FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

As has been the norm for the majority of the season, we have a packed slate to kick off the weekend. We'll see plenty of stars in action, including Jimmy Butler, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns and Bradley Beal. Play starts up at 7:00 PM Eastern time, as the Grizzlies will travel to Cleveland and the Kings will visit the Pacers. The final matchup of the night is set to tip at 10:30 Eastern, featuring the Pelicans and the Warriors. 

We're a couple of months into the season, but here's a quick reminder that FanDuel has gone back to their old format, counting all nine of your player's scores within your lineup. With each selection counting towards your score, it'll be important to make each choice count.  

Slate Overview

Here are a few matchups to either target or avoid on Friday's slate, based on FanDuel Sportsbook's projected scoring total. It can be beneficial to add players to your lineup who are expected to play in favorable scoring environments, especially if you're having a difficult time choosing between two value plays.

Dallas Mavericks at Philadelphia 76ers (Projected Total: 213.0)

It might be surprising to find these two teams on the list of games expected to be in the lower-scoring quadrant, but the Mavs will be without Luka Doncic (ankle) again, who's putting up 29.3 points over 25 contests this season. Dallas is also coming off a dismal performance Wednesday night falling 109-103 at home against the Celtics. As for the 76ers, they'll have Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons to carry the offensive load, although they've also struggled of late by averaging only 103 points over the last three matchups. 

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers (Projected Total: 235.5.0)

If you're targeting one game in particular to target on Friday's slate, look no further. The Rockets and the Clippers come in ranked second and fifth in the NBA in points this season. It'll be James Harden and Russell Westbrook tasked with keeping Houston in this one, with the former averaging 40.6 points over his last five matchups and is always a threat to put up 50-plus. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will undoubtedly lead the charge for LA, as this duo is averaging right around 50 points a game. The Clippers dropped 120 points on the Suns Tuesday night, and it's safe to expect a similar - if not, better performance - Friday evening. 

Positional Breakdown

With 10 games on the slate, it won't be too difficult to differentiate your lineups Friday night. I'll take you through each position, highlighting the depth of each position and a few value plays to keep an eye out for. 

PG: Damian Lillard is the top option available here listed at $8,800, a reasonable price for one of the league's top point guards. He's followed by Kyle Lowry ($8,300) and Chris Paul ($8,100). We also have some solid mid-tier talent up for grabs in Jamal Murray and De'Aaron Fox. Fox may be a sleeper pick, considering he's playing in just his second game since suffering an ankle sprain. 

SG: Moving to shooting guard, Bradley Beal leads the pack and is followed by Jimmy Butler ($8,900) and Jrue Holiday ($8,600). These are some solid prices for top-tier talent. As we look further down the list, Buddy Hield and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can be snatched up for under $7K and should be kept in mind. 

SF: Brandon Ingram represents the premier option at small forward, and then we see a significant dropoff in depth. Tobias Harris is available for $7,300, and then we dip under $7K. Jaylen Brown, Carmelo Anthony and Danilo Gallinari are all solid value plays here. 

PF: Bam Adebayo is coming off three straight 50-plus FD point performances, and he's rewarded as the highest-priced player at his position Friday night ($9,400). Kristaps Porzingis and Domantas Sabonis are slightly cheaper selections, but you'll still get enough bang for your buck. I'm targeting Richaun Holmes as a value play priced at $5,300, as he's coming off a 33.5-point game Tuesday. 

C: Karl-Anthony Towns is the only player valued over $10K on this slate, but he may be a risky play considering he's been deemed questionable due to a knee injury. Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond are safer choices if you're looking for an elite center. Tristan Thompson (32.47 FPPG) and Myles Turner (FPPG) are a few potential value plays. 

Injury Situations to Monitor

Grayson Allen, MEM

Allen is questionable for Friday's matchup with Cleveland due to an ankle injury.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SAC

Bogdanovic will be a game-time decision against the Pacers due to a sore right ankle. With tipoff at 7:00 PM Eastern, we should know his availability before lineup lock. 

Jeremy Lamb, IND

Lamb has been deemed questionable Friday with a right groin injury suffered Tuesday. Justin Holiday could draw a start at shooting guard if Lamb can't go. 

T.J. Warren, IND

Warren has been battling an illness and is questionable for Friday. Stay tuned to for updates on his status prior to tip. Doug McDermott could draw a spot start if Warren is unavailable. 

