***UPDATED CORE FOUR @ 6:35PM ET***
Both Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler will play tonight. Bam Adebayo remains a strong option, Butler is also firmly in play tonight in a great matchup.
Robert Williams has been ruled out for tonight. Tristan Thompson, becomes a viable center option.
Zion Williamson will not play tonight. Lonzo Ball becomes a very strong tournament option tonight. James Johnson and Eric Bledsoe (GPP) can be considered solid value options. Steve Adams was also ruled out, so bump up Willy Hernangomez. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is also out, Naji Marshall could see addition minutes tonight given the injuries piling up for the Pelicans and makes for an appealing GPP option.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Friday! Today I’ll be breaking down tonight’s 10-game slate.
News has been flowing all day, as we got word that Devonte’ Graham, Cody Martin, Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber, and Troy Brown Jr. will not play tonight. There is still plenty of news pending, so it is important to keep tabs on news throughout the day as we get closer to lock.
I will be in the live chat tonight from 6:00PM to 7:00PM discussing news and any changes that we need to take note of, so make sure to stop on by and get all of your questions answered prior to lock.
Remember, the NBA differs from all other sports because one piece of news can change the entire look of a slate. Monitoring news throughout the day and keeping an eye on starting lineups is a key part of the daily process for those playing NBA DFS.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be using FanDuel positions as they are less flexible than they are on DraftKings, but you should have plenty of options at each position to build on DK as well given the roster flexibility and multi-position eligibility of many players on their site.
Players are listed in order of preference by position.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- Bucks 124.75
- 76ers 117.75
- Heat 116.75
- Mavericks 115
- Trail Blazers 115
- Bucks -16.5
- Mavericks -10
- 76ers -9
- Trail Blazers -8.5
- Hornets -7.5
Position By Position
- Luka Doncic
- Delon Wright
- Ben Simmons (move to the top if Embiid sits)
- LaMelo Ball (GPP)
- Dejounte Murray
- Lonzo Ball (GPP)
- D’Angelo Russell
- Marcus Smart
- Terry Rozier
- DeMar DeRozan (GPP)
- Terence Davis
- Buddy Hield (GPP)
- Jimmy Butler (check status)
- Kyle Kuzma
- Joe Ingles/ Bojan Bogdanovic
- Dorian Finney-Smith
- Michael Porter Jr. (GPP)
- Ignas Brazdeikis
- Zion Williamson
- Jayson Tatum
- Marvin Bagley (DK)
- Tobias Harris
- Moritz Wagner
- PJ Washington
- Bam Adebayo
- Richaun Holmes
- Nikola Jokic
- Willy Hernangomez (if Adams sits)
- Mo Bamba
Key News To Watch
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker – questionable
- Steven Adams – doubtful
- Joel Embiid – questionable
- Robert Williams – questionable
- Tristan Thompson – probable
- Jimmy Butler – questionable
- Tyler Herro – questionable
- Jae’Sean Tate – questionable
- Kelly Olynyk – questionable
- Christian Wood – questionable
- D.J. Augustin – questionable
- Khris Middleton – questionable
- P.J. Tucker – questionable
- Collin Sexton – questionable
- Anthony Davis – probable
- Norman Powell – probable
- Alex Caruso – questionable
- Chimezie Metu – questionable
- Harrison Barnes – doubtful
- The Houston Rockets have been dealing with injuries and things could be even worse tonight given that Kelly Olynyk, Jae’Sean Tate, and Christian Wood are all questionable. This could lead to an incredibly tight rotation this evening. On Wednesday, the Rockets ran a seven-man rotation (see image below), which included Olynyk. If he sits tonight, along with Wood and Tate, we could consider some of these cheap Rockets players such as Kenyon Martin, DaQuan Jeffries, Anthony Lamb, and Armoni Brooks (listed in order of preference), all of which who are likely going to play huge minutes. Even if Olynyk plays, these guys are viable value options tonight. This contest does have a 16.5-point spread, so it will likely end in a blowout, but these players will be on the court regardless given how thin this Rockets team is.
- Joel Embiid is listed as questionable for tonight’s game and his status will determine how we approach this Philadelphia team this evening. When Embiid is off the court, Tobias Harris gets the biggest usage bump of four percent, followed by Shake Milton (3.7%), Ben Simmons (3.3%), and Seth Curry (3%). In addition to the usage boost, Harris sees an increase of three percent in assist rate, while Simmons sees an increase of 3.6 in assist rate and nearly one percent increase in rebounding rate. Both Simmons and Harris would become strong plays should Embiid sit, though of the two, I’d lean with Simmons who has the better matchup. The Pelicans rank 29th in defense efficiency against the position for the season and 22nd in their last 10 games. Simmons scored 10 points with nine boards, six assists, five steals, and a block the last time these two teams faced off. Dwight Howard would be another Philadelphia player to consider this evening should Embiid sit, as he would likely see more minutes than he normally does, and he comes in at a very cheap price. If Embiid plays, he can be considered a strong center option, especially on FD where he is under $10K.
- Jimmy Butler is listed as questionable for tonight’s matchup against the Timberwolves. If he plays, he is firmly in play in a great matchup here tonight. If he sits however, Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Trevor Ariza, Goran Dragic, and Duncan Robinson are all players that can be considered. Adebayo is a strong play regardless but would be an even stronger play should Butler sit. Tyler Herro is also listed as questionable, though his status will have a lesser impact for Miami, as he will likely be eased into action after missing the last six games with a foot issue.
Truth be told, there is no specific game that I think is a must target. However, there are some teams that we should be keying in on due to injuries and/or matchup.
- The Rockets are going to possibly be extremely shorthanded, which will present us with a ton of value and a tight rotation. This is a spot you want to focus on, even in a potential blowout.
- The Kings is another team that will be without some key players, as De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton are out, while Harrison Barnes is doubtful. This means that Delon Wright will continue to start at the point and although his price has gone up, it is still reasonable given his role. He has been spectacular as a starter for Sacramento in recent games. Marvin Bagley’s role is solidified, and he remains too affordable on DK tonight, making him a strong point per dollar play. Richaun Holmes, Buddy Hield, and Terence Davis are also interesting tournament options for the Kings. The matchup against the Spurs is a decent one as well and it should be a nice game environment.
- Dallas will also be without a few players, but this is far from a great game environment and this contest also has a 10-point spread which is concerning. Luka Doncic would be the primary target from Dallas, with Dorian Finney-Smith a GPP option. This game does have a double-digit spread as previously noted, so there is a concern for a potential blowout here.
- As noted above, Philadelphia and Miami could be two other teams that we could look at investing in depending on news.
- As great of a spot that Giannis Antetokounmpo is in tonight, it’s hard to recommend him in a game with a 16.5-point spread. Yes, this game has the highest implied total on the slate and the Bucks have the highest implied team total, but it’s highly unlikely that Antetokounmpo plays his regular allotment of minutes in this one, as the Bucks should blow the Rockets out. Therefore, it’s tough to consider him this evening. If you want exposure to this Bucks team because of their total, perhaps Jrue Holiday (if Middleton sits), Donte DiVincenzo, or Brook Lopez are players to consider since they come at a cheaper price than Antetokounmpo. However, they too come with risk due to the blowout factor.
- The two games I am most interested in tonight is the Spurs vs. Kings and Pelicans vs. 76ers. I am not planning on stacking either game but will have exposure.
DraftKings: Bam Adebayo, Marvin Bagley, Delon Wright, Kenyon Martin
FanDuel: Bam Adebayo, Delon Wright, Terry Rozier, Dejounte Murray
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**