With Naz Reid unlikely to play, Jarred Vanderbilt could see additional minutes and would be viable in cash.
If Stanley Johnson starts tonight, we can consider him as a viable value option. He played 31 minutes in his only start this season, including closing out the fourth quarter in a tight game.
Theo Maledon is in the starting lineup for the third straight game. He is very affordable and should play 24-27 minutes. He is viable for cash games tonight
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Friday!
Tonight’s 10-game slate is a good one with plenty of options to choose from. We are awaiting plenty of news that could certainly affect the way we tackle the slate. However, we have already received some important information. Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell are both out tonight. The Clippers will have Paul George and Kawhi Leonard back as well.
As far as news that we have to keep a close eye on, here are some of the notable players listed as questionable for tonight’s game: Joel Embiid, D’Angelo Russell, OG Anunoby, Lonzo Ball, Clint Capela, and Larry Nance Jr. There is also the chance that unexpected news pops up.
Remember 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.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- Hawks 119
- Bucks 118.5
- Nets 118.5
- Raptors 117.5
- 76ers & Wizards 115.5
- Nets -7
- Bucks -7
- 76ers -7
- Raptors -5.5
- Clippers -5.5
Position By Position
Trae Young (DK $9100/ FD $10600) – Young has been playing some really good basketball as of late and now draws one of the better matchups a point guard can ask for. Washington is allowing the second most real points, most rebounds, second most assists, and most fantasy points per game to opposing point guard. The Wizards also play at the fastest pace in basketball and rank 29th in defense efficiency. Young generates 24.9 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc and the Wizards are giving up the sixth highest field goal percentage to opposing teams. This should also be a great game environment for Young, as this contest has the highest over/under on the slate. There is so much to like about Young this evening and quite frankly not much to be concerned about.
Russell Westbrook (DK $9000/ FD $9600) – Westbrook has not played more than 28 minutes since returning to action. That said, despite playing just 28 minutes last game, Westbrook posted a stellar 19 points with 11 assists and seven rebounds. He was rested in Washington’s last game, so he should be ready to go tonight and I am not expecting any minutes restrictions for tonight’s contest. If that ends up being the case, Westbrook is in a great spot against a Hawks team that has struggled against opposing point guards. Atlanta surrenders the sixth most real points, ninth most assists, most steals, second most blocks, and second most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. Westbrook is a stat sheet stuffing machine and if there is any game where he will be in a great position for a triple-double, it is this one. Keep an eye on news regarding minutes restrictions here, but so long as he is expected to play his regular allotment of minutes, he is a strong play.
Kyrie Irving (DK $8700/ FD $9200) – You will see a lot of point guards on the list today, but that is how deep the position is and I added Irving once Durant was ruled out. Truth is, whenever one of the big three from the Nets sit, the other two have to be considered, as they see a nice usage bump. In instances like today, when the absence is not expected, the pricing will be slightly off like we are seeing with Irving tonight. This should be a nice game environment with two teams that play fast, creating plenty of touch opportunities for Irving.
Ben Simmons (DK $7700/ FD $8600) – On DK Simmons feels too cheap this evening. He draws a fantastic matchup against a Timberwolves team that ranks 27th in defense efficiency and one that plays just as fast as the 76ers, so this sets up to be a great game environment. In addition to Minnesota being a bad defense, they allow the second most points in the paint per game. This bodes extremely well for Simmons who generates 73.3 percent of his scoring from inside the paint. If that is not enough, how about the fact that the Timberwolves also give up the fourth most real points and eighth most fantasy points per game to the position. Joel Embiid is considered questionable for tonight’s game with back issues, if he sits, Simmons becomes even more appealing and all but a lock for cash games. I love the fact that on DK he is PG/SF eligible, so you can get creative with roster construction here.
Kyle Lowry (DK $7100/ FD $7200) – The production has somewhat dropped in recent games for Lowry, but in his defense, the matchups have not been all that great. Tonight, that changes completely as the Raptors take on a Kings team that ranks dead last in defense efficiency. Sacramento is also one of the most generous teams when it comes to the point guard position, giving up the third most real points, 12th most assists, third most three-pointers, most blocks, and third most fantasy points per game. Not only do they give up the third most three-pointers per game to point guards, but they give up the highest three-point field goal percentage and the fifth most three-pointers per game to opposing teams. This is great news for Lowry who generates 48.9 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. Lowry has not flashed a ton of upside this season but has been somewhat steady and at this price tag, he makes for a nice point per dollar play considering the matchup at hand.
