DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Friday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Friday's NBA slate begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time and features 10 games. While injuries are a major factor among this slate's top players, some of the best value is found in the $8,000-$9,000 range just below that top tier. Additionally, some affordable guys are getting opportunities to fill bigger roles with star teammates sidelined.

Slate Overview

Games to Target

Raptors (-7) vs. Wizards O/U: TBD

There should be plenty of scoring on both sides in this one, as Washington ranks third in the league with 117.7 points per game and Toronto averages 117.1 at home. Washington also gives up a league-high 121.8 points per game, while the Raptors are much tougher with just 105.4 allowed per game but are ravaged by injuries after three prominent rotation players got hurt Wednesday.

Pelicans (-1.5) at Warriors O/U: 225.5

This will be a battle of bottom-10 defenses, as the Pelicans are allowing 118.9 points per game and the Warriors aren't much better at 114.0. While this one won't mean much in the standings, there's plenty of fantasy value to be had.

Games to Fade

Pacers (-4.5) vs. Kings O/U: 206.5

Both teams boast top-10 defenses that allow 107.0 or fewer points per game. Sacramento also ranks in the bottom-10 offensively, while Indiana isn't far outside with 109.1 points per game.

Trail Blazers (-3.5) vs. Magic O/U: 216

Orlando will try to slow this one down to its preferred snail's pace — the Magic score just 103.5 points per game and allow 104.8. The Trail Blazers have been held below 100 points twice in their last five games, so they'll likely be happy to oblige.

Positional Breakdown

Even with a couple of prominent injuries, center has by far the most selection at the top with seven healthy options priced at $8,400 or more. All the other positions promise substantial depth, so scarcity won't be a problem as you go about forming your lineup.

Injury Situations to Monitor

Luka Doncic (ankle) has shed his crutches, but he almost certainly won't return in Philadelphia. His absence has created additional opportunities for some Mavericks teammates, as seen below.

This slate could be without its two most expensive players, as Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) missed both Wednesday's game and Thursday's practice, putting him on the wrong side of questionable in Denver.

Fred VanVleet (knee) has returned to practice for the Raptors, so it's possible he makes his return in this favorable matchup against the Wizards after missing the past five games. Getting the guard back would be a major boost for a Raptors team that will likely be without Pascal Siakam (groin), Norman Powell (shoulder) and Marc Gasol (hamstring), who all went down Wednesday.

Devin Booker (forearm) is questionable to make his return for the Suns in Oklahoma City after missing the past three games.

Julius Randle is expected to play in Miami, as he returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's practice due to soreness in his left leg. If he suits up, the power forward would be an intriguing choice at $7,100 against a Heat team that's struggled to defend the position. Randle has experienced a resurgence in the six games since New York's coaching change, averaging 19.7 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 3.2 APG.

Elite Players

Joel Embiid ($10,000) could be this slate's most expensive healthy player, and he's certainly in the mix to finish as Friday's top fantasy scorer against the Doncic-less Mavericks after averaging 58.3 fantasy points in his past three games.

Andre Drummond ($9,600) has scored at least 51.8 fantasy points in five of his past six games, and the league's leading rebounder (16.7 RPG) will take on a Celtics' team that allows opponents to grab 55.2 rebounds per game, which is among the 10 highest totals in the league.

Bradley Beal ($9,100) has regained form following a cold stretch, averaging 53.2 fantasy points over his past three games. Washington's star shooting guard is primed to continue his recent hot streak against the injury-riddled Raptors.

Brandon Ingram's ($8,700) enjoying a breakout season with 25.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG and 3.7 APG in his first year with the Pelicans. He's showing no signs of slowing down with three performances over 30 points in his past six games and should score at will against the only Western Conference team with a worse record than his own — at 5-22, the Warriors sit two games behind New Orleans.

Expected Chalk

Kyle Lowry ($8,500) recorded a 20-point triple-double Wednesday in Detroit, and he's performed admirably in eight games since returning from a thumb injury. The veteran point guard is averaging 16.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 8.0 APG over those eight contests, diversifying his stat line a bit compared to his season averages of 19.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 7.2 APG. Lowry's scoring should climb against Washington's league-worst defense with a number of Toronto's alternative scoring options sidelined, and he should continue to deliver meaningful totals in assists and rebounds.

Kristaps Porzingis ($8,500) has delivered as Dallas's go-to guy with Doncic on the mend. He's averaging 23.7 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 2.7 APG and 2.3 blocks over the past three games, the last two of which Doncic missed entirely after spraining his ankle two minutes into the first one. Porzingis was capable of sustaining similar scoring production for extended periods when he was the top player in New York. He's beefed up since then, which should help the 24-year-old Latvian keep dominating the glass - even against a tough 76ers' team. A fourth consecutive game with over 50.0 fantasy points wouldn't be surprising.

D'Angelo Russell ($8,300) has been unable to find consistency of late, but the Warriors' top scorer has terrific GPP upside against the defensively challenged Pelicans. Russell has performances of 45.8 and 50.8 fantasy points in his past four games, and the favorable matchup suggests the combo guard is more likely to finish in that range rather than replicate the 32.8 or 18.5-fantasy point performances he's also posted during this stretch.

Gorgui Dieng ($4,900) should be a popular affordable piece in Denver as the starting center if Towns sits again. He delivered 13 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes against the Pelicans Wednesday and would have an opportunity for even more playing time against a Denver team that rarely goes small to force traditional big men like Dieng off the court.

Key Values

OG Anunoby ($5,600) has seen an uptick in playing time recently, logging 35-plus minutes in four of the past six games. He's taken advantage of the extra opportunities, averaging 13.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block per game over this run. Anunoby should be a major factor on both ends of the floor in what promises to be a fast-paced affair against the Wizards, and his role should increase even further given the recent rash of injuries that befell his teammates. Teammate Serge Ibaka ($7,400) should take on a larger role as well with both Gasol and Siakam out.

Marquese Chriss ($4,500) has notched three double-doubles in his past four games, yet the Golden State forward remains quite affordable. He's shown the ability to consistently make the most of limited playing time, so perhaps Chriss will start to earn more run just in time to capitalize on a favorable matchup against New Orleans' bottom-three defense. He's a terrific lineup filler if you're looking to spend big elsewhere.

Like his teammate Porzingis, Jalen Brunson ($6,400) has also stepped up to fill the void left by Doncic's absence. His playing time has nearly doubled to 32 minutes per game over the past three, and Brunson's production has scaled up accordingly to 13.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 10.0 APG. Even with his price having climbed to $6,400, Brunson should offer strong bang for the buck given his recent productivity.

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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