Friday features a nine-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
Point guard has plenty of strong options on Friday, but LaMelo Ball stands out at the top of the pricing spectrum. Ball has struggled recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of -9.65 over his past 10 games on DraftKings, but that was mostly due to a lack of minutes. He’s still averaging a strong 1.32 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s logged at least 35.4 minutes in back-to-back games.
His salary has also plummeted across the industry. He’s down to just $8,900 on DraftKings and $8,000 on FanDuel, and he offers major appeal at those salaries now that he’s back to playing around 35 minutes.
Marcus Smart will miss another game for the Celtics, which means we can fire up Dennis Schroder with confidence. He’s coming off 33.0 DraftKings points over 34.2 minutes in his last contest, and he should be looking at a comparable workload vs. the 76ers. Schroder has increased his usage rate by +1.7% with Smart off the court this season, resulting in an average of 0.92 DraftKings points per minute.
Cade Cunningham remains comically underpriced at just $6,000 on FanDuel. It results in a Bargain Rating of 98%, and Cunningham has displayed the ability to destroy this price tag. He’s had a comparable salary in six previous contests this season, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +7.71 (per the Trends tool).
Friday’s game between the Kings and Rockets has the potential to be a fantasy goldmine. Both teams play fast and neither team plays a lick of defense, so the total unsurprisingly sits at a slate-high 238.5 points. The Kings lead the slate with an implied team total of 121.75 points, so they should be particularly appealing from a fantasy perspective. De’Aaron Fox has posted a positive Plus/Minus in five of his past seven games, so he can clearly be used in this matchup.
Tyrese Haliburton is another member of the Kings who should thrive against the Rockets. He’s played extremely well recently, scoring at least 37.75 DraftKings points in four of his past five games, and he’s increased his production to 1.14 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He has gotten slightly more expensive over that time frame, but he still stands out as one of the strongest options at the position.
The Warriors will be playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, and they’re going to be a bit thinner than usual in the backcourt. Klay Thompson will get the night off for rest, while Gary Payton II is out with a back injury.
That opens up a few additional minutes for Jordan Poole. Poole has seen a sizable reduction in value following a stint in health and safety protocols, logging 26.2 minutes or fewer in six of his past seven games. He’s currently projected for 32 minutes in our NBA Models, so he should be able to pay off his reduced price tag.
If you’re looking to load up on the Kings, stacking them with someone from the Rockets makes a lot of sense. Sacramento isn’t going to be able to reach their full potential unless the Rockets can keep this game close. Jalen Green stands out as one of the best options. He’s very affordable at just $4,800 on DraftKings, and he’s increased his production to 0.87 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Zach LaVine’s price tag has plummeted to $7,200 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%. He has some buy-low potential at that salary, especially in a pace-up contest vs. the Warriors. His 10 Pro Trends also rank first at the shooting guard position.
Small forward doesn’t really stand out as a position to pay up at on Friday. There aren’t many stud options to consider, with only three players owning a price tag of greater than $8,000 on DraftKings.
With that in mind, paying down for Harrison Barnes is a solid alternative. Barnes has seen a reduction in value with the Kings recently, but it’s possible that he’s turned a corner. He racked up 37.5 minutes in his last contest and responded with 38.25 DraftKings points. The playing time is the key takeaway. He averaged just 30.4 minutes over his previous seven contests, so 37.5 minutes represents a sizable increase. If he’s going to continue to play that much moving forward, he’s undoubtedly underpriced.
Otto Porter Jr. is another member of the Warriors who should benefit from their current absences. In addition to Thompson and Payton, Draymond Green will also remain out of the lineup on Friday. That should give Porter a few additional minutes, and he’s capable of taking advantage. He’s averaged 1.02 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he doesn’t need much playing time to pay off his $4,700 salary.
Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby are both priced similarly for the Raptors, and both players have some appeal at their current price tags. Both players have averaged right around one fantasy point per minute this season, and they benefit from an excellent matchup vs. the Pistons.
Kevin Porter Jr. is another option to consider for the Rockets. He’s particularly appealing on FanDuel given his additional SF eligibility and his 85% Bargain Rating.
Power forward is another position without much star power on Friday’s slate, but DeMar DeRozan is worth some consideration. His production has been mediocre recently, but he’s still averaged a stout 1.22 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. The Bulls’ implied team total of 113.5 also ranks fourth on the slate, so this is a decent spot for him to get right.
Al Horford’s price tag has absolutely cratered recently. He was priced as high as $7,400 on DraftKings just nine days ago, but he’s down to $5,200 on Friday. Of course, that will happen when you post four straight games with less than 20 fantasy points. Still, Horford has averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he should play just under 30 minutes vs. the 76ers. That makes him a very reasonable buy-low target.
If you want to continue to load up on Kings and Rockets, you have some choices at power forward. Jae’Sean Tate is coming off 38.0 DraftKings points in his last outing, and he’s increased his production to 1.05 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. Marvin Bagley is another excellent per-minute producer, and he racked up more than 30 minutes in his last contest. Chimezie Metu also put together a huge performance in his last game, and he’s dirt-cheap at just $4,300 on DraftKings.
However, make sure to monitor the status of Richaun Holmes heading into this matchup. He’s currently questionable, and his return would make the Kings’ big men a lot less appealing.
Christian Wood has been up-and-down following his one-game suspension. He’s had three contests with at least 42.5 DraftKings points, and he’s had two games with 29.25 or fewer. That said, he played just 24 minutes in one of his poor games, so that wasn’t entirely his fault.
As long as Friday’s matchup stays competitive, Wood should feast against the Kings. They have been easily the worst defensive team in the league on the interior, allowing a whopping 52.6 points in the paint per game. The gap between the Kings and the Lakers – who rank 29th in that department – is larger than the gap between the Lakers and the Bulls (who rank 17th). Unsurprisingly, Wood leads the center position in terms of Opponent Plus/Minus, so this is a potential smash spot.
Wood stands out as an even stronger option on FanDuel, where his $7,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 83%.
Mason Plumlee’s price has dipped all the way to $4,100 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 86%. That makes him a strong buy-low target. He hasn’t been playing a ton of minutes recently, but he’s averaged 0.95 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s currently projected for 25 minutes in our NBA Models, and that should be enough for him to return value.
Jakob Poeltl has been crushing for the Spurs recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in nine straight games. That said, his price tag has barely budged on FanDuel, making him an elite option. His 11 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position, and his $6,100 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 83%.
Speaking of crushing, Omer Yurtseven has posted an average Plus/Minus of +11.53 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. His price tag has also remained stagnant on FanDuel, so he should continue to provide value at $6,800.