Dejounte Murray (DK $6100/ FD $7500) – On FD it might be hard to roster Murray this evening, but on DK I really like this price tag for him. Let’s not forget, less than two weeks ago, Murray’s price was $8100 on DK. He might not be an $8K player, yet, but he is also not a $6100 player. Murray has been rock solid this season, averaging career best in minutes, points, assists, rebounds, and three-pointer per game. He has flashed a solidified floor to go along with plenty of upside and already has two triple-doubles this season. He is facing a Denver team that ranks 20th in defense rating and one that has been somewhat generous to point guards. The Nuggets are giving up the seventh most real points, fifth most assists, fourth most steals, and fifth most fantasy points per game to the position. This is a great matchup for Murray who comes in at an extremely affordable price tag on DK, making him a strong point per dollar option at the point guard position.
Darius Garland (DK $5000/ FD $5200) – Garland remains too cheep on both sites this evening after his minutes restriction was lifted last game. He played 31 minutes, scoring 14 points with four dimes, two rebounds and two steals on Wednesday night against the Pistons. Tonight, he should once again play his regular allotment of minutes against the Knicks, a team he played well against the last time the two teams faced off. In that contest, Garland played 37 minutes and scored 17 points with six assists, five rebounds, and two steals. The Knicks play good defense, so this is far from a great matchup for Garland. That said, he continues to be mispriced on both sites and should play minutes in the mid-30’s this evening, making him a strong value option at the point guard position.
James Harden (DK $10300/ FD $9800) – Durant will not play this evening, putting Harden in play against the Thunder. Harden is coming off a stellar performance against the Hawks and will be in a position to post another stat line tonight. The Thunder rank 19th in defense efficiency and play at a top 10 pace, this this game should be up in pace. We all know what Harden is fully capable of and whenever one of the big three in Brooklyn are out, the other two become extraordinarily strong plays. That applies tonight for Harden.
Fred VanVleet (DK $7500/ FD $8300) – VanVleet continues to produce consistent numbers on a nightly basis, scoring 40+ DK points in five of his last seven games. Tonight, he draws a great matchup against a Kings team that ranks dead last in defense efficiency. They are also a team that gives up the most real points, third most assists, 12th most rebounds, third most three-pointers, ninth most steals, third most blocks, and most fantasy points per game to the position. Talk about a great spot for VanVleet who is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists (tied with career best), blocks, and three-pointers. VanVleet generates 50.3 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc and as I mentioned above, Sacramento gives up the highest three-point field goal percentage and the fifth most three-pointers per game to opposing teams. Going balanced tonight might be the way to go and he’d be a great fit for this type of roster construction.
DeMar DeRozan (DK $6800/ FD $7700) – On DK is where I am most interested in DeRozan since he is SF/PF eligible and as you see, there are plenty of guards in play tonight. In addition to position eligibility, it’s difficult to ignore this price tag for DeRozan who comes in at the cheapest he has been all season. I get it, he has not played all that great as of late and isn’t attempting a ton of shots. That said, DeRozan is far too good to be priced this low. He still offers us a relatively safe floor on most nights, as well as plenty of upside. I’m all about taking advantage of mispriced players and tonight I believe that DeRozan is mispriced.
Jeremy Lamb (DK $4900/ FD $5200) – Lamb got his first start of the season last game but did not play all that great. He shot poorly, just 17 percent from the field and was on the court for just 21 minutes. It was his worst game of the season and to a certain extent, it’s not that surprising since it was his first time with the starting unit. Lamb will likely get another start tonight and will be in a position to post up better numbers. The matchup against the Hornets is solid, as this unit ranks 17th in defense efficiency. Charlotte is giving up the third most three-pointers per game to opposing teams, which bodes well for Lamb who has generated 34.3 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc this season. At this price tag and considering that Lamb should play closer to 30 minutes in this one, he becomes a nice value option on tonight’s slate. He is SG/SF eligible on DK, which certainly helps with roster construction.
