to be without Giannis. He's posted 54-plus in two of his last three as he's seen a nice bump in usage in the absence of Zach LaVine

Forward:

Kevin Durant ($8,900) is coming off a massive 64.25 DK points and played 36 minutes. His salary only went up by $400 and will be a great play on most nights until he's 10K as long as James Harden is out. The Nets are in a great spot tonight against the Trailblazers and assuming Durant is not limited, I'd expect him to again be among the most popular players on the slate. 

Jayson Tatum ($9,800) and Bradley Beal ($9,800) represent the most expensive players at their respective positions. Both salaries seem a bit too high considering some of the bargains on the schedule while neither are in particularly favorable spots. Both have nice ceilings and we've seen multiple games of 50-plus DK points from each over the last couple weeks, so they're still in play as raw fantasy points become more important when there is enough available value. 

Expected Chalk

Georges Niang ($3,400)

Niang moved into the starting lineup on Wednesday in the absence of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley and racked up 31.25 DK points in 26 minutes. Both Mitchell and Conley are out again while Royce O'Neale (wrist) is now listed as questionable. Assuming Niang starts again, I'd expect him to be widely covered on such an affordable salary.

Bobby Portis ($5,500), if he starts in place of Giannis

Giannis had to leave yesterday's game with an ankle injury and his status for tonight is uncertain. It's hard to imagine the Bucks would risk him as they really aren't playing for much. We've seen Portis smash in these spots before and he's just way too reasonable for what his role is when Giannis is out. He'd be chalky if he starts and rightfully so.

Value Picks

Khris Middleton ($7,900) and Jrue Holiday ($7,800)

Assuming Giannis is out, there will be a considerable amount of usage up for grabs and most of it usually goes to Middleton and Holiday. Both have 50-plus fantasy point upside in these spots and the Bucks have a favorable matchup against the Bulls.

Dejounte Murray ($7,500)

Murray has put up consecutive 56-plus DK point outings and seems to be the main beneficiary of Derrick White's absence. He's likely to go somewhat overlooked tonight in a battle against Boston.

Jusuf Nurkic ($7,100)

Nurkic has topped 50 DK points in two of his last four. His salary has reached a peak, but he's in a great spot against the Nets in a game that predicts a 240.5 total.

Joe Ingles ($7,000) and Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,300)

Ingles and Bogdanovic will continue to see significant usage bumps as the Jazz are still without Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley. They should see extended run tonight in what should be a competitive game against the Suns. 

Kevin Love ($6,500)

A few things going for Love tonight. He played 35 minutes last appearance, it's a pace-up spot against the Wizards and his salary has dropped a bit and therefore won't be popular. Love makes for a solid tournament play opposite Westbrook. 

Alex Len ($3,300)

I feel obligated to mention Len as he's managed 10x his salary in consecutive games while seeing 23 and 25 minutes. I don't trust the Wizards three-man center rotation, but there isn't much risk for just $3,300 - although opportunity cost is a concern.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Belongia
Ryan Belongia writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire
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