Friday features a 10-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.
Use our PrizePicks promo code LABS for a $100 sign-up bonus on NBA player pick’ems.
NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
Jrue Holiday isn’t typically considered a stud point guard, but Friday could be an exception. For starters, he draws a fantastic matchup vs. the Jazz. Utah ranks ninth in pace and 23rd in defensive efficiency, and the Bucks’ implied team total of 123.0 ranks third on the slate. Holiday’s Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.14 is also the third-best mark at the position on DraftKings.
Additionally, the Bucks are also going to be without Khris Middleton. Middleton missed a bunch of basketball at the beginning of the season, but he has been a huge part of the team’s rotation recently. Since he returned to the lineup on January 23rd, Holiday has seen a +2.4% usage bump in five games without Middleton. He’s increased his production to 1.07 DraftKings points per minute in those contests, so he could easily return value at his reduced price point.
Holiday is particularly appealing on DraftKings, where his $7,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 79%.
The Wizards draw arguably the best matchup of the day against the Spurs. They’ve been a fantasy goldmine for much of the year, ranking third in pace and dead last in defensive efficiency. That gives the Wizards far more upside than usual.
The team is also going to be without two of their top three options in this spot. Kyle Kuzma and Bradley Beal have both been ruled out, opening up plenty of additional opportunities for the rest of the roster. Monte Morris has increased his usage rate by +5.0% with both players off the floor this season, which is the second-largest increase on the squad. He’s responded with an average of 0.88 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s projected for just under 29 minutes in our NBA Models. That’s an outstanding combination for a player who costs just $4,900.
It’s impossible to ignore what Kris Dunn has done for the Jazz recently. He’s not playing a ton of minutes most nights, but he’s been one of the best producers in fantasy on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 1.27 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in nine of his past 11 games. His 11 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position on DraftKings.
Damian Lillard is massively underpriced on FanDuel, where his $10,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%. Anfernee Simons and Jerami Grant remain out of the lineup, and Lillard has increased his production to 1.66 FanDuel points per minute with both players off the floor. There’s no reason for the Blazers to push Lillard super hard at this point, but he has immense upside if he sees his usual workload.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
The suns are another team with a fantastic matchup on Friday. They’re taking on the Kings, who rank tied for 25th in terms of defensive efficiency. The Kings can also put plenty of points on the scoreboard – they’re first in offensive efficiency by a pretty wide margin – so opposing teams have to score the ball to keep up.
That’s good news for Devin Booker, who should continue to carry an expanded workload for the shorthanded Suns. He played more than 40 minutes in their last contest, and he’s increased his usage rate by +2.7% with Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and Cameron Johnson off the floor this season. He’s averaged a stout 1.44 DraftKings points per minute in that scenario, and he could be even more effective than usual against the Kings’ soft defense.
Ochai Agbaji hasn’t been the most efficient fantasy player this season, but he provides a very strong floor at just $4,700 on FanDuel. He’s currently projected for more than 34 minutes in our NBA Models, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.18 (per the Trends tool). Agbaji has also displayed a bit of ceiling when everything breaks right for him, erupting for 39.5 FanDuel points two games ago vs. the Kings.
It’s pretty crazy that Austin Reaves is priced up to $7,000 on FanDuel, but the fact that he stands out as an elite option at that salary is downright bananas. He owns the second-highest projected Plus/Minus at the position on FanDuel after moving into the starting lineup in the team’s last game. He’s averaged 1.05 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he racked up 47.3 FanDuel points across 38.8 minutes in his last outing. Overall, Reaves has scored at least 41.3 FanDuel points in three of his past four games, so “Hillbilly Kobe” is still in play at his elevated price tag.
Alex Caruso is questionable for the Bulls, but he’s a viable value option if he can suit up. He’s priced at just $3,300 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 89%, and he played more than 32 minutes in his last full contest.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
Small forward is probably the weakest position on this slate in terms of pay-up options. Most of the top names stand out as poor values in our NBA Models, so paying down a bit makes sense.
With that in mind, calling Deni Avdija a stud isn’t a huge stretch. He has the sixth-highest median projection at the position on DraftKings, despite ranking tied for 12th in price tag.