Seth Curry (DK $4400/ FD $4600) – What happens when the player with the second highest three-point field goal percentage faces off against a team that is giving up the seventh highest three-point field goal percentage to opposing teams? I’m not quite sure just yet, but I am willing to pay to find out. That is the exact position that Curry is in this evening against a Minnesota team that also ranks 27th in defense efficiency. Curry has struggled with his shot from beyond the arc since returning from a seven-game absence, shooting just 27 percent in his last four games, but if there is ever a get right spot, it is this one. He is incredibly affordable on both sites tonight and finds himself in a great matchup, as well as an amazing game environment.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (DK $4200/ FD $4200) – Lonzo Ball is questionable for tonight’s game as he battles an ankle injury. If he sits, I fully expect Alexander-Walker to get the start and play solidified minutes. If that ends up being the case, Alexander-Walker would become a great value play on the slate. In three starts this season, he has averaged 28.7 minutes, 19.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and one steal per game. Granted, most of his scoring came in one game where he erupted for 37 points. That said, he has still shown his ability to be a legit player and can stuff the stat sheet with peripherals, as well as scoring. At this price, even with a subpar matchup, he would be an incredible play this evening with Ball out, so long as Alexander-Walker starts of course.
Tobias Harris (DK $6800/ FD $7000) – Harris continues to produce solid numbers on a nightly basis, yet he is priced at the lowest he has been since the third game of the season over on DK. This is strange being that the 76ers face off against a Timberwolves team that ranks 27th in defense efficiency. This matchup bodes well for Harris who generates 44.9 percent of his scoring from the paint and Minnesota allows the second most points in the paint. In addition, the Timberwolves allow the eighth most rebounds per game to opposing teams and is averaging 6.7 rebounds per game. If Embiid sits, Harris gets a nice boost too, as he sees a four percent increase in usage. Whether Embiid plays or not however, Harris can still be considered a strong cash game option at his price tag this evening.
Joe Harris (DK $5200/ FD $4700) – Harris should get a nice boost tonight with Durant not playing and faces a team that is giving up the 10th most three-point attempts per game. The Thunder have been generous to the position, allowing the seventh most real points, second most rebounds, seventh most steals, and fifth most fantasy points per game. This game will be fast in pace being that both of these team play at a top 10 pace. Harris has played no less than 30 minutes in nine of his last 10 games, with nine starts during that stretch. His shot from beyond the arc has been spotty, but he is attempting a healthy 7.2 shots from three-point land. Look for him to see plenty opportunities tonight against OKC.
Joe Ingles (DK $4700/ FD $5200) –Mitchell is out tonight once again, therefore, we can go right back to the well with Ingles. He did not disappoint last game, scoring 21 points with eight assists, and four rebounds, while dropping in seven from beyond the arc. He faces the same Mavericks team this evening and although a repeat performance is unlikely, Ingles will still be in a great position to produce solid numbers with his expanded role. His price tag remains reasonable and his SG/SF eligibility on DK really allows you to get creative with lineup construction.
Domantas Sabonis (DK $9200/ FD $9000) – Sabonis, who was questionable entering last game following a knee injury, played a healthy 37 minutes in the Pacers that contest. He scored 22 points with 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, recording his second triple-double of the season. Tonight, he faces the same Charlotte team. The Hornets give up the sixth most rebounds per game, struggling in that department in a big way, and we saw Sabonis take full advantage of that in their last meeting. In fact, the Hornets are one of the worst defensive units against opposing power forwards. They allow the most real points, the 13th most rebounds, the second most assists, the third most three-pointers, the eighth most steals, the most blocks, and the most fantasy points per game to the position. Sabonis clearly was not bothered by the knee injury he suffered in the game before last and is once again in a great position to crush tonight.
Zion Williamson (DK $7600/ FD $8200) – Steady is the name of the game when it comes to Williamson, who continues to offer one of the more consistent floors. He has now topped 40 DK points in seven of his last nine games, scoring fewer than 39 DK points just once during that stretch. The matchup against the Bucks is far from ideal considering they rank 10th in defense efficiency. However, this will be a paced-up spot for the Pelicans, which would create additional touches for Williamson. Even in tough matchups, Williamson has found ways to be productive this season and his role in this offense is huge. He sports a healthy 26.7 percent usage rate, accounts for 26.9 percent of the field goal attempts, 39.6 percent of the free throw attempts, 23.9 percent of the rebounds, 20.5 percent of the steals, 55.6 percent of the blocks, and 31 percent of the Pelicans points. It should be business as usual for Williamson this evening.
