FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

Friday's trio of Game 3 clashes underscores how this postseason is rapidly becoming a test of how well teams can navigate injuries to key players. Each of the three favorites lists a big name on its injury report, with two of those already confirmed absences projected to last at least through the opening round. We're also at the point in each series where teams have a good grasp on what their opponents will try to do, and the combination of all these factors is helping lead to some modest spreads and projected point totals.

Slate Overview

Miami Heat (-1.5) at Atlanta Hawks (O/U: 221.5 points)

Milwaukee Bucks (-2.5) at Chicago Bulls (O/U: 222.5 points)

Phoenix Suns (-2) at New Orleans Pelicans (O/U: 216.0 points)

The Heat seem to be firmly in control of their series if the first two games are any indication, although the Hawks were appreciably more competitive in Game 2 than the opener where they appeared to still be fatigued from their two play-in matchups. Bam Adebayo continues to deal with a bruised quadriceps that he played through with limited success in Game 2, but he remains questionable. Atlanta's return to its home court, even while still missing Clint Capela (knee), could be critical as the Hawks went 27-14 at State Farm Arena during the regular season.

The Bucks will be without Khris Middleton (knee) for at least two weeks. And considering how matters unfolded for Milwaukee in Game 2 on their home floor, there has to be some anxiety around the defending champs as they play the first of two at United Center on Friday. Meanwhile, the Suns have a similar problem, having lost Devin Booker to a Grade 1 hamstring strain and coming off an upset defeat at Footprint Center in Game 2.

Injury Situations to Monitor  

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following is a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate, including those carrying injury designations that aren't listed in this section.

Devin Booker, PHO (hamstring): OUT

In Booker's absence, Landry Shamet and Aaron Holiday could handle the majority of minutes at shooting guard while the usage for the remaining members of the starting five will see a boost.

Khris Middleton, MIL (knee): OUT

In Middleton's absence, Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen could see big increases in their roles while Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez may see increases in usage.

Clint Capela, ATL (knee): OUT

Capela's ongoing absence means Onyeka Okongwu should draw another start at center and the usage of the remaining members of the starting five should be due for a bump.

Bam Adebayo, MIA (quadriceps): QUESTIONABLE

If Adebayo were to sit, Dewayne Dedmon should be in for a start while Omer Yurtseven could also see extra minutes.

Other notable injuries:

Zion Williamson, NOP (foot): OUT

P.J. Tucker, MIA (calf): QUESTIONABLE

Elite Players

We have two players with five-figure salaries on Friday's slate – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000) and Chris Paul ($10,200).

Antetokounmpo has scored 51.7 and 71.4 FD points in the first two games of the series and carries a 35.8 percent usage rate while averaging 61.9 FD points per 36 minutes without Middleton on the floor.

Paul is averaging 46.1 FD points per 36 minutes with Booker off the floor this year and has opened the series with tallies of 63.4 and 42.2 while shooting 53.1 percent, including 50.0 percent from behind the arc.

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

DeMar DeRozan, Bulls ($9,500)

DeRozan bounced back from a poor shooting night in Game 1 to post 62.4 FD points on the strength of a 41-point haul in Game 2.

Brandon Ingram, NOP ($9,100)

Ingram turned in a 37-point, 11-rebound, nine-assist effort in Game 2 that produced 65.7 FD points, which make him very popular Friday.

Trae Young, ATL ($9,000)

Young helped erase the memory of his eight-point tally in the opener by recording 25 points in Game 2, but he also capped his fantasy contributions at 32.7 FD points thanks to 10 turnovers. However, with a nice drop in salary, he should be widely rostered.

Jimmy Butler, MIA ($8,900)

Butler was magnificent with 45 points in 39 minutes in Game 2 en route to 64.5 FD points. He should be in for more massive usage Friday, especially if Adebayo is limited or can't go.

Nikola Vucevic, CHI ($8,300)

Vucevic has opened the series with back-to-back double-doubles while producing 54.9 and 43.6 FD points, which should keep him very popular Friday. 

Key Values 

John Collins, ATL vs. MIA ($5,900)

Rolling with Collins at a sub-$6K salary isn't really ever a bad idea, as the big man naturally has the upside of a much higher-salaried player. He also built back up to 29 minutes in Game 2 after logging just 21 in Game 1 during his return from a long absence due to finger and foot injuries. Collins provided 29 FD points in Game 2 on the strength of a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double while also scoring 22.5 to 31.2 FD points in three games against Miami during the regular season. With Atlanta back home and in desperation mode down 2-0, Collins could be back up to a normal workload.

Max Strus, MIA at ATL ($4,600)

Strus has seen a slight salary increase, but that's due to a strong Game 2 effort where he recorded 26.2 FD points over 22 minutes. It was Strus's second straight effort of over 20 FD points to start the series, and he still represents a very appealing value at his salary. Atlanta has had trouble defending shooting guards all season, now allowing the third-highest offensive efficiency (23.4 percent) and 39.2 percent three-point shooting to the position.

Landry Shamet, PHO at NOP ($3,800)

As mentioned earlier, Shamet will be the likely starter at shooting guard in Booker's stead, yet his salary doesn't come close to reflecting the increased responsibility. Shamet averaged 25.0 FD points per 36 minutes with Booker off the floor this season and notably shot 40.9 percent from three-point range during his 14 starts. He went off for 43.1 FD points against the Kings on the final day of the regular season, and although that came with Phoenix resting all of its regulars, Shamet's facing a Pelicans squad that's allowed the fifth-highest three-point percentage of any team on its home floor since the start of the regular season (36.8).

ALSO CONSIDER: Bogdan Bogdanovic, ATL vs. MIA ($6,200); Tyler Herro, MIA at ATL ($5,900); Brook Lopez, MIL at CHI ($5,700); Cameron Johnson, PHO at NOP ($5,100)

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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