DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Friday's NBA slate features nine games and begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time. Every team in action has one game under its belt, so many of the recommendations are looking to build off strong season debuts while some are primed to bounce back from underwhelming performances.

Slate Overview

Games to Target

Timberwolves (-5.5) at Hornets O/U: 228.5

This probably won't be the prettiest basketball you'll see all night, but you also won't see much defense here. KAT should be right back on the prowl for Minnesota, while both teams offer some enticing options on the cheaper side.

Pelicans (-2.5) vs. Mavericks O/U: 228

Like the game above, this game has a pricey superstar worth paying up for (Dallas's Luka Doncic) and plenty of supporting options capable of capitalizing on this matchup's frenetic pace.

Games to Fade

Lakers (-3.5) vs. Jazz O/U: 219

It's not worth it to challenge Utah's stout defense, and Los Angeles doesn't have much to offer besides its two superstars. Danny Green was the only other Laker in double digits in the team's first game, and he'll be lucky to score half of his 28 points from that one. On the other side, Utah plays at a slow pace and won't be in an ideal environment dealing with Davis's rim protection on the road.

Celtics (-3) vs. Raptors O/U: 216.5

This game registers the slate's lowest over/under, as these Atlantic Division rivals will likely be grinding out a defensive battle. There is, however, one Raptor who stands out from this contest after a strong season debut. More on him below.

Positional Breakdown

Scarcity's not much of an issue in this huge slate, but it's especially easy to find a strong point guard option in any price range. Conversely, small forward is the spot at which to save money, as LeBron James ($9,500) is the only player over $7,100 available there and he's dealing with a brutal matchup against the Jazz.

Injury Situations to Monitor

Sacramento's Marvin Bagley (thumb) has joined New Orleans' Zion Williamson (knee) as notable PF/C options set to miss multiple weeks.

In addition to Bagley, Buddy Hield (ankle) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle) are questionable for the Kings against Portland and De'Aaron Fox is playing through a back injury, so there could be a major scoring void to be filled in Sacramento. Perhaps Harrison Barnes ($4,800) can be the man to fill that void.

Phoenix's Deandre Ayton has been slapped with a 25-game suspension for violating the NBA's drug policy. He'll likely be replaced by a center committee headlined by Aron Baynes, but Phoenix's other primary scoring options should have more shot attempts on their plates.

Elite Players

As mentioned earlier, Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,800) and Luka Doncic ($9,200) both find themselves in favorable situations after both young stars excelled in their respective season openers.

Foul trouble limited Nikola Jokic ($9,300) to 24 minutes in Denver's season-opening win in Portland, yet the talented big man still walked away with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Just imagine what Jokic can do with a full allotment of playing time against a Kings' team that's not known for interior defense.

Kyrie Irving ($9,000) scored 50 points with eight rebounds and seven assists in his electric Nets debut, and he'll be motivated to repeat that effort against New York's other team that he spurned in free agency to sign with Brooklyn.

Expected Chalk

Ricky Rubio ($5,600) is primed to thrive in the Suns' uptempo system, and his well-rounded contributions are great for racking up fantasy points. The point guard notched 11 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in Wednesday's win over Sacramento and looks ready to deliver a similar line in Denver.

Hassan Whiteside ($7,200) can look like an All-Star one game and completely disappear the next, but that won't stop plenty of DFS owners from putting their faith in him against Sacramento's shaky interior defense after Whiteside dazzled with 16 points, 19 rebounds and two blocks in his Trail Blazers debut.

After setting an NBA record with seven made 3-pointers in his debut and 27 points overall, rookie 12th-overall pick PJ Washington ($6,400) of the Hornets should draw plenty of attention against a visiting Timberwolves' team that likes to play fast.

It was only a two-game slate, but Fred VanVleet ($5,700) was an extremely popular pick on opening night. He rewarded those who selected him with 34 points, seven rebounds and five assists, so expect many of those owners to go right back to the VanVleet well when his Raptors travel to Boston despite the low over/under.

Key Values

Some of the hype surrounding rookie second-overall pick Ja Morant ($6,400) died down with his pedestrian 14-point, four-rebound, four-assist debut, but his breakout performance could well come in his second career game. Morant's home debut comes against a Bulls team that looked allergic to defense in giving up 126 points in a loss to PJ Washington and the Hornets.

Julius Randle ($8,100) was signed in free agency to serve as the focal point of New York's offense, and that's exactly what he was with 25 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the season opener against San Antonio. He should continue to carry the load inside - especially with Mitchell Robinson (ankle) questionable - against a Nets team that allowed 36 points and 14 rebounds to Towns.

Not only did Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($6,500) lead the Thunder with 26 points in his team debut, but he chucked up 23 shots while Chris Paul shot 15, Danilo Gallinari 13 and nobody else took more than eight in the season-opening loss to Utah. SGA also played a team-high 37 minutes in that one, and his price will soon skyrocket if his Game 1 deployment was an accurate indicator of his usage to come. Lock in the 2018 11th-overall pick with confidence in either guard spot at $6,500 for this home matchup against a Wizards' team that gave up 116.9 points per game last season - second-most in the league.

Staying in the Wizards-Thunder game, Thomas Bryant ($6,600) carried his strong preseason play into Tuesday's loss to Dallas, posting a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. He'll have his hands full with Steven Adams inside in Oklahoma City, but remains a strong double-double candidate at an affordable price.

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. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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