Luke Kennard, DET

Kennard isn't expected to take the court Friday against Boston due to right knee soreness. Langston Galloway is an option to start at shooting guard in Kennard's place. 

Blake Griffin, DET

Griffin is doubtful due to knee soreness. Markieff Morris is the likely replacement, assuming Griffin is officially ruled out prior to tip. 

Gordon Hayward, BOS

Hayward is nursing a lingering foot injury and has been handed a questionable tag. How he fares in shootaround could determine his availability.  

Fred VanVleet, TOR

VanVleet will be a game-time decision for Friday's matchup due to a lingering knee injury. It's worth noting he returned to practice Tuesday. 

Frank Ntilikina, NY

Ntilikina is on track to take the court Friday despite dealing with illness. The Knicks should have an update on his status closer to tip.

Goran Dragic, MIA

Dragic is officially questionable, but he's missed the last nine games while recovering from a strained right groin. 

Seth Curry, DAL

Curry's status is uncertain after he left Wednesday's game with lower-back tightness. 

Devin Booker, PHO

Booker has missed the last three games while recovering from a bruised forearm, but is questionable for Friday's matchup with the Thunder. 

Tyler Johnson, PHO

Johnson is expected to be available Friday after missing the last two games with an illness. 

Jarrett Culver, MIN

Culver is questionable due to illness but failed to practice Thursday, which isn't a positive sign. 

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN

Towns didn't take the court for practice Thursday, and the team is considering him a game-time call for Friday's tilt. How his knee feels in shootaround will likely determine his availability. 

Mario Hezonja, POR

Hezonja missed Wednesday's game with back spasms, but the Trail Blazers have listed him as probable for Friday's matchup. 

Eric Paschall, GS

Paschall is probable for Friday's clash against the Pelicans despite nursing a minor hip injury. 

Elite Players

Surprisingly, there's only one player on Friday's slate valued above $10K (Karl-Anthony Towns), and he's questionable with a knee injury. However, this doesn't mean there isn't elite talent to be scooped up. 

Joel Embiid, Andre Drummond, Bradley Beal, Nikola Jokic and Bam Adebayo are all available in the $9K range, while Hassan Whiteside, Kristaps Porzingis, Jimmy Butler and Damian Lillard are all in the upper $8K range. 

As we move even further down the list, you'll find plenty of elite talent even in the $7K-$8K range. Andrew Wiggins and Ben Simmons are both available for a touch under $8,000, while Kemba Walker and Chris Paul are valued at $8,000 and $8,100. 

Expected Chalk

The expected chalk is tricky here even with 20 teams set to take the court Friday night. Karl-Anthony Towns will undoubtedly be a popular play with a price tag above $10K, but an injury possiblity could hurt his ownership. 

I expect the chalky pays from this slate to come from the mid-tier talent - guys like Ben Simmons, Nikola Vucevic, Ja Morant (against a weak Cleveland defense) and Jayson Tatum are all averaging 34-plus FD points per game this season and are firmly in the "mid-tier" pool. 

The massive injury report will also impact the chalk plays. With Marc Gasol (hamstring), Pascal Siakam (groin) and Norman Powell (shoulder) all out indefinitely for the Raptors, it wouldn't be a shock to see Serge Ibaka, Kyle Lowry and OG Anunoby gain significant ownership. The Pistons are also dealing with a number of injuries to their starting lineup, as both Blake Griffin (knee) and Luke Kennard (knee) are unlikely to see the floor Friday night. Assuming they're ruled out, look for Langston Galloway and Markieff Morris to be targeted - especially when it comes to value plays. 

Key Values

Jonathan Isaac, ORL at POR ($5,600):

Isaac is coming off a poor performance Wednesday night against Denver, finishing with 11 FanDuel points and likely scaring off a good chunk of DFS players. However, his 32.6 FPPG average can't be ignored. He turned in a stellar final line Sunday against the Pelicans by totaling 21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 32 minutes. Isaac will be worth considering at small forward and could nicely pair with an elite play such as Brandon Ingram or even Tobias Harris

Gary Harris, DEN vs. MIN ($4,600):

Harris is coming off back-to-back 25-plus FanDuel point performances, in large part due to his contributions across the board. He'll also have the luxury of facing a Minnesota side that's one of the worst in the league in defending opposing shooting guards - the Timberwolves are allowing 55.8 FD points per game to this position on the year. Harris has also logged over 30 minutes in each of his last seven contests, so the opportunities should be there for the Michigan State product.

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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