DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Friday's five-game slate features 10 teams coming off rest days and the biggest news is the trade between the Knicks and the Mavs, which should open up some value for New York against the Celtics. Other than that, well – James Harden ($12,900) is back in play. And with Chris Paul's questionable tag, he's a lock for me. Who to pair with Harden? I've got some ideas, and if we do want to get another elite, we'll need to find a little value via the injury opportunities we'll review below.

Mike Conley (knee) QUESTIONABLE: I think Conley will probably suit up here, but if he misses some time, Kyle Anderson ($4,400) and Justin Holiday ($4,100) would see a minor boost, and Shelvin Mack ($3,500) would likely draw the start.

Chris Paul (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE: This is a tag that we will often see through the All-Star break. Despite the multiple days of rest, the Rockets will opt to play it safe with Paul. Eric Gordon ($5,000) would reemerge as a good value if Paul can't make it.

Jamal Murray (ankle) OUT: Monte Morris ($5,100) and Malik Beasley ($4,400) have experienced the most significant bump in production without Murray, and the Nuggets will lean on both guys against Houston.

Jaren Jackson (quad) QUESTIONABLE: If Jackson Can't go, JaMychal Green ($4,500) is the obvious pivot here, but Bruno Caboclo ($3,400) could work as a GPP flier in your lineup builds.

KNICKS BACKCOURT: With Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway's trade to the Mavericks, Emmanuel Mudiay (shoulder) out, and new Knick Dennis Smith unlikely to take the court, this sets up to be a one-time game script where we have very little to go on. I wouldn't rule out an appearance by Smith or Wesley Matthews, but I think Allonzo Trier ($5,400) should emerge as the best option here. Damyean Dotson ($3,700), Kevin Knox ($5,700) and Mario Hezonja ($4,200) should also see bumps without THJ on the roster.

GUARDS

Lots of potential for a Harden pair exist at the top of the guard pool. Russell Westbrook ($11,00) stands out, but his price makes me more likely to opt for another Thunder player in the forward section.

Kyrie Irving, BOS at NY ($9,600): Could Kyrie be facing off against his next team? Some people seem to think so, but this isn't the day to reflect on what's going on with Anthony Davis. Irving is off the injury report, and there's definite blowout potential here against a trade-depleted Knicks team. There's a meta-effect on players who are at the center of the conversation in the NBA rumor mill and I'd hate to miss out on Irving, who will want to give us more to talk about. Irving isn't one to sit in a blowout, but if you feel that the Irving injury is a concern, there are plenty of other high-priced plays, and an obvious pivot to Terry Rozier ($5,500) if you want to bet on garbage time.

Trae Young, ATL at UTA ($7,000): My only problem with Young is his price, as I don't have 100% confidence his output will reach value here. He's sporting a 40 DKFP average over his past four games, which would be fine for me. We have no history for Trae against the Jazz, but Utah ranks 19th against the three, and that should be good news for Young's overall outlook.

Tyler Johnson, MIA vs. OKC ($4,200): Johnson has slowly rounded back into form and at this price point, the guard's upward trend makes him a great pivot off the more-popular Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson. Expecting 30 DKFP or more would be a stretch, but reaching here would help you nab those elites.

Additional guards to consider: Kemba Walker, CHA vs. MEM ($8,100), Justise Winslow, MIA vs. OKC ($5,800)

FORWARDS

Paul George, OKC at MIA ($9,900): I'd rank George as my second-favorite player to pair with the Beard tonight. It would behoove me to be a bit more contrarian than George in GPPs, but the Harden-George tandem is an excellent cash play. His four-game average of 60 DKFP is insane. And if it weren't for Harden's dazzling totals, George would be getting MVP consideration. Sleeping on George would be a big mistake tonight.

Al Horford, BOS at NY ($7,000): In three meetings against the Knicks, Horford is flirting with a double-double average and 40 DKFP per game. I expect the Knicks to be a bit out of sorts tonight, and they'll also be short-handed with their new acquisitions unlikely to start right away. Even in a blowout, Horford is a nightly guarantee of 25-30 minutes, which should be plenty of time for him to take advantage in this exploitable matchup.

P.J. Tucker, HOU at DEN ($4,600): There are several Knicks targets in this range, and I think people will flock to that junk pile. Tucker has become almost an afterthought in the shadow of Kenneth Faried's excellent play, but the Rockets will need all the help they can get against Nikola Jokic. Tucker has enough value to put up a decent total, and will probably have low ownership tonight.

Additional forwards to consider: Kenneth Faried, HOU at DEN ($6,900), Marcus Morris, BOS at NY ($5,300)

CENTERS

Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. HOU ($10,800): As you might have guessed, Jokic comes in as my #1 choice to pair with Harden. He's got a 46 DKFP average in two games against the Rockets, so he hasn't clocked in with his usual massive totals. He had Clint Capela to contend with in both matchups, and the Rockets now find themselves at a significant height disadvantage coming into this game. Jokic will be worth every dollar.

Hassan Whiteside, MIA vs. OKC ($6,700): With Steven Adams questionable, Whiteside could find some wider avenues to slide through on his way to an excellent rebounding total. He's had double-digit totals off the glass in three of his last four games, and his price is low enough to warrant consideration even if Adams suits up.

I can't endorse going much lower than this at center tonight. I think Rudy Gobert ($8,500) is another great play, but the upside under center is limited.

No doubt about it, folks: it's a messy slate. Due to the shortage of quality options under center, my thoughts about Jokic only increase. Going with Jokic and Harden leaves about $4,300 per player remaining. Using George doesn't fare much better, but those interested in fading Harden and going with a Jokic-George could get multiple 5K guys in without much problem.

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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