Defense to Avoid:
Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks: It's rare to avoid a game altogether, but that's just the case for this Memphis-Dallas matchup. The pace and offensive struggles of these teams make it an easy fade though, as this is easily the safest bet for the lowest-scoring game of the night. Not only do both these teams rank bottom-four in points scored, they rank bottom-three in pace. Their defenses arenít shabby either, with the two teams ranking third and fourth in points allowed. Not to mention, they played an 80-64 grinder in their one meeting this season, which was the lowest-scoring game of the year.
Offense to Use:
Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks: This is a strange pick on the surface, but the Sixers have some things going on right now that make them a nice value. The thin rotation is the biggest reason why, as Joel Embiid (knee) and Nerlens Noel (trade) are out of the picture. That's shortened the rotation and made their cheap players even more valuable. This matchup is a positive one too, as New York ranks 25th in defense efficiency. In their two meetings thus far, Philadelphia is averaging 104 points against the Knicks and should be able to duplicate that here, even though it has no active player above $7,400.
Teams on Back-to-Back Set:
First Game: Bucks, Cavaliers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat,)Nets, Raptors, Sixers and Spurs
Second Game: Suns and Thunder
DraftKings.com Player Recommendations
DeMar DeRozan, TOR at WSH ($8,900): With Kyle Lowry injured, DeRozan has taken over this team. Since his injury, DeRozan has averaged 34.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists with one of the highest usage rates in the NBA. Much of that is due to the 23 shots he's averaging with Lowry out, and he should approach 25 here in this playoff-type atmosphere.
Derrick Rose, NYK at PHI ($6,000): Rose has quietly had one of the best bounce-back seasons in the NBA and this price is not indicative of his 2016 form. With over 30 fantasy points a game for the season, Rose has proven to be a nice value at just $6,000. It's the matchup that is most attractive though, as Philadelphia is allowing the sixth most fantasy points to point guards across its last five games. Much of that is due to the fact that T.J. McConnell is covering the opposing point guard, as he's easily one of their worst defenders.
Cory Joseph, TOR at WSH ($5,200): Joseph is the direct beneficiary in the Lowry injury, as he's stepped into the starting point guard role. Since taking over, Joseph is averaging 23 fantasy points a game while playing well over 30 minutes. While Joseph doesnít have huge upside, he's one of the best bets to exceed 5X value with his new role and generous price tag.
Gordon Hayward, UTA vs. BRK ($7,600): Hayward is in one of the best stretches of his season right now and this is the sort of matchup he should be able to exploit. Over his last eight games, Hayward has averaged 23.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists, and Brooklyn has allowed the most fantasy points in the NBA to small forwards this season.
Robert Covington, PHI vs. NYK ($7,200): Covington has been one of the most underrated players this season and his role should only increase with all the departures in Philadelphia. With Joel Embiid, Ersan Ilyasova and Nerlens Noel all out of the picture, Covington has had to take on more of the scoring and rebounding duties. That's evident by his recent form, as he's averaged 17.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.1 steals across his last seven games. This matchup is a great one too, with New York ranking 25th in defensive efficiency.
Khris Middleton, MIL vs. LAC ($6,000): Middleton has missed most of the season due to a hamstring injury, but he's starting to capture the 2015 form that made him a $7,000 player in the past. In fact, Middleton has at least 39 fantasy points in two of his last four games, as he's playing some great ball off the bench. The injury to Jabari Parker has really cleared things up for Middleton too, as he's the second most used player on this team right now. His 31 minutes in his most recent game shows that he's ready for a full complement on the court, as well, and that makes him a great value at this price. The Clippers also have allowed the seventh most fantasy points to small forwards this season.
Rudy Gobert, UTA vs. BRK ($7,300): Gobert has developed into one of the best centers in the NBA this season and this matchup is simply too good to pass up. Not only do the Nets rank first in total pace, they have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to centers this season. Gobert is in the best stretch of his career right now too, averaging 14.6 points, 13.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks across his last 20 games. There may be no better bet for a double-double on this slate.
Al Horford, BOS at LAL ($6,200): Horford has really struggled recently, but his last game may be a sign that he's breaking his slump. The Florida product fell one point shy of a triple-double in a win over the Cavaliers, and he has an enticing matchup Friday, as the Lakers have allowed the second most fantasy points to centers this season.
Jahlil Okafor, PHI vs. NYK ($4,900): With Noel, Embiid and Ilyasova all gone, Okafor has taken over starting center duties in Philadelphia and he's currently in the best stretch of his career. Over his last 14 games, Okafor has averaged 13.1 points and 4.9 rebounds. He should be leaned on as the go-to post player now, which should only benefit him Friday against a team that has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to centers this season.