Aaron Gordon (DK $7100/ FD $6300) – This is a FD only play this evening because of Gordon’s price tag on there. He is coming off an awful performance, but prior to that game, Gordon was playing good basketball. The matchup against the Clippers is not ideal being that they are expected to have all of their players back this evening. That said, the power forward position is not all that deep over on FD tonight and Gordon’s price is tough to ignore. The floor is a bit more volatile than we’d like here, but he remains viable. The fact that the Magic have allowed him to be a ball handler and a facilitator at times, gives Gordon another avenue to accumulate fantasy points.
Jeff Green (DK $4600/ FD $4400) – Green will likely step into the starting lineup tonight and if that is the case, he would become a nice value option. In nine starts this season, he has averaged 30.7 minutes, 9.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game. He should play 29-31 minutes in this contest, which will be up-tempo with both of these teams playing fast this season. Even off the bench, he has played solid minutes for Brooklyn as of late and he has now scored double-digit real points in eight consecutive games, while averaging five rebounds per game during that stretch. At this price, Green will not have to do all that much to reach value and he should see additional opportunities with Durant out.
Andre Drummond (DK $8600/ FD $9400) – The Knicks have had no answers for Drummond this season and I don’t expect that to change tonight. In two meetings against New York this season, Drummond has averaged 25.5 points with 20 rebounds, four blocks, 2.5 steals, 2.5 assists, and 67.3 DK points per game. He has yet scored fewer than 59.75 DK points against them this season. Drummond has had some off nights this season, but for the most part has been very consistent, while offering immense upside at the same time. The Knicks have been solid defensively this season but are giving up the sixth most fantasy points per game to centers. In addition, they give up the 11th most rebound per game, so I fully expect for Drummond to dominate against this defense once again. Whenever he is under $9K, Drummond has my attention, and that is the case this evening on DK.
Rudy Gobert (DK $7500/ FD $8700) – I’m not sure what Gobert has to do for his price to increase over on DK, but he has now 54 and 68 DK points in his last two contests, yet he remains affordable. Gobert will face off against a Dallas team that gives up the most real points and seventh most fantasy points per game to centers. In addition, the Mavericks are yielding the seventh most rebounds per game to opposing teams. We saw Gobert dominate in this exact matchup just a few nights ago, scoring a season high 29 points to go along with a season high 20 rebounds. He added three steals, three blocks, and one assist. With Mitchell out once again tonight, Gobert will have additional scoring opportunities. Talk about a great late-night hammer on this slate.
Al Horford (DK $5900/ FD $5500) – Horford is more of a FD play for me this evening if you are looking for a mid-priced option. He had a strong performance in his last contest, scoring 21 points with 11 rebounds, two assists, three steals, and one block. It was his first game back following a six-game absence after the birth of his child. It was also the second time in his last two games that he has scored 20+ points. Tonight, he faces a Brooklyn team that has been generous to opposing centers, allowing the third most real points and second most fantasy points per game to the position. You can certainly consider him on DK as well, but considering his price tag roster construction there, it’s harder to fit him in. However, on FD, he makes more sense being that he is even cheaper on there than he is on DK.
Cody Zeller (DK $4000/ FD $4600) – Zeller got the start last game for the Hornets and played 30 minutes. He scored 10 points with 14 rebounds, four assists, and one steal. Tonight, he faces the same Pacers team, one that plays big, so we should see plenty of minutes for Zeller once again and he is likely drawing another start. At this price tag, Zeller is a tough pass on both sites. He averages over a fantasy point per minute and should see 26-29 minutes in this contest, with upside for a tad more. This is a Pacers team that gives up the 10th most points in the paint per game, which is where Zeller generates 77.9 percent of his scoring from. In addition, they surrendered the sixth most rebounds per game to opposing centers. Taking all of that into account, he makes for a incredible value play at the center position tonight so long as he is in the starting lineup once again.
DraftKings: Trae Young, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons (SF), Cody Zeller (if starting)
FanDuel: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Domantas Sabonis, Cody Zeller (if starting)
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**