Friday features a five-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate 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 NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
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NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
Fred VanVleet has played some of his best basketball of the season recently. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in five straight games and has two performances with at least 61.25 DraftKings points in that stretch. Overall, he’s increased his production to 1.16 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.82 over his past 10 games.
VanVleet takes the floor in a nice pace-up spot vs. the Warriors on Friday. Golden State has played at the fastest pace in the league this season, while Toronto is all the way down in 26th. The total on this contest sits at 235.0 points, and VanVleet has only played in seven career games with a total of at least 235. That gives him more scoring potential than usual.
T.J. McConnell continues to stand out as an elite value for the shorthanded Pacers. The team is still without starting point guard Tyrese Haliburton, while Andrew Nembhard is questionable with an illness.
Regardless of Nembhard’s status, McConnell should serve as one of the Pacers’ top facilitators. He’s been a phenomenal source of value in eight games without Haliburton, racking up 36.19 DraftKings points per game. McConnell has always been an outstanding per-minute producer, and he’s increased his production to 1.22 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
His salary has gotten a bit more expensive, but he’s still far too cheap at $6,500 on DraftKings. It results in a Bargain Rating of 91%, so he’s tough to avoid on this slate.
The matchup between the Grizzlies and Timberwolves stands out as one of the best on the slate, and D’Angelo Russell is an excellent option on FanDuel. He’s underpriced at $7,000, and he’s racked up at least 34.7 FanDuel points in five of his past six games. His matchup vs. the Grizzlies results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.69, which is the top mark at the point guard position.
Ja Morant has struggled recently, but he’s coming off 55.8 FanDuel points in his last outing. That was his highest total in the past month, and he could be a bit busier than usual on Friday. Desmond Bane is questionable with a knee injury, and Morant has increased his usage rate by +1.5% with Bane off the floor this season. He’d be a solid buy-low target if Bane is ruled out, particularly on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 74%.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Darius Garland is coming off a huge performance on Thursday, finishing with 52.3 FanDuel points in just 32.9 minutes vs. the Rockets. Garland has now posted a positive Plus/Minus in six straight games on FanDuel, and he’s racked up at least 52.3 FanDuel points in three of them.
Donovan Mitchell has been sidelined for four of those contests, and his status for Friday’s matchup vs. the Thunder is currently TBD. If Mitchell is unable to go once again, Garland would become one of the strongest stud options on the slate. Garland has averaged 43.94 FanDuel points in eight games without Mitchell this season, good for an average Plus/Minus of +7.7.
The Thunder also represent a strong matchup for the Cavaliers. They’ve played at the fifth-fastest pace this season, while Cleveland has been the slowest team in the league. That makes this one of the biggest pace-up spots possible.
Khris Middleton’s minutes have been heavily capped since he returned to the lineup, while Bobby Portis is currently sidelined with a knee injury. That leaves plenty of playing time for Joe Ingles, who has racked up at least 27.2 minutes in three of his past four games. Ingles is capable of doing a little bit of everything from a fantasy perspective, and he’s averaged 0.88 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s currently projected for 26.2 minutes in our NBA Models, and Ingles has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.66 with a comparable salary and minute projection (per the Trends tool).
Dillon Brooks rarely needs an excuse to let it fly from the field, but he would have one if Bane is ruled out. He’s seen a team-high +3.2% usage bump with Bane off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 0.90 DraftKings points per minute. Brooks is also cheaper than usual at $4,600 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 88%.
Anthony Edwards has been a fantasy superstar of late, posting a positive Plus/Minus in seven of his past eight games on FanDuel. That includes a game with 70.2 FanDuel points vs. the Rockets, so he has plenty of ceiling in the right matchups. He leads all shooting guards with 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $7,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 74%.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
The small forward position is pretty thin at the top, especially if you’re using Edwards at shooting guard. No other small forward is priced above $7,700 on DraftKings, and only two others are priced above $6,500.
Klay Thompson might be the best non-Edwards option at the top of the pricing spectrum. Thompson struggled mightily with his shot early in the season, but he’s turned things around in January. He’s shooting 45.7% from the field and 43.2% from 3-point range in his last eight games, which are in-line with his career norms. As a result, Thompson has increased his production to 1.12 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
He would also see a boost if Andrew Wiggins is unable to suit up. Wiggins is questionable with an illness, and Thompson has seen the second-largest usage bump on the team with Wiggins off the floor this season.
