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FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

Alex Barutha

Alex writes primarily about the NBA for RotoWire. His work has appeared on CBS Sports, Bleacher Report and other sites. He enjoys both year-long and daily fantasy. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.

A solid, six-game Friday in the NBA leaves us with plenty of options, but nothing too overwhelming. Below, I highlight some players who are worth deploying.

Point Guard

Terry Rozier, BOS at ORL ($8,200)
The Celtics are dealing with a variety of injuries Friday, especially in the backcourt. The team will be without Kyrie Irving (knee), Jaylen Brown (concussion), and Marcus Smart (thumb), who the team announced will miss the rest of the regular season. That was also the case during the Celticsí most recent game Wednesday against the Wizards.

Rozier, as expected, was a huge beneficiary of the situation. He finished the tilt with 21 points (on 21 shots), nine assists, five boards, three blocks and two steals (53.5 fantasy points). Thatís relatively consistent with Rozierís per-36-minute production (42.4 fantasy points) with Irving, Brown and Smart off the floor. The Magic, are struggling against point guards lately as well, putting Rozier in a good position to succeed. Orlando is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to point guards over the past 10 games. Rozierís price is undoubtedly high, but so is his ceiling.

Shooting Guard

Wayne Ellington, MIA at LAL ($4,200)
With Dwyane Wade (hamstring) out and Josh Richardson (foot) doubtful, Ellington will have an opportunity to see more run and usage, as was the case Wednesday against Sacramento when both Wade and Richardson were sidelined. Ellington took 19 shots, 17 of which were threes, during that contest, finishing with 22 points, two assists, one rebound and one steal (28.2 fantasy points.

Though Ellington averages just 23.7 fantasy points with Wade and Richardson off the floor per 36 minutes this season, Wednesdayís game demonstrated how much coach Erik Spoelstra is willing to lean on him. Plus, Ellingtonís price is affordable for that level of production. The Lakers have struggled against shooting guards lately, too, allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to the position over the past 10 games.

Small Forward

Robert Covington, PHI vs BKN ($6,000)
Covington appears to finally be back on track after some mid-season struggles. From Dec. 23 to Feb. 27, the wing averaged just 21.9 fantasy points (9.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals). However, since the beginning of March, Covington has jumped back up to 32.6 fantasy points per game on the back of 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, a combined 3.3 steals/blocks and 2.3 assists.

Though the Nets have played some stingy defense against small forwards lately, allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position over the past 10 games, Covington still boasts a high enough ceiling for the risk at the price. On the season, heís racked up nine games with at least 40 fantasy points, averaging 22.1 points, 6.7 boards, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks in those contests.

Power Forward

James Johnson, MIA at LAL ($4,700)
Again, the Heat will be without Wade (hamstring) and Hassan Whiteside (hip) Friday, with Richardson (foot) considered doubtful. Each of those players are relatively high-usage, with their absences opening up some touches for other players.

Johnson was a key beneficiary during the teamís most recent game in the same situation, posting 47.5 fantasy points via 18 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block. Thatís relatively consistent with his season average when those players are off the court, as he produces 37.8 fantasy points per 36 minutes under that scenario. His price hasnít adjusted yet, so now is a good time to take advantage while you still can.

Center

Joel Embiid, PHI vs. BKN ($10,600)
With Brooklyn having little center quality or depth, demonstrated by the fact that theyíre allowing the most fantasy points to centers on the season, Embiid is in a great position to dominate. A blowout win led to Embiid seeing just 26 the last time these two teams played, though he still managed to provide 39.1 fantasy points.

Overall, in the teamsí two matchups, Embiid has averaged 50.9 fantasy points per 36 minutes by way of 28.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and a combined 1.8 blocks/steals. There is certainly blowout potential Friday, however, so beware of that risk. That said, if the game stays relatively close, Embiid could end up having the best fantasy effort of the day.

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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.