FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

After only three games Thursday night, we've got a whale of a slate on tap to kick off the weekend. There are nine games on the schedule, kicking off with Toronto at Boston and Minnesota at Charlotte at 7:00 PM Eastern time. This means there will be plenty of options across the board, making your lineup decisions all that more difficult. 

If you haven't already heard, FanDuel is going back to its previous format of counting all nine of your player's scores, so keep this in mind when building your squad.

Let's get to it.  

Slate Overview

One of the first games of the night is on track to be the highest scoring. The over/under for Minnesota vs. Charlotte is set at 229, and the Dallas/New Orleans total is a close second at 228.5. Both the T-Wolves and the Hornets got off to a hot start in the season opener by dropping 120-plus points. And according to the FanDuel Sportsbook, the scoring is expected to continue for both of these fast-paced offenses. 

FanDuel projects Washington at Oklahoma City to put up the fewest amount of points of the evening, with the total set a 218.5. The Wizards were held to 100 points in their season opener, while the Thunder put up a measly 95 in a loss to the Jazz. The pace of play is unsurprisingly expected to be on the slow end in this one. Keep all of these matchups in line when selecting your lineup.

Positional Breakdown

Point guard will be one of the easiest slots to fill Friday night, with the likes of Luka Doncic ($10,000), Kyrie Irving ($9,700), Damian Lillard ($9,600) and a plethora of other options. There are 11 players at this position that are valued at $7,000 or more - in other words, there's plenty of depth here. Small forward has the largest drop off in talent after the first few guys, so it may be best to roll with the top three or four players even if it means spending a little extra cash. However, as can be expected within a nine-game slate, there are bound to be plenty of cheap options if you want to look further down the list. The other three spots have loads of depth, and I'll be sure to include some value plays to target later on. 

Injury Situations to Monitor

Even though most teams have only played one game this season, we still have a handful of injuries to monitor heading into Friday's slate that could alter how you build your team. 

Enes Kanter (knee) of the Celtics has already been ruled out, meaning more minutes for both Daniel Theis and Robert Williams. However, they may find it tough sledding against Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka

Isaiah Thomas (thumb) is currently listed as a game-time decision against the Thunder, so his status will certainly be worth monitoring as tipoff nears. Ish Smith and Justin Robinson would eat up the majority of the team's minutes at point guard if Thomas is ultimately ruled out. Jordan McRae (finger), Troy Brown (calf) and C.J. Miles (foot) have all been ruled out for Washington, meaning Isaac Bonga is in line for another start at small forward after scoring nine in 23 minutes Wednesday. 

The big news Thursday night came in the form of a suspension. Deandre Ayton was handed a 25-game ban for violating the NBA's Anti-Drug policy. He'll do everything in his power to reduce this sentence, but in the meantime it'll be Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky seeing a huge boost in minutes at center. 

Last but not least, Buddy Hield (ankle) is being considered questionable for Friday's matchup with the Trail Blazers. The Kings may elect to wait until shootaround to provide further information, but Bogdan Bogdanovic and Yogi Ferrell are expected to benefit if it's determined he's unable to go. 

Elite Players

As can be expected, there's going to be plenty of star power on display during Friday night's slate. Kyrie Irving ($9,700), Bradley Beal ($9,500), LeBron James ($11,200), Anthony Davis ($12,000), Karl-Anthony Towns ($11,500) and Nikola Jokic ($10,800) are just a few of the big names set to take the court.

With such an abundance of talent at point guard, you can certainly find a solid option with regard to productivity and cost. I'd buy low at this position. Though not listed above, Pascal Siakam ($8,900) is one of the top options at small forward, and he's someone I'm targeting considering his price and the drop off at his position. He's a lot cheaper than James and could very well out-produce the King, just as he did on opening night. Siakam finished with 62.09 FanDuel points against the Pelicans on Tuesday, dropping 34 points to go with 18 boards, five assists and a block. 

I'm also targeting Karl-Anthony Towns after a breakout game in the season opener Wednesday against Brooklyn, racking up 36 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals. This performance resulted in an eye-popping 72.3 FanDuel points. KAT represents the top option at center Friday night, but his versatility and playmaking ability make him worth the cash. There's plenty of value to be had elsewhere, but center is not one of those positions. 

Expected Chalk

The good news with such a large slate is there will be fewer players who are heavily owned, but there are always a few underpriced guys who are heavily targeted for either their recent performances or their matchup. It's still hard to tell this early in the season who is going to be a reliable contributor, but we got a solid look over the last few days at who came ready to work this season. 

Fred VanVleet ($6,600) played out of his mind in Tuesday's season opener, dropping 54.5 FanDuel points, so he's expected to be a popular choice at an affordable price. He should see plenty of minutes at shooting guard, especially after Norman Powell scored just five points on 2-7 from the field. 

Kelly Oubre ($6,400) is also expected to be a hot commodity within this slate, as the Suns will be in search of production after losing Deandre Ayton for the next 25 contests. Oubre showed his upside in the season opener against Sacramento, coming within one rebound of a double-double while pouring in 21 points.  

Key Values

Bobby Portis, NY @ BKN ($5,200):

I like Bobby Portis ($5,200) at center against a Brooklyn squad that allowed over 120 points in the season opener. He saw a solid chunk of minutes Wednesday with 33 while finishing with 28.9 FanDuel points. If you decide to go cheap at center with Portis, you'll escape with more cash to spend on star power. 

Ricky Rubio, PHO @ DEN ($7,000):

Ricky Rubio is listed at $7,000 and could easily outplay his price. With so many enticing tier-one point guards on the slate, the Spaniard figures to fly under the radar and will have more opportunities with Ayton (suspension) out of the picture. Rubio put up impressive numbers over 29 minutes against the Kings on Wednesday, scoring 11 while dishing out 11 assists and snagging six boards, good enough for 42.7 FanDuel points. 

PJ Washington, CHA vs. MIN ($6,600):

If you're looking to go cheap at power forward, PJ Washington is your man. He's priced at $6,600 after leading his team with 27 points in the season opener against the Bulls. Washington also tacked on four boards, an assist, a block and a steal to push his FanDuel point total to 35.3 on the night. Charlotte also put up 126 points in their first matchup of the 2019-20 campaign, showing that their offense possesses plenty of firepower to get the job done. 

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. Zack Osell plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Zosell, DraftKings: Zosell.
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Zack Osell
Zack began at RotoWire in 2017, covering breaking news across a variety of sports. He has since focused on NBA DFS. Zack, who hails from the Milwaukee area, recently became the proud owner of a 1996 authentic Reggie White jersey, although it's yet to bring the Green and Gold much luck.
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