DraftKings NBA: Weekend Value Plays

DraftKings NBA: Weekend Value Plays

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Before we get to player recommendations that come with no strings attached, let's take a look at some of the unsettled injury situations (as of early Friday morning) that could lead to value:

For starters, Zach LaVine ($3,900) will offer tremendous upside for the sub-$4,000 price range if Ricky Rubio (hamstring) misses another game. Kevin Martin ($4,600) would also get a significant boost and be a solid play, with Andrew Wiggins ($6,400) perhaps getting a small upgrade.

I already love Derrick Favors ($7,100) for Friday's game in Orlando, but he becomes an even better option if Rudy Gobert (ankle) sits out another game. Primarily playing center in Gobert's absence, Favors put up 64 DraftKings points over 40 minutes in Thursday's loss to the Heat.

Another absence from Victor Oladipo (concussion) would obviously have a huge impact on the Orlando rotation, but given the opponent (Utah) and player prices, the only beneficiary of interest for Friday night is Tobias Harris ($5,900), who logged 37 minutes Wednesday against the Lakers.

With Anthony Davis (hip) listed as doubtful, Eric Gordon ($6,200) and Ryan Anderson ($6,000) get a nice boost Friday in Toronto, as both figure to go well over 30 minutes with a sizable bump in usage rate. Even with Jrue Hollidy expected to play, Gordon and Anderson both make for excellent plays.

If DeMarre Carroll (heel) misses another game, James Johnson ($3,700) and Cory Joseph ($3,500) will both be reasonable discount options.

This may not seem like a big deal, but if Grizzlies backup big man Brandan Wright (knee) sits out another contest, the team will likely want a few more minutes from the favorably priced Marc Gasol ($6,700), in addition to Zach Randolph ($6,200) and JaMychal Green ($3000). Given the favorable matchup in Portland, Green would be one of the night's better minimum-priced options. He's averaging nearly a DK point per minute, and he logged a season-high 25 minutes (24.75 DK points) in Wednesday's loss to the Warriors.

Point Guard

Rajon Rondo, SAC (Fri. vs. BKN, ), $7,600

This one doesn't require much explaining if you've been paying close attention to the NBA, as Rondo is averaging 52 DK points over 46.7 minutes in his last three games, with at least 12 assists in each contest and a pair of triple-doubles. With Darren Collison (hamstring) and Seth Curry (ankle) unavailable, head coach George Karl allowed Rondo to go a full 48 minutes in both of the team's last two games. Even if Curry returns Friday, Rondo should find his way to 35+ minutes in the least anticipated game of the weekend.

Emmanuel Mudiay, DEN (Fri. vs. HOU, Sat. at PHO), $6,000

While his minutes and usage have been encouraging all season, Mudiay was predictably inconsistent through the first handful of games in his career. There will obviously be many more ugly nights in his future, but he does seem to be settling down a bit, having posted double-digit points, at least 33.5 DK points and four or fewer turnovers in each of his last three games. With a pair of fast-paced matchups scheduled for this weekend, Mudiay shouldn't have much trouble extending his three-game streak with 30+ DK points.

Other options:Kyle Lowry, TOR (Fri. vs. NO, Sun. at SAC), $8,100; Jarrett Jack, BKN (Fri. at SAC, Sat. at GS), $5,600; Derrick Rose, CHI (Fri. vs. CHA), $5,900; Cory Joseph, TOR (Fri. vs. NO, Sun. at SAC), $3,500

Shooting Guard

Dion Waiters, OKC (Fri. vs. PHI, Sun. vs. BOS), $4,000

I'm not sure that Waiters will see a significant bump in minutes because of Kevin Durant's hamstring injury, but at the very least, the former No. 4 overall draft pick should be asked to take on a larger scoring load. Accordingly, he had a season-high 25 points in Tuesday's win over the Wizards, quickly taking advantage of Durant's absence to hoist up double-digit field-goal attempts for the first time all season. With Russell Westbrook carrying a lofty price tag ($11,600) for a game that probably won't stay close, Waiters is the better option for anyone looking to capitalize on Durant's absence. Sunday sets up nicely for the massive Westbrook game that everyone will be looking for.