Avdija has racked up at least 33.5 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and he should be one of the primary beneficiaries of the team’s current injury situation. He’s increased his production to 0.92 DraftKings points per minute with Beal and Kuzma off the floor this season, and he played just under 32 minutes in their last contest. He’s projected for slightly more playing time on Friday, and the matchup with the Spurs is as good as it gets.
Our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations are also bullish on Avdija’s fantasy prospects:
Avdija can certainly be considered a value across the industry, but Talen Horton-Tucker is an even stronger choice on FanDuel. He has served as the Jazz’s de facto point guard with Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson sidelined, and he’s averaged 1.10 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He should see around 30 minutes vs. the Bucks, and his $5,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%.
Scottie Barnes missed the Raptors’ last contest, and he’s questionable for Friday’s matchup vs. the Pistons. However, he’s worth considering if he’s able to return to the lineup. He should play all the minutes he can handle with the team fighting for a playoff spot, and Barnes has averaged 0.99 DraftKings points per minute for the year. He’s underpriced at $6,500 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 85%.
If you are looking for a true pay-up option at the position, DeMar DeRozan is your best bet on DraftKings. He’s taking on the Blazers, who have been a trainwreck defensively of late, and DeRozan has posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past seven games. The lone exception was his last contest, which was a blowout loss to the 76ers. His ownership should also be pretty reasonable on a slate with tons of studs.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Giannis Antetokounmpo hasn’t been a particularly good value recently, posting a negative Plus/Minus in six of his past nine games on DraftKings. That said, his on-court production hasn’t been an issue. He’s averaged 1.86 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, which is easily the top mark among Friday’s players. The bigger problem has been a lack of minutes. Giannis has played more than 28.5 minutes in just five of his past nine outings, and he’s scored at least 64.0 DraftKings points in three of them.
Giannis could be looking at another reduced workload on Friday, with the Bucks currently listed as 9.5-point favorites against the Jazz. However, Giannis could be even more productive than usual with Middleton sidelined. He’s posted a 40.5% usage rate with Middleton off the floor since Jan. 23, and the Jazz are also a phenomenal matchup.
On the other side of that matchup, the Jazz stand out as one of the best sources of value on this slate. That includes Simone Fontecchio at power forward. He’s projected for just under 30 minutes at $4,400 on DraftKings, and he’s averaged a respectable 0.79 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in four of his past six games, and the lone exceptions were games with 19.7 and 15.6 minutes.
Kristaps Porzingis is another elite pay-up option at power forward. He’s going to see a massive spike in offensive responsibilities with Beal and Kuzma sidelined. He’s increased his usage rate by +7.3% in two games without both players this season, and he’s averaged 1.48 DraftKings points per minute with both players off the floor. Porzingis is viable across the industry, but he’s an elite option on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 87%.
Kelly Olynyk was a slight disappointment in his last contest, but he went off for 43.0 and 35.6 FanDuel points in his two previous outings. He’s another outstanding value on FanDuel, where his $6,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 92%.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Anthony Davis is one of the few superstars who stands out as a better value on DraftKings than FanDuel. His $10,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 79%, and Davis has plenty of appeal at that price tag. He’s averaged 1.53 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s averaged 55.17 DraftKings points per 36 minutes in 19 games without LeBron James. He’s projected for 36 minutes Friday vs. the Thunder, and Davis can do some damage in that spot.
Let’s conclude our tour of the Jazz with Walker Kessler. The rookie has been phenomenal this season, providing his best impersonation of Rudy Gobert. That trade has the potential to go down as one of the worst in NBA history. Kessler is probably already more valuable than Gobert considering the difference in salaries, and the Jazz also got four additional first-round picks. Absolute larceny.
Kessler has averaged 1.16 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s projected for 31 minutes Friday vs. the Bucks. If he continues to do what he’s done for most of the year, it should make him one of the best values on the slate at just $6,700.
Nick Richards was recently rewarded with a new contract, and he should continue to handle most of the center minutes with Mark Williams sidelined. He’s scored 27.5 and 42.25 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and he’s averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute for the year. His matchup vs. the Mavericks isn’t ideal, but he’s too cheap at $5,100 on DraftKings.
Daniel Gafford is coming off 28.6 minutes in his last contest, and his workload should be solidified with Beal and Kuzma sidelined. He’s averaged 1.02 FanDuel points per minute for the year, so he’s a strong bet to return value with around 30 minutes of playing time.