Pat Connaughton is another strong value option for the Bucks on Friday. He’s coming off a huge performance on Wednesday, finishing with 44.5 DraftKings points in 38.1 minutes vs. the Nuggets, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in eight of his past nine games. He’s projected for another 30 minutes on Friday, and his salary has actually decreased to just $4,100 on DraftKings. It results in a Bargain Rating of 97%, making Connaughton one of the best values on the entire slate.
Aaron Wiggins is a potential punt play on DraftKings at $3,100. The team has already ruled out Lu Dort with a hamstring injury, opening up some additional playing time for Wiggins on the wing. He’s currently projected for 27 minutes in our NBA Models, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.98.
Caris LeVert would be another beneficiary if Mitchell is ruled out. He’s been outstanding in games without Mitchell recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past four starts. He would be particularly appealing at just $5,400 on FanDuel.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Giannis Antetokounmpo has played in each of the Bucks’ past two games after missing the previous five. He’s seen a limited workload in each, playing 26.5 minutes vs. the Pistons and 30.8 minutes vs. the Nuggets, but the Bucks were comfortably in control in both contests. His limited workload also didn’t stop him from dominating in his last game, racking up 59.5 DraftKings points thanks to 33 points, 14 boards, four assists, and three steals.
Giannis will likely continue to see slightly less playing time than usual, but no one on this slate can match Giannis on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 1.74 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and Morant is second in that department at 1.48. That gives him an unparalleled ceiling on Friday, especially in a potential smash spot vs. the Pacers. They rank third in pace and 25th in defensive efficiency, and the Bucks’ implied team total of 124.0 ranks first on the slate by a wide margin.
Kyle Anderson can continue to be counted on for the Timberwolves for as long as Karl-Anthony Towns is sidelined. He was limited to just 12.4 minutes two games ago due to foul trouble, but other than that fluky performance, he’s been locked into around 34 minutes per game. He’s averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he’s underpriced across the industry.
Evan Mobley has taken a bit of a backseat to Mitchell and Garland in his second professional season, but he’s still capable of getting the job done when called upon. He’s posted a usage rate of at least 33.0% in his past two games without Mitchell, and he’s scored at least 44.0 DraftKings points in each. That would make him an excellent option if Mitchell is sidelined once again.
Steven Adams remains out for the Grizzlies, and who starts at center will be important to monitor on Friday. Brandon Clarke got the nod in their last game and finished with a +13.7 Plus/Minus on FanDuel, while Xavier Tillman posted a +11.73 Plus/Minus as a starter two games ago. Whichever player gets the nod vs. the Timberwolves will undoubtedly be worth some consideration.
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NBA DFS Center Picks
Rudy Gobert is currently questionable for the Timberwolves, and he’s been on the injury report a lot recently. Fortunately, he has suited up in their past two contests, and he’s responded with 42.0 and 45.0 DraftKings points. Gobert was priced at just $6,800 for both contests and carried 6.8% ownership or less in both spots.
Gobert is down to just $6,400 for Friday’s matchup vs. the Grizzlies, giving him even more appeal than usual. The Grizzlies aren’t a great matchup on paper, but they’re a bit less intimidating without Adams. Gobert has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.64 with a comparable price tag, so this is simply too cheap.
Jarrett Allen is another outstanding value on DraftKings, where his $6,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. He’s scored at least 35.0 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and the Thunder have been an excellent matchup for centers this season. Allen owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.67 on DraftKings, so he would be another option to consider if Mitchell is ruled out.
Brook Lopez leads all centers with an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.77 on FanDuel, and his minutes are locked in with Portis currently sidelined. Lopez has averaged 1.03 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he can do some damage with 30+ minutes vs. the Pacers.
Finally, Myles Turner is another player worth monitoring on Friday. He’s questionable with an ankle injury, and if he’s unable to go, Isaiah Jackson could see a nice spike in value. Jackson has averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he’s capable of racking up fantasy points quickly. He would be an extremely appealing punt play at $3,200 if he moves into the starting lineup.