DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Although DraftKings presents us with a hefty 10-game slate on Friday, a close look at the numbers reveals there are only a few profitable ways to go. Spending up will be the name of the game today, so we'll first look at the injury front for some exploitable value that should allow us to afford the elites. We're only looking at the newer injuries, so situations with Victor Oladipo, Devin Booker and Draymond Green remain the same.

Hassan Whiteside isn't injured, but he isn't with the team on Friday due to the imminent birth of his child. As a result, your logical pivot against Phoenix is Bam Adebayo ($4,200), who usually draws the start in Whiteside's stead when he's sidelined. Kelly Olynyk should see a bump as well, but he only saves you $200 off Adebayo and doesn't have a dependable floor. Wayne Ellington (personal) joins Goran Dragic as a scratch, so Miami has an assortment of guys that could give you value.

Brandon Ingram (ankle) should be out through the weekend, and although Josh Hart will draw the start, I like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($3,900) better in this spot for a couple of reasons. First off, he saw a good bit of usage after Ingram left the floor. Secondly, Anthony Davis bought a house in Los Angeles in the off-season. He's joining the Lakers, and it's only a matter of when at this point. This could happen next week or next month, but it's happening. KCP's one-year deal almost makes him a lock to be a part of that package, and I think it's in the Lakers' best interest to showcase him now so that he can show his suitors what he's got. You could make an argument for Hart based on the same reason, but he's sticking around and I don't think he needs more seasoning to assume a more prominent role.

The pivots for Marvin Williams' absence in Charlotte never really crystallized as expected, but it was Nicolas Batum ($5,200) who saw the biggest bump. It's a tough game against the Nuggets on Friday, but he could be well worth the risk at this price.

It's great that we have these low-priced guys because what I'm doing on Friday will need to be offset with some budget selections. I'll offer some worthwhile alternatives, but I am going to the well with this GS/MIL matchup tonight. The O/U is an insane 240, and the point spread is narrow. That's why I'm stacking Kevin Durant ($10,300) and Steph Curry ($10,000), and if I can find enough value, I'll throw Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000) in there too. The Giannis addition is less likely as I'll be faced with an average of $3700 to fill the rest of my slots, as opposed to $4950 with just Durant and Curry, which seems a lot more doable. This strategy is better suited for cash, as the ownership will be through the roof for the duo, so our selections below will focus on the alternatives.

One team I am inclined to fade tonight are the Nuggets, who are playing their fourth consecutive road game on Friday in Charlotte.

I'll now make three selections per position, with an additional list of non-highlighted players to consider at each spot. When possible, I'll try to include a top-shelf player, a mid-range target and a low-cost value play at each position.

GUARDS

DeMar DeRozan, SA vs. LAL ($8,900): DeRozan emerges as one of the more playable spend-up options when you consider his recent output as well as the 59.1 DKFP performance he gave against the Lakers two days ago. The Spurs should rightfully be hopping mad after they let that game slip away, and DeRozan will be properly motivated to rectify that tonight.

Buddy Hield, SAC at CLE ($6,200): There's undoubtedly some blowout potential here, but Buddy Hield only trails De'Aaron Fox in usage for the Kings, and he's logged regular minutes in runaway games this season. While the Cavs were able to contain Klay Thompson in their last game, they let Spencer Dinwiddie and Marcus Smart run over them last week. And if you look at the season-long sample size, they don't do well at all against opposing off-guards.

Collin Sexton, CLE vs. SAC ($4,900): I think there's value on the other end of this matchup, but the problem with Sexton is that you never know whether he or Jordan Clarkson will yield a higher total. I'm more inclined to go with the rookie, as his ceiling is a bit more reliable and he's priced at $300 less than Clarkson. The Kings are also weak against opposing backcourts.

Additional guards to consider: Mike Conley, MEM at NO ($8,400), Eric Bledsoe, MIL vs. GS ($7,300), Rodney McGruder, MIA at PHO ($4,500)

FORWARDS

Blake Griffin, DET vs. PHI ($9,400): You run some risk with Griffin as a lineup destroyer when he doesn't meet value at this high price, but his 74 DKFP performance against the Sixers came despite an excellent game from Joel Embiid. Big names squaring off against each other is always a favorable situation to target, and although I wish Griffin's home totals were a little higher, that fact is not enough to make me move away from this selection.

Josh Richardson, MIA at PHO ($6,700): Richardson has underperformed over the past few games but Hassan Whiteside's absence is going to put pressure on the Heat at every position, and Richardson's usefulness as a Dragic pivot will be heightened with this game script. When Whiteside, Ellington and Dragic are off the court, Richardson averages almost eight more DKFP.

J.J. Redick, PHI at DET ($5,400): With the departure of Robert Covington, Redick sees increased time with the starting five. In two games versus Detroit, he's averaged a respectable 35 DKFP per game, which would be a suitable total at this price. His ceiling could easily yield a higher total than that, especially when you consider the recent boost in assists he's collected while dishing the ball to Embiid inside.

Other forwards to consider: Domantas Sabonis, IND at ORL ($7,500), Bogdan Bogdanovic, SAC at CLE ($6,000), Justise Winslow, MIA at PHO ($4,300)

CENTERS

You can make arguments for Anthony Davis and Embiid on a nightly basis, but I've already been clear about where I'm spending up, so these guys aren't going to fit my budget. As a result, I'm going to highlight cheaper options at center so I can stick to that strategy.

Tristan Thompson, CLE vs. SAC ($7,300): I don't see Willie Cauley-Stein posing a problem for Thompson, and there's no denying the Cleveland center has been running hot. He only has Larry Nance as suitable competition at the position, so his usage isn't in jeopardy. And the Kings' defense against centers could best be described as fuel for double-double machines. There's always a bit of boom-or-bust about Thompson, but this season has been an exception.

Brook Lopez, MIL vs. GS ($4,800): If you're looking for a way to get in this high-paced affair on the cheap, Lopez could be an interesting avenue to explore. He hasn't exactly been an eye-popping source of production, but he positively contributes enough to meet value at his price. Until DeMarcus Cousins comes back, the Warriors will continue to have their struggles at center, and Draymond Green's absence won't help matters. If Lopez sees 25 minutes, he'll give you enough blocks and rebounds to make him a worthwhile GPP add.

Nerlens Noel, OKC at CHI ($3,500): Noel could see an increased role tonight if this game gets out of hand, which is indeed a possibility. He is strictly a GPP punt play for me, but gains some value if I elect to utilize three spend-up players. It all comes down to playing time for Noel, and this game is a suitable candidate for garbage time.

Other centers to consider: Julius Randle, NO vs. MEM ($7,400), Paul Millsap, DEN at CHA ($6,400)

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
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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