DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Friday's nine-game NBA slate begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time. There are plenty of exploitable matchups here with five of the league's seven worst defensive teams playing in New Orleans, Atlanta, Minnesota, Memphis and Houston. Adding a little French flair to your lineup should lead to success.

Slate Overview

Games to Target

Clippers (-5.5) at Timberwolves O/U: 233

These teams both sport top-7 offenses, with the Clippers averaging 115.0 points per game and the Timberwolves at 114.6. Los Angeles should have an easier time surpassing its lofty average in this one, as Minnesota's 117.8 points allowed per game are fourth-most in the league, while the Clippers are a little stingier than the league average at 107.7.

Pacers (-6) at Hawks O/U: 233.5

Indiana should take advantage of Atlanta's porous defense, as the Hawks' 118.8 points allowed per game rank them third-worst in the league. The Hawks have been rolling offensively, having scored 118 or more points in three of their past four games.

Games to Fade

Kings (-9) vs. Knicks O/U: 209.5

Resist the urge to stack against the 5-20 Knicks. New York ranks in the middle of the pack defensively with 111.6 points allowed per game, and both of these teams possess bottom-five offenses.

Lakers (-6) at Heat O/U: 212

While the above game should be avoided due to a lack of offensive ability, it's the superb defense that makes this one tough to trust from a fantasy standpoint. The Lakers allow the fourth-fewest points per game at 103.9 while the Heat give up the eighth-fewest at 106.2.

Positional Breakdown

Scarcity's not an issue in this large slate. Point guard offers the most healthy players priced at $8,000 or more with eight, while power forward has the fewest with four and every position lists at least two players priced at $9,500-plus. As is usually the case in expansive slates, the UTIL spot will be occupied by a point guard or center in most lineups.

Injury Situations to Monitor

Giannis Antetokounmpo (quad) is questionable in Memphis for what will be the first half of a back-to-back set. Even if he suits up, he's likely to play fewer minutes than usual and is best avoided despite the favorable matchup. If Giannis sits altogether, his higher-profile teammates would receive a major boost in value.

Nikola Vucevic (ankle) last played Nov. 20. And while he's progressing, the Magic center is still doubtful to suit up against Houston. 

Ja Morant (back) is taking a maintenance day for the Grizzlies.

Both Anthony Davis and Zach LaVine are provable with shoulder strains, but they haven't been limited by such injuries previously and can be deployed as usual.

Elite Players

With Antetokounmpo battling an injury, James Harden ($12,600) is the clear favorite to finish as this slate's leading scorer. The Magic have been stingy overall, but they've actually struggled to defend the shooting guard position. Meanwhile, Harden has scored 78.25 or more fantasy points in three of his past six games.

While a lot of other elite players face suboptimal matchups here, Joel Embiid ($9,600) gets to go up against a Pelicans' team allowing 119.8 points per game — second-most in the league. Just make sure he's in there for what will be the second night of a back-to-back set.

The Clippers' star duo of Kawhi Leonard ($9,000) and Paul George ($8,800) are both solid options against Minnesota's bottom-5 defense. Leonard has the higher floor, but either is capable of erupting offensively in this favorable matchup.

Expected Chalk

The plodding Magic will be forced to pick up the pace against a Rockets' team that flies up and down the court, scoring 120.2 points per game and giving up 114.9. That should lead to even more production for Evan Fournier ($6,400), who has been the focal point of Orlando's offense sans Vucevic. Fournier has averaged 23.8 PPG in the 10 games since Vucevic got injured, and the French wing should exceed that average in this one.

Rudy Gobert ($8,300) boasts a streak of eight consecutive double-doubles and should dominate a Warriors' team that allows 114.2 points per game and can't match up with him inside. In two previous meetings with the Warriors this season, Gobert has averaged 16.5 PPG, 16.5 RPG and 4.5 blocks per game.

Both Malcolm Brogdon ($7,500) and Domantas Sabonis ($8,100) should find success against the defensively challenged Hawks. Sabonis offers the higher floor with well-rounded season averages of 18.2 PPG, 13.6 RPG and 3.9 APG, but Brogdon's capable of exploding offensively. The guard is averaging 19.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 7.5 APG this season while pouring in 23.3 PPG in the past three games.

Both the Clippers and Timberwolves offer enticing point guard options in Lou Williams ($7,100) and Jeff Teague ($5,500). Williams has delivered 19.9 PPG and 6.2 APG, and he'll have a good opportunity to surpass those averages in this favorable matchup. Teague is questionable due to an ankle injury, but the same designation didn't prevent him from racking up 32 points in 36 Wednesday against Utah - marking his second 32-point scoring outburst in the past four games.

Key Values

Ben Simmons ($8,200) has averaged only 27.2 fantasy points in his last two games, but he averaged 47.4 fantasy points across the five preceding games. He's a nightly triple-double threat with season averages of 13.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 8.3 APG and is primed for a bounce-back performance against the Pelicans' leaky defense - especially with Embiid likely to play fewer minutes than usual due to the back-to-back scenario.

Maurice Harkless ($4,200) has quietly stepped up for the Clippers over the past three games, averaging 11.0 PPG and 9.0 RPG. Given his ability to also chip in hustle stats - 1.7 steals plus blocks per game - Harkless offers nice bang for the buck against Minnesota.

Thaddeus Young ($4,200) was an all-around force in his last game, helping Chicago trounce the Hawks with 15 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals in 33 minutes. The affordable forward should be a nice lineup filler as he looks to stay hot against the Hornets, who are allowing 112.7 points per game.

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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