Other options:James Harden, HOU (Fri. at DEN, Sat. vs. DAL), $10,100; Andrew Wiggins, MIN (Fri. at IND, Sun. vs. MEM), $6,400; Eric Gordon, NO (Fri. at TOR, Sun. at NY), $6,200

Small Forward

Joe Johnson, BKN (Fri. at SAC, Sat. at GS), $5,200

Forced to log heavy minutes due to his team's weak roster, Johnson started the season in hideous fashion, averaging just 21 DK points over 30 minutes in his first five games. Even if we accept that he's long past his prime, there's no way Johnson is actually that bad, and his team context ensures that he'll still get a decent number of shots. It thus came as little surprise when he put up 33.75, 29.25 and 41.75 DK points in his last three games, respectively, with at least 35 minutes played in each contest. I'm not so hot on Saturday's matchup, but Johnson does have a good shot at 30-35 DK points (with the upside for more) in Friday's game against the fast-paced, defensively-challenged Kings.

Other options:Nicolas Batum, CHA (Fri. at CHI, Sun. vs. POR), $6,400; Gordon Hayward, UTA (Fri. at ORL, Sun. at ATL), $6,300; Trevor Ariza, HOU (Fri. at DEN, Sat. vs. DAL), $5,500

Power Forward

Jared Sullinger, BOS (Fri. vs. ATL, Sun. at OKC), $5,600

Although I'd probably still be shy about using Sullinger if I played 50-50s and cash games, there's no doubting his appeal in large-field tournaments. Even with the expectation of a high ownership percentage, Sullinger's upside is tough to pass on, as he can provide a ridiculous return on this price if he gets at least 25 minutes. He's never had any trouble with his per-minute production on DraftKings, but there have only been a few stretches throughout his career in which he consistently got minutes in the 20s or low 30s.

Other options:Derrick Favors, UTA (Fri. at ORL, Sun. at ATL), $7,100; Ryan Anderson, NO (Fri. at TOR, Sun. at NY), $6,000; J.J. Hickson, DEN (Fri. vs. HOU, Sat. at PHO), $4,500; Ed Davis, POR (Fri. at MEM, Sun. at CHA), $4,100


Dwight Howard, SAC (Fri. at DEN, Sat. vs. DAL), $7,400

Howard may be held out for one of these two games, but he'll be an unquestioned top-notch play for the other, following three straight performances with at least 43.5 DraftKings points. This would be a fair price if he were only getting 26-28 minutes per game, but with Howard averaging 33 minutes per game in his last four appearances, it's more like outright theft. I really hope he plays Friday night, as a matchup with the Nuggets should allow for an easy 40+ DK points.

Marc Gasol, MEM (Fri. vs. POR, Sun. at MIN), $6,700

Sure, the Grizzlies have been a disaster and Gasol is stinking out the joint, but does anyone really think that Pau's little brother will settle in this price range beyond the next few games? With his price already down a whopping $1,600 from opening night, Gasol is one of the more obvious buy-low candidates in DFS. He even played 37+ minutes in each of the last three games, culminating with a showing of 42.75 DK points against the Warriors on Wednesday. Gasol should dominate Portland on Friday, as the Trail Blazers' frontcourt was hideous even when Meyers Leonard (shoulder) was healthy.

Other options:DeMarcus Cousins, SAC (Fri. vs. BKN, Sun. vs. TOR), $9,900; Al Horford, ATL (Fri. at BOS, Sun. vs. UTA), $7,200; Brook Lopez, BKN (Fri. at SAC, Sat. at GS), $7,000; Zaza Pachulia, DAL (Fri. vs. LAL, Sat. at HOU), $5,600

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. Jerry Donabedian plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: jd0505, DraftKings: jd0505.
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Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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